Scribing Made Eezee?

By “scribing” I mean cutting a line into the surface of the plastic, usually to simulate panel lines and hatches/inspection covers on plastic models. I think that this technique is used mainly on aircraft models. Most, if not all, modern plastic model aircraft have engraved panel lines, but the techniques that I will describe are useful for re-instating lost panel lines, after sanding.

However because of the way I finish and particularly, weather my models, I much prefer the scribed panel detailing. A lot of the models that I would consider scribing are the only ones available in 1/48 scale, so the choice is either live with the raised detail or scribe. I choose to scribe but I still find it a chore, or did until part way through scribing the Revell re-issue of the excellent Monogram B-26B/G Marauder, for this article, more later.

There are many scribing tools on the market, but for the method I will describe the Olfa-P cutter seems to be the best. You will also require a tool with a simple point, this could simply be a sharpened needle, I have a “pointy” scriber, which I think is a Verlinden tool? I have quite a few others, most of which are home made but since discovering my EEZEE scribing method, I think they are all but redundant.

These tools can be seen in the second picture, the Olfa-P cutter has the yellow handle and the pointy tool has the rubber finger grip. There is a very useful, homemade tool which isn’t redundant and is used for scribing rivets and dezus fasteners. I will describe how to make it at the end of the article. Other tools that are necessary are straight edges and scribing templates. My EEZEE method has made most of my straight edges redundant as well. You will see the scribing templates used, mine are by Verlinden. There are plenty of others on the market.
  • Scrib001
  • Scrib002

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