White Glue Vs. Woodland's Scenic Cement

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Section Hand
I use both white glue (Elmer's) and Woodland's Scenic Cement for ballasting and scenery work. Lately I've heard that white glue has the tendencies
of becoming brittle over time as well as yellowing in appearance.

The white glue when purchased in gallon bulk containers is far more inexpensive than the Scenic Cement.

Which do you prefer to use and have you noticed any problems when using white glue.




Well-Known Member
Scenic Cement has talc added to it so that your scenery isn't shiny. This might be important to you. However, it settles into a lump over time, and it takes some serious shaking or stirring to get it back into proper suspension. If I'm going to use glue, and I do for all/most of my scenery and ballast, I use yellow carpenter's glue diluted. It doesn't seem to leave a shiny surface, although it should...maybe like white glue?

I find it hard to believe that your local hardware store won't sell you bottles of white glue more cheaply than Woodland Scenics products of equivalent utility.


Section Hand

I did purchase at Micheal's, a gallon of Elmer's Glue for a very cheap price using their 50% off discount coupon. I also heard that white glue will release and clean up better when dry with water better than Woodland's Cement which maybe important if one is removing track and wants to remove the ballast and glue residue to re-use the track.


Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I use both white glue (Elmer's) and Woodland's Scenic Cement for ballasting and scenery work. Which do you prefer to use and have you noticed any problems when using white glue.
I am one of the ones that discovered the brittle nature of white glue the hard way. I used it on an N-scale layout in the early 1980s. By the mid 1990s I noticed the track and scenery looked funny. Upon closer inspection it was the glue that had turned a funny yellow color. It wasn't too long later the ballast just began chipping away. with the slightest of provocation. A car would derail and the wheels would break pieces away. Putting cars on the track and my fingers would break pieces off. It was not easily reparable either.

Therefore I have been firmly in the matte-medium school since about 1997. I did try Modge-podge on a layout in 2012 for the track and ballast. It took too long to dry. Was too shiny. And the jury is still out on how long it will last.


Whiskey Merchant
I have been using Elmers for years and buy it by the gallon as I use it for other projects also. Haven't had any problems with it at all. I will dilute it in diffetent ways depending what I am using it for on the layout.
I've used white glue and never had any problems.Add a drop or 2 of dish soap to break the surface tension and the glue soaks into the ballast and ground foam with clear results.


Well-Known Member
Over the last 60 years and three layouts, I've considered what to use for ballast glue. Haven't decided...yet! :rolleyes: FlexTrack and Snap Track doesn't look too bad just laid on cork roadbed. Oh, well, someday...


Well-Known Member
I've used both, only because I thought I would give the Woodland Scenics product a try. I have to say that I have noticed no difference between the two, The diluted White glue, if it has yellowed over the years, I haven't noticed, nor have I found it to get brittle. My layout is more than 30 years old and I haven't glued down any ballast; or, ground cover in at least ten years. I guess I will keep an eye out for problems; but, for the most part i have found none!

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