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Why Does SuperGlue Hate Me?

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I swear, I don't remember having this problem in the past.  But for the last six months or so, I've been unable to reliably glue things with CA glue.  I'm most frustrated by not being able to affix minis to bases (although I've had trouble with things like arms and weapons, too).  Even with pins in the feet, the mini either doesn't stick to the surface of the base, comes off the pins, pins come out of base.  It doesn't seem to matter if the base is plastic or metal, painted or bare.  (Although, thinking about it, I think I've had this problem primarily with metal minis, FWIW.)


Things I have tried:


Tiny bits of glue

Bigger bits of glue

Letting glue dry a smidge and get tacky before putting pieces together

Adding a little baking soda

Letting pins in the feet dry overnight (or longer), then trying to attach mini to base.

Corollary to above:  Leave the pinned mini to dry on the base overnight (or longer)

Longer pins

No pins

Buying more "gel-like" glue

Buying new Bones CA glue

Buying ANOTHER new Bones CA glue

Using many broccoli-like words and scaring my dogs


Even when it seems like I've got a good attachment, the slightest bit of manipulation (for touch-up or varnishing) is half-likely to disconnect mini from base.  Even just falling onto its side on my painting desk -- not from a height, just from standing to on its side -- can be enough.


Have I passed over into a parallel universe where I suddenly don't understand superglue anymore??

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Are you gluing surface to surface or are you gluing painted surface to painted surface? The paint will pull away. Always glue surface to surface.


I also would have guessed old glue but not if you bought new glue.

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SuperGlue isn't made to be a good gap filler and it will not adhere to oils.   I use smooth paper clips and typically file the cutting bur off the ends and drill a hole such that it is a tight fit.

For larger gaps on metal minis... epoxy is my bestest friend.   Again clean well.

BTW... what we're you using for pins?  And how deep were they placed?

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I can attest that I tend to have more difficulty with CA on metal parts than on plastic parts. That said, I've pretty much always found that particularly if I have a small connection point (like say attaching a hand to an arm) that I have to hold the pieces together for a good 60 count. I've pretty much just taken to doing this all the time now -- even though in theory it shouldn't be necessary. But yeah, a good scrubbing and then scoring the contact points goes a long way too, as does occasionally adding a tiny bit of green stuff.

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On ‎3‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 11:56 AM, Sergeant_Crunch said:

Another thing you can try is to rough up the contact points to be glued together with a file, sandpaper, sanding needles, etc.  Can also use the tip of your Xacto to crosshatch the contact points.  Gives more surface area for the glue to adhere to.


I want to add that it took me years to come across this advice and it makes a huge difference. 

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It hates me, too. 

To add to the other advice - try to wash the parts before you begin painting. It removes skin oils, mould release, etc.

When I want a really good join, I use five minute two part epoxy. It's a pain to hold stuff for five minutes, but it's worked more reliably for me. I do buy fresh every 1.5-2 years, or even that starts to fail me. One thing I like about it is it's got better shear strength than CA, which can be a bit brittle to certain kinds of impact.

Maybe some of us just have a glue curse...


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fwiw, I've just been using white glue on a plastic Mantic orc army, and will try out museum wax. 


Superglue is a pain to work with and the miniature's *still* going to be fragile, or, at least, brittle. With white glue, I can reposition pieces until I'm ready to finally set them. Mebbe I'll then reinforce with superglue when I know what piece goes where and I can shove twenty top-heavy orc miniatures together without them poking each other with weapon bits.


Most of the pieces have knobs that sorta fit into holes, and I've also been pinning various pieces, of course. 

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If you're working on polystyrene miniatures (GW plastics and the like, not a vinyl base like Bones or the vast majority of prepaints) you should really be using plastic cement.  It melts the pieces together forming a superior bond.  I prefer the liquid version so you don't get the strings like with the orange sqeeze tube from Testors, just make sure you have some ventilation.





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