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Keeping Panel Lines


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I'm a newbie and having a rough time with panel lines.They disappear after I seal seams etc. and sand.

 

So.......

 

Do I scribe before doing anything in the way of assembly,or is there some magic that I'm missing?

 

Building a Tamiya 1/48 A-10.

 

Using a Pasche single action airbrush.

 

thanks in advance for any help and comments/critiques.

 

Sonny

 

 

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Scribing is one of those things that can make or break a modeler. You need to search for all the tips and techniques venues to get a handle on scribing. Don't get discouraged. Get an old model or a very cheap one to practice,practice,practice on. Most of all don't lose heart. I suggest a good scribing tool and there are many to choose from. The best one I have found is the UMM tool. You can go to UMM-USA.com to order one. I find it the easiest and most versatel tool to use. Take your time,it is a slow process to do a good job.

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I believe that old kit may have raised panel lines. If so (or for anything with raised lines), you can rescribe lost RAISED lines "quick and dirty" with a #11 knife blade. It actually pushes up a small ridge while cutting a groove and looks a lot like a raised panel line under a coat of paint.

 

If you want indented lines, there are lots of tools to choose from. The UMM tool is VERY good, if a little odd looking. Its 2 big advantages are that you can make lines while pushing as well as pulling, and it seems to retain it's edge MUCH better than any other scribing tool.

 

Always scribe as many lines as you can BEFORE assembly. It allows you to manipulate the parts easier. Panel lines across seams you'll still have to do after assembly. Dymo label maker tape is a GREAT guide for scribing around round areas (like fuselages). Hope this helps a bit!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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This is an interesting topic. Fixing panel lines after closing seams is an essential skill in building contest quality models. I've been using a squadron tool for years and have gotten good results. I agree with the other comments to do us much as you can before assembly. In the case of models with recessed panel lines, i have been using a two step approach. If the line is across part halves, I use a #11 blade to roll across the line to keep it straight, then finish with the tool. I always sand the seam with very fine sandpaper and clean out the lines with a brush (or tool) and rubbing alcohol. Prime paint the area to check your new seam, then paint. I'm going to look into this UMM tool as I am not always satisfied with my panel lines. I also use automotive gap gauges for spark plugs as scribe guides. Really thin ones. If a kit has raised panel lines use the old lines as a guide for the new ones by scribing right against the raised lines, then sand off the old lines. Like anything else in life, it practice, practice, practice to get this right.

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Sometimes, I build a kit just to try out a new technique or practice up on an existing one. I recently did this with an Airfix 72nd Spitfire. Only about 20 parts built box stock just to practice scribing. I've been using a sharpened straight pin in a pin vise, lightly scribing the line about 4-5 times, then sanding down the ridges and cleaning out the lines. Gettin ready to go after that Monogram 1/48 F-106!

 

Glenn

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Seems like I remember something from a book that I reviewed on Painting & Finishing Model Cars...after scribing the lines and sanding, run some Tamiya Thin Cement in the scribed line...it will slightly melt the plastic, smoothing the edges and somewhat leveling the newly-engraved line. I've tried it and it does make the scribed lines look more like the kit's engraved lines.

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Thanks to everyone for the great advice.I'll pick up a few cheapy kits for more practice and try all the suggestions. I'm building for the the sheer joy(?) of it but still take pride in doing the best I can. Hope to post results of my efforts and your good advice here in the next few months.

 

 

 

Sonny

 

 

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As others have said the UMM tool is excellent and would be my first choice if I were new to scribing. One priceless tip I got from Roy Sutherland was to 'pre-scribe' the panel lines that cross over assembly joints like wing and fuselage halves. If these lines are deepened before sanding after assembly then they never get lost and are easily restored prior to painting. Try it- you'll like it!

Kent

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Another appproach is to re-introduce panel lines with a pencil. I have been using a mechanical pencil-.3mm, chiseled to a sharp edge on sand paper, to accent panel lines. It is then easy to draw-in any lost panel lines with the pencil, using tape of some kind to guide the pencil. If you make a mistake-just erase! This technique is particularly useful in the smaller scales and when re-introducing panel lines around compound curves. It is easier to lay the tape and draw-and correct- errors than to try to scribe on a compound curve. Pentel markets this mechanical pencil and lead in two degrees of hardness: HB, which is softer and , I think, easier to use, and 2H which is quite hard and not as easy to draw with, especially on glossier surfaces. They are not expensive, even when one has to pay postage on an order off the Internet- which is easier than running from art store to art store looking for it. I use disposable rubber gloves to handle the model while scribing, and save to the end the places where I hold the model during scribing. This minimizes the risk of getting pencil dust on the model. I then seal with gloss coat immediately after. It also has the advantage of allowing you to draw in the panel lines over the decals once they are in place-enhancing a "painted-on" look to the decals. Nick Filippone

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