Scribing - my way...

Got a question about techniques, materials or other aspects of physically building a model? This is the place to ask.

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Lt. Z0mBe
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Scribing - my way...

Post by Lt. Z0mBe » Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:17 am

Someone paid me a compliment on my scribing. I described the way I approach it to him. I figured I'd post it here to start a discussion. Your mileage may vary, but it works for me.

As for the way I scribe. Here's pictures of the tools I use:

Scribing tools
Scribing tools
Scribing tools


In the images you'll see a medical pick (blue handle), spatula, chisel tip X-Acto, pin-vise, Hasegawa kit (templates and beige-handled scriber), sewing straightedge, Bondo, CA glue, a bit of 220-grit sandpaper, and drafting templates.

Here's what I do. I draw out the areas to be scribed using the Kotobukiya kit, the sewing straightedge, and the drafting templates. I do this for the entire fighter.

Next, all Bondo areas (I only use Bondo for very shallow areas) are "sealed" with CA glue. I just use the off-the-shelf Loctite stuff from Wal-Mart. I place a drop on the area to be sealed and, WITHOUT STOPPING, I spread the CA glue around the area to be sealed with my finger. Only apply CA glue to as much area as you can sand in one sitting. Otherwise, it will cure hard as rock.

I then, as soon as the CA dries, sand it back smooth again. I use the Loctite in the picture as it sands easy. I can't stress the following point enough: DON'T USE ACCELERATOR. The reason being is, in a layer of glue this thin, it will just crumble as it sands AND take the BOndo with it.

Once all the Bondo's sealed with CA, thus making it scribable, I start the business of scribing. You should be able to see your lines through the CA. IF not, reapply Bondo, lines, and CA as necessary. This method takes about ten minutes.

When I scribe, I just hold my straight edges on the subject. I don't use tape to secure the striaghtedge, per se. The reason being is it will still shift. I just assume I will make mistakes - tape or not tape, you will. I grip the straight edge VERY tightly to the model as I scribe, using the drawn line as a guide. If you have a variety of flexible straightedges, it shouldn't be a problem to reach all areas. Also, don't be afraid to scribe with your "off" hand. If the straightedge is secure, it shouldn't be too difficult to do.

One thing I have learned to do, since reading an article in Finescale Modeler, is to roll a thin piece of tape, sticky side out, and place it on the back of the scribing guide. The goal is NOT to be sticky (it won't be for long), but rather to add friction to the guide such that it has a difficult time shifting as you hold it in place.

As for which scriber to use, I use the fine ones (beige handle, pin vise with straight pin, tungsten carbide scriber) for regular panel lines. For control surfaces, I rely on the medical pick and sribing saw. I try to limit each line to five passes and each control surface to ten passes. That way, they stay of uniform thickness and depth. But, if the plastic's hard, or really soft, this may have to change.

If you make a mistake, this is where the BOndo, CA glue, chisel-tip X-Acto, and spatula come in. Apply Bondo via the X-Acto or spatula (depends on the situation and if you can feather it). Sand it when it dries. Seal with CA as above, and have another go with the scribing. If all else fails, try "walking" the chisel X-acto across the area to get the line started. Sometimes you have to do it if you've pooched a particular area a number of times.

Finally, expect to screw up. But, I think the way I do it allows you to fix - and fix quickly - most mistakes. Don't sweat them. You'll be fine.

The Hasegawa scribing kit is one I bought from John and Linda at
the Starship Modeler Store table at Wonderfest.

I hope this helps. Comments and criticisms welcome.

Kenny
Last edited by Lt. Z0mBe on Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Kylwell » Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:12 pm

Here you are, a High Priest in the Church of Aves, and you're using bondo!.

My faith has been shattered.
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Post by Lt. Z0mBe » Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:19 am

Remember the promise of Aves:

"Filleth thy cracks with BOndo, and thy neighbors' cracks with Bondo. But verily I say unto thee, he who buildeth his house upon Bondo shall sink into the styrene wastes and be molested by sex-mad babboons. He who buildeth his house, his models, and his house from Aves shall dwell in the workshop of Aves forever. Amen."

~ II Finishes 14:16

"Bondo is a brawler. Squadron is a drunkard. Aves soothes the lepers' sores."

~ Putties 10:9

Finally, lest we forget:

"Do not build structures with Bondo in the sight of Aves as thy would with Aves. It is detestible."

~ Instructions 4:3


Aves teaches us to use Bondo in moderation, and only for surface imperfections. Aves, you see, is for building and sculpting. Bondo is the fat of the lamb, and as such, makes a glutton of the modeler to use in excess.

[-o<

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Post by Kylwell » Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:22 am

A true believer shall use Aves for all!

'cept what Black CA takes care of.

And Mr Surfacer 500.

and... wait, that's about it.
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Post by Spacephrawg » Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:42 pm

Lt. Z0mBe wrote:Remember the promise of Aves:

"Filleth thy cracks with BOndo, and thy neighbors' cracks with Bondo. But verily I say unto thee, he who buildeth his house upon Bondo shall sink into the styrene wastes and be molested by sex-mad babboons. He who buildeth his house, his models, and his house from Aves shall dwell in the workshop of Aves forever. Amen."

~ II Finishes 14:16

"Bondo is a brawler. Squadron is a drunkard. Aves soothes the lepers' sores."

~ Putties 10:9

Finally, lest we forget:

"Do not build structures with Bondo in the sight of Aves as thy would with Aves. It is detestible."

~ Instructions 4:3


Aves teaches us to use Bondo in moderation, and only for surface imperfections. Aves, you see, is for building and sculpting. Bondo is the fat of the lamb, and as such, makes a glutton of the modeler to use in excess.

[-o<

Kenny
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Post by Treadhead » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:22 pm

Need some advice...

I'm gonna cast my masters and use those for my final product. Instead of sribing the master, I'm thinking about scribing on the cast pieces -- reason being, like you said I expect to screw up.

Is this the best way to go or am I just making things harder than then need to be?

If you would like to see what I'm doing, just click on the www link and you can see some initial pics of my project.

Thanks in advance :)

A Dithering about Scribing
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Post by Kylwell » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:46 pm

Well, it's more costly but I've know of builders casting a one-off for scribing and detailing. Scribing is easiest with a uniform material and if you making the transition from styrene to putty to CA it can be problematic.
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Post by Lt. Z0mBe » Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:42 pm

Well, tread, I don't do a lot of casting. Most of my stuff is pretty small scale. That being said, I think your idea has merit. However, I do all structural scratchbuilding with styrene sheet, foam, and blessed Aves.

I let my Aves cure when I am going to be scribing on it. Some like to let it cure a little, such that it's just rigid, but not completely set. Terry (TER-OR) does this.

Here's where you may have problems, and the more experienced casters here can speak to this. As I understand things, you do not want to cast a part that has exposed Bondo. That's what Dave (Blappy) and Jeremy (rallymodeler) told me. If you try to fix your scribing errors with Bondo on a master, you're going to be up a creek.

You may want to modify the technique I use slightly to fix your mistakes with either multiple thin coats (no Bondo) of Loctite (smear with finger), and sand them QUICK! OR, perhaps you may want to fix the errors with thinned Aves and pay the price in the form of cure time.

I suppose the sealing the Bondo technique might still work as I describe it above, but, I wouldn't trust it as I am not an experienced enough caster.

I hope this helps.

Kenny

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Post by TER-OR » Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:44 pm

This is the best scriber I've ever used:
http://www.starshipmodeler.com/cfstore/ ... uct_ID=146

Hasegawa's nice steel scriber. Very nice.
Label tape is also a must for scribing.

Also, I typically lay out the lines in pen (including over-lining for alignment). With the lines, you can assure you're parallel before you cut into material.

And as for the resin blank for scribing - I think it's a great idea. I would much rather work with a uniform resin than multi-media surface. Also, if you screw up....
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Post by Sparky » Tue Jul 24, 2007 4:00 pm

Do the one off casting and recoup the cost by selling the smoothy versions. People will buy it just to have it early.
<a href="http://www.kc6sye.com/2_wheresaneatpart.jpg" target="_Sparky">Is this plastic thingy on the counter a neat part?</a> <a href="http://www.kc6sye.com/1_casting_inprogress.jpg" target="_Sparky">Let's cast it.</a>

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Post by Kenny » Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:49 pm

moved to own post
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Post by Devin » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:13 am

Not sure if I should tack this onto the tutorial or not, but it is about scribing. I'm sure someone will move it if need be.

I have one of these scribers: http://www.micromark.com/PANEL-SCRIBER- ... ,7194.html

Love the thing, it works really well for me. After doing a 1/96th scale warship and some other models, though, it's cutting with more chunks of resin and plastic than smooth uniform lines. Before I buy a replacement, I thought I'd ask for suggestions. I know the Hasagawa $20 scriber in the store is used by many people. Does it remove ribbons of material like the above tool? If not, how is it different?

Thanks for any info.

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Post by Kylwell » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:15 am

I've found that the scriber gets dull rather quickly and a but of a honing stone works wonders for it.
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Post by Devin » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:48 am

Kylwell wrote:I've found that the scriber gets dull rather quickly and a but of a honing stone works wonders for it.
It seems to me that the tips have a bit of a concave shape to them on the inner surface. I assume that using the stone only on the outside would sharpen just as well?
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Post by Kylwell » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:16 pm

Devin wrote:
Kylwell wrote:I've found that the scriber gets dull rather quickly and a but of a honing stone works wonders for it.
It seems to me that the tips have a bit of a concave shape to them on the inner surface. I assume that using the stone only on the outside would sharpen just as well?
Yes, it should.
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Post by Lt. Z0mBe » Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:03 pm

Devin wrote:Not sure if I should tack this onto the tutorial or not, but it is about scribing. I'm sure someone will move it if need be.

I have one of these scribers: http://www.micromark.com/PANEL-SCRIBER- ... ,7194.html

Love the thing, it works really well for me. After doing a 1/96th scale warship and some other models, though, it's cutting with more chunks of resin and plastic than smooth uniform lines. Before I buy a replacement, I thought I'd ask for suggestions. I know the Hasagawa $20 scriber in the store is used by many people. Does it remove ribbons of material like the above tool? If not, how is it different?

Thanks for any info.

-Devin
The Hasegawa scriber is basically a hardened steel spike. If you hold it 90-degrees relative to the surface, it removes a nice ribbon. It's nice.

I recommend tungsten-carbide machinists' scribes, though. They_don't_dull (realistcally, they may after many, many years' use on plastic), are heavy and easy to manipulate. But, they are not my only scribing tool.

My arsenal is as follows:

Tungsten Carbide machinists scribes
Hasegawa scriber - for softer plastics
Dental Picks - essentially same thing as the Micro Mark tool you reference above
Surgical Picks - Polished steel spike with a cushioned handle
Razor Saw with all but the front ten or fifteen teeth wrapped in tape - for scribing around the curves of a fuselage or setting a really "stubborn" line (I learned this from FSM).
"Chisel-tip" X-Acto Blade - allows me to "walk" a line across a surface when I just cant get it to scribe

I hope this helps.

Kenny

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Post by Ant-Man2 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:01 pm

Great post, Kenny.

It's quite informative.
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Post by Captain Riker » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:52 pm

OK, So do you scribe everything at the beginning or closer to the end?

I am building a model of the Trek Defiant and there are a ton of raised detail that I am attempting to convert to engraved detail. It's the first time I've ever done any kind of scribing so this has been a great help for fixing. I'm assuming normal gap filler is too brittle to be used to correct mistakes?

thanks!

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Post by TER-OR » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:45 pm

For correcting mistakes you'll probably need something like CA (superglue) but don't let it cure too long. Or you can use a thin putty - it's tricky.

Go slowly, don't expect re-scribing a project to be fast or easy. It's simple enough, but the devil's in the details.
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Post by Lt. Z0mBe » Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:32 am

Crikerat wrote:OK, So do you scribe everything at the beginning or closer to the end?

thanks!
It depends. In the example at the beginning of this thread, I was referencing a scratchbuild, so it would generally be toward the end - before, during and sometimes after priming but, obviously, before color coats. But, there was certainly scribing of the scratchbuilt subassemblies in the cockpit or the undercarriage wells well before priming.

With a kit, it might be at any time there's a problem. Truth be told, you have to be flexible. Don't commit yourself to "only scribe at the end with kits" or "scribe at the beginning" mantras. You'll serve only to hamstring your flexibility and, by extension, your creativity.

I hope this helps.

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Post by AbsoluteSciFi » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:03 am

Kylwell wrote:A true believer shall use Aves for all!

'cept what Black CA takes care of.

And Mr Surfacer 500.

and... wait, that's about it.
TER-OR wrote:This is the best scriber I've ever used:
http://www.starshipmodeler.com/cfstore/ ... uct_ID=146

Hasegawa's nice steel scriber. Very nice.
Label tape is also a must for scribing.

Also, I typically lay out the lines in pen (including over-lining for alignment). With the lines, you can assure you're parallel before you cut into material.

And as for the resin blank for scribing - I think it's a great idea. I would much rather work with a uniform resin than multi-media surface. Also, if you screw up....
I don't know of the things spoken here, I am but a humble modeler, making my way by humble means, I only know the merit of the back of my blessed X-acto blade, which has deliver me through styrene, past CA, and into resin. I know not this Aves you speak of... the work of an evil modeler! What may lay beyond on the dark side of modeling?

Do not stray from the fold of our categories, shop not to impress but to the heart of the usage, for any resin based putty is based on polyester resin (fiberglass resin) in the eyes of the chemist, the brand matters not, only the price. Shop wise, know your devil, fear not the name, Bondo too makes a polyester fine modeling putty. The Bondo you speak of is no more than a talc thinned resin, and is so dilute there is no life in its body... and has no hold over plastic. It will surely chip and frey. Why pay for the expense for a bottle of talc dumped into a resin? Do it yourself, the reward is... money.

It is scribable, for I have scribed in the shadow of the two panels, along the joints that disappeared forever, into the primer gray of life.
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Post by Kylwell » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:27 pm

Provided you don't mind the odor and possible brain damage, polyester resins are find stuff.

On the other hand if you feel like keep those few neurons that are still firing, you might want to try Aves.
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Post by AbsoluteSciFi » Sun May 08, 2011 8:52 pm

Blessed be the fan, for it clearith the air... I am an artist. Magic markers are worse than the spotlight finishing putty! And the thinners in oil paint, and the dust from sanding...
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Post by Glorfindel » Sun May 08, 2011 9:38 pm

Devin wrote:Not sure if I should tack this onto the tutorial or not, but it is about scribing. I'm sure someone will move it if need be.

I have one of these scribers: http://www.micromark.com/PANEL-SCRIBER- ... ,7194.html

Love the thing, it works really well for me. After doing a 1/96th scale warship and some other models, though, it's cutting with more chunks of resin and plastic than smooth uniform lines. Before I buy a replacement, I thought I'd ask for suggestions. I know the Hasagawa $20 scriber in the store is used by many people. Does it remove ribbons of material like the above tool? If not, how is it different?

Thanks for any info.

-Devin
I've had this thing in my tool box for months and recently used it to scribe. It was the best scribing experience ever! Great control and the ribbon it leaves behind is great. Very little cleaning out of the scribed lines afterward. I give it ****'s :D
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Post by AbsoluteSciFi » Mon May 09, 2011 7:07 am

Crikerat wrote:OK, So do you scribe everything at the beginning or closer to the end?

I am building a model of the Trek Defiant and there are a ton of raised detail that I am attempting to convert to engraved detail. It's the first time I've ever done any kind of scribing so this has been a great help for fixing. I'm assuming normal gap filler is too brittle to be used to correct mistakes?

thanks!


I scribe when it is the most convenient, most of the time that is when the part is on the cutting board, before I put it onto the model. Some lines however, need to line up with other line on other parts, such as a corner bend, or whatever, so I wait to put the line in, or pencil the line in position then make the scribe. It has always been easier to scribe on a flat surface for me. I can keep my hand and arm striaght up and down, the rule is easier to hold firm, and I know the model won't suddenly shift, giving me a great big gouge across my surface where I don't want it!
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Post by Migmaker » Wed May 25, 2011 4:34 am

well everyone has chimed in here on how they scribe their lines. One of the more useful quick ways for film miniatures involved tape and primer and the forgotten mention, sandpaper. :D We've gone over this technique before , even a little comparison done as well. The argument was that you couldn't get as fine a line scribed with tape and primer as you could with a scribe, I think I proved that you could get pretty close years back. The magic trick is to sand back to the tape once the primer has been applied and dried. Also I always use Dupli-color primer for this. I used to use Plasti-Kote as well but they've re-formulated

This trick was used in the film industry, back when (sigh) they used models for filming.

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