How Do I Choose the Best Model Glue?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2019
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The best model glue typically dries fast and has no or low odor. It is also for use on several types of media, from polystyrene plastic and wood to metal. Some of the best glue is a liquid type that is brush-applied. This glue is often easily painted over and commonly provides a fast set.

Model building is a hobby that typically requires several supplies in order to properly assemble and finish a kit. Glue is one of the most important components in model building and provides the means to which many models are held together. Some of the earliest model glues were extremely toxic. They can be used to induce intoxication by those who have access to them, so you may want to avoid these types of glue.

The manufacturers of model glue began to add a lemon scent in the mid 1960s, however, the new formulas were not durable. Many models simply fell apart after sitting for even a short time. Modern model glue is much more dependable and you can usually locate a glue that is long-lasting without the strong odor typical with earlier versions.


When searching for the best model glue, you will have two basic types of glue to choose from: a tube similar to a tube of toothpaste and a bottle similar to model paint or fingernail polish. Each offers the model builder a quality adhesive that is fast-drying. You may want to choose the brush-on type of glue due, in part, due to its ability to be painted over cleanly. The tube-type glue is a thicker version that is difficult at times to use sparingly. This occasionally leads to large glue spots that are difficult to paint over without leaving a telltale mark.

Liquid, brush-on types of model glue work much like contact cement. The glue is brushed onto both pieces being joined and allowed to set undisturbed for a few seconds prior to placing the parts together. If you are attempting to choose a long-lasting glue that is easy to use and does not leave behind a large amount of unwanted glue remnants, the brush-on type of model glue might be to your liking. If, however, you like to apply large amounts of glue without taking time to be neat and meticulous, the squeeze-type tube of model glue may be your best choice.


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