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Panel Line scribing :

A lot of model kits come in a pretty basic design. Many No Grade, High Grade, and some of the older Master Grades, have next to no details. Newer kits have an abundance of panel lines intersecting large parts of armour which breaks up the boring look of an otherwise featureless piece.

Say you want to make a Master Grade kit look like a Perfect Grade or you just want to add some extra detail to a plain piece. Scribing a new panel line can help and in this tutorial, I will demonstrate the most easiest way to do this.

What you need :

  1. Grey lead pencil.
  2. Hobby Knife with a new blade installed.
  3. Scriber (in this case, a Tamiya brand Scriber).
  4. Ruler (small, metal ones are the best as they don't flex and are easy to handle).
  5. The piece you wish to scribe (in this case the side leg armour from the MG GP01).
  6. Dymo tape (this is usually used for making labels and such).

Step 1 :

The first thing you will want to do is draw on the panel lines using the grey lead pencil and the ruler. This is to be used as a guide for the next step. In this case, I have drawn on 3 panel lines.

Step 2 :

Dymo tape is a hard, plastic tape that is generally used for embossed label making. The best place to buy this stuff is at a Stationary suppliers. It comes on a small dispenser for ease of use. Take the Dymo tape and cut off a small piece that is slightly larger than the panel line you are wantin to scribe. Use you knife for this as it can not be torn off like other paper tapes. It is also worth noting that the backing paper can sometimes be a pain to remove - I use the sharp edge of the knife to peel away a corner first and then peel the rest off by hand.

Step 3 :

Stick the Dymo tape along where you want to scribe the line. Notice that I have stuck it about 1mm to the side of the line. This is to allow the scriber to run along the line itself and be exactly where the line is rather than off to the side of it.

Step 4 :

Now light run the scriber along the line (flush with the Dymo tapes edge) whilst holding onto the piece firmly. It is important to hold onto the piece at this stage as the scriber can easily slip away from the tape and make an error. Another thing to note is to start the scribing just past the edge on the piece itself (like shown in the picture). If you start on the other side (off the piece) you run the risk of damaging the edge with the scriber.

Repeat until the desired size and depth is achieved.

Step 5:

Repeat the process on the small section that wasn't scribed in Step 4 but scribe in the opposite direction from before, making sure that you go off the end of the piece (as shown in the picture below).

Step 6 :

After doing all the lines on the piece, use some fine grit sandpaper to sand off any raised edges and loose plastic caused by the scribing process.

The final piece :


Finally, here is the video tutorial on this topic :

I once thought that scribing was a difficult and very advanced technique to learn, but in all honesty, it is quite simple to do providing you use the correct tools. Make sure you use Dymo tape and a correct scriber and you wont go wrong.

Scribing a few new panel lines into your Gunpla can certainly help in bringing out extra details in your otherwise boring kits. It is amazing what a difference it can make. Experiment with different patterns and shapes and see what you can come up with!