For anyone scratch building a tank, or even modifying a section of 40k scenery, rivets are a common way to add interest to an otherwise plain sheet of plastic. But making hundreds of rivets can be a pain. This is why I like the TinkerTerrain’s tutorial on making scratch built rivets.
In his video, he shows how he made nice looking rivets with a mechanical pencil and a candle. The video is only 5 minutes long, and he does an excellent job of showing each of the steps. For those who like to read on the go or want a quick cheat sheet, see my notes on the video after the jump.
Scratch Built Rivets with TinkerTerrain
Steps to Making Rivets
- Grab a 0.9mm mechanical pencil and remove the eraser
- May need to drill out the end cap as well
- Insert 0.88mm rod from Evergreen or Plastruct
- Light a candle (note here on fire safety and breathing fumes of melting plastic!)
- Have a hobby knife on hand
Making the Rivet
- Two clicks of the pencil will push enough plastic through
- Hold it above the flame until the plastic softens
- too close and it will catch on fire!
- About half the length should melt back to create the rivet head
- Let the plastic cool for a moment
- Otherwise, it will deform when you cut it
- Another click to release more plastic
- Cut off the rivet with the hobby knife
Adding the Rivet to the Model
- Take your pin vice with a 1mm bit
- He didn’t mention it, but mark out your rivet lines
- Drill through the plastic
- Drop some plastic glue on a spare chunk of plastic or palette
- Use tweezers to grab the rivet
- Dip the rivet into the puddle and insert into the hole
Did TinkerTerrain’s video inspire you to do some scratch building and add a few extra rivets? If so, leave your results in the comments below and let me know how it worked out! I’ll be doing some of this when I get around to building out my gaming table.
You can also give him a follow on YouTube for other videos.