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Glue for attaching fabric mesh to plastic body?

4 replies
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  • Member since
    August, 2017
Glue for attaching fabric mesh to plastic body?
Posted by Johnny English on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 6:48 PM

I was an avid modeller in my teens, and at 43 after a 25+ year layoff I've finally picked up a kit I've had sitting around for a few years and started into it. I'm astonished at the range of tools and substances available today compared to back then - I've never used anything other than poly cement and enamels, so discovering acrylics and spray cans has been a joyous revelation!

The model is a Revell 1:24 Ferrari 360 Modena and there are a couple of parts that require me to cut, trim and attach a piece of mesh fabric to the plastic body. This needs to be entirely matt black - I tested glueing a small piece of the mesh to a piece of sprue with the poly, and while it works it gives a high gloss finish. I could try and paint it matt black afterwards but I'm concerned about filling the holes in the mesh with the cement and then the paint covering it up completely, and I'm also not sure it will look quite right to paint the fabric mesh.

Given the range of different glues available, can anyone suggest a suitable one that will attach the mesh to the painted plastic and dry both matt and invisible?

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 4:19 PM

The type of glue really depends on the material being used. When you say "fabric" mesh, you may be referring to natural materials (cotton, for instance), a synthetic (nylon), or perhaps material which is like the fine mesh materials Tamiya puts into some of its armor kits for screening (polystyrene).

With polystyrene, use liquid cement like Tamiya extra thin. This is so thin that you'll have to go out of your way to apply dozens of layers to begin filling in the squares of the mesh.

With natural materials, craft glues like Aileen's Tacky or even standard white PVA glue like Elmer's work fine to bind the fabric to the plastic, provided that you are not relying on the glue for strength or structural integrity. This will plug up the holes if you get sloppy, but work slowly and carefully to get the best results. In the case of some synthetic nylons, the same type of glue can be used or epoxy can be substituted for nylons that refuse to bind or where you do need extra strength.

Airbrushing over mesh is easy enough. The only time you'll run into issues clogging up the mesh is if you're hand-brushing and applying too much thick paint. Thin the paint and use very light coats.

Matt issues are easily resolved with the appropriate clear sealer, such as Dullcote.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by Johnny English on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 4:40 PM

That's awesome, thank you. It definitely isn't a natural fabric, my guess would be nylon. There's no structural integrity needed as it's just covers for the air intakes and not bridging any gaps, so I'll try the Aleene's glue.

I can't airbrush over it because a) it's a two-tone segment that is already painted, and b) I don't have an airbrush. I didn't know that there was such a thing as a clear matt sealer for models though, that will be my fall back if there's any kind of glossiness to the glue finish.

Thanks a lot for your help.

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by modelmaker66 on Thursday, August 17, 2017 10:40 PM

Just use white glue like was said.

  • Member since
    January, 2014
Posted by Silver on Monday, December 18, 2017 3:04 PM

Use regular school type “Tacky Glue”  its a strong white glue which dries clear.


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