The two sets are the Hexagonal (Set AED00H) and Round (Set AED00R) and both are similar only for the shape of the punch and resulting bolt/rivet/discs produced.
Each set is made up of a metal die plate with two large securing pins and the different sized die holes with a top clear Perspex guide plate with corresponding holes to line up the punch, this being the standard configuration for these types of sets.
The Hexagonal set has four different sized punches (.89, 1.0, 1.2, 1.5mm) included which have a larger brass ‘handle’ section to make holding the punch easier while the Round set has eight different sized punches (.60, .80, 1.0, 1.2, 1.5, 2.0, 2.2 and 2.5mm) again with the larger brass handle and the punches are packed into individual plastic flip top boxes with the whole set in a larger plastic container for safe storage.
The use of the Punch and Die set is in the usual manner with you slipping the material (Styrene/thin metal sheet) between the die plate and guide plate, select the required sized punch and with a small hammer lightly tap the punch through the material to produce your bolt/rivet.
There are a few things to remember when using the sets, firstly ensure the material is firmly secured between the die and guide plates and that the punch is seated correctly into the guide hole and is held perfectly upright before tapping lightly with a small modelling or jeweller’s hammer using only enough force to cleanly ‘punch’ through the material.
It is especially important with the Hexagonal set to ensure the punch is seated perfectly in the hexagonal guide hole before tapping with the hammer as it easy to damage the guide hole or ‘pit’ the head of the punch if not lined up correctly, this being less critical with the round punch set but with both you must have the punch held perfectly vertical before punching.
After punching out your bolt/disc simply remove the punch, then the material and the resulting bolt/disc from the punch hole and you have a cleanly punched bolt, rivet or disc which can them be used as required, the very smallest of the punches produced bolt/discs that are so small care will be needed when attaching to your model but were perfectly formed.
This worked fine on thin card stock but when testing with thicker card (say
0.60) I had extreme problems pulling the punch out the guide hole after punching
through the material. I also tried inserting a piece of card the same thickness
between the two studs to ensure the die and guide plates were parallel but
the problem persisted.
You must ensure to pull the punch out vertically without twisting or tilting the punch sideways so as to avoid damage to the guide hole and this proved a very difficult operation especially with the hexagonal set where the punch refused to come out of the guide hole until I used a pair of pliers to exert some force to extract the punch. This increases the chances of damaging the guide holes if not pulled out vertically and was quite frustrating.
It would seem from these tests the sets are best suited to thinner card stock as there were no problems punching out bolts/discs in card up to about 0.50.
Overall very easy to use Punch and Die sets that produced cleanly punched bolts/discs in thinner card but had some problems with thicker stock as mentioned above but should prove to be a valuable tool for the modeller who regularly adds additional details to their models.
The Punch and Die Sets are available from steelmodels.com website who also carry many other popular product lines.
Thanks to Matteo of Steelmodels for the review sets.
Page created 3 July 2004