Having bad glue can cost you a lot of time and frustration. In the years I have gone through a lot of different glue products to find the ones that really worked for me. These are the ones I would recommend right now:
Revell Contacta Professional: Best Plastic Glue (Poly Cement Glue) For Plastic Miniatures
Most plastic glues seem to work by the exact same formula. They all melt the plastic, creating a super strong bond between the plastic pieces. Because they all get the job done very nicely, you can basically pick any plastic glue you want, and the ends results will not differ that much. The difference lies in how the glue handles.
Over time I have shifted more and more towards using the Revell CONTACTA Professional plastic glue. The reason I like it the most is that the metal nozzle has a much smaller hole than other plastic glues (including GW's version).
I find that the smaller metal hole will let me be much more exact when I apply the glue. This, in turn, means less wasted glue, a lot less glue running places where it should not go (and mocking up the mini) and a lot less hassle.
Be warned that the smaller hole also has a tendency to “block” more often (causing no glue to come out). Wiping the metal tube after each use can minimize this, but a blockage is going to happen. Just take the metal tube out and burn it for a bit. The dried glue will melt away, leaving a clean nozzle again.
Super Glue for metal and resin models
Super glue, metal glue or “sekundlim” where I come from. It has many different and that are a lot of not very good brands. You will mainly use this stuff for resin models and old metal models, which means that is super important that it creates the strongest bond possible and that the glue hardens and sticks the parts together in a matter of seconds.
Your average super glue will get the job done, but a lot of them will take too long before the parts are joined together. This means you will have to hold the part physically together, and in that process, it is very likely that your fingers end up becoming a part of the model.
After trying multiple brands, I have ended up coming back to these products over and over again:
Loctite: this is a professional brand of glue and the bond it creates is quite strong. The best part of it is that the Loctite will hold the parts together after just a few seconds (including metal!) making it possible to stand and cure on its own.
Both are good, but I go with the liquid stuff and get a gel from a different manufacturer.
Gorilla: another professional manufacturer, this glue has only recently been brought to my attention. The gel glue they make is just super damn good. Swipe it on each part and mash them together. A few seconds after they stick and you can leave it to dry while you do other stuff. Wonderful!
Citadel, Army Painter, GF9 and so on: I encourage you to avoid the super glue from Citadel, Army Painter, GF9 and the other normal brands you can buy in your Warhammer store. They are just that bad. The glue in the container slowly dries out, the glue in the pipe dries after each use, you get too much glue out and the bad experiences continues. If you are in a pinch, I think the Gale Force 9 version it the best version, but it is only by a very small margin. All in all, it looks like they use almost the same (quite crappy) formula for their glue.
PVA-glue (Wood Glue) For Terrain
If you do any work with terrain or bases that require just some glue, I strongly suggest you use PVA glue. It is a bit fiddly to work with, as it takes ages to cure solidly – but it is so damn cheap.
PVA glue is the white stuff that, sometimes called Kids Glue or Wood Glue. It is very safe to use and can easily be washed off.
I have found no remarkable difference in the brands of PVA glue I have used. I just suggest you get the cheapest bucketload you can get (and maybe a smaller container designed to pour it from without spilling).
5 Random tips with regards to glue
- If you can remember it, wipe off the glue from the container after each use. A blockage of dried up glue is going to be the most annoying thing about your glue, so trying to minimize this is worth your time.
- When it comes to super glue, you want something that dries the two pieces together instantly AND holds in the long run. I have some metal models i glued 5 years ago, and the glue is now brittle and falling apart.
- Putting a super glued model in the freezer will make the glue brittle – which means you can take the miniature apart (if that is something you want).
- Not only is isopropyl alcohol good for getting paint off plastic miniatures, but it can also melt the glue sticking the pieces together.
- If your metal nozzle on your plastic paint is blocked, try holding it over an open flame. The glue will melt and you have a clean nozzle again (for a time…).
- With regards to plastic glue, less is more. You want to make sure the plastic glue covers the joint, but you want a smooth surface afterwards. If you can see a small ring of glue after you squeeze the two pieces together, you are probably using too much glue in the first place.