If you’ve been looking for the perfect glue to add just that finishing touch to your miniature world, you’re in luck! We’ve put together this list of what we found to be the 5 best glues for miniatures.
Full disclosure, some of these are high-quality brands and will cost more than others. However, with that higher price comes a better overall product that will last longer and provide the most secure bond possible. So without further ado, here are our top five.
If you're in the market for a high-quality glue that will stay where you want it to, Gorilla Super Glue is our top pick!
The gel formula has a thicker consistency than the liquid version and is great for attaching parts together that are wood, plastic, metal or glass. It is even water-resistant so you don't have to worry about it bonding different materials that get wet later on.
This stuff dries quickly so be ready to turn your mini right side up as soon as possible. One thing we noticed right away was how little this product spreads so there's no chance of accidentally gluing something you didn't intend to. The gel also seems to hold on tighter than a lot of other glues we tried.
And for those of you wondering, the adhesive is completely odor-free. It's actually pretty hard to tell when this stuff has dried because it stops spreading and becomes clear, so there's no need to worry about getting glue all over your fingers like other brands.
The only downside is that the gel version doesn't bond as fast as Gorilla's liquid formula so if you plan on working with thick materials such as metal or plastic, you may want to opt for that. Also keep in mind that this product isn't designed for porous surfaces, especially those made from rubber or foam.
Zap-A-Gap is by far one of the best glues we've used for miniatures. It's quick drying and flexible which means you have more time to position your pieces before they are locked together.
It works on just about all materials from wood to metals, plastics, ceramic and even fabric (though we recommend using another glue to secure the fabric on). Zap-A-Gap dries clear so it won't leave any stains or residue if you accidentally get some on your fingers while working with it. It also tends to be less messy than other brands we tried.
The downside is that this glue isn't as strong as some of the heavier-duty brands on the market. It's great for adding small details to your figures but if you're attaching large parts you'll want seal it with a second, more permanent, glue. However, this is easily done because once it dries, Zap-A-Gap becomes clear so you don't see any seams when painting.
And last but not least for all the gamers out there, this product is completely odorless so there's no chance of having your miniatures smelling like some common household chemical.
J-B Weld is a two-part epoxy that once mixed can last up to 24 hours. This product works best on porous materials such as wood, foam and fiberglass. It's great for attaching the metal blades of a helicopter to the body or creating that detailed sword you've been dreaming of for your barbarian mini.
Once dried, it is extremely strong and permanent so make sure you have the piece exactly where you want it prior to gluing it down. J-B Weld is also water resistant so there's no chance of your sword rusting from moisture in the air.
The downside to this product is that it isn't flexible so if you're trying to add a sword hilt to the body of a figurine, for example, you'll need to reinforce it with a second glue. Also keep in mind that at room temperature this product takes 24 hours to completely set.
Lastly, make sure you follow the instructions because we found that if you use too much of one component it will weaken the bond and could cause your miniature figure pieces to fall off.
ZAP Glue is basically a permanent version of Zap-A-Gap. This product is great for gluing materials such as glass, ceramics, brick, wood and metal. It has an extremely fast set time which means you'll have more time to position your pieces exactly how you want them before they are locked together permanently. ZAP Glue is waterproof so those figurines that previously had trouble standing up to even the tiniest bit of moisture can now do so with ease. Also, unlike other glues, this one is both odorless and non-corrosive so there's no chance of it ruining your statue or damaging your skin.
One thing we really loved about this product was that it seemed to dry much faster than any other epoxy we tried. Some may not like how fast it sets but if you're working with metal or glass and need to remove excess glue from the joint, the fact that ZAP dries quickly is a huge benefit.
This is a great product for gluing almost any kind of plastic, ceramic or vinyl. Once dried, it creates a bond that is flexible and waterproof so you'll have no problem with your figures bending or rusting.
The only downside to this product is the strong odor. It's not as bad as some of the other brands but if you're working in a small room with poor ventilation, it may be best to use another glue for your project.
When you’re shopping for glues, it can be a bit overwhelming. When it comes to the right one for you and your mini projects, there are a number of factors to keep in mind:
You want your glue to match the color of material you’re trying to glue down. If a miniature piece is made from clear acrylic and you use some yellow colored epoxy on it, not only will it look bad but it probably won’t stick either. The same goes for white miniatures that need white glue or black statues that you don’t want turning brown because of a colored adhesive.
There are several types of adhesives to choose from, each one with it’s own unique properties and disadvantages. Glues can be divided up into four general categories based on their attributes: water-based, oil-based, solvent-based and two-part epoxies. Water-based glues such as white glue are easy to clean up but don’t last as long as other kinds of adhesive. Oil based products such as contact cement are great for heavy duty projects but require a lot of preparation time prior to use. Two part epoxies like ZAP and Zap-A-Gap are fast drying and versatile but require a high level of skill to work with properly.
The stronger the glue, the more permanent it is. If you’re a beginner, you don’t want to buy anything that’s going to be too hard or messy for you to use. For most projects where gluing miniatures into a base is required, a good hobby grade epoxy like Zap-A-Gap works well. It’s strong enough to hold treasures and statues in place but not so strong that it can’t be pried apart should you need to do repairs or break something down later on.
Don’t let a glue scare you off from trying something new and interesting just because it appears dangerous. Almost all glues have some amount of hazard associated with them, but you can significantly reduce the risks by taking a few simple precautions. First, always keep the glue out of the reach of children and pets. While most glues are relatively safe, they can be dangerous if they’re ingested and some are even flammable. I recommend using a protective coating like Modge Podge to seal your glued objects so that accidental spills can be cleaned up more easily later on.
There are also some types of glue that pose special risks to your health and the environment. For example, Super Glue will actually bond skin to skin in seconds, making it extremely dangerous if accidentally applied to flesh instead of plastic or metal. (A quick trip to the emergency room is needed if this happens!)
This type of glue is less likely to cause a serious problem than others, but it’s worth noting because it’s commonly found around the house and easy to use. In fact, it’s been used by school children for decades and also as an alternative DIY fix-it kind of material. However, when in incorrect contact with your skin or eyes, the effects can be rather dramatic.
The good news is that, despite its name, there are no known reports of anyone actually being killed by contact cement. However, it can cause significant long-term health problems if you don’t take the proper precautions and get immediate medical attention.
Probably not; the bond simply won’t be strong enough without some kind of reinforcement. The best way around this is by mixing your glue with a bit of super glue and letting it dry overnight before adding the plastic pieces.
There are several products on the market that can help keep your figures standing upright even if they get bumped or knocked around by dice shakers and dice rolling mats. Just make sure the glue you choose is compatible with the materials used to make your miniature figures.
There are several different kinds of glues out there. For most cases, you can use white glue or even wood glue. Both will work well and are readily available in every supermarket, discount store and art supply store nationwide.
You have a few options. If your model is made of PVC plastic you can use the common super glue. If it has soft rubber or vinyl pieces, then Krazy Glue will work well for you. Other options include epoxy and two part formulations like Zap-A-Gap or Z-Poxy.