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PE - When to solder and how?


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I am doing an experiment, a bit of learning exercise.  I have a fairly cheap model that I’m prepared to sacrifice as a test bed - a Tamiya 1:35 Universal Carrier (Bren Gun Carrier if you prefer) and the Eduard photo etch kit.


The photo etch is around 100 parts and you can well imagine that as the Universal Carrier is small, even in 1:35, most of the photo etch parts are tiny.


So rather than be selective about which PE to use I’ve decided to try and use it all as a learning exercise, to teach me what PE features are worth it and which aren’t.


One thing I’m not sure about is when to solder and having decided, how.


Firstly let me say that I have an electronics background and I’m pretty proficient with a soldering iron.  I have a decent Weller temperature controlled iron with a selection of bits some of which are very small (from an electronic component point of view) but even the smallest is big compared with some of the PE structures.


I get that some of the big PE structures (like tool boxes) would be good candidates and would be happy to tackle them.  But some of the PE parts fold into tiny box structures - should they be soldered.


Basically want to know


What is the minimum size for PE box structure soldering

What do you use to solder

How do you hold the tiny parts in place while soldering





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  • 1 month later...

You might want to into resistance soldering.

It's a bit like spotwelding with less amps.

Made my own rig with a 10A 2-12V transformer, footpedal, steel base plate

Modded a solderingiron handle with a pin vise, which holds pencil refills ( up to 3.2mm).

Add some soldering paint (or grind some solder) .

Heats up so quickly there is no risk of de- soldering something near.

Steel baseplate allows me to hold/position stuff with magnets and acts as a heat sink.

The modded iron/pinvise


No worries, below is just a test setup.




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