Article updated: 2020.09.09
Liquid cyanoacrylate glue is a useful addition to a lots of gaming related activities. Normal, gel-like Cyanoacrylate glue (CA glue) is known and used by every modeller as a superglue to attach different materials. However, during conversations I realized there are several people who don't know the benefits of brush-on liquid cyanoacrylate glues, so I collected some of my ideas.
I use Loctite CA glue, I recommend it to everybody. The only problem is that after opening the glue, unless you keep it in vacuum, it will harden in the vial from the water vapour in the air in a few weeks. So try to gather the things you want to glue, and do them all before it becomes useless. Another solution is to keep the vial in an airtight space (reselable bag, empty paint pot), that will give it some more time. (Although I have to admit that I never managed to make it last longer, no matter how I tried.)
The time it needs to dry depends on the amount of water vapour in the air. If you find the drying takes too long, just exhale on the parts after you've applied the CA glue. (Take care not to inhale the fumes, though!)
- Be wary of the fumes! It's much stronger than the usual cyanoacrylate superglue gel. Either wear scuba gear or use it as far away from your face as you can. Don't inhale it, don't let it get into your eyes.
- It bonds to your skin faster than superglue gel. If it gets on you, you usually don't have time to swipe it away.
- Like any cyanoacrylate glue, the vapour of it will create a frosty effect on transparent materials. If you'd like to attach something to a transparent material (for example a miniature on a transparent base), put something around the attached part to prevent the vapour to reach it. I use adhesive putty (Blu Tack), but you could also use masking tape, or some kind of regular putty.
Uses for brush-on liquid cyanoacrylate glue
- You can use it as a normal glue, just like any other superglue.
- Brush it on soft materials (paper, cloth) to plasticize it. It will make them harder and stronger.
- Brush it on the edges of puzzle-like gaming tiles (like the ones in Descent) to prevent damage to tiles. One vial of Loctite CA glue was enough to coat a set of Doom (2005) tiles.
- If you have badly bent counters or cardboard stands you can brush some liquid cyanoacrylate and hold it flat until it hardens.
- If you have torn pieces of counters or tiles it can help you repair them using the above method.
- If your laminated tiles start to bend, it's because water vapour gets into the exposed cardboard edges. You can prevent this if you seal the edges with liquid cyanoacrylate.
- Transparent primer: You can use it as a transparent primer, as it will seal the material beneath it, and it helps the next layer of paint to adher. It can be useful if you like the basic colour of the material, or if you'd like to use acrylic paints on transparent hydrophobic plastics.
- Cardboard: Cut things from cardboard, shape them easily while they are soft, then coat them with a layer of liquid CA to make them hard. This way you can create clothes (cloaks, tabards, furs), or any parts that you can easily draw. When you work with cardboard, it's a good idea to treat the cardboard with varnish or cyanoacrylate so it won't eat up that much paint.
- Banners, flags
- Explosion effects: Just tear the paper into shape. Brush some liquid CA to solidify it.
- Wooden planks: Just draw a couple of irregular lines on the cardboard, cut them into the plank size you need, and solidify it with CA before painting.
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Where can you buy brush-on liquid cyanoacrylate glue?
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Brush-on liquid cyanoacrylate glue - Resources
Kris Veronika (from Scale Model Guide): Learn all About Glue: Article about different kinds of glues. Although it calls cyanoacrylate "cyano acetate", but otherwise a great source of information.
Dave Garbe (from wargamingtradecraft): Just Glue It: Article about different kinds of glues and their applications for modelling.
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Do you know further ideas for the use of brush-on liquid cyanoacrylate glue? Tell us in the comments!