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So I thought it would be interesting to just have a topic to discuss glues, what folks use for what. Godzilla knows I have played with many glues over the years and still folks pop up with new ones all the time! We have had this discussion about many glues all over the place, figure this may be the best place to have a focused discussion. This came up today on the n-scale list to create a resource of what works on what well, application, stability, strength, cleanup etc. I’ll try to pull out folks descriptions and comments into a list here in the first thread. If folks can give maybe the following data points on a glue along with what it works best in maybe we can make a nice reference for everyone. Just copy the list below and fill in your experience. With discussion we can try to get a good general reference then. Maybe we can compile them into a spreadsheet.






General Description

Works on: what material and/or surface does it bond well to

Doesn’t work on: what materials and/or surfaces doesn’t it bond well to

Drying time: seconds, days

Strength: how good does it hold

Flexibility: is the bond at all flexible when dry

Application: how to best apply it or tricks and tips.

Waterproof: can the cured glue stay set if exposed to water

Cleanup: can you clean off excess easily and is solvent needed

Stability: how long/well does the glue last in container after opening

Best used on: what materials/things is this your go to



Cyanoacrylate or Super Glues (many many companies)

CA glues are great for rapid bonding to a variety of surface with pretty strong bonds. It can dry in second to minutes and curing is accelerated by moisture (why it goes off very fast once in your skin). You can get it in varying thicknesses from very runny to very thick gels. Other Accelerators can make it cure almost instantly and if added to a fillet of baking soda it can create a very rapidly curing sort of mortar to reinforce corners on joints (but this does creat a bit of heat). It crazes/fogs clear plastics like styrenes and acetates.


Works on: most all materials 

Doesn’t work on: slick, softer plastics like polyethylene, polypropylene, derilin, some vinyls. Thin ca glues do not work well on very porous surfaces like papers and wood, but thicker ca glues can, but joints with larger gaps even thicker ca glue does not tend to cure well and is brittle in big chunks of just dried glue in joints. Don even use near clear stryenes or clear acetates as even off gassing of ca glue will fog them. Glueing parts with them can cause big crazing of the clear bits fast.

Drying time: without acelleratoes usually less than a minute in Norma humidity. Dryer humidity can take longer to set (fogging your breath on the joint can help). Many accelerators to make bonding almost instantaneous. Baking soda can be used as an accelerant and solid medium.

Strength: very strong in larger flat joints. More brittle on edge and butt joints. Making filets along corners of joints with baking soda infused with ca glue can make super strong joint support filets.

Flexibility: not flexible, pretty brittle once fully cured. Some of the thick forms are not quite as brittle when fully cured

Application: using a small applicator like the eye of a needle or a looper applicator. Tiny tread nozzle hoses can be added to bottle to deliver small amounts

Waterproof: yes

Cleanup: Acetone. Once cure acetone can dissolve ca glue bit on many plastics enough acetone to break up the glue will attack plastics and paint around the glue. Glue does not scrape off or carve well with a knife.

Stability: usually lasts in a tube 6-12 months after opened. Keeping in a sealed bag with a desiccant pellets can help lengthen life of opened bottles/tubes. Higher humidity environments will cause bottle to go off faster,

Best used on: small parts I need to get stuck on fast. Large surface bonds where you need a really good bond. Good to mix and match stuff like metals and plastics. Thin stuff wicks into already placed joints well (but thin stuff can wick everywhere so be sparing!)




2 part Epoxy (many brands like JB weld)

2 part epoxies are great glues where a strong bond is needed and it can space fill a bit. Equal amounts of each are put side by side on a scrap piece of cardboard and mixed well quickly with swirling and folding with a small stick or disposable spatula applicator for a minute or so. Once mixed you have a sort time until it begins to set (various brands/types have different set times). Epoxies are usually pretty thick and not easy to apply to tiny joints and can be very sticky and messy. Very hard to wipe off excess cleanly


Works on: most all materials

Doesn’t work on: slick plastics like polyethylene, polystryene, derilin, etc

Drying time: sets few minutes to an hour depending on type (fast 2-5 min, regular 10-15, slow 30-60 min) cures totally usually overnight

Strength: strong bond that can fill gaps

Flexibility: hard once cured not flexible. Glue itself is usually not very brittle

Application: usually spreader stick or small disposable applicator 

Waterproof: yes

Cleanup: once cured it’s there… heat gun can lift some but would ruin most modeling materials except metals. Before it sets you can try to wipe or scrape it off but some will remain on the surface and when starting to set it will pull fibers out of paper towels and rags.

Stability: Epoxies in tubes can just die usually ending up with mixed epoxy that never really cures and does not bond well. Best to always test a little bit if you have not used the epoxy in a while before going at your project.

Best used on: where strong joints are needed




E6000 (Eclectic products)

E6000 is like a thick rubber cement that sticks tighter to most any material but cures a bit flexible (not as flexible as rubber cement). Nice for joints that may need to flex a bit or something you may want to disassemble later as on smoother, non porous surfaces you can pry pars apart and cut thru the slightly soft glue and rub/scrape off old glue.

Works on: most all materials

Doesn’t work on: very slick plastics it will stick but can peak off

Drying time: 5-10 min to set well and overnight to totally cure

Strength: holds well to most any surface and very strong on fabrics

Flexibility: nice and flexible for things that need to have a tad of resilience. Glue joint can be cut easily

Application: small applicator. Very thick and stringy

Waterproof: yes


Cleanup: very sticky. Can take off with acetone or goo gone from smooth surfaces

Stability: goes off in a few months usually in tube after opening so best to get the small tubes not the big ones.

Best used on: anything that may need a bit of flex ina joint, works great in fabrics and holds even slick suface plastics ok. Can peal/scrape a lot of it off many smooth surfaces. Works well on things you may want to disassemble later.

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Name/company - Tamiya Craft Bond

General Description - White water based glue. Dries clear. Perfect for dioramas and paper products.

Works on: what material and/or surface does it bond well to  It is compatible with paper, wood, fabric, leather, foam board, and styrofoam.

Doesn’t work on: what materials and/or surfaces doesn’t it bond well to - bonds to most materials that I have tried but best for paper, foam core, polybak (laser board)

Drying time: seconds, days - Dries fast - a minute or two.

Strength: how good does it hold - Holds well, strong bond.

Flexibility: is the bond at all flexible when dry - Compared to standard wood glues, this craft bond dries into a softer consistency to help provide shock protection.

Application: how to best apply it or tricks and tips. - Glue bottle has a fine tip. Great for accurate application.

Cleanup: can you clean off excess easily and is solvent needed - Cleans with water while still wet. Damp cloth works.

Stability: how long/well does the glue last in container after opening - a few months is the longest I've let one sit.

Best used on: what materials/things is this your go to Paper structures is what I use it for the most. Like Sankei buildings. Also, it does not transfer excessive water to paper, so the joints remain wrinkle-free. Looks like a white PVA glue but dries very fast and achieves a very strong (transparent of course) bond. Good for clear parts.

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