If you, as a modeler, have been sometimes involved in scratch build of some part of a model or complete model, then you were, very likely, in a situation in which it was necessary to make screw heads, rivets, nuts, or some similar small round shape parts. In most of the cases, it is supposed to be significant number of these parts. Personally, I was often in such a situation and I have tried (more or less successfully) to solve that problem by cross-cutting styrene rods of various thickness. All who use this method, are aware that this method is quite imprecise. It is not such a problem when you need to make only one small round piece. From a number of attempts to cross-cutt styrene rod, sooner or later, we will get a part that fits the required shape and dimensions. Problem arise, as with any parts that need to be scratch build, when we need a larger number of identical parts.
This tool is the right tool that will solve the problem of rapid reproducing of a large number of identical round small pieces from styrene. For a modeler, most likely this tool will not be for every day use, but in those situations when you need it, this tool will provide invaluable help .
Recommended material used for making rounds are usually styrene sheets of various thickness, depending on the desired dimensions of rounds.
In the box we have complete tool for punch and die. There is die base, 16 punches and a small hammer. The die base with 16 holes of different diametars, consists of two plates, metal one and one made from plexiglass. Plates are tightened by two pairs of screws and knobs and are centered by two pins. Punches come in sizes from 0.5mm to 2mm and in steps of 0.1mm which is very impressive. Punch body is made from aluminum while the punch endings, intended for punching, is made from hardened steel. I suppose that every modeler have a hammer in the house, but the reason why small hammer comes with this tool is that it is precisely dimensioned to somewhat limit amount of kinetic energy that is transferred to a punch while the tool is used. Certainly with this tool it would not be advisable to use a standard M1 hammer which is usualy used to hammer nails into walls.
At the bottom of the box, you will find a brief and clear instructions and recommendations (Hungarian and English) on how to use the tool.
I decided to test the tool with 3 styrene sheets of various thickness. I will also try to use every punch on each of the styrene sheet. According to the instructions, it is not recommended to use a puncher, which has the diameter smaller or equal than the thickness of styrene, because it could lead to tool damage. This recommendation is very logical and understandable. It is not our purpose to make cylindrical objects. For this purpose, it is better to cross-cut styrene rods. So, lets say, I will not use the puncher of 0.6 mm diameter on 0.75mm thick styrene sheet.
I can say that I am very pleased after the review and testing of the tool. I was particularly impressed by the fact that I have available 16 punches starting from 0.5 mm diameter up to 2 mm and with a step of 0.1 mm. For a long time I had “punch and die set” of on my wish list, and I was exploring the internet for that kind of tools from different manufacturers. The smallest diameter of the punches that I could find was 0.6 mm and usually in these kits there are far fewer punches. A large number of punches that come with this tool can be considered as a generous reserve. If you lose or break one of the punches, I doubt that you will find the whole project fail because you miss so much that particular punch. Hardly will happen a situation where you need, lets say, 0.8 mm round, and using round of 0.9 mm or 0.7 mm instead, are out of the question.
Upper plate of die base is made from plexiglas. It is essential in case in which making rounds is not our objective, but to make a series of holes in a part made from styrene sheet. Transparency allows us just to fine tune the position of the part from styrene sheet before making the holes .
I highly recommend this tool to every modeler dealing with some scratch building.
Thanks to Peter Horvath of RP Toolz for providing this sample for review.