Glue is an indispensable ingredient to model railroading, but one brand and one type will not suffice therefore working with several is the key to successful scenery making, plastic loco shell repair or layout framework.
5 minute epoxy: If you have a treasured Marklin plastic loco shell that is cracked the best glue is always 5 minute epoxy used carefully, precisely and sparingly. Note: never ever use plastic building cement for the repair of a loco shell, it will melt and the graphics will be doomed! Fortunately I have never had to make such a repair so this is simply a word to the wise in case that terrible thing occurs. If you happen to decide to customize an SBB 460 into an E18 for NSB with snowplows such as FR produced many moons ago those metal snowplows are cemented with 5 minute epoxy. This same glue is a good choice for gluing cast metal parts to plastic building kits.
Gorilla Wood Glue: good choice for laminating large sections of laser cut sheets because of prolonged setting time, but use cautiously, it is quite fluid and may result in being messy and perhaps wetting the paper parts too much.
Titebond: all the cabinet makers i have known use Titebond, it is perhaps the best wood glue available, but I would not recommend it for laser cut building construction: too thin and setting time is too long. I highly recommend it for wood framework if you intend to use glue here.
Elmer’s WoodGlue: outstanding general purpose glue that I recommend for laser cut building construction, its thick consistency and fast setting time make it ideal for working with laser cut cardstock. It also dries clear and can be used as a gap filling glue without making a mess of things. It is also available everywhere!
NOCH 61104: this newly introduced glue is superb, it features a very small precise nozzle that is ready to use as soon as the cap is unscrewed. It dries clear an relatively fast. It is a little thinner than the Elmer’s WoodGlue making it ideally suitable to laying in tight spaces and corners. The precision applicator is perfection eliminating the necessary use of toothpicks as with other glues. Bad news: it’s expensive at $9.99 for 1.06 ounces, but it is worth every penny. Available at ZScaleHobo.com.
UHU stic: the inventor of the glue stick and the very best glue stick on the market is non toxic/non yellowing, it comes in three sizes. It is a glue that can be applied simply by rubbing thereby reducing excess and mess. It tends to dry quickly, but it will not crack thus forming a permanent bond. I recommend this for laminating lightweight paper, it properties are ideally suited to gluing lightweight paper sheets due to its lack of liquidity. None of us will probably need to use this type of glue much in our railroading careers, but in that rare instance it is superb.
UHU Kraft: German manufacturer UHU makes an array superb specialized glues, I use UHU Kraft for attaching mylar window glazing to laser cut kits. Application is with toothpicks in small dosses to anchor the plastic to the cardstock, after the mylar is in place I apply a little more on the edges to add additional anchoring and counteract the resistant nature of plastic not wanting to be easily glued to cardboard. Note: some modelers favor scratching plastic in areas to receive glue to further anchor the plastic, my method is to apply glue over the edges of plastic to further anchor it to cardstock. This is a particularly important construction topic that warrants personal testing of materials for a customized preference.
Daige ROLLATAQ: a non-yellowing permanent adhesive is Daige’s Rollataq. Originally intended to be a lamination glue it is available from art supply shops. I use this glue more than any other for lasercut buildings, but that could change with the introduction of Noch’s 61104 glue. One feature that I like about Rollataq is the ability to position parts then apply pressure for permanent bonding, it is essentially fast setting adhesive for paper products. Manufacturer states positionable for up to 3 minutes and fully permanent in 15 minutes.