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FROM THE June 2011 ISSUE

How to apply photoetched parts

RELATED TOPICS: PHOTOETCHED
Q: I’ve recently decided to get back into building models. Some of the kits I’ve purchased have photoetched parts included.  

I’ve never used photoetched parts before, so I am wondering where I can get some information on proper application of the parts. I’ve tried looking on the Internet, but everything seems pretty vague.
Any help or advice would be much appreciated.

Rob Brimer
via E-mail

Ken: First of all, Rob, congratulations on getting back into model building and wanting to explore the wide world of photoetched parts. Entire articles have been written on this subject, but we’ll try to cover some of the finer points, so you can get started.  

The first thing you need to do is carefully cut the parts from the metal sprue with a good-quality nipper. Cut as close to the part as possible, then file away the remaining nub so the edge of the part is smooth.

Work over a dark mat, such as a piece of mat board or construction paper, so you’ll be able to find the part if you drop it on the bench. And you may want to polish the front of the parts to a chromelike sheen before applying them to the model.

Test-fit the part by placing it over the area where the part will be permanently located, making sure it lays flat against the surface. This is particularly important if you’re placing the part on a curved surface.
The test-fitting process will also establish exactly where the part will go so you don’t have to move it around much after it’s placed on the model.  

You only need a small amount of adhesive to attach most photoetched parts. If you’re applying the part to a painted surface, which is likely, avoid super glue, which could ruin the paint if it oozes out from under the part.  Instead, use just a dab of clear epoxy or clear enamel – both of which are easier to wipe off if a small amount seeps out from under the part.

As with any new technique, practice is required to get it down pat.

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