Choosing a glue, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Zap-A-Gap

Choosing a glue, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Zap-A-Gap

Kevin O’Bedlam



In the field of hobby modelling, you’ll hear a lot of nonsense about glue. I used to buy my paints and supplies for my early space marine army at a local hobby store that mainly focused on model trains and things of that nature. As a young upstart, I swore by Testor’s Plastic Cement. Why did I swear by this? Two reasons. The first was because that’s what the model train nerds swore by. Second was because it came in handy when I was making terrain out of styrofoam- I could make craters by dripping it on the styrofoam! (Two big no-nos! Coverred later). Later I grew out of the Testor’s Plastic Cement when I realized that not only was it no good for keeping my poorly painted Space Marines together, it did literally nothing for metal models.


For plastic models, you can’t go wrong with Cyanoacrylate, the scientific name for super glue. They come in a number of flavors, wikipeida tells me, inclusing methyl 2-cyanoacrylate, ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate (that’s Krazy Glue) and n-butyl-cyanoacrylate. The first two are the most important, as most modeling glues fall under those two varities, but most are the latter. You really want to stay away from Krazy Glue and go with a Cyanoacrylate glue that your LGS (local game store) sells. The reasoning behind that is because Krazy Glue is much thicker than say, the brand that my LGS sells, Zap-A-Gap. While it is the same chemical compound, the consistancy is different (they dilute it a bit) and intended for your models.


So, you ask, what IS the best way to glue my metal models? Well, it’s called pinning and it doesn’t use glue at all. It involves using a hobby drill (Games Workshop makes a decent one) to bore holes in your models and then attaching the two pieces with some two part epoxy (that’s the green stuff that you don’t smoke) and a ‘pin’ (usually a paper clip.) I’ll be writing a how-to guide on that in a week or so. Unfortunately pinning takes a great deal of time and you could potentially ruin your models (especially if you don’t read my guide first).


So the moral of the story, kids, is buy your glue at your LGS! I’ve seen too many decent models made to look goofy or stringy with Krazy Glue, methyl based super glue, or even (Emperor forbid) Plastic Cement! That’s all for this week, I leave you with a song.


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