Tamiya Cement vs. Extra Thin Cement: What’s their Difference?

When choosing glue for your models, it can be hard to choose between the regular Tamiya cement and the Extra thin cement. Thus, we have to find out what’s the difference between the two.

Tamiya extra thin cement tends to be less dense than regular Tamiya cement. Due to this, the extra-thin cement can quickly fill cracks and gaps due to capillary action. However, regular cement can easily remove visible cracks due to its density when dried, which can be harder to do when using extra thin cement.

In this blog post, we will talk about the difference between Tamiya cement and Extra-thin cement. Furthermore, I also put what cement tends to melt plastic, which is essential when using the cement on plastic models.

Plastic Model Plane
Plastic Model Plane

What is the difference between Tamiya cement and extra thin cement?

Tamiya CementTamiya Extra Thin Cement
DensityDenserLess Dense
Best UseFilling Tiny CracksFor Gluing Pieces not Designed Together
PurposeGluingGluing and Thinning
ErrorsHard to UndoEasier to Undo
Removing CracksCan Easily Remove CracksHard to Remove Cracks
Drying on BottleDries in the BottleIt doesn’t dry on the bottle but turns cloudy
Drying Time6 hours40 seconds
Differences Between Tamiya Cement and Extra Thin Cement

The extra-thin cement has a smaller brush on the lid and is less dense than the regular Tamiya cement.

Extra thin cement is powered by capillary action. Capillary action is responsible for allowing blood to flow into your body’s teeny tiny capillary veins.

This action is caused by the surface tension of many liquids (especially water), which causes them to gather in small crevices.

Extra thin cement works just like that by filling every tiny crack between the two surfaces you’re attempting to join.

The extra thin cement is best used when capillary action is the principal method of distributing the product through the gap, such as seaming welding well-prepared parts.

Regular cement is better suited for situations where you are gluing pieces that were not designed to be together (like scratch-built parts and plate additions to surfaces). 

Not only that, if you leave your regular cement open and it begins to thicken, the Extra-Thin type doubles as an excellent thinner.

Furthermore, it was pointed out that nothing can beat the Tamiya cement with a white cap regarding the binding strength.

Although the regular cement takes a little longer to dry, its binding strength is unparalleled. In contrast, though the extra thin cement dries up fast, its binding strength is weaker.

Plastic kit Freak, a YouTuber, likes to use the Tamiya extra thin cement to support the regular Tamiya cement.

He uses the regular cement for gluing separate pieces together but uses the extra thin adhesive to strengthen the joint by spreading it through the edges.

He also pointed out a significant aspect of the extra thin cement.

The Tamiya Extra Thin Cement can clean paint smudges like paint remover or turpentine.

However, take note that when using the regular cement, as extra thin’s thicker and stronger, there is no backoff.

If you have made a mistake while using the regular one, you cannot undo it, and applying force will break the parts.

Extra thin cement has its downside as well.

It’s just that you have to be careful because the extra thin cement likes to run across seams.

So if you overdo this thing, it can rundown towards the surface you are holding, and you will end up leaving a fingerprint on the surface.

It’s thin, quick, and you won’t have much time to sort it out.

You should also know that brushing over the same area will cause a small amount of plastic to collect on the brush’s tip due to how quickly and thoroughly the extra thin cement melts plastic.

But I don’t think that it should be a big issue.

This is because once the brush is reinserted into the bottle, it simply disperses into the bottle and doesn’t cause any issues with the brush becoming clogged up or anything like that.

When it comes to the cement’s ability to fill and ‘erase’ seams and gaps. The extra thin doesn’t fill in gaps as well as the regular does because it’s thinner.

So it’s hard to remove the cracks when using the extra thin. It will stick, but the cracks will still be visible.

It is, however, more effective when used to adhere photo-etch to plastic and itself.

When using the extra thin cement, you’ll need to treat the seam several times before it fills in and pulls some of the plastic up to sit closer to the surface.

Furthermore, we also have to look at how these dry out.

Regular Tamiya cement can dry up in the bottle when left unused for a long time.

Drying inside the bottle doesn’t happen with extra thin cement.

After a while, however, the liquid inside the extra thin cement becomes quite cloudy.

There is no difference in effectiveness, though.

So don’t panic if you find it clogging up the brush. It will self-cleanse eventually.

Does Tamiya extra thin cement melt plastic?

Tamiya extra thin cement can melt and weld plastic due to its strong capillary action and chemical reactions. In fact, plastics look drawn to the glue in a way. This is apparent with plastics with different colors as their colors can mix when using the Tamiya extra thin cement.

When it comes to bonding to pieces, the Tamiya Extra thin cement is incredibly strong.

Though it’s not stronger than Tamiya regular cement (white cap), it’s stronger than Citadel plastic cement or some other similar product.

Because of its thin substance, the extra thin cement is expected to be diluted.

But the joins are surprisingly stronger with Tamiya extra thin despite its texture.

The glue delivers on the promise made by all plastic cement—it melts and welds plastic.

Capillary action melts the plastic in reverse because the chemicals are strong and the glue is thin.

The plastic is drawn into the glue in a way.  When it happens, the pieces are pulled together and then mixed along their seam.

This is especially apparent when using plastics of different colors.

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Suppose you use gray Citadel plastic and white Evergreen plastic sheets. The colors can turn into a smooth gray to white gradient, and the seam is exceptionally well sealed.

When the powerful melting has had time to work, squeezing the parts together will cause liquid plastic to leak out.

With regular plastic cement, only glue can leak out when squeezed.

Instead of smearing it on, just dab small amounts of the cement on both sides of the piece and wait a few minutes before making minor adjustments.

To finish the pose or fit, pour cement around the joint and let it fill naturally.

Whoever knows conversion and kit-bashing also knows that the cuts and joins can be a little sloppy on occasion.

Simply using this cement smoothes out any rough edges left from chisel cuts or other mistakes, and it eliminates the need for gap filling and cleanup.

Final thoughts

Both the regular and Extra thin cement of Tamiya is the favorite by many modelers due to their strength and ease of use.

You must understand which one will pull the best result while building the model and bringing forth the best finish as a modeler.

However, you can use both because they can support each other. You may refer to my table summary above to see when to use each one

Only the things I love”

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So, here are the things I love when taking care of my Diecast Models.

Cleaning the Models

The first we are going to talk about is cleaning the models.

Removing Dust

  1. Air Brush – For me, this is the best since it not just removes dust but you can use it in painting/clear coating.
  2. Air Duster – This is a good alternative to Airbrush
  3. Normal Brush – If you are short on budget, you can use a normal brush. However, make sure that the brush has soft bristles because there are some hard brushes than can cause scratches. That’s why I recommended a good brush that can do the job properly.

Cleaning and Shining Hacks

Well, here are some of my cleaning hacks for removing scratches, oxidation, and so much more.

  1. Removing Decal Adhesive – Use Goo Gone on those hard-to-remove decal adhesives. It works fast and works like charm!
  2. Waxing and Polishing – Here is something a lot of people don’t know. Waxing protects the clear coat and paint while polishing shines the model. Instead of buying it separately, use a 2 in 1 to save money. Get this instead.
  3. Beginner Wax – The wax I recommended earlier is good and provides the best results based on my experience. But a beginner might have a problem especially if they’re not good at applying wax. Solid wax reaching hard to reach surface can be hard to remove. You have two choices here. One is to use a qtips to reach those surfaces, another is to use a liquid wax I recommended.
  4. Cleaning Wheels, Rubber, Plastic – Do not forget that rubber and plastic surface are quite different, especially in the cleaning process. Just wiping it down won’t do the job. That’s why I use Meguiar’s Vinyl and Rubber Cleaner and Conditioner. Works like charm!
  5. Make the Wheels Shine! – Making our models look good won’t be complete without tiny details such as shiny wheels! Do not forget this because however small this is, the difference can be as big as night and day.
  6. Remove Scratches Easily – Tiny scratches are not the end for your model. Here is a simple trick I’ve been using to make my models look scratch-free even without repainting. Use T-Cut.

Painting the Models

Painting Tools

Make sure when you paint models, have these ready.

  1. Tape – A tape is important if you are painting a straight line. Furthermore, it will prevent your paint to scatter on other parts. I recommend Tamiya Tape since it is really made for models. Furthermore, they stick really well preventing paint splatters.
  2. Brush (Beginner) – Find a good set of brushes to paint your models. Of course, you can opt for an airbrush but it’s quite expensive.
  3. Airbrush (Intermediate/Expert) – This will yield a significantly better result than an ordinary brush because you can easily spray the paint evenly. I recommend this if you know what you’re doing.
  4. Stand(Optional) – Stands are good because it can be hard to manually hold the models while painting. It is optional but in my opinion, the price is well worth it for the comfort it gives.
  5. Drop Cloths – Drop Cloths will protect your surroundings from the paint.
  6. Primer – The most common beginner mistake I see is painting models without any Primer. A primer will prevent imperfections such as bubbles or paint not sticking to your models. It is a small price to pay for quality results.
  7. Clear Coat – A clear coat will protect the paint of your models. This will make the paint last longer. Also, it is the one responsible for making your models shine.


Of course, you can’t do painting properly without paint. So here are the ones I recommend.

  1. Acrylic PaintGood for beginners because it dries quickly. However, it doesn’t produce results as good as enamel paint.
  2. Enamel PaintProvides a good quality finish and longer-lasting paint. However, it takes longer to dry and requires expertise to use.

Model Maintenance

Model Storage

  1. Simple Wood Cabinet – While it doesn’t let you display your models, wooden cabinets are good storage for these models. For one, they are not heat conductors which means that the temperature inside will remain constant and remain cool. Furthermore, they prevent light from reaching the models which can cause oxidation.
  2. Clear Cabinet with Lock – If you want to display your models, then I recommend this. It closes so dust won’t easily get to your models. I also recommend you don’t put more than 1 model in each compartment since metals are good conductors of heat.

Model Photography

So you want to show off your models to others? Well, I got you covered.

Here is my beginner-friendly model photography tutorial that teaches everything from taking pictures to the editing process.

You will also see me doing hands-on photography in that tutorial.

Here is the link: How to Take Pictures of a Diecast Model or Model Kit | Helpful Illustrated and Video Guide

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