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Mike

Bending Pliers for Photo-Etched parts (MTS-029)

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Bending Pliers for Photo-Etched parts (MTS-029)

Meng Model via Creative Models Ltd.

 

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Successfully handling Photo-Etch is a task that requires some fairly specific tools, and to get the most out of it you need to obey the mantra "use the right tools for the job".  With this in mind, PE bending tools should be on your shopping list (really? :o ), and while PE bending brakes are essential for some jobs, they're not suitable for every job.  PE pliers are useful for smaller parts, and for those where you have to bend parts close to each other, such as tiny boxes etc.  You can use standard flat-bladed pliers with some success, but they generally tend to be on the larger side that aren't always useful.  Even the Tamiya PE pliers are a bit wide for some jobs, so this new tool from Meng could well fit a gap in the market.

 

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Arriving in a well-appointed brown card box, inside is a high-density foam liner with the shape of the pliers cut out and the pliers well stuffed into the hole.  They take a little effort to get out, and once free you can see that they have very narrow blades, at only 1mm at the very tip.  The overall shape, especially the handles have a Xuron feeling, the jaws are sprung, and the red plastic handles (which look more orange in the pictures) are glued in place with a strong epoxy to prevent them from creeping off during use.  The two blades are bent so that they mesh directly over each other, with about 20mm of useable bending length from front to back.  The Meng logo and product code are etched into one side of the jaws behind the riveted pivot point, which allows zero play between the jaws for a positive action.  The jaws are made from quality tool steel, and the springs should last a lifetime, making relaxing your grip as simple as opening your hand.  To try them out I used an old Reheat PE set that includes WWII RAF seats and belts, bending up a seat with raised detail on the inside.  The blades are easy to locate on the bending line, and grip is firm.  With half-thickness PE next to the fold, it's wise to bend against a flat surface, such as a rule or a desk to prevent the weaker thin part from bending, and the blade's square edge results in a nice clean bend.  The seat took a matter of seconds to fold up, and as you can see in the picture I didn't apply any glue to the joins, as this wasn't a test of my modelling prowess.  I can see this being very useful for folds that have narrow gaps between them, such as equipment boxes often found in Eduard sets, which makes it a very useful part of your PE handling tool kit.  Add a bending brake, some fine tweezers, a sticky wax pencil, some fine files for removing attachment point stubs and a few grades of super glue, and PE should present much less of a challenge.  Practice also helps immensely as does magnification, so even if you initially struggle, you'll soon get used to the process, and wonder what the fuss was about.

 

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I have slightly chunky mitts, and they fall to hand well, being on the small side of comfortable, with the handles just about reaching the edge of my palm when held ready for action.   This should minimise any dropping incidents, even though I've got a bit of an issue with that sort of thing due to my advancing age and a few medical conditions.  Each handle has a small hole through it, which would permit the use of a lanyard if your grip is worse than mine, as a fall blade first onto a hard surface could be difficult to recover from.

 

Conclusion

A very useful part of any modeller's PE handling tool kit that will pay dividends once you get used to using them.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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I thought I was having a deja vu moment: I bought these Xuron photo etch tweezer nose pliers in a store in San Francisco back in 2012...

 

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Hmm, looks like our Chinese friends have made some improvements, going for a snazzy orange plastic and blanking off the Xuron logo...yup emperor's new clothes. I doubt you could patent a plier but if I was Xuron I'd feel mighty peeved, they even copied the holes in the handle for a lanyard.

Edited by azureglo
Remembered correct description

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The Chinese factory is probably making the Xuron ones for then anyway and anyone else who wants their logo on them

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2 hours ago, colin said:

The Chinese factory is probably making the Xuron ones for then anyway and anyone else who wants their logo on them

Of course they are 🤣

40901095873_fe0ef34d7f_b.jpg

 

 

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In this day and age that means very little, they could be assembled in the USA and still qualify for made in the USA

We have appliances that say made in the EU etc, but most of the parts come from elsewhere

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On 5/17/2019 at 6:51 PM, colin said:

In this day and age that means very little, they could be assembled in the USA and still qualify for made in the USA

We have appliances that say made in the EU etc, but most of the parts come from elsewhere

:yawn:

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