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"Gluing Plastic" Topic

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Gone Fishing10 Dec 2017 9:03 a.m. PST

First my apologies, as I'm sure this has come up a million times, but a quick search of threads doesn't give me the answer I'm looking for.

Soon I will be gluing loose shields on my plastic 1/32 Gauls (they are by Hat and Italeri if that helps). The plastic is soft, the Airfix, Marx type. Needless to say I would like a very strong bond. Is there a single glue (I'd much prefer this to a two part epoxy) that will do the trick? Gorilla Glue? In the past I've used super-glues, the Zap-A-Gap variety, but shields and bits have had the distressing habit of falling off on the least provocation.

Years ago a fellow told me the best thing to do is to heat a knife red hot and weld the bloody things together. I'd really, really like to avoid this if possible.

Thank you for any help!

MajorB10 Dec 2017 9:36 a.m. PST


Cyrus the Great10 Dec 2017 9:52 a.m. PST

Elmer's Contact Cement.

Pauls Bods10 Dec 2017 9:59 a.m. PST

Pin them on. Normal Pins shoved through the shield and into the Hand, cut to length. I did this with some 1/32nd Italeri Romans. You can just about see the pin in the middle pic, middle Roman with gladius raised

Gone Fishing10 Dec 2017 10:02 a.m. PST

Thank you both – exactly what I was looking for!

Gone Fishing10 Dec 2017 10:31 a.m. PST

Paul, sorry, our notes crossed and then I had to step away. Your figures look absolutely stunning, a true inspiration as I get going on my project; I would be pleased if they turn out half so well as yours. As regards pinning, it's an interesting option. Being incorrigibly lazy, with the awareness that I'd probably end out stabbing myself any number of times, makes me lean a little to the glue option; but there's no question pinning would give the surest bond. Something to think about – thank you!

Oh, and if you don't know it already, take a look at this other great site for more 1/32 Roman/Gallic work:

Pauls Bods10 Dec 2017 11:17 a.m. PST

Thanks Daryl.
Iīve looked at Alanīs blog a few times…heīs a Genius at converting and using Odds and Ends to fill the gaps, the ballistas made using the playmobil ones for instance.
I avoid stabbing myself by using thin nosed pliers to push the Pins in…although I have to admit to pinning myself a couple of times, usually when misjudging how much force to use and suddenly the pin shoots through the parts being pinned leading to a bit of swearing :-)

Dervel Fezian10 Dec 2017 12:49 p.m. PST

I have had pretty good luck with a CA primer then Zap Gap.

I would not recommend using any type of super glue without the primer on soft plastics.

That said most of what I have glued had pretty decent pinning built into the model. I have not tried a flat surface joint.

Dagwood10 Dec 2017 1:13 p.m. PST

These days you can buy "soft plastic glue". No idea what it is or if it works, but probably worth a try ?

ced110610 Dec 2017 5:18 p.m. PST

Would plastic cement work?

Apply with the tip of a paper clip. Test on a model.

Army Painter has a $7 USD drill that's easy to use, although I mostly use it on 28mm boardgame plastic.

furgie10 Dec 2017 6:44 p.m. PST

I use PVA glue (copydex we call it in the UK) on all my soft plastics – seems to work fine for me.


Ssendam11 Dec 2017 2:18 a.m. PST


Copydex is a latex glue most often used for fabrics, whereas PVA is commonly used for wood.

cameronian11 Dec 2017 3:40 a.m. PST

Prime both bits, stick together with Superglue when dry the paint gives a good key for the SG. When glue dry lightly coat arm and shield (both sides) in slightly dilute PVA. This encases the arm and shield in a rock hard shell. Works for any 'pingy' stick out bits on plastic figures. Some folks coat the whole figure before or after painting but that's another story of which I have no experience.

Copydex is great stuff for sticking metal figures on to painting holders, it doesn't work it's way into the porous metal. Unlike PVA which does, so PVA is ideal for plastic figures.

Of course, IMHO.

davejl11 Dec 2017 3:54 a.m. PST

Steve Weston, the Plastic Toy Soldier stockists, recommended a super glue from Half is. He uses it all the time. It's a bit pricey (about £10.00 GBP) but it lasts quite a while and you keep it in the fridge!!!! Just get it out and get to room temperature before using. I use it on my Expeditionary Force plastic soldiers.

davejl11 Dec 2017 3:55 a.m. PST

Damned predictive text. That should read Halfix

Gone Fishing11 Dec 2017 6:28 a.m. PST

Some more excellent suggestions. The priming and then gluing techniques is intriguing – might have to try that. I'm off to look up Halfix now, if only for the fact that it's a glue that would nestle between the milk and eggs in the fridge; midnight snacks might never be the same!

Thank you all for taking the time to reply!

davejl12 Dec 2017 11:44 a.m. PST

Made a mistake in my typing. The glue is called Hafix. Sorry about that.


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