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mwiz64
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I have a friend that is a fairly highly regarded scale R/C airplane modeler. One time, I asked him about why on some of his smaller models (still quite large by model railroading standards) didn't he put rivets on his models. His words were, "The guys that are rivet nuts are mostly BS'ing." So I asked, what do you mean. He said look at the full scale subjects from any distance but right up on them and tell me if you see the rivets. He was right. You couldn't see them unless you were right up on them.

Now, I know that planes generally have small and recessed rivets but I'm seeing a similar pattern here in many train models. When you look at the cars or locomotives in full scale do the rivets jump out at you like they do in some of our models? I generally don't think they do. Sure some are big but many more seem over done. Just compare a full scale photo to one of your models.

Why am I talking about this now? Well, as you may have seen, I'm contemplating buying a rivet punch for a current project... or at least contemplating buying some expensive rivet details. I'm just wondering if the expense and hassle will really add realism to my model or if I'll just be "BS'ing".

W C Greene
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Do what I do...my crews are all experienced gas torch jockeys and all the ore cars are welded together. I still like rivets on my old steam locos but the IC loco is welded. After all, it is your railroad and whatever you want is OK. In photos of most steam locos, you can see rivets and look at a McKeen car...they kept the rivet makers in business! It's sort of like nail holes in boards (this will incite the structure builders to want my head) but that "detail" is REALLY overdone. However, contest judges want, or need, to see such stuff. Look at old buildings from maybe 50 feet away (1 foot for O, 6" for HO) and tell me that you can see nails. One man's meat is another's poison.

Woodie-stirring up the cauldron again

Dan B
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I am working on a project that I assumed was going to need a lot of rivets.  I was getting ready to get going when I looked a little closer at the proto photo.  No rivets in half the places I was going to rivet.  In fact I maybe removing some rivets from a few areas on the pre-made parts.  I like Woodies rule, "Look at old buildings from maybe 50 feet away (1 foot for O, 6" for HO) and tell me that you can see nails."  I guess its up to you.  Are you modeling a railroad or one engine/car/ building?  I am going to worry a little less about rivets for now and get on with the railroad.

my .02,
Dan B

Heath
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Mike, I have been working on a technique for creating rivets in styrene. I have been successful in embossing up to 30 tho thick.

Tools: pin vise
pounce wheel
wire, various thickness or drill bits
several sheets of paper
ruler or straight edge
styrene 5 - 30 tho thickness
sand paper 600 grit

I will try and get some photos tonight and post.

Cheers, Heath

Last edited on Mon Feb 4th, 2013 07:46 pm by Heath

mwiz64
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I think unless I see photos of equipment where the rivets are obvious from a distance, they are not going to be modeled. They just make the model look like a caracture.

Kitbash0n30
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Sometimes it is more convincing to offer people what they think they should see instead of what they really would see.

Experience overpowers replication.

mwiz64
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I think rivets have their place in our modeling. I couldn't build a Simplex Tin Turtle without rivets and have it be a convincing model. That said, the rivets will not be an overpowering feature like I've seen on some models. That's the trick IMHO. Add them where they are appropriate but don't get carried away in number or more particularly, size.

Last edited on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 01:27 am by mwiz64

Ray Dunakin
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It depends on the following:

1. What you're modeling. For instance, things like steam locomotives, tank cars, etc have large rivets that are noticeable even from a distance.

2. How closely it will be seen or photographed. For "average use" the three foot rule may apply. However, some folks like to photograph models up close, in which case fine details (or lack thereof) will be more noticeable.

3. Personal taste. This is really the most important. If you want model every little detail, go for it. If you don't, that's ok too. Caricatures are great too if that's your thing. Me, I like to model all the details, and I like to shoot closeups. On the other hand, I'm trying the capture the look of the prototype, and don't usually care about getting the exact number of rivets, etc.

I think a lot of the "overdone" look comes from making rivets too big, especially in the smaller scales.

mwiz64
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You're right, Ray. There is a place for everything, including caricatures. Heck, even I like caricatures in model railroading at times. My Brookville certainly fits that description.

I do think the major mistake made is making the rivets too big. I'm sure I'll make that mistake more than once myself. This thread wasn't so much to be critical of others but rather to see if people here noticed the same thing that I do about them. For instance, last night as I was on my way home from work I passed by the giant railroad yard at the Chevy Truck plant in Flint. I looked at the cars and such from a medium range of about 100'. The rivets and bolts were viable but they were tiny dots by comparison. I think the problem is when we try to make those in 3D they too easily end up being too big. I think it's pretty hard to make a scale size rivet.

Anyway, the tank car project is under way. I haven't placed any rivets yet. I'm going to wait until it's a little farther along to make that decision.

Thanks for your thoughts, everyone.

Last edited on Tue Feb 5th, 2013 03:44 pm by mwiz64

W C Greene
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Mike-think welded tank. That may solve the problem.

Woodie-rivets don't count anyway

Heath
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Mike,  I was able to get some photos last night.



Use a ruler and a pounce wheel on the back of the styrene to 'cut' the rivet holes.  I used 20 tho styrene in the photos.  You can see the rectangular cut in the material.



This photo shows the front of the styrene.  Very little of the impression has transferred to the front.



I used a  short piece of 5mm wire set in a pin vice.  File or sand the wire flat with rounded edges to represent the rivet head.  You can use the non-drill end of a drill bit (I hope that makes sense to all those out there) also.  The rivet head will end up about 1.5 times larger than the wire diameter you use.

Place the styrene front side down on several pieces of paper.  The paper will provide support for the material while you emboss the rivets.  Press the wire into the 'cut' of the styrene.  The thickness of the styrene will determine on how much pressure you will need to create the rivet. 



Here you can see the rivets on the front of the styrene.  The sixth hole down is black because I pressed too hard and punched a hole through the material.



They measure approx. .76 mm



This is a small tank I experimented on.  I used the same size wire (5mm) on 4 tho styrene (the styrene is the backing for fondant sheets used for edible printing on cakes)

I have found that one can produce a lot of rivets in a short period of time.  The tank took me less the an hour to create.  Its funny that the recent posts coincided with my experimenting with creating rivets.  I was looking at the rivet transfers at my local hobby shop, but they only had HO scale in stock, and I didn't feel like ordering the O scale sheets.

Let me know if this helps,  the guys at the hobby shop said I should write and submit this as an article to the mags.  They seem to like the results.

Cheers, Heath.

mwiz64
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I like those rivets too, Heath. Thanks for the lesson. I think I may give those a try. Here is another thing I've noticed that many times the rivets themselves are rusted even when the material they are holding are not. That gotta be a tough effect to pull off.

Heath
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Mike, Light dry brush with rust might work.

tankcarsrule
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I'm a rivet counter. I cut the rivets off Athearn snow plows, old tank cars,
and others. I use a#11blade to place the rivet, then add a drop of Testors
liquid glue. I like Testors for this application because it evaporates fast and want craze the plastic. I use ACC on brass parts.

Bobby Pitts.

Last edited on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 02:06 am by tankcarsrule

mwiz64
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Now there is a dedicated man. How do you place those little guys in a uniform manor? I'm afraid I'd end up with them all out of line and poorly spaced.

tankcarsrule
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I have a fairly good eye.Check out my tank cars and you'll see some examples.
Regards, Bobby

http://www.flickr.com/photos/53243414@N00/

Herb Kephart
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Reminds me of Bill Clouser,who built models for the Smithsonian, as well as for himself.

He said that one time he tried to make O scale rivets on a model, using the tiny glass beads that reflective highway signs were coated with at the time.

Went back to impressing them one at a time, with a dull pencil in the back of the thin artists board that he always used.

Herb

W C Greene
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Well, a decomposing body of a rivet counter has been discovered under the Pinos Altos creek bridge on the Mogollon Railway. The sheriff is "investigating", cause could be a chupacabra attack or the ghost of John Allen.
Update at 11:24....

Boudreaux

mwiz64
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I don't mind rivet counters as long as they don't bother counting my rivets and then pointing out the error of my way of modeling.

tankcarsrule
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mwiz64 wrote:
I don't mind rivet counters as long as they don't bother counting my rivets and then pointing out the error of my way of modeling.

No danger of me doing that. I enjoy looking at everyone's models and keeping my mouth shut except to compliment their work.

Regards, Bobby

Heath
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Mike, here's a photo of an On18 critter I'm trying to bash.   (It's my first diesel and I'm not sure what I'm doing.)



Starting on the cab with 20 thou styrene.  I thought you'd like to see the rivet technique on a loco.  Sorry I only have one side complete.

p.s.  Thanks to all the builders out there who do know what they are doing.  This project would never have been started without you.

Tim Rose
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"Well, a decomposing body of a rivet counter has been discovered under the Pinos Altos creek bridge on the Mogollon Railway. The sheriff is "investigating", cause could be a chupacabra attack or the ghost of John Allen.
Update at 11:24....

Boudreaux"

Hahahaha....too damn funny!! :thumb:

{I should add that I think you guys that DO count rivets are doing some mighty fine work....much better than anything I could do....but I love a humorous well placed comment.}:bg:

Last edited on Mon Feb 25th, 2013 08:15 pm by Tim Rose

mwiz64
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Looks pretty darn nice, Heath. Ill have to go back and review that technique and give it a try on the next itteration of my 1:35 scale tank car. Im not too proud of the one I did the first time around.

tankcarsrule
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Tim Rose wrote:
"Well, a decomposing body of a rivet counter has been discovered under the Pinos Altos creek bridge on the Mogollon Railway. The sheriff is "investigating", cause could be a chupacabra attack or the ghost of John Allen.
Update at 11:24....


I've read it several times and it get funner each time!

Regards, Bobby

Boudreaux"

Hahahaha....too damn funny!! :thumb:

{I should add that I think you guys that DO count rivets are doing some mighty fine work....much better than anything I could do....but I love a humorous well placed comment.}:bg:

Heath
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A little more of the cab completed.






mwiz64
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Heath,

That critter is looking great!

Let me ask a question as it pertains to the subject of this thread. What are the rivets suppose to be holding together? Is it the sheeting being held to the interior frame? In scale size, how big are those rivets? Are they the 3/4" size ones like in your earlier post? Would you imagine that many rivets that size would be necessary to hold those sheets to the frame? Maybe it is prototypical to use a bunch of large rivets but it seems like overkill to me. And Heath, I'm not trying to be critical of your work. It looks great to me. But rather, I'm trying to understand about the use of rivets.

Last edited on Thu Feb 28th, 2013 07:12 pm by mwiz64

mwiz64
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I think after Ive spent some time looking at critters and such.... Full scale ones, most of my stuff is going to look welded, as Woodie recommended above. Only sparingly, will I use large rivets or bolts and then only on the largest of pieces. That's for one big reason, I don't like doing rivets and I think I can justify their absence on most of my stuff. Where I can't, well ill just dig in and make them.

Heath
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Woodie, you won. Ha ha

Mike, if you look closely at the driver side photo at the bottom in front of the door, I forgot to emboss the rivets. I'm now thinking that welding a cab might not be a bad idea also. Although trying to fix my mistake might be a fun challenge too. All in good fun.

W C Greene
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I like the riveted look and have the stinkin' things on my steam locos but my dismal needed to be smooth and rounded-rounded to the ground. However, I like your rivets and when that critter is painted, it will be very cool. Make another loco with welded cab then they would look very cool next to each other. I give it a 10 and you can dance to it!

Woodie

mwiz64
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I like the riveted looking cab too and I like it even better when someone besides myself is doing the riveting. I have to get back to the bench and make some more models of my own to put up for scrutiny here at Free rails.

mwiz64
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I like the riveted looking cab too and I like it even better when someone besides myself is doing the riveting. I have to get back to the bench and make some more models of my own to put up for scrutiny here at Free rails.

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I tend to clash with rivet counters. I do like the detail when they are protruding like the proverbial on the prototype but I use them "suggestively" rather that an outstanding feature that has to be counted. I found a source on ebay of rivet details in plastic, not only are there rivets there are nuts with washers, bolts etc. A major range of sizes too

Ray Dunakin
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To me there are two kinds of "rivet counters". One is the guy who simply likes to build his own models as accurately as possible. Nothing wrong with that!

The other is the kind everyone hates, the kind that gives "rivet counting" a bad name. This is the guy who looks for nits to pick in other people's work. I'm not talking about constructive criticism, either. More like, you show him a museum quality model built completely from scratch that took thousands of hours, and he insists that "it's not a very accurate model because there should be 1438 rivets on a tender of this type. You're short two rivets." Or the drivers are a half scale inch too large, etc. etc.

Tramcar Trev
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Ray Dunakin wrote:
To me there are two kinds of "rivet counters". One is the guy who simply likes to build his own models as accurately as possible. Nothing wrong with that!

The other is the kind everyone hates, the kind that gives "rivet counting" a bad name. This is the guy who looks for nits to pick in other people's work. I'm not talking about constructive criticism, either. More like, you show him a museum quality model built completely from scratch that took thousands of hours, and he insists that "it's not a very accurate model because there should be 1438 rivets on a tender of this type. You're short two rivets." Or the drivers are a half scale inch too large, etc. etc.


Yeah the second type are the ones who get up my nose. Its curious too they only ever critisise but can never meet their own exacting standards.....

tankcarsrule
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I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I count rivets, but I never, and I mean never criticize anyone else's work. But having said that, I know a
real good modeler who never has anything nice to say about anyone's work other than his own.

Bobby

Si.
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1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10...11...12...13...

Oh s%£* ... THE DOOR-BELL !!!

Arh !...
...I LOST COUNT !!!

Si.

PS
I have an 'unfinished' 1/2" scale model of WSLCo tank #2...
...guess why...

( no idea how many it's supposed to have BTW ! )

tankcarsrule
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/53243414@N00/Si. wrote:
1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10...11...12...13...

Oh s%£* ... THE DOOR-BELL !!!

Arh !...
...I LOST COUNT !!!

Si.

PS
I have an 'unfinished' 1/2" scale model of WSLCo tank #2...
...guess why...

( no idea how many it's supposed to have BTW ! )[/quote


http://www.flickr.com/photos/53243414@N00/ A few of my rivet projects.

Remember when you put someone down that has skills, it no different
Than that person putting you down. Think about it.
Bobby the proud old rivet counter.


Hey it's fun! You know the old saying, don't knock it until you try it.

Si.
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Hi Bobby

Not sure I'm gettin' you on that quote...?

It can be fun...
...it does perhaps need 'skill'...
...but most of all, it needs 'time' !

Not sure about all the, this person / that person stuff...
...I for one, certainly don't 'knock' anything, or anyone...

...one day the 1/2" WSLCo model, with ???? rivets...
...might be finished !

BINGO !

Certainly a challenge...
...particularly for me, time-wise.

Cheers

Si.

tankcarsrule
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Sounds good to me!

Bobby


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