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Product Review

Archer Fine Transfers - Surface Details #13

"Raised Panel Lines"

By John Ratzenberger

Basic Item Information


Raised Panel Lines

Stock Number



Archer Fine Transfers


Various Scales


Resin printed on Clear Decal Film (Water Slide)

Kit Contents

2 X 4 sheet of usable treadplate

Retail Price

$14.95 USD


John Ratzenberger

Review Date

January 3, 2008


Product Review

Bottom Line Up Front

Holy Paradigm Shift, Batman, you want raised panel lines on the Batmobile?  Cool !!!

And this is like shifting paradigms without a clutch !!!  Like many, I've developed an almost Pavlovian (or is it Lady Macbethian?) response to raised panel lines and here Archer wants me to put 'em back ???


Archer Fine Transfers have released a series of nifty surface details that are resin detail on a decal film.  These are applied like decals then painted over.  They are great for weld seams, panels, rivets, fasteners, etc.  These come in a small envelope with a header card and set of instructions.  One thing to not take literally is the instructions to "apply under paint" -- they really mean to "paint over them" ... else I've got this whole review wrong ... 

This particular set provides raised panel lines. The actual sheet of decals measures 2-1/2" x 4".  AS you can see there are 3 "thick" lines, 10 "medium" lines, and 18 "thin" lines on the sheet.  This is a pretty good distribution, although I'd tend to think that a few less "medium" and a few more "thin" would be better.


OK, I know these are probably for armor kits and such, but I just happened to be converting an Airfix 1/72 Hurricane I to an early version with fabric wings, Watts-prop, etc, and decided to use these to simulate wing ribs.

I used the thicker lines for ribs under the wing center section, medium lines from the gun bays to the ailerons, and thin lines in the outer/aileron section.  No good reason, just to see what all three looked like.  In 1/72, the thick and medium are too big (and will probably come off) but the thin lines are great.

The decals are easy to use, pretty forgiving, but have some quirks -- here are my lessons learned:

  • They come off in water very quickly, don't try to work more than a couple at a time.

  • Don't trim them close or they might not stick well - cut right down the middle between lines.

  • You don't have to worry about exact length, they can be trimmed with a razor blade later.

  • They move around quite well -- unlike decal marking lines, these have some rigidity and will maintain their straight line shape while being pushed, even sideways -- very handy indeed.

  • Although not necessary, I recommend Micro-Set/Sol to lock them down.

  • They are a bit fragile and may break or lift off, so I recommend a quick coat of paint to further seal them in before doing further work with the model.

  • You can carefully sand them to reduce profile, but only with the line, not across.  Again, I recommend a coat of paint to help lock them down before you sand on them.  Use a VERY fine sanding stick and be gentle - like all fine resin, they sand down quickly.

Anyway, here are a couple pictures of my Hurricane wing, now fabric-covered.  Yes, I have some clean-up to do, I just got them on then over-sprayed to hide all the guide marks I had laid down ...



I used these on an airplane, but I think it obvious they could be used anywhere a raised line is needed.  You can add, change, repair, replace lines with relative ease. You can do a lot with one package, so the price isn't all that bad. 

These are a keeper and I've got a few more packages on order. Highly recommended !!!

Thanks to Woody Vondracek and Archer Fine Transfers for the Review Sample

Copyright: John Ratzenberger - January 3, 2008