Embossing Tip

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by CardStalker, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. CardStalker

    CardStalker Member

    Hi all, been a while since I posted last. But I wanted to share a neet way to Emboss a surface on Card Stock. First off here is a pic of a surface that I embossed for the Mercury hatch.

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  2. CardStalker

    CardStalker Member


    And here is the tool that I used. Don't through away your Ball Point Pens when they run out of ink. They work very well, just take your time and go slow. And use a soft surface like rubber backing to allow some deflection into the surface. Just don't press to hard, make several passes to get the look that you want. My best to all.

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  3. CardStalker

    CardStalker Member


    Here is a look at my Delta 7 Capsule. Will have it done soon. I'll post a pic when done.

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  4. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member


    VERY nice, CardStalker,

    I have been trying a similar technique with a steel tool with a blunt, rounded end. I don´t know what this tool is called but it´s the one that you used for the Letraset lettering system before the PCs and Word came along . . .

    I have to try the used-up ball piont pen myself - the benefit of this is of course that the ball moves and the paper surface won´t get scratched so easily if you do several passes.

    All the best,
    Bengt :thumb:
  5. CardStalker

    CardStalker Member

    Thank you Bengt. Always nice to hear form you. You are correct, the ball rolls so it makes it easyer. My best to you.
  6. CardStalker

    CardStalker Member

    Lettering set

    Buy the way Bengt, are you talking about a lettering set like this?

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  7. CardStalker

    CardStalker Member


    Here is the hatch, after clear coat and edge prep.

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  8. silentbrain

    silentbrain New Member

    Nice tip! Always find something neat new technique to try from you guys. Thanks!
  9. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Very nice!!! I love those details... Thanks for the tip!
  10. londonbluemisty

    londonbluemisty Wayne P

    Great Tip:thumb::thumb:
    I will have have to try it on one of my Delta 7 Studio's Mercury builds!!
  11. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Embossing Tools for Textured Surfaces

    Hey CardStalker,

    Sorry, I was occupied elsewhere and couldn´t answer your post.

    The set of tools in your photo reminds me of the German ink pens that I used to have for miniature ink drawings and plans - they came in sizes of 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 mm, and so on. They had a very fine needle inside a tube, much like a syringe. The ones I had were called Rotring, and I think Faber & Castell (also in Germany) made them, too. The finer ink points always dried and clogged up and had to be cleaned all the time - very messy and time-consuming. And sometimes the minute needles got bent and had to be replaced. They required the same kind of care and maintenance as airbrush tools.

    The simple tool I am referring to is a steel rod, abot five inches long, with one straight and one slightly bent end. The main purpose is to make a score for folding large pieces of card but they were also used for the Letraset and Formatt transferable 'rubbing' letters (that used to be on large semi-transparent plastic sheets, from A-Z). You drew a very thin pencil line and then applied one letter after the other on the line. This system was used by ad agencies (mostly for advanced ad scetches) in the days before 1984 and the advent of Macs and PostScript and the era of desktop publishing. I worked as an art director´s assistant back then, by the way, and I remember that when companies started to produce brochures, ads and folders of their own, this non-expert habit was rapidly nick-named "desktop punishing".

    I am trying to find all sorts of suitable embossing tools at the moment because I am building a very old German castle model (Burghausen, by Jos. Scholz-Mainz Verlag, Berlin) that a lady friend had found at the very back of a closet in her house and gave to me for Xmas (along with a gothic cathedral, which was also about fifty or sixty years old). On this model, I am exchanging all the flat brown roof parts with new ones that I have scanned and colored in warm orange-brown, to make them look like terracotta tile roofs, and I want to emboss a pattern of vertical (and horisontal) depressions, to make it look like real medieval roof tiles. I am not there yet but I will keep on testing. The last test I made yesterday looks quite good - with tiles of 2mm width and rows of 4mm separation, so it won´t be long now before I need a really good tool to start embossing all of the printed roofs.

    I think that embossing adds a whole new dimension to card modeling, where surfaces and textures can be made to look (and feel) more real and thus make the whole model much more convincing, especially in side lighting or when you actually come close and feel the surface with your finger tips.

    The next step towards realism is the one you have applied, namely a glossy or satin surface, to give the blacks a richer depth and the surface a metallic sheen.
    Great work, CardStalker, and thanks again for the ball point pen tip!

    All the best,
    Bengt :thumb:
  12. CardStalker

    CardStalker Member


    Bengt, thank you. Yes the lettering set is like what you decribed, with ink pots. I used it for drafting work many years ago. I think I know what tool you are discribing, my father was a graphic artist. Please feel free to add to this post any tools or technics you have come up with. I think this is an area that needs more input. That goes for any one else that has tried this and we would like to hear what you came up with. I try to think about what it is I want to do then look around and try and find something that I have that might work. I am a design engineer and design special tooling, but I like to see if I can make things work with what I have in hand. It's more fun that way.
  13. CardStalker

    CardStalker Member

    Another tool

    This is something else I used on this project to do the attatude thrusters. Guess what it is.

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  14. CardStalker

    CardStalker Member

    guess what it is

    A finishing nail seter. You can get them at the hardware store. I used this cause it had a tapered end. You tilt it at an angle the gently roll it from side to side with a little turning action and, there you go.

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  15. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Guessing My Tool Game

    Hi CardStalker,

    Interesting. That might be some kind of steel hole punching tool, that you use with a small hammer? Or some kind of rivet driving tool?


    This is fun . . .
    Bengt :thumb:
  16. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member


    Yes, I thought as much - I have the same type of tool (handed down from my father, who worked in a hard ware store in his youth, in the 30s), only a wee bit shorter and with an end that is a bit broader/thicker.
    I will try it for the attitude thrusters on my Bob Bendorf-rendered/Surfduke Mercury Sigma7 capsule in 1:24 scale.

    Very neat idea!
    A bright idea is the mother of invention (a favourite 70s rock & roll group springs to mind, by the way).
    bengt :thumb:
  17. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Another Fun Embossing Tool . . .


    Here is another really fun tool I´ve tried; I think it´s called an orange or lemon 'zest' peeling tool. It is used to peel very thin, parallel strings or strands of oranges or lemons, for deserts, ice cream cups, and the like.
    There are about 4 or 5 sharp notches in a single waveform, and beneath them, just as many round holes.
    Now, I am not using the sharp end to scrape of strands of paper - rather drawing it the other way, to make very even, parallel depressions, very much like a traditional washboard. I tried it for the roof tile project but it was much too big in scale. However, it might come in handy for the depressions in the Mercury shell plating in 1:24 scale. You can use it with a plastic ruler or metal straight edge (or a bent or circular ruler, for that matter) to get perfectly even embossings, five at a time.

    All the best,
    Bengt :mrgreen:
  18. CardStalker

    CardStalker Member

    Nail Setter

    Bengt, this tool is used to finish driving a finishing nail into wood. It is used in wood working and for trim work in side a house. The finish nail has a small head with a dimple in the top of it. First you drive the nail in with a hammer just to where the head is showing. Then with this tool you drive it in just below the surface. After that wood filler is used to seal up the hole before a finish is applied.

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  19. CardStalker

    CardStalker Member

    Bengt, sorry i missed you reply before i posted this
  20. CardStalker

    CardStalker Member

    By the way, being from Sweden, you type very good english. Better the me, lol.

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