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Line Engraver (39080)





Revell have a growing line of tools that they offer to the modelling masses via their extensive dealer network, allowing modellers to pick up tools on a whim from a shop that might otherwise not stock more esoteric brands.  The engraver arrives in a large blister pack with card backing that is covered with the distinctive Revell triangular patterning.  Cutting the pack open at the sides reveals the inner layer of clear plastic that traps the scriber between it and the outer blister.  I pushed it out from behind and it pinged across the workshop before I could get it under control – avoid doing that if at all possible!




Once I'd recovered it from the floor without damage I had a good look over it and it bears a resemblance to many other tools out there, but with the Revell logo printed on one side in colour.  It has a tough metal blade at the business end with a scalpel-like cutting surface perpendicular to the handle, which invites you to use the very tip to score lines on your project.  It's worth mentioning here that it's a sharp blade and more than a little bit stabby, so take the same precautions that you'd take with a standard scalpel or craft blade and you won't end up losing any/too much blood.  Please be careful - we don't have 10 fingers for nothing you know (ok, 8 and two thumbs).


As with most engraving tools you draw the blade toward you, which is where the "never cut towards yourself" rule goes out of the window.  It's best to proceed with light strokes too, so that if you over-run you don't ruin your hard work.  With that in mind, when I demoed it I made a number of lines with an increasing number of strokes of the tool.




It doesn't show up too well on white styrene, so I primed the opposite side of the test card with some Tamiya primer, so you can see the white lines it makes as it cuts through.  You can thank @Julien for that surprisingly simple but good idea.




This is a true engraving tool, and it cuts a fine V-shaped groove in the styrene, rather than pushing the styrene apart like the tip of a needle does.  This results in little curls of plastic as you engrave, and when you have finished, a burnish of the edges with a cocktail stick will remove any burrs and soften the line just enough to look professionally done.  The other notable feature of the engraver is that successive strokes don't widen the groove very much, so your panel lines won't end up looking like they've been done by the Matchbox panel line guy of yore.  You can use Dymo tape, a metal rule or PE template to make your marks straight and/or curved, and as always practice makes perfect. 



This kind of tool is an impressive engraver that takes little skill to use, and with a bit of practice can create nice crisp lines with 2-3 passes of the tool.  Thanks to Revell's market penetration and distributor network you should be able to pick one up if you suddenly need one when you're at a bricks & mortar model shop. 


Very highly recommended.




Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit

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  • 1 year later...

Is this the same one marketed by Trumpeter that I've recently bought as apart from the logo it looks identical?




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