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Author Topic: Number of rivets per plate at 1\48 scale?  (Read 2008 times)


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Number of rivets per plate at 1\48 scale?
« on: April 24, 2009, 10:47:37 pm »

I've started to prep the hull of Dirty Harry, my version of Slipway's Envoy \ Enforcer civvie tug (geddit? Enforcer,  :police: Dirty Harry?)

Anyway, MSW's kit is to a scale of 1\48. Im using neat pva glue in a syringe to create rivet detail. Im not trying for scale size rivets, I just want to get a reasonable look with the number of rivets ie not too many or too few.

Most of the larger hull plates are approximately one & a half cms tall by approx 11 cms long. A max of 3 'rivets' looks just about the right spacing vertically but Im not certain on how many rivets horizontally would look right along the top and bottom of each plate.

I was originally thinking 4 or 5 rivets but now, maybe 6 or 8 along the top and bottom of each hull plate. Any ideas which would probably look better and be neither too many or too few?

Also, the hull has a 'stem' that runs down the bow and continues as the keel to the rudder. What sort of rivet detail would one expect to see on this? Would the normal practice be 1 or 2 rivets horizontally effectively in line with the hull plates? Or, would these rivets be slightly offset with one slightly below the other (bit hard to describe I guess)? The stem isnt wide enough for more than 2 rivet in a horizontal line and these would have to be smaller in size than the rivets on the hull plates.


Pat Matthews

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Re: Number of rivets per plate at 1\48 scale?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2009, 09:44:58 pm »

a) In 1/48th, don't bother! Unlike some boilers and bridges, round headed rivets weren't used on hulls, but rather countersunk with flattish/oval headed forms. After a few years of use and several coats of paint, they are almost invisible.

b) One of Tom Gorman's book, I forget which, shows some typical riveting patterns.

c) But you will have rows of rivets on maybe a 4 inch spacing:
All along each plate edge, where it is either lapped over the next, or backed up with a strip behind each butt joint;
Along each plate edge that is joined to what I'll call an edging piece-- stem, keel, stern post, deck edge;
And where each plate overlaps an underlying frame (rib), which may be spaced every foot and a half or so.

d) Image below shows a smaller fireboat (built along tug lines) with all-butted plates, somewhat unusual... but see the rivet pattern at the stem and elsewhere, and note how flush the rivets are.

e) For my 1:24th tug "Dearborn", I did do the rivets, as they can be seen in such a large scale... I used glue drops.
See them going on at
and how I used a laser to align the ribs' rivet lines:
and the final result at:

Pat Matthews
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Matthews Model Marine
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