Simple Rivets

With the current trend these days to detail your models to the highest possible standard (usually involving adding to initial outlay with resin and photo-etch etc) , it is always nice to come across a simple idea that saves you money, which of course can be put towards the next must have purchase. How many modellers have brought kits then realised that you needed to added extra rivets, also in my line of diorama building any large structure generally needs detail to help it stand out. Any modeller building a factory scene will know what Iím talking about, but this tip will also benefit any model builder.
When it comes to making rivets there are a few choices you can buy a rivet maker from numerous sources or as I show you here you can have an endless supply for next to nothing.

Now this method of making rivets was first told to me by a guy called Ian Saddler. It was such a simple idea I wanted to put it to the test, and will admit I was pleasantly surprised. To start with you need a water filter (the type for filtering tap water) this one I picked up for £3.00 (about $2.00US).
br> Next cut the top of the filter, minding the fingers (or ask your mom or dad to help), using a small model saw. I would advise putting some paper down so as not make a mess.

Tip the contents of the filter into a tray.
br> You will notice that it contain millions of small ceramic balls in various sizes, these are your rivets. The small black pieces are charcoal which is what does all the filtering and can be used for adding to rubble piles in dioramas, loco charcoal heaps etc.

Now that you have removed the contents of the filter, the next stage is to use them as rivets.To do this you need a pin vice and a scalpel.

With the pin vice drill a small indent in the area you want to add the rivets

Then cover the area with polystyrene cement, then using the scalpel pick up one of the ceramic balls, the size you require, from the filter and place it into the indent you made with the pin vice.

Give another coat of polystyrene cement to hold in place and there you have it instant rivets.

Keep the leftovers in a sealed container and you will have enough to last a life time. One thing to note mine came from a new filter, you can use a used filter if you want but you will need to dry the ceramic balls out and this could be quite messy.

So there you have it a simple and cheap method of making rivets

With thanks to Ian Sadler for such a simple idea

Happy modelling

Keith Forsyth
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About the Author

About Keith Forsyth (docdios)

Keith Forsyth (docdios) comes from the small town of Stafford in the United Kingdom. He began his interest in modeling at an early age with armor being the main focus. It was not until finding himself between jobs in 1995 that he really got hooked. It was during a shopping visit to another town when...