Re: rivet decals


On Wed, 21 Mar 2001 13:54:54 -0500 "John Nehrich" <>
At the RPI club, we used to wince when Todd Sullivan explained
how he
created lines of rivets by slicing them off other plastic models and
them on, one at a time. We would joke about making rivet decals.

Okay guys, since my name was mentioned (misspelled, no less) later in
Johans message, I felt the urge to respond. Actually, I have other urges
right now after 3 hours at this %$#@#$ keyboard, but I'll work them out

Todd Sullivans method is a very respected and much used method. Look
closely at most of the patterns that Frank Hodina has made. I've even
suggested it for making tank car patterns. It may be the only method
available to us who cannot cut dies. But I shutter to think of the
eyestrain needed to keep the spacing in the diagonal rows consistent.

Varney used to make kits photographically, flat card stock with pictures
printed upon them including full shadows and weathering. As much as I'd
like a set of them as reference material, I hope we've moved beyond that
for modeling.

Another company made card sides with the raised lettering process (baked
on resin) (still used as cheap engraved invitations) to represent rivets
but not lettering. It's actually closer to scale for rivets than
anything mentioned so far.

The problem under discussion was making accurate tank car TANKS. Tanks
are assembled using a specific shape conical rivet which is about three
times the visual mass of a typical box car rivet and its conical shape is
very noticeable, even in HO scale. Try holding an InterMountain tank car
next to a box car or worse yet, a brass tank car, and the difference is
immediately visible. Where those printed strips will work for box car
type rivets, they would be quite noticeable as flat on a tank car; just
like those undersize pimples are noticeable on an etched brass tank car,
especially after you've seen a proper representation.

I've said this before but nobody seems to pay attention. I am not a
rivet counter. My interest in accurate models is the texture of the
models. Are the sides smooth from end to end or bumpy? Are the rivets
petit or honkers? Is the underbody sleek and clean or is it junked up
with pipes and levers all over the place? Is this box car shorter or
taller, longer or shorter (same word, different direction??) than that
one? Is this 10 year old car scruffier than that nicely rebuilt car just
out of the paint shop? Does that tank car have those big conical rivets
used on all tank cars until they started welding them?

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