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What type of glue do you use? Elmers white or similar?

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  • Member since
    September 2009
  • From: Miami, FL
What type of glue do you use? Elmers white or similar?
Posted by Felix C. on Friday, June 5, 2015 7:32 AM

Thinking of a 1:400 ship model. What type of glue? 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, June 5, 2015 8:49 AM

I find white glue works fine, but sometimes when I want a fast set I use gel CA.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: Central Cal
Posted by mhvink on Friday, June 5, 2015 10:09 AM

Yep, Elmer's white glue.  I use a paper clip, straightened out and inserted into an X-acto knife handle to apply the glue in a THIN layer.

  • Member since
    October 2010
Posted by hypertex on Saturday, June 6, 2015 7:38 AM

Aleene's Tacky Glue is also popular. It is thicker than Elmer's as it has less water.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Saturday, June 6, 2015 7:43 AM

Are we talking about a wood model or a styrene model?

EDIT: Oops, never mind. I didn't notice what sub-forum this was posted in. Carry on.. Smile

  • Member since
    August 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Monday, June 8, 2015 2:55 PM

Felix ;

      After building probably at least a hundred for gifts I would staunchly recommend Aleen's Tacky Glue in the Copper colored bottle . It is thicker , thereby requiring less and it is the same quality bottle after bottle .You can use Elmer's if you are doing laminations . It's good for that but it takes longer to dry .    Tanker - Builder

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 1:38 AM

I don't have a lot of experience with paper models, but I'll pass on one pearl of wisdom I learned the hard way. You may be tempted to use good ol' rubber cement - the type that draftsmen and graphic artists use. It comes in a bottle with a brush, goes on very smoothly, dries quick, and if you get some in the wrong place it's easily removed by rubbing. It's specially designed for gluing paper. At first glance it looks like it should be ideal for paper models.

But IT ISN"T! The people who use it generally aren't worried much about longevity - and rubber cement doesn't have any. It dries up and cuts loose within two or three weeks.

I once used rubber cement to build a nice model of the Spirit of St. Louis from Wilhelmshaven. About a week after I finished it, I noticed that some of the glue joints were starting to turn pink. Then they turned brown. And one day all the pieces fell apart.

Glue sticks are worth checking out. Especially the Uhu brand - which, I believe, is what a lot of European paper model enthusiasts use. I think the British usually use Seccotine, which I've never found in the U.S.

But rubber cement is a no-no, except for joints that don't need to last more than a week or so.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    August 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 3:12 PM

You , know that's funny !

        I actually had someone ask me why I didn't use Rubber Cement ! They would not accept my explanation.

  • Member since
    May 2006
Posted by Rob Beach on Thursday, June 18, 2015 5:45 PM

Good point on the 'rubber cement'.  RE: Elmers, I've used it with some success but I usually have to let it stand a bit & thicken before using.  I squirt out a small puddle on my glue palette (a frozen juice canister lid) and keep checking it with my applicator (aka, toothpick or similar) as I work.  Experience will tell when it has the right consistency.  Also, be aware there are different 'grades' of the Elmers, so keep track of what specific product you are buying. Uhu & Aleen's are two glues I've heard of as being good glues, but the main concern is how any glue will react with the paper.  Too much moisture is not a good thing as it tends to extend the "set" time while also affecting the application (meaning the amount of glue you apply - too thin and the correct 'volume' turns out to be too little after the water evaporates... weakening or failing to hold at all...)

Check out craft stores in the 'scrap booking' section for neutral pH materials & glues for longevity of your builds.

I recommend visiting some of the various forums dedicated to paper modeling such as "" and '', lurk around doing some basic research and then download one of the free models offered there to practice on - nothing will beat experience!  One BIG tip is to avoid the 'pirate' sites that take printed models and scan them and offer for download (or even for sale.)  Also, paper modelers tend to be very generous and share their own designs (which are sometimes pirated as well!) but there are some who also sell kits.  Be aware of this aspect of the PM culture and be responsible with where you are getting the kits / design.

Regards, Robert

  • Member since
    August 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Monday, June 22, 2015 9:20 AM


   Thank you for that insight .

    I do strongly recommend Aleen's Tacky Glue as it is found wherever scrap-booking supplies are found . It seems to me after all these years to be the best . I've got some paper ships from over twelve years ago that are staying together fine .


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