Scribing Made Eezee?

Other considerations
If you are re-scribing a model in silver plastic you do not need to give it a primer coat. When you remove the raised panel lines they leave a dark “shadow” behind, ideal for this method.

If you should slip or go off the correct line position, do not despair, simply fill the mistake with CA glue, zap it, sand it and re-scribe it.

For making a line of rivets a punce (not sure of the spelling) wheel can be used. This is a pointy cog type wheel in a handle. I think it’s used for marking positions for stitches in fabric. You need to run it along a none metal straight edge or the teeth get chewed up. The compound curve issues, mentioned earlier apply, so Tamiya tape may be the answer for this as well.

One area that Tamiya tape probably won't work is if you elect to re-scribe directly on the raised line, without removing it first. I did this on the Monogram A-10 so as to preserve all the abundant detail that surrounded some of the panel lines. When using a template, such as that made by Verlinden, it is much easier to position before removing the raised line. Have a couple of pieces of low tack masking tape attached to the template, position the template over the raised detail of the inspection hatch, or whatever, (keep the masking tape off the surface while you do this). When in position secure one of the pieces of tape to the surface and flip the template out of the way. Remove the raised detail with the curved blade, as before, replace the template and secure the other piece of tape. Use the pointy tool to scribe the detail.

One other scribing tool that you may be interested in is one for scribing dezus fasteners. These are ¼ turn screws that lock panels into position on RAF aircraft of WWII and possibly today, I think. When seen close up they look like a screw in a recessed washer. Representing the screw is easy, use a fine drill or your pointy scriber. For the “washer” take a hollow needle (syringe needle) and cut off the point (role the needle under a scalpel blade, to score it, and snap off the point). With fine emery paper or a rat-tail file chamfer the cut, evenly all the way around. Then use a pointed scalpel to, gently, de-burr the inside of the needle.

To use, place the modified point in position, push, gently and twist. You will get a small circle, stick the point of your pointy scriber in the centre, bingo, one dezus fastener. For ease of use fit the needle into a pin vice or, if the needle is fitted in a holder, insert a handle made from sprue or rod, or as I did, square section strip.

However you re-scribe your model, give it a light sanding, to remove any burs. Be careful of any detail, use wire wool if you can’t get in with emery paper. This sanding will leave dust in the engraved lines, blow and wash it out.

It is possible that other tape may be as good or better than Tamiya tape. If you find anything let me know. I now need to actually build the B-26 and that will hopefully be another article.
  • Scrib010
  • Scrib018

About the Author

About Mal Mayfield (Holdfast)

Hi, my name is Mal Mayfield and I have been modelling seriously for about 25 years. My main interest is 1/48 scale second world war. I build all types and all combatants. I have built 1/35 scale "targets" and 1/72 scale modern aircraft, plus a couple of cars. I have also dabbled with figure painting...


Nice article, Mal.... and now I know what to do with the small collection of glue needle applicators, collected over the years.
JAN 06, 2005 - 03:39 PM
Great stuff Mal. I am currently in the process of rescribing a 1/72 hasegawa hellcat. I work on it a little, put it away for a month, pull it out again, etc. Maybe this easier method will help me finish it before my death . Thanks for doing the leg work on this one. Leon
JAN 07, 2005 - 02:40 AM
Yes dave everything has it's uses, eventually. Leon, I have a Monogram F105, which I have had for many years. It was the first thing I tried scribing and managed about 3 lines. It has many more than the A-26 but I feel confident, at last, that I might actually get it finished. Mal
JAN 08, 2005 - 03:27 AM
Hi Mal There are a couple of other types of tape which I use for scribing. Both are plastic, so they may be a bit more robust than Tamiya masking tape. The first is by Pactra and is available in model shops - this stuff is really flexible as you can see: The second is a different type of Dymo tape. It's used to print (rather than punch) labels and is thinner and so more flexible than the normal stuff - but not as flexible as the Pactra tape: I've also used litho-tape, available from art shops. Again it's plastic, but it's nice and flexible. Thanks for an excellent article and I hope these suggestions are helpful. All the best Rowan
JAN 09, 2005 - 05:15 AM
Wow great stuff Rowan, a tape that is thicker than Tamiya tape and is plastic, but is as flexible would be even better. Mal
JAN 09, 2005 - 06:12 AM