The Great Scribing Experiment

A few years ago I decided that in order to be a “real modeler” I would need to learn to sand off raised panel lines and rescribe them. I was afraid of this but I decided that is had to be done. Keep in mind, please, that I probably will very rarely do this now. I’ll either sand off the raised lines and DRAW them on with a pencil or just forget the whole thing. Here’s how I learned what little I know about scribing.

First, you need a way to draw a straight line on a curved surface. I fooled around with evil labeling tape, but it pulls up acrylic paint so it’s no good. I also spent some real money on a “real” scribing tool.


I went to work on an old Super Model (remember them!) kit of the G-55.

This didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped. So I bought an old dental tool at Ax Man and made a handle out of epoxy putty.



I decided to use a extra small measuring tape that was originally a clever key-fob. I broke open the case and removed the steel tape.


Then I went to work on an old Revell Corsair.



I sanded off the old raised lines and scribed in new ones. I then coated in model in Rub n Buff.




I had to use this stinky stuff to make the Rub N Buff work. Thank God those days are OVER.



The final product. Meh.


Good old Sally.

I learned one very important thing about scribing. Do not use too much pressure. In other words, a very, very feather light pressure is all that is needed. More pressure than that, and you’ll foul it up. I will, anyway.

Keep on keepin’ on.

3 Replies to “The Great Scribing Experiment”

  1. To be honest, especially at 1/72 I just cannot be bothered with the whole rivet/panel line business. It can be nice for a little shading to run the wash along them, but I just do that with the raised panel lines on one side to simulate a little shadow, and it works nicely too.

    On top of that, since the only people that see my models are non modellers, such niceties as scribed panel lines would go over their heads and I am not really a ‘builder’ so much as a painter. I build the subject and only add small things or repair things that need it, and then get on to my favourite part; painting and decaling. If the propeller is too small, I do that. If the wheel has 4 spokes when it is supposed to have six, meh, couldn’t care less.

    One thing I do want to learn is the dark art of putting the wires on biplanes. That will be my next project to learn.

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