When you get your miniature kits out of the box, your first thought is how cool they look, and the next step is to assemble them. An essential tool you want to get for this purpose is glue. But, there’s a catch! Every glue won’t work the same, as some are designed for specific materials.
Miniatures are made from different materials, metal, plastic, and resin. However, of these materials, resin minis are the weakest. If you need glue to assemble your resin miniatures, you want one that is strong, reliable and applies well.
Understand the best way to glue resin and What Is Resin
Most people consider resin as just another plastic material but it really isn’t plastic.
Resin is a composite thermoplastic material that has the potential to mimic the appearance and properties of plastic. Hence, they are usually made of PLA or ABS plastics but are not technically plastics.
Unlike plastic and metal, resin miniatures are small and really flexible. This feature makes gluing resin both hard and easy. However, you can glue them by pinning small parts together, then applying glue.
Resin can be effectively bonded (or glued) using adhesives that generally form a bond between the surfaces being joined at a molecular level. This molecular-level bond is formed when the adhesive molecules react with the surface molecules of the resin, creating new chemical bonds between them.
However, certain adhesives like cyanoacrylate (super glue) and polyurethane can also form strong bonds with resin through intermolecular forces between the adhesive molecules and the surface of the resin. These intermolecular forces are created by the attraction of the adhesive molecules to the surface of the resin, resulting in a tight and durable bond between the two surfaces.
Adhesives bond resin at a molecular level or through intermolecular forces with certain adhesives like cyanoacrylate and polyurethane. These forces attract the adhesive molecules to the resin surface, creating a strong and durable bond.
glues that will work well on resin miniatures, models, and 3D prints (4 Types)
As stated earlier, glues vary depending on the material. Still, the most common types of glues you can use to glue your resin minis and models include:
1. Super glue
Also called Cyanoacrylate, super glue is the best glue miniature hobbyists can use on their resin mins.
Super glue is a versatile glue that bonds nearly all materials, including resin miniatures. So, whether you have a Reaper Bone mode, Privateer Press Warmachine, or Hordes line super glue, it will work well on your resin minis.
Their only downside is that they have a liquid form that makes gluing small parts off your resin mini difficult, as they may fall off before the glue dries. The best way to avoid this is to add some glue accelerator after applying super glue to the model. The accelerator helps the glue dry faster.
2. Epoxy glue
Like super glue, epoxy glue works well on resin miniatures. The only difference between them is that epoxy glues bonds stronger and endures stress well. Yet, a major drawback of using epoxy glue with resin materials is that your miniature may break with excessive pressure.
Epoxy glues take a long to dry and require you to hold the two parts together for some time to cure. When you apply pressure on the small pieces, you risk damage to your miniatures.
3. UV resin welding
UV resin welding utilizes UV technology to glue your resin miniatures. This glue is made from the same resin material as your resin miniatures. So, it gives your resin miniature a more uniform finish after the bond sticks.
In order to resin weld properly, apply a thin layer of the UV printing resin on both pieces you intend to join. Then let UV light penetrate the joining to bond them together.
4. Silicone Glues & Polyurethane
Silicone and Polyurethane materials can also form a very strong bond as superglue.
However, applied on resin miniatures, silicon and polyurethane glue will take a bit longer to cure efficiently. Plus, you may need to apply this glue thickly to get a strong bond and good adhesion.
Then again, the result of applying this glue thickly is you won’t completely hide the bonding, especially with the resin miniature being flimsy.
Don’t use plastic cement or plastic glue. They don’t work on resin the same way they work on plastic
Unlike metals and plastic, the resin has a weak form, so it needs something that won’t break its surface easily. Using plastic cement will quickly cause damage to your resin miniatures.
Don’t confuse resin for polystyrene plastic. Both are chemically distinct.
When you apply plastic cement to your plastic miniatures, they easily dissolve, but the resin won’t. So, plastic cement will not affect it since it feels more like you pouring water on oil.
Plastic cement bonds plastic miniatures by melting the plastic, allowing it to dry into a solid form and join again as one piece.
The Best Glue For Resin Miniatures
The best glue for resin miniatures is super glue (also known as cyanoacrylate).
It is versatile and bonds nearly all materials, including resin miniatures. Specifically, Gorilla Glue Gel is recommended due to its high viscosity and ability to hold small resin parts together without leaving thick residues.
The best superglue for resin miniatures
I often refer to this glue as my all-purpose glue because it works on anything. But, on my resin miniatures, Gorilla glue gel is to crave for. It has a high viscosity but flows well to hold small resin parts together without leaving thick residues.
This glue also has some rubber compound in them that attracts resin materials. So, if you use your resin minis for gaming, this glue will also provide you with a strong enough bond for rough handling.
However, like with most superglue, Gorilla superglue often loses its sticking power with time.
- Dries quickly in 1o to 30 seconds
- It may lose its sticking power with time
Most superglue won’t work well as fillers, but this Zap-a-glue superglue does the job perfectly. Applied on your resin miniatures, it flows well into cracks and covers any tiny hole that may distort your miniature’s surface.
The only issue I’ve had with this glue is that it has low viscosity and runs thinner than other supper glue.
- It comes out of the bottle without hassle
- It does not clog easily
- It easily fills holes in your resin miniatures
- It is too thin and empties in the bottle easily
- It is cheap but may amount to a hefty sum as you exhaust them easily
Another good super glue you should consider using on your resin miniatures is Loctite super glue. It sticks super well and is designed so that it doesn’t glue itself shut easily. Plus, it is easy to squeeze out of the bottle.
This glue ranks top of my favorites because it also comes in a gel formula if you need something easier to control. However, they can quickly stick to the skin since they dry quickly.
- Dries quickly
- Super strong adhesion
- Sticks to the skin easily
If you need fine-quality glue that holds your miniature parts longer, army painter superglue is a must-have. This glue has a gel-like form and dries quickly. So, you won’t have to hold your miniature pieces for long to make them stick.
However, the army painter’s superglue has chemical components that make them flammable. So, be extra careful when using it.
- Dries fast
- Creates a long-lasting bond
- It does not leave thick bonds that may distort the miniature’s surface
- It may require thick quantities
- It is expensive
Games Workshop Citadel superglue is also another good glue to consider for your resin miniatures. It has a thick viscosity structure, which keeps your soft resin pieces together for a long time. Plus, it works well as a filler, giving your miniature a fine, clean, and sleek finish.
A unique feature of this glue is its sand-like color most glues don’t have, and it is non-flammable. However, it takes between 10 to 30 minutes to dry.
- The glue fits well into tiny spaces
- It works well in temperatures between 55 to 79 degrees
- It dries slowly
Gluing Resin – Do’s & don’ts, tips, and other important information
- Apply glue thinly on the miniature to avoid increased cure time or distorted surface on your resin miniatures.
- Always fit your resin parts together before applying glue so that it bonds properly.
- Avoid placing your resin miniatures in a cold climate. Super Glue has poor shear strength. So, placing the model in a cold room for some time will cause the glue bond to become more brittle and snap easily.
- Don’t glue resin pieces without washing them. Since your resin material is made from a mold, it will still hold some oily mold release on its surface that may not allow the glue to stick.
- Cleaning the resin miniature with water and soap will risk breaking as some parts are small. Instead, use a toothbrush on larger parts and your hand on the smaller fragile pieces.
- If you plan to work in a cold environment, use a superglue accelerator to speed up the dry time.
- Make sure to apply the accelerator thinly or in small amounts. Applying large quantities can make the glue dry white and crusty.
I’ve worked on several miniatures, from metal to plastic and resin models. So, I know from experience that choosing the best glue for your resin miniatures will make painting and gaming with them more fun. Whether you plan to glue a single small piece or fill tiny holes, super glue is the best glue any miniature hobbyist can use on their resin minis.