Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Bringing out details on raised Panel Lines?

8 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    October, 2018
Bringing out details on raised Panel Lines?
Posted by Jimd0586 on Saturday, October 13, 2018 11:31 AM

Dear all,


I am an occasional model builder. I take breaks from time to time and then get back into it. I just started a 1/32 Hasegawa Spitfire Mk V. One of the older but solid kits from the 70's or 80's. So far I am impressed with the detail. I generally airbrush. Over the years I have tried multiple technicques: preshading, washes, etc. I have had the best results with a dark prime, covering that with the model's color scheme, concentrating thicker coats toward the middle of panels leaving panel lines darker with the primer under showing through more, and then washing the panel lines with an oil based wash. (I work almost exclusively in acrylics for my airbrushing)

My question is, How do I wash when the model has raised panel lines? Can I? Do I need to change my strategy/technique with this kit because of the raised lines?

Any tips on brining out panel lines when they are raised?


I do have panel line scribbing tool I have never used, but I am hesitant to start messing with the model and sanding/scribbing.


Any advice or techniques would be appreciated. Thanks!


- Jim

  • Member since
    December, 2016
Posted by MunchMunch on Monday, October 15, 2018 3:30 PM

I have a couple of old models with raised panel lines also.  Had the same question.  Reading your post I may have had an insite.  Just been painting some Warhammer figures and doing very small raised details on them.  Thinking you can take a small stiff brush and almost do a dry-brush type stroke on the panel lines. 

I'm thinking this should work and should not be real hard to do.  Color choice might be the issue as solid black might be too dark.

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: AandF in the Badger State
Posted by checkmateking02 on Monday, October 15, 2018 3:53 PM

A pinwash over the raised panel lines may work too.  The wash "should" settle in on each side of the line.

This is an old Airfix kit, with raised lines and lots of raised rivets.  I used this pinwash technique on it.


Alifero tollitur axe ceres




  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Boise ID area
Posted by modelcrazy on Monday, October 15, 2018 3:55 PM

Jim, I completed the same kit a year or so ago. I also back base and love that technique. I did the same, sprayed heaver coats between the panel lines leaving them darker and it worked well. I wouldn't bother with washing unless it's overall, again leaving the darker areas next to the panel lines. Like was also said you can try some dry brushing and see if you're happy with that.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Monday, October 15, 2018 5:01 PM

Remember that in a real aircraft the panel lines are very hard to see. Many modelers exaggerate the effect. Shading each panel like you said Will give you a more realistic effect. I like to shoot semi gloss acrylic clear and do a oil paint dot filter to each panel which gives tonal changes.

No doubt you will get have several techniques posted by other modelers that may or not work for you you so experimentation will be your best way to go.




Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 7:21 AM


 When I bother to do a painted aircraft or planked type surface with raised lines I start with a very dark Brown . Testors has a color called " Rubber " . This works best for me .I wash the surface with it . It gets on both sides of the raised line .Then I paint my color in mist coats  , After the last I rub the lines with a soft cotton cloth and bring them out slightly . Then overcoat with whatever clear coat I need - i.e. Gloss , Semi-Gloss or Flat clear .

 I will occassionally do this on natural metal , but rarely , and then with Very Light Grey/White . Almost a dusty grey color . This is Dry-Brushed gently in a few spots just to give texture to the model . Then my clearcoat again 

  • Member since
    October, 2018
Posted by Jimd0586 on Thursday, November 08, 2018 7:46 AM

Thanks all for the advice. Sorry for the late reply. I have been busy the last few weeks. I'd send a picture of the plane to this point but my only camera is on my phone and the quality for model building purposes is limited. But thanks again for the tips!




  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Green Bay, WI USA
Posted by echolmberg on Friday, November 09, 2018 8:57 AM

Hey there Jim!  I love Monogram & Revell kits with their raised panel lines.  What I do is, using an airbrush, I go over the panel lines with a dark color such as black or rubber.  Then I airbrush the model like usual.  Then, when all the top coats are dry, I go over the whole plane with very fine polishing cloths; something like around 8000 grit.  It levels off the paint while, at the same time, removes some of the paint from the raised panel lines.  This then makes the original dark color you painted on the panel lines pop through.  Works like a charm!


  • Member since
    October, 2018
Posted by Jimd0586 on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 9:15 AM



Thank you for the suggestion. I bought polishing cloths and they just came in. I made the mistake of placing the decals first though... although I did bring out panel lines with black paint prior to my coats of green and gray for the camo over top.

Any techniques for polishing to bring out the black from the panel lines underneath? The way I painted the model, I made light coats over the panel lines. So you can see the black underneath a bit already. I wonder if polishing above and beyond that might be too much?






Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.


By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.