What are your methods for making/painting panel lines? - RC Groups
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Apr 23, 2010, 07:29 AM
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WLJayne's Avatar

What are your methods for making/painting panel lines?

Hi Guys,

I've been seeing alot of really nicely finished scale EP models aound,I've done alot of painting over the years so I hope I'll be able to make some nice looking models now that I'm starting to scratchbuild and kit build. The one things I can't quite figure out is how to make really nice looking panel lines on the body work, how do you guys do them? Any tips and tricks ?

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Apr 23, 2010, 07:55 AM
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thewildweasel's Avatar
If using foam, you can compress the lines with an old biro, or you can draw them on with a fine line permanent marker. Chalk can be used to give some weathering effects as well.
Apr 23, 2010, 08:36 AM
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Dorme's Avatar
You will also need some flexible straight edges. I use the cheap flex rulers found in office supply stores (some have cork backing on them) and/or add some double stick tape to one side. Throw a bit of balsa dust on the tape to remove some of the stickiness. In some cases I have used the blue painters tape to hold a flex edge in place while I draw the lines or add rivets.

Tower Hobbies sells the panel marking pens.
Apr 25, 2010, 02:35 PM
Registered User
I use 1/64" chartpak tape. Lay down the tape then spray 2 coats of primer over the top of the tape. Sand with 600 grit paper until the top of the tape is clear of primer. Peel the tape off, bam, you have panel lines.
Aaron D.
Apr 25, 2010, 03:12 PM
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peterangus's Avatar
Before you start, examine some photos of the full-size, to see what shows-up, and what does not.

Many good models have been spoiled by overdone black lines.
Apr 29, 2010, 01:04 AM
Superhero, Third Class
astroboy's Avatar
I use a flexible ruler and a soft lead pencil. For lines that would denote a hinged or moving surface, such as a door or a trim tab, I use Ultra Fine Sharpie.

May 02, 2010, 06:24 PM
Registerd Beaver
Smokin' Beaver's Avatar
Originally Posted by astroboy
I use a flexible ruler and a soft lead pencil. For lines that would denote a hinged or moving surface, such as a door or a trim tab, I use Ultra Fine Sharpie.

Same here.

May 02, 2010, 08:33 PM
Gravity is a harsh mistress.
Tim Wolff's Avatar
I need some suggestions on panel lines for a Hangar 9 P-47 150. I plan on spraying flat clear over the plastic film to take the shine off. A method that will utilize the clear coat would be cool.
Last edited by Tim Wolff; May 02, 2010 at 08:50 PM.
May 02, 2010, 08:55 PM
Missileer Extraordinaire
Mel Duval's Avatar


A bunch more is available on Stuka Stunt Works about panel lines as well as a lot more topics.....
May 03, 2010, 07:31 PM
Big gov never Works
St. Martin's Avatar
The amount of detail, whether it be 3-d or 2-d, depends really on the size of the airframe. It is very easy to "over-do" and make a more comical depiction, vs realistic.

For the small stuff, it is very light weight and easy, to just under coat the plane with alum paint, then add the colors, decals, and use a soft pencil. Then a sharpened nail to scribe intermitent panel wear. This of course for metal surfaces.

Fabric surfaces, I use light polyester dress lining or silk. Aliphatic glue dots for PK screws and sliced vellum for covers. All doped w/lacquer. Here's a few shots of a fabric B-24 and my A-4 Skyhawk.


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