A Complete Guide To Building Ship Model Kits


When it comes to building ship model kits, PVAs and canopy glues are easy-to-clean-up and easy-to-use, but their bonds do run the risk of coming apart over time – the last thing you want after several hours, days, or months of working vigorously on your selected model. Before committing to these glues, evaluate the kind of material you are using watchfully and run a test if you need to. If in doubt, consider another option.

Conversely, super glues are brilliant for quick and strong bonds, but their quick drying time means you have to pay additional awareness to circumvent misalignment of components. Ensure that the elements are precisely where they have to be before you apply glue and where possible use a vise or clamp to hold the components in place during the application and bonding process.

Mistakes Happen – How to Come Unstuck

As with any of the life’s endeavors, accidents or errors will inexorably take place during your model making adventures. At times components don’t somewhat line up through the bonding stage, or worse still, a misinterpreted guideline could make you end up with the incorrect piece stuck together.

So how do you get your pieces apart to begin again?

When it comes to using wood glues or PVA on ship model kits, a simple procedure is to make use of a paintbrush dipped in hot water. Just paint the water onto the glued surfaces and in a couple of minutes the adhesive should soften in the joints and come apart with comparative effortlessness. Following a brief clean up procedure, you should be ready to re-apply adhesive to where it needs to go.

Super glue is a totally different beast, for which, there are a couple of methods available to get the preferred result. Initially, you can carefully use a scalpel or a hobby knife to cut the bonded area and split the components. This works better in bigger parts but is not perfect for Photo-Etch parts that tend to be more fragile.

Fortunately, super glue melts at around 75 degrees Celsius, so put the kettle on for a cuppa and get ready to melt that glue. Once the kettle has boiled, allow it cool a little then pour into a properly sized container and submerge the bonded pieces. Using pliers or clamps, softly pull and nudge the components until they detach.

Keep in mind that taking out pieces of the boiled water will cause the glue to cool and harden again quickly.

In the unwelcoming event that you stick your fingers together while bonding the parts, acetone is your best course of action. It will evaporate upon touching your warm skin though, so either uses a little more or mix it with some Vaseline (50:50) for a more reliable mixture that won’t disappear. So there you have it, a quick overview of the stuff that will hopefully keep your ship model kits together for years to come. Do you have a favorite product or any additional glue tips for your fellow scale modelers? Do not miss to share!

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