Many vehicles we use in our wargames are designed to be either welded, or more often, riveted. I'll be showing you how to make simple rivets for your custom-make tanks (note, this is mainly for 20mm or bigger, this technique isn't ideal for anything small like 15mm). Both techniques make convincing rivets, although the second tutorial is fast becoming my favourite.

What you need:

For tutorial one

  • Plastic rod 
  • Hobby knife 
For tutorial two
  • Round-headed pins
  • Clippers
  • Tweezers
Tutorial One-plastic rods

Get your plastic rod. It must me solid (i.e not hollow in the centre) and smaller is usually better. You can also use hexagonal rod, which would make great bolts. Cut it into thin circles. The key is trying to make them even sized.

Make a small pool of glue. For each rivet, lightly stab it with the point of your hobby knife (make sure it's a sharp tip, otherwise it wont pick up).

Dip the rivet lightly in the glue, so only the flat end is covered. Place on the model.

Here is my Idolator Siege tank, which used the plastic rod method on it's hull. Next it, it's the pin method. 

Tutorial two-pins

Prepare the surface for the rivets. Drill in a hole where you want the rivet to go. Here, I've used a 1mm drill-bit.

Cut your pins using the clippers. Try to leave around 2-3mm of pin attached to the pin-head, and try not to squash the tip too much, as it'll be much harder to fit in the drilled hole. You don't have to cut it, but it is strongly advised. If you open up the tank/surface at any point, you don't want to end up in A&E with your hand impaled on a Leman Russ pincushion. 

With tweezers, grab the rivet, dip it in super-glue and push carefully into the hole. Repeat. Here is a Vindicator siege blade I did earlier. Now you can add an essential detail to all of your scratch-built tanks.