Photo Etched Parts
by Phil Novak
Photo-Etched Parts, such as the ones produced by Aber or Eduard, are a great way to add extremely fine details to your models. Things ranging from new fenders to rifling in the gun barrel are included with these sets, and without a little experience they are quite difficult to apply to your model.
As some of the parts can be unbelievably small a pair of tweezers and a magnifying glass is a must. Also the parts are metal so you cannot use standard plastic cement to stick them down.
The best method to for applying them is a small drop of CA glue applied with a toothpick. After you get the part in the right spot spray a little bit of accelerator on the joint and the job is done.
But seeing as models are not flat, some of the parts are required to be bent before application. Fortunately the parts come scribed at the point that you need to bend them, but some of the parts are so small that doing the job with your hand is next to impossible.
To get these small parts bent, use your tweezers or a very fine pair of pliers to gently bend them to the desired shape. Something useful for cutting the fine parts out of the fret is to put the fret onto a piece of masking tape. Then cut the part out. The masking tape will keep the part from flying across the room and into oblivion.
Once you get some practice the methods will become a lot easier to you and applying photo-etch will become second nature.
David Clarke’s Panther shows the “extra spark” photo-etch can add by using items such as tools.
Photos by Phil Novak