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Posted by Raisin01, on 2004-09-13 13:58:42

How do I simulate miniature rivets for a factory scene...

Hi everyone, I will be building a factory scene in the near future, and have been looking for a substitute for the 'rivets' on machines/conveyor belts etc...but have had no luck. I have considered modelling clay, but would prefer the rivets to be of uniform shape. Also, is there anyway i can create a convincing metal surface relatively cheaply?! Thanks for your time Raisin ;)

Posted by designkat1969, on 2004-09-13 16:46:51

Raisin, You can get rivet castings at well stocked hobby shops (especially model railroad shops) at various scales up to 1/24 scale. For simulating old iron. Paint the object with flat black paint and use powdered graphite rubbed onto the surface to bring out the detail and give it that weathered iron look. You can use rust colored chalk to give it a rusty weathered appearance as well. For shiny metal surfaces, you can use real metal such as aluminum foil applied to the surface with spray adhesive. Then you can weather to suit the scene. Designkat

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-09-13 17:26:02

I found two ways when I needed to do some. You can use sewing pins if that's the size you want, the rounded head looks just right. You might need to cut the pin so it's shorter, and pre-drill the holes. But for rivets in sheet metal, get some silver card. Use a drill to make a shallow hole in a piece of metal or hard wood fixed onto the flat table of your drill press. That will form the outside of the rivet. Then round off the tip of a nail or piece of steel rod and put that in the chuck like a drill bit. Mark on the back of the card where you want to put the rivets. Don't turn the drill on, just use the lever to press the nail on the back of the card so it is pushed into the hollow underneath. Turn the sheet over, and you've got a bump on the card that looks like a rivet. You can make sheets with rows and rows of rivets fairly quickly this way. (If you could replace the needle in a sewing machine you could practically automate the process!) Then you age the silver card with some black and some rust colours. I'm sure copper sheet would work even better for this, and maybe very thin aluminium or brass sheet would do. I used the silver card, it worked really well. Plain card might work, but the silver on the card I used acted almost like a thin foil and stretched into the hollow to make a nicely rounded rivet. If I pressed too hard, the card would cut slightly on one side, which was ok if I didn't overdo it, it made the rivet stand out more. Probably you could do it with styrene sheet if you had something like a very low temperature soldering iron, or could fit a metal tip into a hot glue gun maybe, I haven't tried this. For compound curved surfaces where cou can't put card on, I've sometimes put on tiny drops of epoxy glue and let them dry.

Posted by Yuji, on 2004-09-13 17:35:20

I've seen this tool at Micro-Mark. Don't know if this is the size rivets you are looking. http://www.ares-server.com/Ares/Ares.asp?MerchantID=RET01229&Action=Catalog&Type=Product&ID=60643

Posted by Eric Scott, on 2004-09-13 23:23:10

I can't remember what the damn thing is called but there's this little tool that looks like a tiny pizza cutter only the "wheel" part has teeth. The idea is that you just roll it along the surface of your sheet metal and it will put dimples in for you (all evenly spaced apart). Then you can use Nick's method to finish the job. I thought I saw one at MicroMark but I can't seem to find it. It's often used as a weathering tool for models or maybe a marking tool?

Posted by Raisin01, on 2004-09-14 12:26:36

>I can't remember what the damn thing is called but there's >this little tool that looks like a tiny pizza cutter only >the "wheel" part has teeth. The idea is that you just roll >it along the surface of your sheet metal and it will put >dimples in for you (all evenly spaced apart). Then you can >use Nick's method to finish the job. I thought I saw one at >MicroMark but I can't seem to find it. It's often used as a >weathering tool for models or maybe a marking tool? Well everyone, thanks for the invaluable help, and very creative solutions...I never knew the embossing tool featured on the website even existed! Must be off now to buy some silver card......:D

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-09-14 18:59:23

How about that - an actual tool that does what my improvised system does. I had no idea you could buy punch and die sets for simulating rivets.

Posted by Eric Scott, on 2004-09-15 00:10:36

Found it. It's called a "pouncing" wheel. Here's a pic: http://www.micromark.com/prodimgs/15200.jpg

Posted by minieffects, on 2005-07-04 00:43:57

In addition to the pounce wheel what I normally use for the material is found at home depot. Aluminum foil duct tape. It is 2" width and has a removable backing on it. You place it face down on a piece of foam core and run the pounce wheel along the back. Then peel and stick. We used this process on Terminator 3 for the sea king helicopter and on the aviator for the different aircraft. I also used it for a ww2 sub for down periscope. Lead tape works great as well because it stretches more and allows you to apply it to contoured surfaces. www.mcmaster.com type in foil tape in the find box. be sure it is paper backed. you can also find other widths and thicknesses from here hope this helps minieffects

Posted by mefull, on 2005-07-04 11:13:31

Great suggestions everyone. But I have question. What is silver card? I have never heard of it. I am guessing it is a foil backed paper board of some kind? How thick is the paper? Thickness of a playing card or illustration board? As for the pounce wheel, you can also find those in a sign supply store. They are used to transfer a design from a paper pattern onto a wall or other surface for sign painting. A handy technique. First run the pounce wheel over your paper pattern to make holes in the paper that follow the outline of the design. Then take a course cotton tee shirt and make a bag out of it, Fill it with the powder used in the snap lines that contractors use. The last step is to tape your paper patten onto the surface and "pounce" it with your pounce bag. Some of the powder will go through the holes and mark your pattern. Sorry for the off topic, but maybe this will come in handy for some set building. Mark

Posted by Nick H, on 2005-07-04 23:57:18

Silver card is nothing special, just what I bought at the Newsagent or art supply store, card that's printed silver on one side. Not really a layer of metal, just printing ink or paint. Slightly thicker than a playing card, closer to that than illustration board. Nothing special, but it worked. Since the original posts last year I've used a heavy aluminium foil to press rivet bumps into and it worked very well. It's very similar to the aluminium flashing in 2" wide strips from the hardware store, referred to above. As well as pressing bumps into it I found I could rub and stretch the foil into a mould to give it compound curves. There is a limit to how far you can stretch it, but I made a Spanish helmet in 2 halves that way. After I got the shape I did the rivets, then glued the halves together. Hey MiniEffects, it's good to have a professional modelmaker contributing on this site!

Posted by minieffects, on 2005-07-05 00:20:46

Thanks, if you have any other questions fire away. I have been doing this for about 17 years so I have picked up a thing or two. Good Luck, Minieffects

Posted by GStacy, on 2005-07-07 07:21:02

I know it's too late now, but I wanted to chime in to say that you could also use metallic spray paint to get a believable metallic surface. Simple but it works.