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In-Box Review
Rivet Decals
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Representing flush-riveting on model aircraft is a perennial problem. In the early days many kits were plastered with enormous raised rivets that would have looked more appropriate on a steam locomotive, for the last couple of decades most kits avoid them altogether and just feature engraved panel lines, and lately has seen a growing trend towards embossed rivets which are usually heavily overdone

Some modellers achieve spectacular results by painstakingly embossing rivets by hand, but this is a time consuming and skilled task - and, of course, embossing isn't strictly accurate for representing flush rivets anyway...

Mike Grant has come to rescue of modellers' eyesight and sanity with the release of an easy alternative - a very novel set of rivet decals. The decals are screen printed to a high standard, being thin and glossy with minimal carrier film. The set comprises two sheets of rivets - one printed in silver, the other in dark grey.

The sheets are each broken down into three basic sections:

32 x strips of rivets printed in straight lines.
57 x strips of rivets printed in a variety of radii to fit curved surfaces.
A selection of rectangular, circular and oval patterns for access panels.

The rivets are nominally 1/48 scale, and they are probably best suited for 1/48 and above - obviously, the larger the scale of the model, the truer to scale they will appear. In my opinion they may be a little oversized for 1/48 scale rivets, per se, but even here they will really come into their own representing panel fasteners.

The use of both grey and silver is a very clever move. The grey should look excellent on dark colour schemes to give a hint of un-weathered rivets, and the silver opens up some intriguing possibilities, including applying the decals and then spraying a thinned top coat of the camouflage colours to tint the decals give the effect of rivets/fasteners beginning to appear as a result of wear and tear.

But apart from their designed use, the decals immediately inspire ideas for representing other items. In cockpits they could reproduce small buttons or circuit breakers (and, thinking right outside the box, I can imagine applications for figures and warships) - basically these decals will be extremely useful for any task that needs a number of small identically sized dots.

I'm looking forward to trying out Mike Grant's rivet decals in my upcoming builds, so I'll post more details of the results in due course. However, on the basis of this first look, I predict they'll prove to be a very useful addition to my workshop for a variety of modelling tasks - and if Mike can print a set of even smaller "rivets" I'll definitely pounce on them! Recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Well printed. An excellent selection of shapes on each sheet. Many uses beyond plain rivets.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: MG RVTS
  Suggested Retail: $8.00
  PUBLISHED: Mar 21, 2007

Our Thanks to Mike Grant Decals!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright ©2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Great review Rowan. I will definitely get some of these. They will come in handy for the Monogram Century series fighters I'm building. Right pain trying to re-scribe all those rivets. Andy
MAR 21, 2007 - 05:14 AM
Yeah Merlin, they look like something I definitely could use. Something like these will help with the big Academy CH-53 Iím doing, but you say the seem to large for 1/48th, by how much you think. Joe
MAR 21, 2007 - 07:11 AM
Hi Joe Without getting out a micrometer to measure them properly... in 1/48 scale, looking at the pic of the B-17 above, I'd say the decal dots are closer in size to the screw fasteners for the wing-root fairing than the actual rivets on the fuselage. Hope that makes some sense... all the best Rowan
MAR 22, 2007 - 07:15 PM
Hmm... Why did no one (seem to) think of that before? The fact that they'll represent 'flush' head rivets (something that's frequently misinterpreted as plastic saucers) has sold me already... Brilliant idea.
MAR 22, 2007 - 09:34 PM
We listed these in one of our recent issues of Aerospace Modeler Magazine. They are very nice indeed. "Q"
APR 07, 2007 - 10:16 AM

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