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Elmers glue and decals

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  • Member since
    July 2021
Elmers glue and decals
Posted by Sgenest on Monday, September 6, 2021 10:11 AM

Hi folks...I'm new to modeling and I have a question: what is the reason one might want to add a few drops of Elmer's glue to decal water?

  • Member since
    April 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Monday, September 6, 2021 11:38 AM

I have never heard of adding Elmer's glue to decal water, I would not try it.  I do, however, always add a drop or two of dishwashing detergent to the decal water, to break up the surface tension so the water will spread out on the plastic surface and mimimize silvering.

Gimme a pigfoot, and a bottle of beer...

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Monday, September 6, 2021 12:05 PM

Adding a drop or two of Elmer's actually harkens back to the earlier days of modeling when the adhesives used by decal manufacturers were generally of much poorer quality, and particularly prone to breaking down (in the box, on retailers' shelves) with age and heat. Though I know there are modelers who still swear by it, it's pretty much unnecessary these days unless you're using really old decals.

(If you happen to run into decals where the adhesive has rubbed off or is otherwise ineffective, I've found that Future [or whatever it's called these days] is a more effective fix than white glue. Just my 2 cents.)


George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    July 2021
Posted by Sgenest on Monday, September 6, 2021 1:45 PM

Thanks for the help guys....

  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: Cave City, KY
Posted by Watchmann on Monday, September 6, 2021 4:48 PM
I've seen it done on an episode of Plamo Tsukurou.
  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Franklin Wi
Posted by Bakster on Saturday, September 11, 2021 10:10 AM

Adding Elmers works. What I did was to apply a small amount of diluted Elmers onto the model and placed the decal over it. Worked like a charm.  I like the Future idea too. I have not tried that but it sounds like a good idea.

  • Member since
    June 2017
Posted by Chemteacher on Sunday, September 12, 2021 10:11 AM
I usually add a couple of drops of Elmers to my decal water especially if it’s an older decal sheet. Seems to work. I haven’t had it cause any problems.

On the bench: Revell-USS Arizona; Airfix P-51D in 1/72

  • Member since
    May 2021
Posted by Ken B. on Sunday, September 12, 2021 10:33 AM

When I built models back in the 70s, the decals were usually very thick but they stayed where you put them. Since I returned to modelling after a 30 year absence I've noticed that they're a lot less sticky than they used to be. They were hard to place as they didn't want to stick to the model (they seemed to prefer my tweezers), and some even fell off after they'd been treated with micro-sol and then clearcoated.

Last fall I tried using a little white glue in the water, and I don't think I'll ever decal again without it. Finally, they stay where I want them to.  

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