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"Best glue for foam core" Topic

19 Posts

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859 hits since 18 Dec 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Olaf 0318 Dec 2017 7:27 a.m. PST

I am thinking about building some buidlings using foam core. I would like to know what the best type of glue is to use on foam core.

I am assume basic Elmer's glue would work, but can you use something stronger like gorilla glue?

Olaf 0318 Dec 2017 7:32 a.m. PST

Just noticed I misspelled buildings…

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2017 7:38 a.m. PST

White glue works well and Tacky Glue is even stronger. Both make a bond that is stronger than the paper/card outer layer of the foam core.

I sometimes put a small piece of balsa in corners that are at risk, especially on large walls or removable roof sections which are prone to warp.

Example with removable roofs:


Others with permanently affixed roofs:


Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2017 7:48 a.m. PST

If it's a complicated build I'll sometimes use a few very small straight pins with the glue, which seems to work well.

JimDuncanUK18 Dec 2017 7:53 a.m. PST

I've stopped using foam board for buildings now, I prefer MDF.

Neal Smith18 Dec 2017 7:54 a.m. PST

I have used the Tacky Glue, but regular Elmer's would work also.

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian18 Dec 2017 8:17 a.m. PST

Elmer's Carpenter glue works very well.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2017 8:18 a.m. PST

I've always had success with Elmer's but have used the straight technique as well.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2017 8:21 a.m. PST

My tendency is to glue paper to foamcore with a thin coat of Elmer's, and the foamcore walls to each other with Tacky Glue.

Giles the Zog18 Dec 2017 8:22 a.m. PST

Having just been busy building stuff with foam core, I use an "all purpose" glue, suitable for wood, fabric and ceramics.

As you are in the US (and I'm in the UK), I can't comment on brand type…mine is just from a normal B&Q own brand.

Anything that doesn't melt plastic is worth a pop.

jefritrout Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2017 8:22 a.m. PST

We use wood glue and maybe 2 straight pins per corner.

redmist112218 Dec 2017 8:38 a.m. PST

Try Liquid Nails for "Projects". Water cleanup, same amount of time to dry as regular PVA/Tacky glue but a bit more stronger. Depending where you go, could be cheaper if not the same price as regular PVA/Tacky glue.


whitejamest18 Dec 2017 10:31 a.m. PST

I like using a hot glue gun. You have to be careful not to burn yourself, but you get a strong bond that has enough working time but still solidifies quickly.

Olaf 0318 Dec 2017 11:17 a.m. PST

Thank you for all of the suggestions

jefritrout Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2017 1:11 p.m. PST

I don't recommend hot glue if you are going to leave the building out in your car. I've had at least 3 buildings fall apart as the hot glue melted. That's why I went back to wood glue.

Borderguy19018 Dec 2017 9:15 p.m. PST

Those are some very nice buildings Big Red. Do you by chance have a blog or website where you detail their construction?

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2017 10:21 p.m. PST

Jefritrout: "I don't recommend hot glue if you are going to leave the building out in your car. I've had at least 3 buildings fall apart as the hot glue melted"

Wow, I'm so glad you said that. I was already planning to use hot glue on my first two projects of 2018. We live near Houston and heat is a big problem.


Big Red Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2017 9:23 a.m. PST


Thank you for the kind words. Alas, no blog or website. On second thought, maybe that's a good thing :) There are a few photos from our games on Twitter but nothing about construction details.

I built these a while ago using the Gary Chalk method for a Caribbean pirate village as outlined in long ago issues of Wargames Illustrated. The articles were designed to go along with Foundry's then new Pirate range. No pirates but I made a dozen or so of these for Napoleonic Spain or other Mediterranean settings. The half timbered ones are just a variant of Mr. Chalk's original instructions.

These articles used to be available as a free download from Wargames Foundry but when I last looked I didn't see them.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2017 1:16 p.m. PST

Another caution on using Hot Glue: use the Low Temp guns; High Temp will likely melt the foam. I tried bonding textured paper to pink foam with my Hot Glue Gun, using the High Temp setting… It melted the pink foam insulation! The Low Temp setting works well.

Also appreciative on the heat melting the Hot Glue. I made modular cavern wall sections by applying textured paper to foam forms. Never thought about summer heat in the car melting the Hot Glue until now. Note to self, stored in Long Term Memory Banks… Cheers!

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