What’s the best glue for paper card models from Metcalfe etc

William Doran's Metcalfe kit.Few model railway questions have such an absolute answer as this.

If, like many railway modellers, you build paper card kits from Metcalfe and others you may be wondering what the best glue for assembling them is.

I’d never really thought about it, to be honest. I’d always just stuck with the obvious: good old PVA white glue.

This stuff has so many uses on and around a layout I hadn’t considered there might be another, better, option.

That was until this very question was asked in the ModelRailwayEngineer Builders community.

Of the 20 replies offering suggestions no less than recommended Roket Card Glue.

I’ve not come across this particular glue before so I investigated.

It’s less stringy than UHU, faster setting than standard white glue but stays tacky for long enough to allow slight repositioning of the card and the 79 reviews from around the web are very positive.

  • “probably the best glue of its kind”,
  • “the best card glue I have ever tried”, and
  • “brought this item for use on Metcalfe models and it works perfectly”

Say it all. In fact, the only slight negative comment was its price. It’s slightly more than some other glues but having used it on a few kits I’m now convinced it’s worth the slight extra.

So if you’ve downloaded some free paper card kits, picked up the free one given away recently in a model railway magazine, or have purchased a kit from Metcalfe or Superquick get yourself some Roket Card Glue (or on this link if you’re building a model railroad in America).

I’d love to hear if you agree.

Photo, William Doran of a Metcalfe paper card kit. Reproduced here by kind permission.

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Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of modelrailwayengineer.com. 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.

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  1. I use both Rocket Glue and Modellbahn Union’s Ultra Glue.
    I find that the Ultra Glue allows a period of movement and it is easier to clean if I get it on the wrong place of the model. It is also easier to clean tools and fingers etc.
    I purchase Ultra Glue from DM Toys in Germany. I do not have any connection with either D M Toys or Modellbahn Union, except that of a satisfied customer of D M Toys.

  2. Copydex. Useful for all sorts, absolutely all sorts, not cheap but only compared to PVA I guess! Smells like urea (not once dry). Price wise, think about the price of what you are sticking!. Dries fast which gives it the main advantage on card kits for me (think of muscles aching waiting for pieces of card kit to dry), clear and useful for almost everything. I used it to stick down to everything from my base board slats and insulation board, grass mat, track mat, and even track itself. It sticks like superglue, but pulls back off with an easy ply into a rolled up jelly like ball substance leaving whatever was stuck there clean and free of glue. Brill (and I promise, I don’t work for Copydex!). Been modelling and building for 4 years and the stuff was a glue that cut me a bit of slack when I made (many) mistakes!

  3. I found the best glue for me is Anita’s Tacky glue. It is easy to control, dries quick, and clear, and is not expensive. I buy mine from the Range

    • Hi Janet, I tried that before and for some reason it didn’t hold the card but will give it another go when I’m next near a Range store. Thanks.

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