A couple questions about PE grilsa

I am building the Miniart T-54-3. I am used to a bit of PE but haven’t ever done a grill. I have 3 questions about them,

  • the grill is a little bit dented/bent, what is the best way to flatten them out before attaching?

  • what is the best way to glue these down without plugging the holes in the mesh? There is a thin border but I am not sure how well I’ll be able to keep glue just on the border. I’ll be using acrylic (gator grip style) glue for this

  • do people normally paint first then attach grills or are the grills prettt easy to airbrush through/over?

I paint almost exclusively with acrylics. However, when it comes to metal parts, I prime them with Tamiya gray rattle-can. Otherwise, the acrylics practically fall off the surface. As far as “airbrushing through the holes” — don’t. To avoid clogging, I spray with very light passes at varying angles. HTH.


Thanks, so do you normally leave screens off until painting is done, then put them in place and go over with a light coat?

I guess that would depend on the vehicle. On a Pz.III, I recall leaving the screens off until the underlying cavity was painted with a dark color. Then, I hit the underside of the screens with the base color. After which, I attached the screens and painted the tops along with the rest of the tank. … Does that make any sense?


For sure! Thanks. I was debating doing almost exactly as you describe or putting them on and painting over them. I was leaning to what you’ve described. I think it’s a little more work but easier to get a better finish.


Regarding your first question(flattening bent PE).
I use a flat metal surface and a metal roller. I lay the PE on the metal surface and applying pressure roll the roller over it.
Then rotate the PE 90 degrees and repeat. Rotate and repeat till the PE has done the full circle. Flip the PE and continue till I’m happy with result.
This has always worked for me not only with grills but also with any PE I need to straighten.



Cheers, the rotation aspect is key. I was trying the method last night but the PE was rolling into a cylinder, ill try again with flipping and rotating multiple directions. Its not horribly bent, but has a few dents in it from being in the box.

Mead93 much excellent advise above. Wish you the best with the screens.

FWIW - a few additional thoughts.

Smooth jaw pliers can be helpful for flattening curved PE.

Some folks chemically blacken PE before painting it so if a bit of paint flakes off dull black grey will be underneath no shiney brass. Normally the metal track blacken solutions work.

I have never primed PE parts or used the PE wipe solutions for before painting. I still favor the The older enamels like Floquil. They seem to adhere well. Of course PE & model are washed before painting to be free of dust and oils.

For models like a Pz III, Panther, Tiger etc with engine deck screens, I Normally paint the area below the screens before installing the screen. Usually a quick pass with the airbrush but sometimes hand. I like to have the screens glued in place before painting the model with the shadow coat and color coats etc.

With PE screens sometimes the two sides are slightly different and it’s critical to check otherwise the screen can end up installed upside down.

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Cheers think I’ll follow this for painting, just a pass over the underlying areas with airbrush then put the screen down and then paint the rest. It’s on a T-54. Here are some pics of the screen and it’s location on the model. I also have two more to go on the back two rectangular areas

This screen definitely has two sides, good reminder to double check. The upper surface is textured and the lower flat. I do have some gun cold blue maybe ill try it on some spare brass fret.