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"Gluing Metal Figures to MDF bases" Topic

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This Ones For The Sarge21 Dec 2017 1:47 p.m. PST

What is the best adhesive to permanently glue metal figures to MDF bases – Superglue or UHU?

Appreciate feedback

Thanking you

MajorB21 Dec 2017 1:54 p.m. PST


idontbelieveit21 Dec 2017 2:07 p.m. PST

White glue is not an option for you? I like white glue because if I decide to take them off the bases they come off easily after soaking in water. I know, I've said it myself, I'm never going to rebase. But it happens. If you're in the States, simple Elmer's glue is fine.

Andy ONeill21 Dec 2017 2:10 p.m. PST

Uhu will go off eventually.
Pva or gorilla glue would be better options.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP21 Dec 2017 2:43 p.m. PST

If you really do not want the figures to come apart from your bases, use PL Premium construction adhesive….comes in a samll squeezable tube. I use it all the time.

TacticalPainter0121 Dec 2017 3:45 p.m. PST

PVA glue works very well for me.

Note that super glues do not work well with absorbent material, so MDF would not ensure a strong bond.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP21 Dec 2017 3:58 p.m. PST

I would suggest E6000. The E6000 is somewhat flexible. It bonds nicely with MDF. I make many of my figure bases out of MDF. My usual glue for bonding is E6000. Cheers!

John Armatys21 Dec 2017 4:21 p.m. PST

I've been using Uhu to base figures for over 40 years with no problems. In recent years it has worked fine with MDF bases and both plastic and metal figures.

If you need to rebase and the figures are on wood or card standing them up to about knee height in a baking tray of water for 24 hours makes getting the old bases off easy, any glue remaining on the figure's base can be removed with a course file.

Mardaddy21 Dec 2017 4:58 p.m. PST

I coat the MDF with a thin layer of PVA and then use CA.

goragrad21 Dec 2017 5:16 p.m. PST

I use Duco Household cement.


Had some bases made from a lower grade MDF and nearly always had the MDF break from the base or the figure break at the ankles rather than pop off.

With metal bases it is sixes as to whether the figure breaks or pops off – depends on how polished the metal is.

It is acetone based so will dissolve solvent based paints…

Markconz21 Dec 2017 5:22 p.m. PST

PVA is fine.

TMPWargamerabbit21 Dec 2017 6:29 p.m. PST

Elmer's for me. I want the ability to change bases easy with overnight water soaking the base if I am crazy to rebase.

nevinsrip21 Dec 2017 8:18 p.m. PST


rct7500121 Dec 2017 10:29 p.m. PST

PVA – less damage to brain and does allow for rebasing if ever needed.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Dec 2017 3:09 a.m. PST

PVA is cheap and effective, why go for more expensive products.

I've used it for years with no issues at all. It is as permanent as it needs to be but can still be removed fairly simply. What's not to like ?

Vigilant22 Dec 2017 3:17 a.m. PST

Never had any problem with cheap superglue from the supermarket.

deephorse22 Dec 2017 4:15 a.m. PST

PVA. Why use anything else?

goragrad22 Dec 2017 5:14 a.m. PST

It was noted in a thread on lead rot that PVA contains acetic acid and that with some older lead alloy figures could induce lead rot.

Not sure how accurate that claim was.

Andy ONeill22 Dec 2017 6:14 a.m. PST

Pva does contain acetic acid. It will offgas. Very slowly once dry.
Then again, mdf is made of glue and stuff so that can also.
This is a known issue for museums.
Could theoretically be a problem if you store your figures for long periods of time without using them in enclosed containers.
You could open the box every 6 months or so and give em a sniff.
If you smell acetic acid then go for more frequent airings.
Damp or extreme heat are not ideal.

If all that is a concern then an alternative is decorators caulk. Somewhat flexible, takes paint and acrylic. Shrinks as it dries but a useful basing medium.

MajorB23 Dec 2017 7:48 a.m. PST

Uhu will go off eventually.

What do you mean "go off"?

CeruLucifus25 Dec 2017 4:00 p.m. PST


1968billsfan Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2020 5:59 a.m. PST

Use green oil/spirit based flat paint for sides and top,,, and then white for the bottom. (you can write info there). Rought up the top with coarse sandpaper or rasp fire to get a rougher surface. Let a PVA Elmers glue thicken for 30 minutes or so and use that… It makes it possible to remove the figure.

Marcus Brutus05 Jan 2020 6:02 a.m. PST

I use GOOP as well.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa05 Jan 2020 10:08 a.m. PST

Uhu will go off eventually.

What do you mean "go off"?

Brown and v. brittle IIRC – haven't used the stuff since the 80's.

Personally I use Evo-Stick interior wood glue for damn near everything – expensive and a little overkill in some cases, but its never failed me.

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