How to make a glue dispenser

precision glue applicator for model makingImprove the accuracy of glue placement on your models with this DIY precision glue dispenser.

If you’ve ever tried to glue the head on a 28mm mini figure, fix guttering to an N gauge model house or place a dial on a 1:48 scale cockpit instrument panel you’ll know the frustration of applying the glue.

Even the needle applicators can splurge too much of the sticky stuff and ruin hours of painstaking work.

Genius-level modeller Paul Scott on the Facebook Weathered Models group posted a great little solution.

Paul’s solution is to use a needle with a pin vice. The eye of the needle provides a reservoir for the glue while it’s being applied but in tiny amounts that prevents any from dripping or leaking where you don’t want it.

Making it is pretty straight forward.

Paul explained, “Just use a circular cutting disk to remove the pointy bit and slowly grind the eyelet until you’re left with a teeny fork. Then use a high grit sandpaper disk to get rid of burs, then if you want a really fine finish polish it with a wet and dry cloth 5000 or a swanky oil stone. Works great and costs very little”

One of Paul’s beautifully painted figures.

Needles can be bought in packs for about a pound from craft shops and, as Paul said, “if you buy a pack of needles with a thimble then you also have a perfect utensil to put a drop of glue on to use as your well too”.

With the needle part made, it can be placed in a pin vice and you have a precision glue applicator for a pound.

It really works and I’ve been using mine since Paul suggested it in the group. Give it a go, your models will thank you!

> 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.
Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon, eBay and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here. I also sell my my own ready to use, pre-made and painted buildings and terrain features. browse the range.

Add Comment

Required fields are marked *. Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.