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Learning About Rivets & Panel Lines

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Learning About Rivets & Panel Lines

Old 07-13-2013, 09:19 AM
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Default Learning About Rivets & Panel Lines

I've been doing a lot of experimenting and learning lately since I started up-scaling my last two ARF's. One of the things I've been working on is rivets and panel lines. None of the ideas below are mine, but came from a number of sources and individuals. Feel free to add your own comments and tips.

Panel Lines.

I have experimented with two different methods of putting on panel lines. The first is to just draw them with a Top Flite Panel Line pen. I actually think any fine tip felt pen would work just as well. I DO NOT like this method, at least on light colored material. It makes a much too dark line for my taste.

The other method, and my preferred method, is to mist the covering with a light coat of dull clear and then draw them on with a #2 pencil. The misting with dull clear allows the pencil lead to actually mark the covering and not just put a dent in it like smooth glossy covering would do. You can still put on vinyl rivets over the rough surface just fine. You can also control the look of the line by how sharp or dull the pencil is.


I have used three different methods to apply rivets. I've found they all have there place and use.

Flat rivets are simulated nicely with vinyl stick-on rivets that come in long strips and make putting rivets on a quick and painless process. I have used two types. Those that come on white backing paper like sold here: http://www.fritzdezings.com/products-main-decals.html (Pic 10); and the lazer cut rivets that are applied with clear scotch tape and come from here: http://www.cwvmodels.com/services.html (Pic 9). He does not have rivets on his web page yet, but just call or email him.

You can also make rivets manually by hand using a tool like the one in Pic X below. I made it from one of those small-foot covering irons and telescoping several sizes of brass tubing to smaller and smaller tips. I ran it on hot setting and you just press it into the covering. You do need to experiment and be aware that different hardness oand backing of covering need varying levels of pressure.

Not all rivets are flat. I tried the syringe trick for “humped” rivets and it worked very well. The syringe I used is pictured below and comes with three different size tips. You just fill the syringe with Pacer 560 glue and drip little drops on top of each vinyl rivet. Now this idea I invented myself (although I'm sure someone else has already thought of it). I simulated screw heads by using a razor blade. Drip the 560 on the rivet and let set up for a bit so it will not run, and then use the razor blade to put the slot in the top of the screw.

Pic 1: Pencil drawn panel lines
Pic 2: Pencil panel lines and lazer cut rivets applied over dull coat.
Pic 3: Ink drawn lines
Pic 4: Better look at ink lines and button head rivets made with syringe
Pic 5: Flat vinyl rivets (large)
Pic 6: Screw head rivet sample
Pic 7: Syringe
Pic 8: Rivets made with hot brass tube on fiberglass cowl
Pic 9: Lazer cut on clear plastic
Pic 10: rivets on white transfer paper
Pic 11: Hand made tool for make-your-own rivets
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