Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Scribing with Dymo Tape

There are a lot of good scribing guide's on the web, but I'd like to share how I do it and throw in some tips based on experience.

1. Pencil
2. Compass (the thing with a needle and a pencil holder used for drawing circles)
3. Dymo tape
4. Sandpaper
5. Tamiya Scriber II (optional)

Click on the Read More link for the rest of this post!

Step 1: First, do a rough pencil sketch of the planned panel lines, making it as even as possible. You can use some sort of ruler or template if you want but I usually just freehand it.

Step 2: Once I'm happy with the design, I use the compass needle (*you can get rid of the pencil holder part) to punch very small and shallow holes in the corners of the sketch. These shouldn't be too big or too deep, just enough so you can feel them with the needle tip.

Step 3: Cut up some dymo tape. I like to use the wider type because I can cut it down the middle to save on tape, or shape it if needed.

Step 4: Stick the tape to the part along a planned panel line. The punched holes (marked with arrows here) serve as the end points of the panel line, so make sure you can still feel them with the compass needle once the tape is attached.

Step 5: Drag the compass needle lightly along the tape, starting from one end point to the other. Don't try to scribe the line in one go. Too much force can result in slips and unwanted scratches.

Step 6: Drag the needle up and down until you feel the line is deep enough. It's up to you how deep you go, but remember that the deeper you go, the wider the panel line will appear because of the shape of the needle.

Step 7: Repeat steps 4 to 6 for all planned panel lines. With the end points you punched in step  2, it's just like playing connect-the-dots.

Step 8: Because of it's shape, scribing with a needle will leave a raised edge on both sides of the panel line. If you do not have the Tamiya Scriber, you can just sand the edges smooth. If you have the Tamiya scriber, I recommend using it before sanding because the raised edge will help guide the scriber.

Here's a cross-section of the panel line:

Step 9: Sand the part lightly with increasing grits to make everything smooth again and you're done!

More quick guides coming soon!


  1. Thanks for this guide, it got me a few ideas before I start my first scribing activity.

  2. thanks for sharing the tutorial, and now i should pick the victim for do that lol

  3. Hi sir, Patrick here from GBP! Ask ko lang kung how much and saan available ang Dymo Tape? And if masyado siyang mahal for my budget, ano pa pwede mo irecommend na alternative sa kanya? salamat sir :D

    1. If I recall correctly Dymo tape is about 120-250 per roll, depending on the thickness, available at most National Bookstore outlets. It is not kept on the shelves with other tapes, you have to ask the salesladies behind the glass counter where they sell calculators and pens.

    2. if you can't find dymo tape, buy an eraser guide. It's usually a thin and flexible metal sheet. You just secure it to your part with regular masking tape and use the edge as a scribing guide.

  4. Ok lng ba kung compass needle nlng gamitin ko.. ok po ba result pg ng panel lines na.thnx

    1. as you can see in the demo I used a compass needle. If it looks "ok" is for you to judge.