Arbeitskreis Geschichte des Kartonmodellbaus (AGK) e.V.

Model sheet print methods

This overview shows print methods that are used for printing card model sheets, and their main characteristics.
Compiled by Dieter Nievergelt (d.nievergelt ( at ), April 2007

Technology Printing Plate Printing element Half-tone creation Printed image characteristics (as visible at about 30-fold magnification)
Relief print
Wood engraving Wooden plate Embossed surface Hatching The paper surface acquires a slight relief structure.
Color bulges at edges, often accompanied by a lighter offset line.
Regular point raster for half-tones.
Book print Movable type (metal), metal plate (cliché) Hatching, point raster
Rotary-relief print Metal cylinder with relief (type, raster, line) Hatching, point raster
Gum print Rubber-coated metal cylinder with relief (type, raster, lines, hatching)
Gravure print
Copperplate engraving Polished copper plate Engraved lines Hatching Printed lines appear minimally embossed. Very sharp line edges.
Copper (roto)gravure Polished copper plate (or roller) Engraved square pits Pit raster The pit raster can be recognized easily.
(pen-and-ink lithography, chalk lithograph, pen-and-ink chalk lithograph)
Polished limestone plate Printing and non-printing surfaces are in the same plane.
The printing parts of teh surface have been drawn on with oil, fat, or wax and the plate is them moistened. The oil-based ink is repelled by the moistened surfaces and only sticks to the drawing itself.
Hatching, points, grain structure of the stone Slightly frayed edges. Irregular/adaptive point raster for half-tones.
Zincography Zinc or aluminium sheet mounted on roller Hatching, points, grain structure of the plate, raster  
Offset print (offset lithograph) Aluminium sheet mounted on roller Hatching, grain or point raster Well-defined, sharp edges without blurring or color changes. Regular or (more modern) irregular point raster for half-tones.
Offset print Hatching, point raster
Screen print Wooden frame with textile mesh The mesh is coated with a light-sensitive substance and then exposed to light. The exposed parts become insoluble; the non-exposed parts are washed out with a solvent, creating a negative template. The mesh frame is placed on the paper, and color is pressed through the washed-out parts with a rubber squeegee.   The print has a relatively thick, opaque color coating; the mesh structure is visible.
Digital print
Laser print   Color particles are transferred to the paper by an electrostatic process and then fixated ("baked on") by heat. Point or line raster Overlapping, baked-together color particles may create slightly frayed edges.
Inkjet print   Very small ink droplets are sprayed onto the paper through micro-nozzles. Point or line raster In older (non-professional) printers glyphs and lines may have slightly frayed edges. Bad maintenance may cause irregular micro-splashes.


Logo AGK

Home page and card model database of the AGK
Copyright © AGK & Heiko Schinke, 2006-2024 === Version 11.6 of 2023-12-17
In case of problems with this website please contact Heiko Schinke (
or phone him at +49-341-9959-692 (office) or +49-3461-4415494 (home)

Member of International List of Scale Model Related Web Sites