Published on
December 2, 2014
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Base Kit
Company: HGW Models - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: UMM-USA - Website: Visit Site

UMM-USA is distributing a very neat model detailing item produced by HGW Models: riveting decals. To be completely honest, I don’t know if this set should be called a decal; it is more like a “wet” transfer than a traditional decal, but more on that later.

This set, for the 1/48 Tamiya P-47D Razorback, provides an easy way to add raised rivet details to the surface of your model. Arriving in a simple bag package, you get two sheets of continuously printed decals for a single Razorback. Note that I mention that they are continuously printed, as you will have to cut and trim each section before application.

Before you actually get to the rivet application process, make sure that you have finished all of your surface preparation (i.e., filling, sanding, and priming). Once you apply these rivets, you cannot do any additional body work without obliterating them. While you are provided a few extra rows of rivets, I doubt there would be enough to replace the lost rivets if additional filling or sanding was needed.

Once your primer is cured, trim one decal section at the time, dip it in water, and apply the rivets to your model; just like any regular decal. I even used Micro-Set and Micro-Sol. I let the rivets set for two hours—leaving them overnight is ideal—before removing the carrier film, leaving behind lines of rivets. As you can see, wet transfer may be the easiest way to describe the product, as it’s a cross between a decal and a dry transfer.

After working with the product, I can offer a few pointers and cautions:

  • Trim the decal carrier film as close to the rivet pattern as possible. You don’t want to have extra film getting in the way (e.g., wrapping around the wings).
  • The instructions call for a two hour waiting period before removing the carrier film; consider giving it overnight. I tried waiting three hours, and when I peeled off the carrier, some of the rivets remained on the carrier film. Reapplying the decal in place and letting it cure overnight took care of the issue.
  • Due to the carrier film, avoid riveting adjacent panels at the same time. Basically, you cannot apply a section of rivet decals near or across another section that still has the carrier film attached. As a consequence of this restriction and the overnight drying time, the riveting process is time consuming. However, I found that it’s an ideal task for weeknights when I tend to have limited modeling time. A half-hour session allows you to place four to six panels; the carrier film can be removed the next night and more panels can then be applied.
  • Consider applying rivets to the same panel on both sides of the model (e.g., the left and right wingtips) at the same time. It helps to keep things moving along. However, avoid doing the same panel on the top and bottom of the same wing, as you could have problems due to accidentally overlapping the carrier film.
  • Properly align the rivets to the panel lines. I made a mistake aligning one of them, largely due to the gray rivets disappearing against my gray primer, and I ended up with crooked rivets on one wing (sigh).
  • Consider using a white primer. As I mentioned, my gray primer made it very difficult to see the gray rivets well enough to align them.

After reading my pointers, you might think that applying these rivets will be difficult. From my experience, it was not particularly hard. It just took some trial and error to understand the application process, and my pointers will help you avoid most of the issues I encountered. Still, applying these wet transfers will require patience, some planning, and awareness of where the extra carrier film will go.

As you can see from the pictures, the detail is subtle and convincing. I will certainly be looking forward to using these sets for some of my super-detailing projects in the future. I would highly recommend this riveting set for modeler of all skill levels, except for the most novice ones. HGW Models produces riveting sets for many aircraft, not just the P-47D Razorback set I reviewed. You can see the entire lineup of subjects by visiting the UMM-USA website.

I would like to thank UMM-USA for the review sample and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review it.


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