How to disguise seam lines

February 7, 2020 at 00:35 | Posted in How-to | Leave a comment
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Ah, those pesky seam lines. You know, that gap between two halves of gunpla parts? I made a guide on how to remove them using plastic cement, sandpaper, and some elbow grease.
But what if you run out of elbow grease? Well, here’s some alternatives:

1. Using pla-plate

The basic idea is to cover the seam line with a strip of pla-plate, preferably ~1mm width and 0.3mm thickness. The pla-plate is glued over one half of the gunpla part. This cartoon illustrates the process, viewed from the side:

This means the two parts can be separately painted. Then after painting and final assembly, the pla-plate will seem like a natural part of the design. Here’s some real life examples:

Pros: Only glue and pla-plate is needed. No sanding or putty required.
Cons: Since pla-plate is white, priming & painting is definitely needed.

2. Using a specialized tool

This method requires a specialized tool, called BMC Danmo (ダンモ), produced by Sujiborido. The objective is to create a small ‘ditch’ on top of the seam line. Here’s the basic concept:

And here’s a real life example. The BMC Danmo has two edges; the one shown here has 0.8mm and 0.5mm widths. Other widths are also available.

Once done, the seam line now looks like a natural panel line. The look can be emphasized by panel lining with some enamel paints.

Pros: No painting or sanding necessary.
Cons: Specialized tool (BMC Danmo) is required and it’s slightly expensive (~3,500 yen).


Conclusion: The common theme in those two methods is the concept of disguising the seam line as a more natural-looking panel line. It might not work in all cases, so it’s up to your creative judgement on when to use it. Have fun.

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