Holding foam board and plasticard in place when gluing

When making buildings from either foam board, plasticard (styrene sheet) or card – such as Metcalfe kits – a common problem is how to hold the various pieces in place while glue sets. Here’s what I use.

If you make your own buildings for your railway, diorama or war gaming table you’ll undoubtedly have come across the corner problem.

Namely, you cut to walls, miter the ends, apply the glue and then present them to each other only to then find you’re stuck there for the next 5 to 10 minutes while the glue sets.

And that’s before you start to consider about keeping them at a precise right angle.

I use two accessories that make it a lot easier and allow me to work on multiple corners at the same time.

engineers block

The first is an engineers block. This is basically a lot of heavy hardened steel block used when milling and drilling but their precision finish and weight makes them great for keeping walls upright and at 90 degrees during gluing.

One piece of advice for these however.

As mentioned, these are intended for workshops and to protect them they come supplied in grease so make sure you wipe them down first. They’re also heavy so don’t drop them on your toes, not that I’ve ever done that 😉

Secondly, and one of my best finds are these.

corner clamps

Proses magnetic corner clamps. I found them at a boot fair ages ago but they’re available in most model shops or on the link if you don’t have a shop nearby.

These are essentially magnets in right angled plastic containers. You put one on the inside of the corner, the other on the outside and the magnets snap together holding the plastic in place. Being magnetic they also work with the engineers block.

They are sized for OO/HO but can be used on larger N scale buildings too.

> A final, personal, note: I spend a huge amount of time testing, photographing, writing and researching techniques for these articles and pay for all the running costs of MRE out of my own pocket. If you found this article useful you can support me by making a donation on my fund-raising page. Thanks and happy modelling, Andy. Affiliate notice: If you plan to buy the products on this page or similiar, please use the links here. These will take you to carefully selected businesses, including Hornby, Rapid Online, Amazon, eBay, Scale Model Scenery and Element Games, through which you can buy products mentioned. These links are made under their affiliate schemes which means that although the price to you does not change I receive a small commission on the orders you place which helps me maintain this site and allows me to create more articles like this. Please see my disclaimer for more information. Thank you for your support, Andy.

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