Tool Review
Limonene Cement
Liquid Limonene Model Cement
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by: Russ Amott [ RUSSAMOTTO ]


When I was a kid I remember at one time the only cement in the local drug store was a tube of "non-toxic, odor free cement". The clerk told me it had an ingredient called Limonene that kept kids from getting high. Later I learned that it was added to remove the irritation caused by the odor of the chemicals in the glue, with the added benefit that it did supposedly keep abusers from getting any unintended benefit from the glue. All I remember is that wherever I tried to apply the glue, I ended up with a mess of spider web strings, and the glue really didn't work that well.

Roll forward 30 years, and as I was looking for model kits for my kids, I saw Tamiya liquid model cement in a 40ml bottle with Limonene added. It is marketed as non toxic, safe to use, and still strong bonding. As I have used Tamiya extra thin cement for some time, and liked the product, I decided to try a bottle of this cement to see if it would be safe for the kids to use.


The glue bottle is the standard 40ml squared bottle, with a distinguishing orange cap. I opened the bottle and very carefully smelled the contents. The citrus odor is prominent. The applicator is in the cap, a clear plastic tube with clear nylon bristles. The cement appears to be thick in consistency, and is more for spreading onto the parts before joining rather than wicking into gaps.

The brush is a clear plastic tube with clear bristles, and is quite large. Compared to the brush from the extra thin cement, it is huge. Because of the clear material, it is hard to see how much cement is on the brush. It holds a lot. If taken from the bottle and applied directly to a model, cement will be running all over the place, so it would be best to replace the brush with a spare from a used extra thin bottle, or use a fine paint brush.

I tested the cement by assembling two M4 bogie halves from the spares bin. I applied the glue to one side, pressed them together, waited five minutes, pressed again and then let it sit for 30 minutes. The glue does not work as quickly as the extra thin, but after five minutes, I did get the melted plastic/glue to squeeze slightly out of the joint. After 30 minutes I pulled the two halves apart and could see there was a "melting" effect on the surface of the plastic. While it doesn't create a strong adhesive bond as quickly as the extra thin cement, it does work and will hold a model together, and there was absolutely no spiderweb mess to deal with.


As mentioned above, this glue would be ideal for those who are sensitive to the odor of standard model cement, or for younger modelers, with proper adult supervision. It is a definite improvement over the old non toxic cement of the past.

I purchased the glue online for about $4.00 US. From shopping around, it can be had for from $3.50-$5.00 US, before shipping.
Highs: No spiderweb mess, and much easier to use than a tube.
Lows: Slower adhesion time, huge applicator brush.
Verdict: Good for those who are irritated by regular cement.
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 87113
  Suggested Retail: $4.00 US
  PUBLISHED: Jan 10, 2011

About Russ Amott (russamotto)

I got back into the hobby a few years back, and wanted to find ways to improve, which is how I found this site. Since joining Armorama I have improved tremendously by learning from others here, and have actually finished a couple of kits. I model to relax and have fun, but always look to improve. ...

Copyright 2021 text by Russ Amott [ RUSSAMOTTO ]. All rights reserved.


Thanks for the review. I was looking at it at the hobby shop just couple hours ago while searching for some glue. I wasn't sure if it was thin type or thick type so I didn't end up picking it up.
JAN 09, 2011 - 12:50 PM
Thanks Russ I'll try it too. Knowing how the powers that be everywhere are concerned with our health and safety normal styrene cement will probably be outlawed soon anyway
JAN 12, 2011 - 12:33 PM
Thanks for the review Russ. I didn't know that the Limonene ingredient has been around for that long. I've used the Tamiya Limonene for about a year now -- I recall the LHS convinced me to shift to it when they ran out the older, more familar Tamiya cement. Its good stuff, better odor -- can work longer sans the heady feeling. I'd say its between the older Tamiya and Tamiya Thin in terms of consistency. And yes, you can get so much of it on the supplied brush so best to use a thinner one. Cheers -- Tat
JAN 14, 2011 - 01:18 AM
If anyone is thinking of using this, please note that although limonene is a "natural" material, "natural" does not necessarily mean "safe." Limonene is a known skin irritant and can in some cases, cause skin sensitisation and contact dermatitis. Its main industrial uses are as a degreasing solvent and paint stripper, so I'm not sure how effective it would be as an adhesive. I'm guessing that in this case, it is simply being used in its other role as an odoriser to mask the familiar "glue" smell that some find objectionable. Still, best not to get it on your skin.
JAN 14, 2011 - 02:40 AM
Limonene is essential oil from citrus (orange peel) so, yes some people are sensitive to it (less than 3% with 100% pure limonene contact). The sensitive reaction is dermatic allergy. If you not use it, then the problem is gone. It's not a big deal, not dangerous to. If you are allergic to it, you will notice it easily. You will feel a burn sensation. When you use cement, you usually use a brush so no contact with the cement and if you get a few drops on your skin, believe me, it won't hurt you. A very good benefit to use limonene is it's properties. http://www.aromaweb.com/essentialoils/citrusessentialoils.asp
AUG 29, 2015 - 12:57 PM
I prefer the green one. It's much thinner, has a fine brush too and a much shorter hardening time. Once hardened the bond is very strong indeed. I also use it as a thinner for Tamiya putty; both before I apply it, and after to smoth things out. This combination makes a very good filling. I only use the yellow one when I have to glue big parts, like upper and lower half of a hull, when I like the longer hardening time to make adjustments and such.
AUG 29, 2015 - 04:54 PM
You might want to look closely at the date in the top right corner of your and Davids posts
AUG 29, 2015 - 09:41 PM

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