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Hog's firepower display - A-10C - Full makeup

red Dog

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Friday night I had half an hour to spend at the bench and I decided to punch a few rivets

Bad idea, when you don't have much time you don't do good.

Since the beginning when I work on the nose I tell myself all the time to pay extra care with that super thin plastic around the nose. I did reinforce the internal nose (the area that became almost transparent)  but I concentrated more on the tip of the nose and when I sanded much of the plastic removal also happened back on the sides. In there the plastic was not THAT reinforced.


So too happy to spend some bench time in between helping my better half with the evening preparations, I didn't remind me the above warning.

I started punching rivets around the nose and sure enough I went through badly with a hole much much larger than a rivet :)

I cleared the bench and I went clearing the dishwasher machine instead ! 


I came back the next day to assess the damage . The mishap happened around the vertical opening, which wasn't very well done anyway. 
The internal was thinned as much as possible to have the minimum of plastic thickness after opening the door. The door outline was cut except at the hinges and all it took was forcing the plastic open inside the nose to create that elongated vertical vent. It was so so and very fragile. 



Another issue bugging me for a few days was the wrong panel line that I crossed in the image above. This panel line is too low making these two access door way too large.
I initially decided not to correct it because I didn't want to spoil the above vent. I debated with myself to do it or not, knowing perfectly that when it bugs you you have to address it otherwise you only see that fault on the finished kit. It doesn't matter the dozen of guys who don't see it, you do and you know.


So punching that rivet was a a great way out, because now I had no reason not to correct the panel line.


I started by reinforcing the inner wall with plasticard and then I puttied my mess from outside (both the vertical and horizontal vents which was wrong as well anyway). After the initial sanding, I applied cyanoacrylate over the putty and sanded again. The mammoth rivet hole was fixed. 

Why Cyano than finishing with putty: it engraves much better

Why not using exclusively cyano then? Well mine is too liquid, and it would have required many applications cycles.
Since the putty sag a bit anyway it creates the perfect recess for a quick dry of the cyano which can then be sanded smooth very quickly.



The wrong panel line and rivets were filled and the two round bits of the battery door were removed to be replaced later.
New panel line was engraved and new rivets punched. I had now enough room to engrave that small panel door under the battery compartment. Sure enough the back line needs to be redone.

You have never finished with engraving, as long as you refuse to stick the template correctly so IT DOES NOT move :) Call me donkey.  




I haven't yet done the new vertical door. I marked the new location. But I hesitate to drill it. I might use a decal as a trompe l'oeil instead.
The horizontal vent was okay for the previous life of the A-10 but was changed to a door with the latest update. So I'll just engrave the correct door. That one was bugging me too, so in the end I'm glad I punched that mammoth rivet after all :)

Typical case of a needed great mistake !! 


I then placed the 2 nose ALR-69 antennas. I started with the left one on the extended new panel line.
It was made by gluing first a 0.3mm plasticard disc (diameter 3.5mm), sanded it thinner and then punched rivets on the edges (don't push too hard)

Then  I glued a thicker 0.5mm plasticard disc (diameter 2mm), sanded it downward to give the sensor the proper angle (which is barely visible)

then I added a small PE part of the same diameter. These were found on the F-16 ladder Eduard PE set. There are many so I can use them as well for the remaining AN/ALR-69 antennas.




The same process was performed on the other side, hopefully located at the same spot (which is easier said than done).


I also drilled a hole for the ground pin, it will need a decal and engraved the deicer fluid access panel.
Some correction are needed on that nose panel line. 


Next :
relocating the ventral strakes closer to the wings

Thanks for checking in.



Edited by red Dog
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  • 2 weeks later...

Love this community. It's full of help from all directions :)

Many thanks Jake, Harold and Erik and Thierry and Chuck for all the help you guys provided. I'm grateful and honored to be part of this community.


As per the A-10 tweak list and Chuck's earlier remark, I dealt with the ventral strakes.

They are too small and misplaced.


The location is rather easy to address. They need to be just under the wing and moved aft by about 4mm.
The size issue is more complicated to address and IMHO not worth the very small benefit. So I will accept that compromise.


The parts also suffer from pin marks on their inner face and the large rivets holes are recessed where they should be positive (and large) rivets

So all these were first filled with putty.



The inner face with two very visible pin marks




I marked the new location of the strake. All it takes is to remove a bit of plastic as per the  aft strake contour under the wing. This is done with the proxxon milling machine
I really don't know what is that trench just forward of the wing. One thing is sure: it shouldn't be there so it was filled. Panel lines will be engraved instead in that area as one rather large access panel is missing.
The forward door misses one recessed area as well, this will be corrected by engraving a new one.



The strake in its new place. I was wondering if the wing was not too high on the fuselage, but it seems it's perfectly located. It is indeed the strake that is smaller than it should be as normally the top aft of the strake should be in contact with the leading edge of the wing. It won't be much visible once completed.

Moving the strake aft provides a lot of added value though.



The hardest part is filling the forward and central recessed area with putty and superglue.



More work needed to hide the rivet holes but the part is mated in place



The small missing door and the aft oblique kinda access panel have been engraved. I started marking the position of the positive rivets.



I'm playing with different positive rivet solutions which I will develop later on.
Here's the current test session with single rivets created with a silicon green stuff mold.

These are a bit too large. But the effect seems satisfactory. I'll probably paint them and maybe sand them a bit down before deciding if I stick with them or not.


Thanks for following.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am now officially a rivet counter :)


And the big guys just do the same as we do btw:




So let's talk about rivets


You don't start this model unless you're ready to cope with A LOT of positive rivets

Even if you do not want to correct Trumpeter rivet patterns mixing positive and recessed rivets  -  you will destroy some positive rivets while sanding and thus will need a rivet solution to replace them.

The good news is that it stops where you want and if you want to go 100% correct, it will never end :)


I decided to go as far as I can because the Warthog is anything but smooth and I want my model to pass that message, even if that means sometimes I have to exaggerate the scale effect.
Most of the Trumpeter's positive rivets are on the aft fuselage and tails. Most of the front fuselage have recessed rivets. The real airplane has positive rivets all over the place, including on the top fuselage behind the canopy. 


I actually never used positive rivets before, I always punched rivet lines instead. So this is a first for me and my level of experience is very low.
View the following comments from a rather inexperienced first time user:

As a consequence of punching rivets rather than decaling rivets, I never sourced many positive rivets and with the closing of Archer's rivets I beat myself every Sunday since starting this A-10 :)

Luckily I had a very small sheet of Archer's rivet in the stash as well as 2 huge HGW A4 rivet sheets. All are suitable for 1/32 with different spacing options

Being aware of the difference between Archer's and HGW's I knew I needed to source alternative rivets. So I went shopping.


I sourced different size Quinta rivets apparently new on the market. I bought 3 different sizes: 1/32 & 1/24 sheet rivets (black) and 1/35 (armor) single rivets (white)

So I have multiple rivets solutions to try out with this build allowing me to vary sizes and spacing (which I found a nightmare to define)




I also sourced silicon mould for making my own rivets from Green stuff.

I filled the smaller options with Tamiya light curing putty to create two types: Dzus and regular rounded rivets




The results are quite big for 1/32 scale. they are too tall and need to be sanded smaller which is time consuming doing piece by piece - no way !!
I'll use a few of them but in very limited quantities. It was worth trying. (I did just above with the ventral strakes) the Dzus option brings some interesting options (see conclusion's next post)


The area I will use as a testbed for all these rivets solution is the top fuselage right aft of the canopy. That area has been heavily updated on A-10s over time.
Trumpeter lacks many details for a modern era A-10 and many preliminary corrections are needed.




  • As said above, all rivets on the front fuselage are recessed. In this area, we need positive rivets instead, so the fuselage rivets will be filled with putty.
    Multiple passes are required to counter balance the usual shrinkage of the putty.
    I tend to more and more use water based putty as you can use it without sanding by simply wiping the plastic smooth. You still need multiple passes but anytime I can avoid sanding I don't hesitate. 




  • Some panel lines are wrong as well. The one before the anti-collision light should be replaced closer to the antenna (to the front)
    one of the two double lines aft of the top fuselage needs to be filled.
  • Trumpeter does not provide the formation lights in front of the smaller blade antenna. Eduard provide these but they got it wrong. (see below) the long one should be on the right and not on the left as they did...
  • Modern A-10s have a Winnebago type antenna replacing the larger blade antenna offered by Trumpeter. This one was sourced from AMS with the A-10C IP and glareshield. Super glad I have that one. Many thanks again Harold.
    I will just scratch a support plate which is riveted on the top fuselage with 4 big bolts
  • The NVIS lights (2 tubes) are absent and added with Metal tubing just aft of the Winnebago antenna.
  • The Trumpeter anti collision light is cut from the fuselage and will be redone with sheets of plasticard. It prevents the fuselage to be sanded smooth correctly.
    Beside it needs to be relocated further aft alongside the panel line. Late Warthog also have an oblong light rather than a dome light.
  • The GPS dome is nice but lacks many rivets and is a pain to sand flat where rivets need to be added. Especially at the junction between the dome and the fuselage hole sides. Some moulding marks also need to be sanded smooth on both side of the fuselage (a bit below) the dome area.

  • Two reinforcement plates on top of each other need to be added on the left side of the dome. These were added with 0.3mm styrene sheet sanded thinner once glued in place. 


Once all that preliminary work has been completed, we can start looking at adding rivets: 




lots of things to say about that picture:

  • The dome was populated with Quinta 0.4mm single rivet(. Like all other positive rivets they are detached from the carrier film by water. the difference is that you always get a single rivets and you don't need to cut a line or a pattern like the other solution. 
    That means you have to work rivet by rivet. 
    That also means the contact surface is very small and sometimes they refuse to stick. 
    Normal operation is to apply a setting solution once the rivet is in place. I used both MicroSol and Daco Strong solution. multiple drops of the decal solution to ensure the rivet stick. When not satisfied, a quick drop of Tamiya super liquid cement was used
  • Note the wrong Eduard formation light, the long one should be opposite ...
  • The forward kit blade antenna support needs to be sanded way thinner so the top surface is smooth with the fuselage. Otherwise you'll have a huge ugly step.
  • The support plate of the Winnebago antenna was cut to shape and I used 4 giant rivets from Green stuff moulds to attach the plate to the fuselage
    The Winnebago antenna received some Quinta single rivets as well. 
  • Archer's rivets were used to contour the 2 big panels on top. These are well known and a pleasure to work with. The rivets were cut in line from their sheet and Daco Strong solution was applied to dilute the carrier film. Nothing to say and they are were by far the best option out there sadly.
  • You barely can see them but I also used HGW rivets double offset line between the two parallel panel lines.
    they are a bit more complicated to use than the other solution, maybe it's my lack of experience but I am not a fan yet. 
    First they are very small and barely visible. It is not necessarily a bad thing as there are probably tons of models needing subtle rivets in 1/32, but it's definitely not the case for the A-10. 
    Secondly the process to add them is a bit more complicated than the usual decal rivets. It is basically impacted (for me at least) by the support film not being fully transparent and therefore you can't check if the rivet lines are perfectly placed because you don't see the actual rivets.
    And that support film needs to stay a long time (6-8hours) before being removed.
    I did remove the support film the next day and I still lost some rivets.
    I didn't use Mr mark softener as instructed but I used Micro set before placing the rivet, so It's probably my fault. 
    Yet I feel the process is overly complicated, too slow and imprecise for a result which is barely visible.
    I'm sure they have great applications with other models but in this warthog case I feel it's the least satisfying rivet option. Matter of fact I will remove them.
  • Remains the Quinta new option. I have two references; the 1/32 and 1/24 black rivet sheets. 
    These are the same principles as Archer's on decal film. The most visible difference between the 1/32 and the 1/24 option is the rivet spacing. 1/32 is 0.2mm with a 0.8mm gap and 1/24 is 0.25mm with a 1mm gap
    The 1/24 rivets were used on the side of the GPS dome and you will notice that the rivets are smaller that the 1/35 armor single rivet option
    The 1/32 rivets were  used on the two long reinforcement plates, As I needed tightly spaced rivets there.
    In both cases, the rivets were cut in lines from the decal sheet and dipped in water before being applied to the model. Once in place I applied decal solution.
    Either MicroSol or Daco strong worked fine
    Matter of fact: Mr Color thinner works equally fine to remove completely the carrier film, but it may turn messy if you apply too much and start diluting the Mr Surfacer below. It would (and I did) use that solution on bare plastic.
Edited by red Dog
adding size for rivets
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my personal rivet experience


1. Lucky you if you have a lot of stock of Archer's rivets, these are - were -  the best option around

2. HGW rivets are slower to apply and way more subtle. Not saying it's a bad thing, it just doesn't work for me and this warthog

3. Quinta's option is not bad and is similar in process to Archer's transfer.
    Problem is that IMHO they are too small and not as versatile as archer's when considering the spacing. It's one (or two) fixed spacing depending if you      cut your line vertically or horizontally. Archer's sheet (at least the one I had in stock) was very cleverly designed allowing multiple spacing which brings

    a lot of flexibility for the modeller.

    IMHO even the 1/24 Quinta rivets are too small for a 1/32 warthog. But again the warthog is a special case and clearly not designed for being       

    aerodynamically smooth. It may be very well suitable for other aircraft

4. the green stuff moulds are great but processes rivets too large for 1/32. 

    The rivets are too tall and need to be sanded down which I'm not ready to do. The Dzus rivets (I'll try to take picture) could be interesting if inserted

     into a matching hole and inserted level with the surface. I need to try that out but I feel it may be better suited for 1/24.


Don't hesitate to comment and bring your own experience ...

Thanks for following the WIP.


Edited by red Dog
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  • red Dog changed the title to Hog's firepower display - A-10C - Rivets
6 hours ago, thierry laurent said:

You can use Klear or varnish to easily glue individual rivets (even plastic ones)!

Thanks Thierry, i'm not a big fan of that technique because I always kinda leave some residues. The tamiya extra thin cement evaporates if you don't touch it and leaves zero residue


4 hours ago, A-10LOADER said:

Love the attention to the "details" here red Dog, this will pay off when she's all finished.

So the guy pictured above is from the sheet metal shop. He's center punching a striped out fastener so he can use his "easy out" to remove it.


Thanks Steve, always appreciate your insights 


27 minutes ago, Anthony in NZ said:

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain the different types, how they work and your thoughts. Super appreciate all the effort you went to!

Great summary and awesome progress on your model 

Glad it's useful Anthony


2 minutes ago, F`s are my favs said:

The riveting adventure is very nice looking, and many thanks for the input on the Quinta rivets! I recently found them available at a local store, and now I think to get the 1/32 scale ones. 

They are nice, a little too small compared to the Archer's. Only regret is I couldn't source micromarks as Thierry suggested

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Working on the same kit, I went with rivets pressed from lead foil (very quick and easy to make many of the same size in which ever size you want/need) fixed with Tamiya Extra Thin. My aim was to simply replace the fasteners removed by sanding. Correcting every line of rivets on the A-10 that Trumpeter got wrong would involve sanding the entire model smooth and starting over. Basically, there is pretty much not a single rivet in the right place on the entire model.



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7 hours ago, red Dog said:

Thanks Thierry, i'm not a big fan of that technique because I always kinda leave some residues. The tamiya extra thin cement evaporates if you don't touch it and leaves zero residue


Hi Olivier. Actually I have the opposite experience! When using thin plastic sheet the Tamiya glue is eating the plastic edge and leaving a slightly irregular result whereas Klear obviously does not and does not leave anything thick enough under a coat of primer. I guess this is probably linked to the way each of us is using the different products. As far as something works this is good!

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2 hours ago, Talon said:

Working on the same kit, I went with rivets pressed from lead foil (very quick and easy to make many of the same size in which ever size you want/need) 

Interesting Talon. I'd love to hear how you do it? I guess you have a special tool for that? It seems a pretty convenient solution for fixing indeed the rivets destroyed by sanding. Call me stupid but I'd love to get your how to :)

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