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Tool Review
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Originally published on:

Using a pounce wheel to simulate rivets on a kit isn't a new idea. Traditionally, some modellers have made their own tools using sharpened cog wheels and, of course, a number of commercially produced "riveters" of this type are available. What is totally fresh about master-modeller Radu Brinzan's approach is the way he's cleverly designed a flexible and expandable system to meet modellers' needs.

The core of the Rivet-R system is a heavy-gauge etched steel holder that fits into any "X-Acto" style modelling handle. The holder comprises a flat base-plate, plus a washer to trap the riveting wheel, and a small screw and bolt to hold everything together.

Unlike every other pounce wheel riveter I've come across, The Rivet-R is unique in offering a range of interchangeable wheels. The spacing of the "rivets" being set by the number of teeth on the wheel. Radu's approach differs again in that, rather than offering one tool each in say 1:72 or 1:48 scale, he dispenses with the notion of "scale" entirely and, instead, goes purely by the spacing of the teeth on the wheels.

The standard Rivet-R (Item # RB-T009) comes complete with 4 separate wheels with the following pitch (distance between the teeth):

- 0.75mm (~0.03in)
- 1.00mm (~0.04in)
- 1.25mm (~0.05in)
- 1.50mm (~0.06in)

A further set of finer-toothed wheels (Item #RB-T11 - Price: 4.00) provides:

- 0.65mm (~0.025in)
- 0.55mm (~0.02in)

Now, if the idea of not providing rivets in normal modelling scales seems a little odd, take one look at a real aircraft. The spacing of the rivets varies all over the airframe, depending on the load the area has to withstand - so, there's really no such thing as "standard" scale spacing that's applicable all over a model, and having a wider range of available wheels makes far more sense and the results will be more realistic.

Changing the rivet wheels is quick and easy but, if you are switching between a number of different wheels fairly constantly, extra holders are available separately (Item # T009 - Price: 4.00 each) which make life even more convenient.

(For tight corners and hard to reach areas a Rivet-R Mini is also available, with smaller wheels offering the same pitch as their larger versions.)

I found using the Rivet-R simple and instinctive. Although I found a slight amount of play between the wheel and holder when assembled, this disappeared as soon as I pressed down to start "riveting"; then it's perfectly stable and running the tool along a edge (I used Dymo tape) produces a delicate and consistent line of "rivets". The results are far more subtle than you'll find on most mainstream kits, and should look excellent with careful painting and weathering.

The Rivet-R is an excellent tool. It's both more affordable and versatile than buying a separate riveter for every scale you work in, and the results put the heavy-handed embossed rivets we see all to often on mainstream kits totally to shame. Highly recommend to modellers with a bit of experience who are looking to enhance their kits, and to scratch-builders.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Affordable, pricise and versatile.
Verdict: The Rivet-R system has significant advantages over similar pounce wheel riveters in offering a range of sizes without the need to purchase a whole new tool.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: RB-T009
  Suggested Retail: 8.00
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Oct 04, 2009

Our Thanks to RB Productions!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2020 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Armorama. All rights reserved.


I've got both these sets. Its a simple but excellent little piece of kit, fits in an exacto type handle and does just what it says it does. the smaller wheeled set (not shown) is especially good for wingroots etc. Its simple getting the fastening tension just so is a matter of taste, it you like to feel the wheel run free of nip it a little to put something of a brake on it to stop it running away. Theres a little slogger *slack* in the wheel on the bolt/stud when you assemble it making you wonder at its ability but once you set it up and get her rolling its excellent. I would reccomend it thoroughly. I used to put the nail marks on my Albatro DVa so Its not limited to the later types of aircraft and once you have it you'll find a lot more uses for the little devil. Keith
JUN 10, 2010 - 10:07 PM
Hi Rowan I think instead of buying a new kit, I will invest in the Rivet-R system. I really get fed up loosing detail on some of the less than perfect fit kits. Looks like a easier way of helping to bring some of the detail back. It also makes it easier to use some of the older kits with the raised rivets. Sand down the raised rivets and re-install using the Rivet-R. Thanks for the review Rowan. tim
JUN 10, 2010 - 10:53 PM

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