Trumpeter | Rivet Maker

Reviewed by Rato Marczak

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In this new trend for rivets, Trumpeter has released a tool to help you to rivet your models. Hobby Rivet Maker (no product #) is an industrial version of the now popular clock gear riveters.

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The tool is basically a handle with a hinged slot which allows the modeler to replace the engraving disk. Talking of them, the item comes with four different disks labeled A, B, C and D, so you can choose the one that fits the rivet spacing needed.

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The disks are photo-etched steel and stiff enough to support some abuse. Having just received my sample, however, I can’t tell you anything about the span life of the engraving tooth after long time use (wear, you know).

The disks are slotted in a cleverly designed mechanism to allow quick disk changes. Everything is plastic, so I still have my doubts about the longevity of the tool. That’s probably why they are cheap.

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Interestingly, you can adjust a protective plate so that the disk isn’t exposed when not in use. I assume this is a safety measure to reduce the risk of bending the disks.

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The tool performed pretty well in the tests I made. However, the disks are about 20 mm in diameter, making them impossible to fit in small spaces and tight corners. In this aspect, I’m still looking for a tool to beat a good clock gear riveter.

As for the tests, I made some rivet lines along a piece of styrene. As you can see, the labeling sequence of the disks doesn’t follow the spacing. I haven’t measured, but the minimum spacing (disk A) is about 0.5 mm, while the largest (disk D) is around 1,75 mm.

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I applied a wash over the test piece to emphasize the obtained patterns. Under a magnifying glass, you can see star-shaped rivets. This is a consequence of the photo-etching process that I won’t discuss here, but don’t worry, as the effect can’t be distinguished in a model.

For the price, it is a valuable tool, particularly to rivet large parts and large scale vacuum-formed models.

Now I have to put my hands on RB’s riveting tool to tell you how they compare to each other…

© Rato Marczak 2008

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This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011; Last modified on Wednesday, May 18 2016