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Found 16 results

  1. Making photo etched parts at home Many years ago I was a young apprentice in a small electronics company, one of my tasks was making printed circuit boards (PCBs) for prototypes and one off’s. Making PE parts is a very similar process, so I gave it a go. When I made PCBs the boards were pre-coated and we used ferric chloride as an etchant, I’m going to show you how to make a double sided PE using dry film resist. You will need to invest in some bits and bobs to help you along, nearly everything is on good old ebay, the rest you can get in Tesco, ASDA etc, and don’t forget to pick up some wooden or plastic stirrers from Mc Donald’s and the like. I won’t write a long list now of things you need I’ll leave that to the end and get straight to the interesting bits, You may not get success first time but keep practising, I had many fails at various stages getting this right so i'll share what I know. but first this :- Making photo etched parts uses some hazardous chemicals and as such safety steps should be taken in the form of protective clothing, gloves, goggles etc. The chemicals are corrosive to skin as well as to brass so should be immediately washed off with plenty of water if contact with skin occurs, medical attention may be required as well. By continuing to read this article you must accept that YOU are responsible for your own safety and should read all labels and safety data sheets available. Nuff said, lets get on with it. Artwork The artwork was printed on over head projector (OHP) film for inkjets this film has a rough and a smooth side. The rough side is the printing side. We are going to use negative resist film so when you create your artwork white is where you want brass and black is where it is to be etched away. You will notice the ‘sprue gates’ are only on the rear art work this is so they get etched away from one side only and become half the thickness off the surrounding brass. Start off by creating your artwork without the gates so the parts are ‘floating’ with no attachment to the surrounding frame, save this file call it ‘front’ or something now make a copy of that file and call it ‘rear’. Open the rear file into your editing software and draw the ‘gates’ in. You now have 2 files front and rear. Print your files using your printers best settings, on mine I have selected Print quality high, Use black ink only, darkness max, contrast max, high resolution paper. If your software can print alignment/crop marks, use them! If not add some crosshairs to your art work but they must be the same on both files so check for this before you create the second file. The two artworks are shown here, top is the front with the floating parts bottom is the rear with the 'sprue gates' (to be printed mirror image) Fold lines should be on the inside of the fold and twice the thickness of the brass. Printing preference page manual ajustment pop up page Because I’m from up north and a bit tight, to save on OHP film print off one of your artworks on plain paper first, now you can cut out a bit of OHP film appropriate to the size of your artwork to include the alignment marks, tape this to the paper over where it is to print and put it back through the printer, same again with the other file. Print the rear one as a mirror image and let them dry for an hour or so. I’ve tried using laser printers for the artwork but the blacks aren't as deep, I find the inkjet better. We have 2 artworks, the rear one should be turned upside onto a white surface or light box if you have one. Cut the top art work out so it just includes the alignment marks but make sure it smaller than the bottom one. Now carefully align the two together on top of each other with printed sides on the outside, this is where your alignment mark come into use, use a magnifying glass if necessary. When you are satisfied that you cannot get aligned any better put a piece of tape across one edge to form a hinge and make sure it doesn't move as you do so. We now have our art work prepared, did you make that second check that is defiantly aligned? If it has moved peel off the tape and do it again, super accuracy is required here if your PE is going to be of any use. Cut out a piece of brass just bigger than the artwork with scissors and give it a clean with Acetone, IPA or other solvent. I'm going to use a 0.005" or 0.125mm gauge sheet Applying the resist The resist is a negative resist so the bits that get exposed to UV cure and harden while the unexposed bits stay weak, the resist should be stored in the dark and away from sunlight. It should also be kept away from sunlight and bright lights while your work with it until it has been developed. Switch the laminator on. Cut out two pieces of resist just larger than the brass, the resist is in between 2 protective sheets you need to remove one before applying to the brass. Take one piece and with two bits of tape on either side of one corner pull them apart, one of the protective sheets should come away, you might find it takes a couple of goes to get this. Put your brass on something flat that will be easy to turn around as you work, a hotel room key is ideal for this, make sure there is no dust or anything and put a big blob of water on it. Take your piece of resist, find the side without the protective layer (it’s the side that feels sticky if you touch it on the edge, don’t touch the bit that’s going on the brass) and gently offer this side to the brass, when it touches the water, the water will grab it, gently lower it on and let it settle. Check there are no air bubbles trapped, if there are just lift the resist a little and gently give the bubble a little persuasion to depart. You might need a little more water before lowering the resist down again. When you’re happy that there is nothing there except a thin layer of water give the centre of the sheet a small press just to tack it into place and stop it slipping, then with a tissue or soft cloth work the water out from the centre don’t press hard just yet, if you do it will tack that bit onto the brass making it harder to remove should you find an air bubble. Once you are happy that you have ALL the water out with NO air or water bubbles trapped smooth the resist down with a bit of pressure. Take a piece of paper and fold it in half, gently lift the brass off using a scalpel blade to break the adhesion and place it in your folded paper. The paper acts as a carrier to go through the laminator if you put the brass through naked it will get bent and damaged, also as its small it might get lost in there, with all the electrical hazards you might expect with a loose bit of metal rattling inside an electrical appliance. Once though the laminator, open up the paper, the resist will be stuck to the brass except where there is air or water trapped, you did get it all out didn’t you? The overlap will also be stuck to the paper so take your scalpel and cut the brass sheet free. Do the same for the other side. Exposure You need a UV light source, ebay has some ladies gel nail curing lights for £10-15, they come with four bulbs two above and one on each side, you only want the light going straight down through the artwork onto the brass so leave the side bulbs out and put them some ware safe, these are now your spares. You need two sheets of glass, I found two cheap 4”x6” photo frames the ones that are just glass and wooden back in Tesco for 50p each kept the glass a threw the rest away. Make sure they are clean, now slip your brass between the two artworks making sure you are happy with the positioning then sandwich this between the sheets of glass and clip together with bulldog clips. A quick check that the brass is still in the right place, no foreign objects obscuring things and the handles of the clips are not in the way. -Optional- You get a slightly sharper image if you remove the protective sheets at this stage however you run the risk of the resist getting stuck to the artwork if this happens you will need to strip the resist off the brass and start again. This is why the artwork has been prepared printed side out. If you get the resist on the artwork IPA or acetone may get it off (only clean the non-printed side) but you could end up having to print a new artwork. Expose this to UV light, I have a bit of cardboard clipped to the side not being exposed, this is just to stop light spilling round to the rear so you can remain in control of how much exposure takes place. Once exposed turn over, swap the card to the other side and expose the other side. Timing, getting the timing tight is critical, too short and your resist is not suitably hardened, to long and you start to expose the bits you shouldn't, remember the artwork is actually translucent the black bits don’t block the light completely they just attenuate it. I have found 45 seconds per side seems to be the optimum timing, this will all depend on how dark your black is, how strong the light is, how close the bulb is, how old the bulb is. 45 second is for my setup yours may differ, some experimenting maybe required. Once done your brass should have the image on it with the exposed bits turning darker blue. Edit - You can use sunlight to expose but be careful as this is an unknown and variable quantity so you could end up over exposing it. Developing As I said earlier exposure to UV light hardens the resist leaving the unexposed areas soft and dissolvable in the ‘developing’ fluid. The fluid we are going to use is a sodium hydroxide solution. Sodium hydroxide is caustic soda sold as household drain cleaner. We need to make a 5% solution of this. I’m going to make 50ml of the stuff. 1ml of water weighs 1 gram so 5% of 50g is 2.5g. you need to make enough to submerge the brass in your container, find out how much you need either in volume (ml) or measure the weight of the water (g) and multiply this figure by 0.05 e.g. 50g x 0.05 = 2.5g. This is how much caustic soda you need to weigh out. Dissolve this in your measured amount of warm water. You’ve now made your developing fluid. Be careful, this is corrosive and will cause chemical burns. I warm the fluid up by leaving the it in the airing cupboard where it is 38°c, Remove the protective layers from your brass with tape on the corner, once the protection is removed avoid putting the brass flat down on any surface, if you do the unexposed bits may well stick to it and you will be back to stripping and starting again. Dunk you brass in the fluid for 2-3 min to dissolve the unexposed resist, you will see it dissolving and turning opaque or milky. Then wash the resist away under a running tap, you can assist this by gently brushing it off with an old paintbrush under the tap. Have a really good look to see if you got all the resist off look carefully as it can be difficult to see. If there is any left put it back in the solution for another minute and wash off again. Don’t leave it in for too long however as it may start to dissolve the exposed stuff too. Once your satisfied you have got it all off put it back under the UV to see if you missed anything, if you did, strip the brass with acetone (see stripping at the end) and start again. Pain in the neck I know, but you haven’t yet etched it so you can reuse the brass. Better to find out now rather than once you've etched it in my opinion. Etching To etch we are going to use an acid to erode away the brass. Sodium persulphate is an etchant used in making PCBs, other etchants are available including ferric chloride, ammonium persulphate & potassium persulphate. For sodium persuphate a 20% solution is needed so multiply your weight/volume of water require by 0.2, so for 50ml of etchant weigh out 10g of sodium persulphate. I haven’t tried other etchants yet, so other ones may need different concentrations. This is also highly corrosive and will cause chemical burns. Find a suitable non metallic container and stirrer and dissolve the etchant in the appropriate amount of water in the same way as you made the developer, and warm it up for use, for me that’s put it back in the airing cupboard again. (It may take a few minutes of stirring to fully dissolve.) Submerge the brass in the etchant, as the etchant tends to become more concentrated at the bottom give it a stir every 10 mins or so until fully etched. The pic shows pin holes starting to appear after 28mins and after 50mins it was fully etched. Keep an eye on it. I nearly over etched this one as I was writing this article at the time. Don’t forget the areas that are going to be etched from one side only will carry on being etched until it is washed off and also the etchant will start to undercut from the sides. So as soon as you are satisfied that it is fully done. Remove it from etchant and fully rinse it under a tap. The etching time will increase as the etchant becomes exhausted the more times you use it, the same will happen with your developer. Stripping Soak the PE in acetone for a few minutes to remove the resist, it should start to peel of but might need a little help. The acetone will become purple in colour and becomes a fantastic dye so watch you don’t spill it, I have a bottle I keep the used acetone in just for cleaning PE. The photo actually shows it in water and is just for illustration! If all is well you've just made your first PE, go have a beer or three to celebrate. Things you need Brass http://www.ebay.co.u...=item5d304537b0 Dry film http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=dry+film&_osacat=0&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xdry+film+photoresist&_nkw=dry+film+photoresist&_sacat=0&_from=R40 OHP film http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_from=R40&_nkw=inkjet+ohp+film&_sop=15 UV Light http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1311.R1.TR10.TRC0.A0.Xuv+na&_nkw=uv+nail+lamp&_sacat=0&_from=R40 Sodium hydroxide, caustic soda cleaning product section of ASDA Tesco etc Glass sheets - cheap photo frame Spatula http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_nkw=laboratory+spatula&_frs=1 Etchant Different types are available - Sodium persulphate, ferric chloride, ammonium persulphate & potassium persulphate. Couldnt find the Sodium persulphate I used doesnt seem to be listed, http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=pcb+etchant&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xetchant&_nkw=etchant&_sacat=0 Edit 28/8/13 Looks like the Sodium persulphate is listed on ebay again http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.Xsodium+persulphate&_nkw=sodium+persulphate&_sacat=0&_from=R40 Containers, I used lab beakers, do a search on Borosilicate beaker Scales, search pocket scales or micro weighing scales Stirrers grab a hand full at McDonald’s Timings & quantity's Exposure 45sec per side 1ml of water weighs 1gram Developer 5% strength 2-3mins at 38°C Etchant 20%strength 45min to 1:30 at 38°C (Sodium persulphate) Single side etch To make a single side etch, still apply resist to both sides of the brass and expose the rear completely. etching time will be double as the etchant can only eat through the brass from one side so has twice as much go through to meet the other side. I'll make updates to this as I find new things but in the meantime good luck! Mark
  2. I have this habit of buying PE to enhance the cockpit. (Sad I know). I diligently look at reference pics and read the instructions. I have even bough a "Bug". However in 1/48 scale I sometimes (most of the time) don't see how part a will ever fit into part B or attach to it using tweezers, cocktail sticks and the minimum of super glue. My other most frustrating issue is when I have to part X's when the instructions only call for 1. is 1 a spare or are the supposed to be glued together. I had this bright idea on the Hurricane I am working on until I tied it. It sound easer than it is placing one part over another to make an exact match. Oh, by the way I have a magnifying headband just to see the D**mn things. I tried one of the pick up sticks (with a red tip) but it does nothing. Note part 31 and 12 for example. Part 12 is the compass and does not need to be double sided.... I have a set of PE flaps which I would love to do depicting the Hurricane coming in to land but at this stage I am thinking that I need to go to Yoda Modelling School first. The force is definitely not with me! I await words of wisdom from my fellow Jedi Modellers out their who have mastered this.
  3. Luftwaffe Rudder Pedals & Cowling Fasteners 1:72/48/32 Eduard Here come a small range of accessories for those of you venturing into improving your kits or doing a bit of scratch-building. Quite often your kit (in this case WWII German) will come without rudder pedals at all, a wedge of styrene or with some shapeless lumps, and in some cases these monstrosities will be quite visible. The same applies to cowlings supplied with kits that can be left open. They usually don't include the fasteners that stick up or hang loose depending on gravity, which although small can be seen in period photos. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package, with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between, this time with the shorter form factor and the Zoom! branding. Luftwaffe Rudder Pedals (SS598, FE838, 33171) Consisting of one part per pedal, or two if you include the additional straps that I assume are there in case the captive strap falls off. The part folds up over successive stages to create a nicely detailed replica of the these complex items, which will give the detail in that area a huge boost when installed. Due to the sizing of the parts, you get 6 in 1:72, 4 in 1:48 and 2 in 1:32, with an increasing level of detail at the larger scales. A little PE skill will be needed for some of the shaping around the heel, due to the curve needed, but if you anneal the parts in a lighter flame beforehand this shouldn't be too taxing. 1:72 (SS598) 1:48 (FE838) 1:32 (33171) Luftwaffe Cowling Fasteners (SS603, FE845) Available only in 1:72 and 1:48 flavours as of writing, these handy fasteners are present on many cowlings of WWII Luftwaffe aircraft, and when unlatched, they stand proud from the surface of the cowling. To install them you fold them into a peg-shape, and glue the short end to the open cowling, using the engraved detail of the panels as a guide. The frets are the same size, but the 1:72 sheet contains 200, while the 1:48 sheet sports only 120, but detail is more visible due to the size. 1:72 (SS603) 1:48 (FE845) Review sample courtesy of
  4. Hello to all the gear heads! I'll come right out and explain that I'm rookie to model automobile building, but not modeling overall (airplanes mostly). I know where to go to get all my other supplies, but need a guide to where the cool car stuff is, and where the DEALS are, too. Having done a crash course of research and kit acquisition I'm on the after market items now. My focus is narrow, "Le Mans" type racing sports cars from the 60s. Here are my questions: 1) What type of PE harness(es) do I need for this era of car (Ferrari, Jag, Corvette, GT40, Porsche) 2) These cars are festooned with little lights on the body around the numbers. Surely these are available aftermarket, right? 3) What's the best acrylic paint (can or bottle) for the metallic British Racing Green for the Jag). Any other suggestions and hints will be appreciated. TIA!!
  5. dwh

    Primer for Photo Etch

    Having just started using PE on some builds, I would like to know what is the best primer for priming the said PE. I use enamel paints for normal painting.
  6. Welcome to my latest posting- I'm going to win no prizes for speed modelling but I'm having fun so who cares! I'm working on a big long term airfield diorama project but it'll take me months/years to get all the components done so I'll post 'em as I do 'em. Here's the finished article (read down for WIP & more finished pics). I was inspired by an article by Richard Langford in Airfix Model World magazine, Jan 14 issue. The moulding is pretty ancient (I built one as a kid, it hasn't changed and I'm pretty ancient as well!) so I thought I'd have some fun super detailing it. As you can see, I got a bit carried away (considering most of it was inside and won't be seen when assembled) but it was a learning piece as much as anything, more scratch building experience and my first use of PE, which went pretty well in the end. I make no claims to historical accuracy with this model and some elements were made up as I went along, but I've enjoyed myself. DJ Parkins (www.djparkins.co.uk) supplied the PE set for the windows, doors, hand rails and watch hut and the maps/posters/blackboards etc were a custom set from Sankey Scenics. I found him on-line & asked if he had anything suitable. He does mostly model railway stuff (as well as being a professional model maker) but researched it for me and came up with a great little sheet of scale images that I've used all over the model. Check him out at www.sankeyscenics.co.uk. The sheet costs £5.00, which seemed pretty reasonable to me as he put it together from scratch. You can order by accessing the bespoke page of his website and by clicking the £5.00 button (towards the bottom). This will take you through the steps for the order. You can quickly access this by clicking the link below: http://www.sankeyscenics.co.uk/#/bespoke-items/4551163731. Based on Richard Langford's article, I fabricated a first floor out of styrene sheet, supported by styrene corner pieces. I then decided to put a dividing wall in made from more styrene and utilising a door & window from the Airfix set (redundant because of the PE set). I glazed it with clear acetate and used thin slices of Tamiya tape to represent diagonal blast taping. An assortment of notice boards, maps, pictures, chalk boards, clocks & signs were carefully scalpeled out of the Sankey Scenics sheet & glued in place. Very late in the day I decided to also build a desk/counter upstairs and some of Sankey's maps and documents decorated the surface. I decided to call it a day, furniture wise, as I had a life I had to get on with! Incredible detail on the maps & chalk boards! Having enjoyed that, I decided to build a room for the ground floor so built a floor and walls from styrene sheet and used the Airfix windows again. More posters/signs added a bit of interest downstairs. Those observant amongst you may have noticed that my super detailing may possibly have forgotten to build a staircase to get from the ground floor to the first, and then to the terrace and roof. Oops! I decided to let this one slip! I also decided to have fun with the watch tower on top. The phone was made from a bit of styrene sheet, the radio from a piece of sprue. The phone cord is a piece of thin fuse wire and the microphone boom from a slightly thicker piece of wire. More Sankey docs spread around the desks. I got a Master Tools PE bender thingy for Christmas and really couldn't figure out how it was meant to work, but a few goes with the thingy & a pair of flat jaw pliers & I sussed it! The watch tower was a bit fiddly with folds going in different directions but got there in the end with a bit of squeezing and swearing. I had to fabricate a pillar to join the edges and locate the walls as the Airfix location points were in the wrong place. The acetate proved tricky - it was hard to keep it free from scratches and glue. The handrails were an absolute bugger - microscopic folding, aligning, gluing, drilling and feeding through 0.31mm brass wire. Lots of patience required. They're not perfect but for a first go, I'm quite pleased. The stairs were also tricky, being made from folded side pieces and individual folded treads. Richard Langford suggested building a little jig, which I did and it worked well. The last thing was to slosh a load of Flory Models 'Grime' wash around the model in places where the day to day muck from a busy airfield would accumulate; on the flat surfaces, window sills, stair treads etc. Flat roofs are notorious for puddling so the Flory grime is spot on for this, although I kept it light on the higher traffic areas. The RAF figures came from a 1970s vintage Airfix set I had as a kid. They'd been painted in gloss enamels (I was young!) so I had lots of fun soaking them in white spirit and picking off the paint! Only later did I discover that Airfix still sell that set so I could have saved a lot of bother, but there's something nice about recycling a 40 year old toy! I think some of them might have come from a Bloodhound missile set - wrong decade but I think I got away with it! I chopped the bases off so they're secured with Deluxe Materials Tacky Wax - it's good stuff. Here are some other shots of the finished building: I broke the aerial thingy in the corner so had to botch up a new one from the spares box. I had to fabricate a new door for the emergency exit as the PE set didn't include one and I'd mistakenly used the Airfix door for my Amera Nissan hut! Always read the instructions! The bionic dog! One of his legs got broken off somewhere between the 1970s and today so I had to make a new one out of a piece of fuse wire! Thanks for looking and any feedback/tips would of course be appreciated. Andrew
  7. I have by now seen some kits of the French Mirage 2000 jet fighter, but none of the kits I saw stood out as being that great. As I am writing this post, I guess maybe adding photo etch might be required in the end regardless. However, I thought I should ask kindly if anyone happen to know about a great Mirage 2000 kit in 1:48 scale.
  8. Does anyone know what the photo etched parts on the left is used for? There seems to be three rings of PE, pluss two tiny parts that looks like maybe a bolt attached to each small elongated metal plate. Btw, the box I got, looked nearly identical to the image, only change was that the milled part seen in the image, a ring to be fitted closer to the "root" of the barrel, was milled together with the barrel and wasn't a separate part.
  9. Kevi52

    Annealing photo etch

    Hi all Could any one give me any advice on the best way to anneal photo etch and the best type of Torch/burner to accomplish this. Any tips or advice appreciated. Ta Kev
  10. Hi all. I have a resin cockpit I am working on which had photo etch instrument panels and a plastic film for the instrument dials. What is the best way to glue these to the resin cockpit? Some of the pe bits and their corresponding dials are tiny. Many thanks in advance. Tom.
  11. Cheshiretaurus

    Gloster Meteor landing flaps

    Quick question, Has anybody ever tried fitting the Eduard flap set intended for a Cyber Hobby / Dragon Meteor on to an MPM/Xtrakit wing? If so how well did it go?
  12. Photo Etch and Resin Detail Sets for Airfix Short Stirling 1:72 White Ensign Models When Bobby Moore lifted the Jules Rimet trophy back in 1966, few could have guessed that Airfix’s then brand new Short Stirling would still be soldiering on as the only available kit of the RAF’s first wartime ‘heavy’ nearly fifty years later. Despite the longevity of this venerable kit however, relatively few aftermarket items have been released for it over the years. Now White Ensign Models have released two comprehensive frets of photo etched parts and a set of resin wheels to help us to spruce up this Airfix classic. Each of the photo etched frets arrives packed into a re-sealable plastic bag, safely ensconced in a sturdy hard-backed envelope. Detailed instructions are also included, clearly printed in black and white on A4 paper. One thing I particularly like about White Ensign’s instructions is that fact that they provide a detailed breakdown of each and every part. This gives the reassurance that they have really done their homework, as well as providing a useful reference for the modeller. Short Stirling Interior Detail Set 1:72 White Ensign Models The first of the sets contains parts for detailing the inside of the Airfix kit. Included are a number of larger, structural parts including the main cabin floor, the cockpit floor, the main cabin bulkhead, the forward bulkheads (port and starboard) and the aft cabin bulkhead. The cockpit is well catered for and features an instrument panel, side panel, throttle quadrant and details for the control column. Two complete seats for the pilot and co-pilot are also included. A comprehensive set of parts is included for the bomb aimer’s position too, including the steps leading from the main cabin to the nose compartment, the bomb aimer’s couch, bomb sight, bombing computer and switching panels. The navigator’s position is comprised of a table, instrument box, side panel, stowage boxes and seats. The radio operator’s position is similarly well-appointed. Moving further aft, White Ensign have provided the deck and bulkheads for the tail section, as well as the elsan toilet and privacy curtain. Racks for the smoke floats and flares are also included. Parts for detailing the insides of the defensive turrets are also on the fret, and include seats, ammunition boxes and structural framework. Overall this is an incredibly comprehensive set. Short Stirling Exterior and Wing Bomb Bay Detail Set 1:72 White Ensign Models The second set contains parts for the outside of the airframe. The engine oil coolers, which are a prominent feature of the main landing gear bays are included, as are the main undercarriage bay frames. The wing bomb bays are also included, and use is made of folding parts to make construction a little easier. The crew entry door for the rear fuselage is included, as is the crew access ladder. The engine front supports, aileron control linkages and a range of antennae and pitot masts are also provided, including the Yagi antennae and Mandrel antennae fitted to 100 Group aircraft. Short Stirling Weighted Wheels 1:72 White Ensign Models These are simple but effective resin weighted wheels designed as direct replacements for the kit parts. The wheels are cast in cream resin and, as you would expect from White Ensign, the casting is first class. Conclusion It has taken nearly fifty years, but at last we have a comprehensive aftermarket offering for the Airfix Stirling. Hopefully the release of these sets will breathe new life into the venerable kit. If you fancy having a bash at the largest but least well-known of the RAF’s World War Two heavy bombers, then you should give these sets very serious consideration. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of John at
  13. B-17G Updates (for HK Models) 1:32 Eduard The HK Models kit of this four engine heavy (reviewed here) has been pretty well received all round, and Eduard have leapt into the fray to provide a myriad of detail updates for the kit, initially with a small batch of sets designed to flatter the exterior of the kit and including some rather handsome wheels (reviewed here), and now with a raft of sets that will detail the rest of the airframe to within an inch of its life! Eight new sets in total, which I suspect complete their offerings, but you never know… B-17G Interior (32774) This set undertakes a sizeable update to the cockpit area over three sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, two of which are pre-painted and self-adhesive, measuring 7cm x 6.8cm and 7cm x 6cm, while the bare brass sheet measures 7cm x 11.5cm. The overhead console is completely updated with new instrument faces, additional boxes, grab handles and additional equipment around the sills, such as headphones on hooks and additional small boxes containing more instruments. The central console is wrapped in a slotted skin, into which the control levers are glued, with short lengths of styrene rod and half-round added for the handles. Have some Evergreen strip of suitable sizes on hand for this part of the task. The instrument panel in front of this is stripped of detail and then skinned with a more detailed panel front and raised detail, with the sides of the area also suitably skinned. A central boss for the control wheels, some handle-detail for the crew access cover, and a nicely detailed floor skin are then added, plus more skin on the hatchway that leads to the nose area. The sidewalls are updated with new instrument skins and detail parts, the oxygen bottles are strapped to their mounts, and of course the large main instrument panel is built up from a lamination of two painted sheets to give recessed and detailed instrument dials. The coaming is edged with a new PE part, and sundry instruments are dotted around the area for extra detail. The rear bulkhead is similarly updated with instruments, stencils and an empty fire extinguisher bracket, and the crew seats are given a set of yellow cushions with the words "US Air Corps" stencilled on the backs, and the admonishment "Do not remove from airplane" on the seat cushion. B-17G Seatbelts (32764) Because the seatbelts in the B-17 aren't limited to just the pilots, a separate set has been created to cater for all seated crew. It is pre-painted and measures 7cm x 6cm, containing sufficient parts to fabricate five sets of standard lap-belts that consist of two separate sections, and two wrap-around belts that loops through the chair legs. The belts are made up from the same strap sections, but with different buckle parts for right and left halves of the belt. The furniture is separate and attaches to the folded over ends of the belts for realism, with pull-tabs added for adjustment, and mounting lugs on the opposite ends to the buckles. The loop belts are simple bands with a cam-lock on one end, and loop through the legs of the office-style chairs found within the aircraft for the navigator, radio operator and bomb aimer. The paint is only applied to one side, so if you plan on depicting your belts tangled and messy, you'll need to source a good match for the paint. If not, the bare metal will give good adhesion. B-17G Front Interior (32775) As the name suggests, this set is designed for the nose of the mighty Fortress, and consists of two sheets of PE, one which is pre-painted and self-adhesive, and measures 7cm x 6cm, while the other in bare brass measures 7cm x 14.8cm. Rather helpfully, a number of half-thickness shapes are included in the set to cover the areas between the moulded in ribs that have ejector pin marks. Due to their fine gauge it will be almost impossible to tell that they are even there, which instantly takes away all the hard work removing the ejector pin marks. Once the pin marks are hidden, the insides of the nose are detailed up with various missing or simplified equipment, including a retaining tray and strap for the kit supplied ammo boxes, which also get stencils for the ends to show what is within. The observation dome is detailed in and about with various items, and a bracket is supplied for the starboard wall to hold an oxygen bottle that if you want to fill will need to be scratch-built, although a regulator dial face is included. The rear bulkhead has a large projection into the nose space that is the rear of the instrument panel, and shows the backs of the instruments as supplied in the kit. A curved "modesty panel" is provided to cover that sensitive part over, as well as sundry details for the area, and another rectangular cover for the underside ribbing. A small gaggle of instruments are added to the port side over the plotting table, and the big wedge-shaped instrument package forward of the table is cleared of moulded in detail before four pre-painted and laminated instrument panels are added to the face, with a bracket on the front housing extra equipment. The bombardier's office-style chair is mounted on a cover that sits over the ribbed top of the chin-gun's accessway, and his additional equipment is updated with more parts, including a set of levels at the front of his area, and extras for his top-secret bombsight. A small red-cross box is added to the rear bulkhead, a base for his lamp, and curiously, a set of instruments for the radio operator's table behind the bomb bay, plus mount, ammo feed and breech details for two .50cal Brownings numbered K2 & K3, for the cheek mounted guns. B-17G Radio Compartment (32779) This set consists of two sheets of PE, one of which is pre-painted and self-adhesive, measuring 7cm x 7.8cm, the other in bare brass and measuring 7cm x 8.8cm. The radio compartment is situated behind the bomb bay's aft bulkhead, and is separated from the waist compartment by another bulkhead that must have given the operator some respite from the rattle of the .50cals outside the door. The front bulkhead has a moulded in table, which has an instrument box sat on it, which is shown in the wrong place on the instructions, so Eduard update the instrument fronts and sides with new skins, and the plotting tools supplied in the forward interior set are duplicated here for no apparent reason. Additional boxes are glued to the bulkhead, plus an empty fire extinguisher rack. The Radio Op's seat is un-touched, but the two jump-seats that share his cabin are given the same yellow cushions as the pilots, complete with US Air Corps in black on the seat back. The seats' legs are made up from one length of styrene rod for part, which unfortunately has no length or diameter suggestions. Two boxes moulded into the floor are removed, and the third is treated to a couple of stencil panels to improve the detail. The rear bulkhead is festooned with instrumentation "black boxes", which are all given new pre-painted faces, with grab-handles and side-panels adding to the detail. The cabin side-walls are upgraded with a number of boxes, headphones, brackets, map cases and small parts, and another pair of .50cal front and rear sights are added to part J21, which is mounted at the rear of that section, firing out of the overhead panel at the back of the crew "hump". B-17G Waist Section (32870) The waist gunner's section needs quite a lot adding to it, hence the size of the bare brass fret, which is 10cm x 14.9cm, while the pre-painted sheet is 7cm x 4.8cm due to the low instrument count back there. The sidewalls are covered in small panels, hooks for headphones, O2 bottle racks, and of course large ammo-bins for the two .50cal Brownings that reside there. The ammo feed parts are detailed with skins that better depict their flexible segmented structure, and a large triangular section bag is attached to the side of the fuselage under the window by a pair of pre-painted straps to catch the spent brass from the guns. The guns are both given ring and bead sights on the breech and at the end of the barrel, with a short length of wire used to space the breeches from their mounting point. As previously, if you want to depict the O2 bottles in place, you'll need to do a little scratch-building to use the supplied regulator faces. The front bulkhead is detailed with additional skins, plus replacement ammo boxes for the ventral ball-turret that have a curved underside. At the rear of the waist compartment is a small compressor/auxiliary power unit, which is detailed with various panels, an instrument panel and controls. I have no idea at this point what task it fulfils, but I'm sure someone will be along to inform and educate me shortly. Curiously, some parts for the tail gunner position are included in this set, including some instruments and black-boxes on the sidewalls, headphones and hanger, plus a replacement gun-sight that sits on the rotating platform in front of the gunner. Another pair of reflective sights are also included in the set that use included pieces of film (not pictured), but it isn't made clear where these are used. B-17G Bomb Bay (32336) Consisting of one large fret measuring 13.4cm x 15.5cm, the set concentrates on updates the bomb bay, but does not include parts for the bomb rack itself, which is in a separate set. The narrow walkway over the bomb bay is skinned with new PE parts, and the latticework support is given new web-work with detailed riveting to supplant the moulded in detail. The bomb bay doors themselves are partly covered with half-thickness panels to hide a number of ejector pin marks, while the bay sides are completely replaced by a new skin with additional detail, no ejector pin marks, but requiring the modeller to create the trusses with 1.5mm square profile styrene stock, to which more strengthening web-work is added once complete. The parts should be easy to measure and cur due to the fact that their position is already marked out on the backing piece to which they are glued. The bomb racks are removed from the kit part and attached using brackets to the new sidewalls for a more detailed look, and hinge brackets are added along the bottom of the sidewalls in pairs that are marked out on the part. The forward and aft bulkheads of the bomb bay are augmented with various small parts including brackets, pulleys and web-work strengtheners, some of which will need short lengths of wire to complete. A number of additional parts are added to the fuselage sides above the sidewall position, and the sidewalls are glued to the bulkheads to create a self-contained assembly. B-17G Bomb Rack (32782) On the face of it, it may seem illogical to separate out the bomb rack from the bomb bay set, but as well as it representing a substantial set in its own right, it also allows the modeller to choose either the rack detail or bomb bay sets, or go for both. Why would one not wish to detail the bomb bay? If you're not confident with scratch-building the new side walls, you might want to at least improve the detail without going to all that trouble. Diff'rent strokes and all that! This set consists of one bare brass fret measuring 9cm x 13cm, and one pre-painted fret measuring 7cm x 4cm. The full-depth A-frame bomb racks that straddle the walkway are given new detailed skins, and the moulded in trio of shackles at the lower end are upgraded with pre-painted faces and red data plates to one side. The backside of the racks are updated with strengthening ribs on each side of the "ladder". The shorter racks on the sidewalls can either have their moulded in detail removed from the kit sidewall, or can be built directly onto the separated parts before applying them to the new sidewall if you are using the bomb bay set above. A new skin, bomb shackles and data plates are added all the way up the rack, and a small number of bare metal boxes with black stencils are added to the sidewalls themselves. Eight bomb carriers are latched onto the lugs on the racks, and these attach to the lifting lugs that are supplied to attach to the bombs themselves. Front spinners and rear arming spinners are also included to add to the bombs, with another lug under each bomb and a detail skin for the rear of the bomb body. At the top of the A-frame central racks, a pair of winch points are added, attaching to the central bay roof part with the winch wheels lined up with the edges of the rack, although this isn't made clear on the instructions. B-17G Exterior (32340) A small set at 7cm x 6.8cm, the content is dotted all around the airframe, adding fine details to the turrets, double mesh grilles to the intakes on the leading edges of the wings, filler cap details to the wing tops, grilles on the rear wing root area, and some optional FOD guards with handles for the moulded in intakes that are found in pairs inboard of the inboard engines, and outboard of the outboard engines. Conclusion A lot of brass, but it's a big expensive kit that many people would want to build as a "tour-de-force", and if you're not comfortable with scratch-building all that, you're going to need Eduard's help. Pick and choose from the sets available, or go crazy and get them all – possibly in the BigEd set that should be available soon. Some of the instructions are a bit vague in places, and there's an element of cross-over between some of the sets that is perhaps unavoidable. At this scale none of the sets is small (with the exception of the exterior set), so breaking them down into more affordable chunks makes sense so that the modeller on a tighter budget can cherry pick what they want to turn into the focal point of their model. Really impressive! Review sample courtesy of
  14. Eduard Photo Etch Detail Set for Eduard Ju-52 1:144 Eduard Eduard's recently released Ju-52 in 1:144 scale is a neat little kit which should build into an attractive model straight from the box. Review Here However, for those who like to take things to the next level, Eduard have now released photoetched sets for the civil and military versions respectively, and It is the latter version which has been received for review. The set is mainly concerned with interior detail but includes a few exterior item such as pitot heads and D/F loops. The smaller of the two frets supplied is pre-painted and covers the instrument panel, central throttle console, radio set faces, data plates, and even rudder pedals. Taking up half the fret are the 44 pre-painted lap belts for the occupants of the main passenger compartment. The painting of all these parts looks faultless, the instrument panel is very finely detailed and really needs to be looked at under a magnifying glass to appreciate it's finesse. Moving on the the larger of the frets, this one is in pure brass without any extra painting on it. Mostly it contains items for the passenger cabin such as detailed bulkheads, side frames, and all the bench seats that line both sides. A nice touch is the open cargo door on one side, and passenger door on the other, which will help show off all this extra detail. The engines each get a nice little front cover, and there are some tiny little machine guns to arm your Ju-52 with. Conclusion. This is a lovely little set which will really enhance the already very nice Ju-52 model. Being designed by Eduard for their own kit should mean that there are unlikely to be any fit issues. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a 1:144 scale model, most of which don't feature any interior at all, never mind a full cockpit down to rudder pedals and throttle levers. It is going to require care to use and assemble all the tiny parts, but should result in a spectacular little model. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Photo Etched Diorama Accessories – September 2012 Update 1:72 Eduard This month sees the release of another two sets of pre-painted photo etched flora from Eduard. This time we have something a little more exotic, in the shape of some cacti and palm leaves Cactus 1:72 Eduard Leaves Palm Howea Belmoreana 1:72 Eduard Conclusion Eduard’s range of 1:72 diorama accessories is rapidly developing into an indispensible asset for modellers of small-scale subjects. Hopefully they’ll turn their attention to some more subjects native to Western Europe before too long, as I’ve got a diorama in progress that could use a touch of greenery! Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. Photo Etch Detail Set for Hasegawa EA-18G Eduard 1:72 Hasegawa's EA-18G is a great model, and a must if you're into the US Navy or modern warfare in 1/72 scale. Whilst it's a great model, it does have some areas that have needed improvement when comparing to the detail included in many new kits by other manufacturers, particularly the cockpit. Then there's the parts that just can't be replicated accurately in this scale using injection moulding. Fortunately, Eduard have filled this gap very nicely. EA-18G Self Adhesive Set 73415 The set contains two frets, the first being the now traditional Self Adhesive fret holding the multitude of cockpit panels and details, the second unpainted one containing more cockpit detailing plus many external enhancements. With this set, your cockpit is going to get a complete makeover. Pre-painted grey SA parts are provided for both cockpit walls as are the switch panels along the sides. The forwards instrument panels are catered for using built up layers to give the 3D effect around the screens and are again painted, so no need to get the 000000 brush out here ! The kit seats are pretty basic, and rather than buying aftermarket seats, the kit parts are comprehensively improved with various details such as the head rests with pre painted placards, side frames, seat cushions, belts and of course, ejector handles. Care will need to be taken as there is some minor detail to be remove from the seats before fitting the etch, so a sharp knife is recommended. The rear bulkheads and combings also get a healthy treatment with various parts and a finely produced HUD frame. Finally, in the cockpit environment, the canopy gets a work over too with all the framework reproduced in the way that only etch can achieve. Moving down to the rear of the aircraft, the afterburner cans get some nice attention. The ribbed interior is reproduced, however these flat parts will need bending round something of a suitable diameter to achieve this. The rear compressor frame is also supplied to fit over the kit fan blades. The landing gear on the EA-18 is quite a complex design and Hasegawa have done what they could with the capabilities of injection moulding. As such, some of the kit detail needs to be removed and replaced with the etch parts such as the oleo links. A comprehensive set of additional parts are included such as door actuators, u/c linkages and panels are included and the instructions show very clearly how to fit all these. Some final details are included such as wing strakes, antennas, wing strakes and missile clamps. Conclusion I reviewed the Hasegawa kit earlier this year and noticed several deficiencies that left opportunity for improvement, particularly in the cockpit. This set provides the solution very well. Having used a few of Eduard's sets this year, I've become a huge fan of them and look forwards to using this one when I build mine. As with most of the PE sets, care will need to be taken handling the small delicate parts, but the results will be very rewarding. Review sample courtesy of
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