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Bernard Bedeur
21 articles

Panels and rivets

September 3, 2019 · in Aviation · · 7 Comments

Hi to all seekers of detail in our models.

In starting up again in model making , this since my childhood and teenage years ! I have been awed in the level of detailing that one can do now having pushed the rendering to such realism that it begs the question on which and what detailing one should undertake in.

Following fotos are of the collins foundation and and from the heritage center at Travis AFB. Of a Grumman Albatros with flush rivets and panels Boeing 747 style and A with proud ones like the Eiffel Tower or GG bridge and no panel lines and a C-124 globe master that looks like it was coated and taped along the panel lines.

Keep in mind that the B-17 and are pre war designs and technologys and the C-124 and Grumman from after WW2 . If anyone knows about the coating history’s and seemingly shrink wrapping and taping of airframes ( over panels ) like on the big C-133 ICBM transporter. that would help me out!

I am currently working on e HE-219 by from the 1960 ies ! and have sanded down all the raised rivets from the hull in as far as I saw that the one preserved at the national museum at Dulles airport look like it has flush rivets like the Albatros and even the B-24 which was developed after hostilities started.

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

7 responses

  1. Nice detail shots for those "rivet counters"... 🙂

  2. First thing that caught my eye in the first photo wasn't even the B-17 but rather he red Alfa Spider just behind the fence!

  3. Hello Bernard,
    Interesting subject and pictures. In my stash I have the Grumman Albatros from Monogram at 1/48 scale. The rivets on this model can not be missed. Indeed, the model could be called "Miss Rivet". Regards, Dirk.

  4. Great article, it is always a struggle to depict what is actually seen, vs what we think we should see. Rivets are a big one, but the one I struggle with most is panel lines. When I built my C-2A I had a difficult time, because I spent so many hours working on and flying in them. I KNEW there was a panel line there, but if I looked at my pictures, you really couldn't see it. Add that to sealant, panels that don't get external sealant, but have seals, and ones that for whatever reason don't get sealed. Your picture are a great illustration of how varied aircraft construction is particularly vintage aircraft.


    • Hi Rob. Thank you for your comments. I have been thinking about airplane construction since posting this. the making of these has gone through quite an evolution, now hulls and wing parts can get spun or laid up with carbon fibre and resin.

      Flush rivets must have come after raised ones for Aluminium sheets fastening on some sort of support or framework. These before or while developing pressurised cockpits perhaps . ( taping ? )

      In observing photos as well as the real thing for model making I see that aircraft deteriorate rather quickly in the out of doors. Especially in the tropics. added to this that patches and repairs to damaged craft on forward airfields where done rather the best as one could to get the thing back in the air ! Thankfully this leaves us a bit of latitude in our model making. New, off the factory or beat up like they get. Judging by my current level of build on old kits, the beat up part becomes a no choice in the matter!

      Your C-2 experiences sound exciting and probably were hairball too at times in flying for what they could do Ive seen the airforce radar version up close. What does a 5 bladed propeller do ?


  5. Hi Dirk.

    Yes, most interesting these ways of putting aircraft together. Perhaps some early models of the Albatros were different than the later ones. Technologies evolve.. I personally I like the old kits with raised rivets but it gets difficult at meeting surfaces to not erase them.

    I saw your model of the F-27. Beautyful. My dad loved that aircraft ! I remember coming in at Heathrow with him in the cockpit during a gonio landing, the copilot removed the clip board off of the windshield just when the tires were to touch. A big Panam 747 waiting for us little plane to land ! An Awesome precision instrument landing revealed.

    Thank you, keep it up.


    Royal Dutch airforce rocks !

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