ISM Guide on How to Use Photo-Etch & The Tools Involved

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hi guys is pull of my Sam we got a photo

to watch video today I'm going to run

through my techniques working with photo

etch as always a little bit the right

way but the way I go about it so we get

a few ideas or pointers offers then fair


I'm going to go through various tools

and methods

we'll start with cutting the photo etch

off the fret finishing it up files or

not have you will then move through to

working with bending tools wrong

machines to manipulate the photo she's

different shapes and at the end we'll

cover gluing these are various mediums

and other tools and I have you so we'll

start off with cutting the photo etch

off various tools in front of me as

always in modeling you know I started

off with a cheap warm pan pair of pink

scissors I don't mind saying they were

pink and the cheap file which I've

actually still got which is this one it


I'd cut the photo etch off a fret and

it's a far the flat art admit to

probably destroyed more photo actually

used and anything a dig on didn't always

look great but it were so as always in

the Hobby the choice is yours what

you've got I've got a lot of tools yeah

I'll admit see but I got them gradually

throughout the time figure out what I

like to use in the way I like to use and

this is where I've got today I've got

three methods here to I use all the time

one I very rarely use and I'll explain

why in a second but it's up to you what

you use and how you use it but this is

how I do so we'll start off with cutting

first off is this is a pair of

photographic plastic sprue cutters they

could be used for a multitude of things

but that's what they're marketed at this

is the second set I got this is my Tamia

set I use for plastic that's all I use

these for so the blades never get

damaged on likely's

I believe you brokers have cutting some

wire I think it was I got these cheap of

hair that I use for cutting led wire

thin bitter narrow gauge wire will have

you for various you know adding details

and models I also use them for cutting

photo etch you know scrap it to photo

etch office on the need because you know

it's soft brass there's not going to

damage the steel tips quite a cumbersome

tool not the most what's the word

precise tool but it works so all I'll

use these for they're no good for

getting in further doing the likes of

this it may not do on camera because you

cannot quite get in if you do you end up

damaging it bending it as you can see

that part bent so they're not the most

precise but literally I'll use this that

okay I need a scrap photo etch I need

that bit there so cut cut didn't quite

cut the first bit here we go my finger

so there we go that's what I'll use

those for so anything that doesn't need

any precision or you know and it's

worried about damaging the part that's

where I'll use I was finally getting a

similar effect off the cheap scissors

they worked and they did get the photo

etch off but because they're not a

precise tool the blades are quite thick

I was found I was damaging more than you

know I was using so don't tend to use

that unless it's for something that

really need to keep my next progression

from the cheap scissors was a pair of

Tammy as photo etches and these things

absolutely brilliant I'll zoom in a bit

you can see super buff fourteen pounds

in the UK very very well made cloak we

can close actual scissors together they

form actually perfect point curved so

you can get nice angles in a lot

struggling and a very precise tip as

well so again it's not the most precise

of tools but for getting larger parts

off we pick something that's quite

difficult to remove there we go all the

photo etch is making the white bound

together so I do apologize there we go

we got upon the end so it's literally a

case of popping it in via want a and a

little bit further away they like to be

from the photo etch so

bear with me pop it in obviously because

it's curved it allows you to get right

in there and there you go so nicely

neatly cut down a case of what I'll

normally do is if it's left a little bit

at the fret I'll just go in and snip it

off like so then it's just simply a case

of tidying up of whatever medium you

garment I start off a chief file like

this is the exact one I used to use

problem is it's quite coarse running

along the 32s use to damage it quite a

lot I bend it an awful awful lot and

then moved on to Talia's diamond file

which works absolutely superb at this

for nearly two years now it's just a

case of very lightly passionately of the

edge it takes a couple of passes bit

more on that one it's quite a big one

there we go perfect edge same with the

other end

job done as always doesn't need a lot of

pressure just let it do its own thing

and away we go so that's the method I

use probably 60% of the time the other

40 I use a small tool shop I believe

there they make a roll machine which

have gotten they also make a bending

machine which I've got as well and they

make this very neat small little set for

cutting photo-etched parts off sprues so

it's a case of popping there on there

pick the part you want among a disc I

bring my camera back I'll do because I

need to get a bit closer with this we

can get it out of there that's better

stuff the white box going

so if initially the knife curved blades

more preferable because you want to use

that rocking action to cut your part off

so I'm going to pick apart I'll go for

that one just there it's a case of using

the place until which is this little

perspective piece of a sham pad edge

right on the edge before you want to cut

like so that's a case coming in leaking

with your knife quite a v2 cigs I'm not

right over top there we go a little

click normally indicate you cut through

round to the side pop it in Bulleid just

up to the edge and there's a second

click so there we go cut off probably

not the same kind of neatness we got

before of the scissors because it's a

little bit more precise and the major

factor of it is as you saw on a cut with

the scissors the park and fly away

because you hold it with this part it

doesn't fly off basically so it's a good

way keeping over the part

carry with fiddly but I'll use that on

really small part I mean some photo-etch

can be my me news I mean that's not the

smallest you can get you really are my

new part so things like you cut those

are scissors that's going to ping off

and I'll be gone forever

Cartman's really that you'll never see

it again so always a very handy tool and

again clean up yet again with that edge

of the dime of file I'm just literally a

few passes over the top and it gives you

nice square edges ready for gluing or

whatever you need to do with it okay so

you cut all your part out you're a quiet

man all here ready to go

just a few bits of scrap there's nothing

there I'm going to need a couple to put

a few 90-degree bends in color to make

some rolls in a Mojave so various ways

of manipulating photo-etch first way I

did it was with fingers with a pair of

long nose DIY pliers didn't work well

DIY pliers got teeth on so they always

damage the soft photo-etch so my next

progression was a pair of Tami's bending

pliers again not cheap tool it needs

about cut around about 18 pounds I'm not

cheap at all but the smooth jawed very

well made you can get them in a short

point like these and get a longer one

depend on the size I bought these to

Bend smaller parts and they worked very

very well if you're just doing one

single part nine times that I'll just

pull these out and give it a Bend as

always photo-etch it which meant to me

better can zoom in if my camera will

focus I don't know if it well there we

go right in there sorry about the state

of my hands as well so I'm doing various

other modeling projects at the minute

covered in washes and glues and all

sorts and primer if you look just there

you see a band when I bend but an

indentation just where the photo-etch

can be bent so

using that mark you line that up into

the other bending machine pliers and I

have you and literally push it in like

so just use now I got the binman coming

in the road going down the road behind

me gonna make a right bit of racket now

as well probably here we go

lining that officer you get that Bend

well the preformed lines or you want it

then using a finger give it a bend

I always find going a little bit further

than you want to and then coming back

and there we have it like a pair of

tweezers so I can holder so you can see

there we go I'll zoom in again there's a

nicely formed 90-degree Bend so that's

now ready to attach you know there's

various different reasons I did with

brackets fenders anything really wheel

arches more guards a lot anything con

armor or aircraft but that's how I'll do

it it's one single piece so you know

quick simple and that's an almost

perfect Bend so there's one way so like

I said the pliers do work very very well

if you haven't got a lot of money it's a

good way to start because they do do the

job very well and like I say being

smooth jawed makes a massive amount of

difference because it doesn't damage the

actual photo-etch next step for me was

one of the dedicated folding tools I

started off of a mission model one and I

just migrated to this on the small tool

shop again very very well made very

solid you know that's the one I got

they're not cheap I think this one's

about 45 pounds but it's very very

well-made very heavy nice rubber feet so

it doesn't move made from a good quality

aluminium as is the top are my only

system of this tool and I bear the scar

somewhere just along there is that these

back parts are absolutely just

ridiculously sharp I was bending a piece

one day and I just caught my hand there

and it ripped a good inch and a half

gash in my thumb he gets hit just there

and it was painful very painful but as a

photo-etch tool it's superb

if you're doing a lot of parts this is a

very quick way of doing it so exactly

the same way as before I goes on a [ __ ]

at the desk if we give the case a lining

it up this is why I say if you're doing

a lot of parts if you do one part you

know it can take longer to line off and

actually fold it it's okay so line it up

I tend to fasten one side down have a

look yeah straight to me tighten the

other side nice and tight a couple of

razor blades are supplied it's a case of

popping that underneath our zoom in so

you guys can see this properly so I've

literally slid the razor blade

underneath which is lifted a little bit

you then keep the pressure against the

front for the hose go over a little bit

take it off undo it a little tap I'll

come to the part so there we go and keep

you in shot so as you can see nice it's

gone over 90 degrees so I always bend it

back a little bit is I tend to find it

looser look where that spring it has

then show her focus in there or not I

pop it down there

perfect perfect way of doing it's a bit

more of a personal tool than the bending

pliers but like I say if I was just

doing a single piece I wouldn't bother

getting this out I grab the bending

pliers if I was doing a lot like I was

on the king tiger I did a dish had a lot

of use and it saves a lot of time

because you're already set up

just a case of indigo job done so that's

it easy quick 90-degree bends ready to

be used you know whatever need you're

wanted for so that's bending 90 degrees

then got rolling machine right move that

out of the way

so again how's your mouse this is a

small tool shop poeta roller so it's a

nice aluminium milled and machined base

phone base underneath I've replaced this

it's come with a I got the second hand

I've actually got it for free

believe it or not it came with a foam

back and it cracked overtime so

literally you peel a bit off so I put a

piece of craft foam on a glutton

position and it works just as it should

top part you got all various different

sizes you know from just under an inch

right down to probably five million VAT

just their dens a couple of straighter

edges and at the front you've got wire

formers so with that you can make grab

handles anything you need to make out of

wire you can bend a 90 degrees and with

the wire case I putting the wire through

keeping all the one end pulling the

other and it will form a perfect handle

and again I use this on the King Tiger

to build the the hatch handles and it

works perfectly very very good tool so

like I say you get the actual tool


that's all sorry the metal base and then

get all various different size dowels

all those dimensions wood metal some

thin some thick all those sizes and they

all conform to these shapes here so it's

simply a case if you're trying to roll

what was I trying to do trying to roll

the front fenders no guards on tiger - I

was building it's a case of popping the

actual will pop in that one popping it

over the actual recess at roughly the

size of what you want to roll we want to

get this and a half half round shape

basically so basically start with you

just push it in to conform it to that

shape which you

you you know a basic book not vulgar but

you know merely

perfect state pop it on the back and use

a smaller size this time

pop it on this is a phone back so it's

spongy so we're answers not want to come

with it so we could do being a bit more

spongy and then it's a case of rolling

which is easier said and done on camera

until you get the shape you're looking

for obviously if you go for a specific

angle you have to stop and check as I

was doing on those fenders just to

ensure you get the right angle you

require and want one thing this thing

could do with as couple of rubber feet

just like the air the photo-etch bender

here we go probably not the best piece

of photo actually shot about a big of it

order an hour deal but you get the idea

at work so there's your half round shape

I'm sure of a put bigger one in I

probably get a bit more precise and how

I want it so get over you can do

cylindrical shapes it would work fine as

well there we go that's evened out a

little bit so you can see how that works

as well rather well all the ways you do

on the cheap and a lot of people do it

all natural cutting mat you could use a

piece of this foam on the side this

thing costs it's around forty five

pounds it's a substantial bit of kit I

won't pay that much for it no chance I

got on the job lot of stuff abort kept

this all the rest of it and this

eventually cost me absolutely nothing

that's the only reason I own one it is

really a luxury in my opinion I won't

say that I've got a lot of things

is it worth having yeah it does a good

job if proved invaluable on the King

Tiger with fronting you know pretend

there's another section has to be rolled

but I'm sure you could do it just as

well by all the means say on a piece of

spare foam on one half of your book for

my means this is what I've got like I

say the only reason I've got it

hemolysis because I got it for free so

there we go there's all various ways of

folding rolling them I have you will

move over and we'll cover gluing okay so

all your parts are cut off tallied or

bent rolled whatever you need to do is

on bits for attaching to actual model

I've got one of the 90-degree parts just

there that we've just seen me fold and

I've also got a scrap piece of just a

flat brass just there couple techniques

using different glue super glue and a

PVA based glue one's less harsh and the

other obviously one's instant and the

others not 9010 are you super glue and a

be careful it you can do every good job

obviously use a PVA type but you've got

a lot more time to manipulate the part

should it be a mistake or you put in the

wrong position you can really move it

around but obviously the downside to

that is that you've got to let it dry

and I can take quite a while so we'll

call the different glues in a minute

I've got a scrap in a plastic I've got a

spare Coppola ring off a king tiger that

we're just going to no reason why I was

going to glue them on nope not supposed

to be on there it's just a little test

bed for us now picking up the path

there's various ways of doing it you can

use tweezers

I've got various different types here

from precise ones to more larger scale

as you can see whilst they may be nice

and precise of picking the more I could

be quite hard sometimes to keep them you

know you got it there and there's a

perfect example squeeze a little bit too

hard away they go biggest problem I've

got that I find is I got a part that I

need to glue down just like that

Izu min looking a camera too much trying

to keep it flat like that and the shop

hands trying to keep it flat like that

often if I press a little bit too hard

and they will spin the part round and

then you're at a funny angle you know

get your hands all different ways and

you can't quite glue it down because the

way you've got it so it can be quite

cumbersome to glue part like that down

same apart like this this is a bent part

we've got you know I want to glue it

down that way I move both you know with

the bent side sticking up to form like

other so as a tent shape you know to

keep it in that position and glue it can

be a bit of a nightmare because what

happened as you can see the tweezers are

going to go in the glue as well and

quite often our super glue on the part

go and stick it down on the past stuff

to the tweezers so it can be a little

bit tricky so look at there's new

product on the market by ultimate it's

called the ultimate photo-etch pacer

it's a reusable wax based positioning

stick for small and hold hard to hold

pieces so be a photo-etch plastic

anything at all you can use on that it's

a natural wax based product as you can

see inside sharpen with pencil sharpener

once you've got a sharpened you can pick

bits up once it loses tackiness we

sharpen it and away you go so you

literally got a full length of the

pencil right down to a small point this

isn't a wall add a half piece I've been

using as a test but it works very very

well so you can just resharpen it right

the way down till it's gone packet oak

so it's going to last you quite a while

and it's a case of taking it out pencil


I might look glittery one it's a case of

thinner pencil sharpener out giving it a

sharpen what I like to do then once it's

sharpened is I like to give it an actual

point with a knife to make it a bit more

precise if you go a bigger part and fair

enough you can you use it

do my usual trick of going too far and

snap it like I always do move out of the

way so as you can see you got the tip

either like to get a craft knife just

shape the ends to get a point like so

simple easy nice little tip I've got a

few of them I've used them for a few

months style of thing absolutely superb

so then it's a case of getting your part

you want so we're going to be using that

and the start off with will use that one

and then we'll move to that one so what

we'll do mmm

we'll glue one with PVA which is my

greatest recycle crystal clear.the PVA

based product for canapes i'm the other

one we use Tamia super glue just to show

two different methods for attaching

different parts so a lot bit of super

glue I'm going to pop up the end of a

cocktail stick

sadly my mr. hobby tools died so with

any super glue you don't need to offer

photo etch just enough on the stick will

place it on there like so glam go enough

now we've got too much never mind

so it's Kasich getting the tool taught

you what you need to pick up placing it

on job done as you can see picked it up

flat side down no trouble no drama at

all and it's plunked it on and once that

dries w no trouble all next one dry bit

of PVA I got a different cocktail stick

be a bit more precise with this one

a little touch just on the highway so

brother tensile so you do need a lot of

pressure to pick up the part you

literally just touching it so you come

along pick it up

place it down

Jacqueline so as you can see it's just

picked up those two parts

nice easy placement position away we go

again I'm not sure how big apart you can

pick off but you know if it's up big you

can handle your fingers so it is

literally just a case of let's draw a

bit more PVA like so I'm got a bit of a

larger power here just touch it pick it

up place it down done crack a little too

long absolutely superb really very

simple idea absolutely just made for

picking up photo-etch I mean you can

pick up plastic I'm going to plastic on

the desk at the minute but you know

water should pick up water as well

should do then if it does let's find out

yep picks up wood and just drop it it's

a little bit too heavy to be honest for

it you know going to be picking up

something that big of it because if you

if you can pick it up with your fingers

you go into but small parts absolutely

invaluable there's another scrap piece

of photo etch a soffit area Corsair a

little bit more PVA so we've got the

world's randomest tanker pole there so

again flat bit of PVA air photo-etch a

turn around to get the profile part just

touch it pick it up place it down

because it's not overly sticky

you're literally only gonna touch it and

the power falls off so even just

attacking as a PVA not super good at was

PVA it

Lisa's the path so really really good

handy tool works absolutely superb and

that is now one completely useless

really random tanker poll but shows how

it works so you know that's a fairly

small part that ninety bent 90 degree

Bend after larger part and larger than

they're sending pick up with your finger

you can put on the finger so it doesn't

need to pick up anything but it

literally picks it up with just the

right amount of stickiness to hold it

but as soon as you touch the glue it

releases a absolutely superb invaluable

for photo etch I'm really impressed by


the other method like I say is using

tweezers like I say wherever excess glue

like round s when you're placing it down

you're going to stick the tweezers in

the glue PVA is not really that much of

a problem super glue you get it on the

tweezers when you put it down and nine

times out of ten I'll leave the part

stuck to the tweezers so it's not always

the best way to do it so there you go to

learn my techniques for working with

photo etch various ways I do it various

different methods different tool some of

you some are done some use all the time

some are very rarely used but they're

always there ever need them brother and

whirring up and it got this one like you

know I can pick and choose which way

dearly but these things absolutely

superb well worth looking our ultimate

photo etch placer you get the from SNM

stuff currently Sean S&M stuff Scotland

and eMobile stock only care got them as

well I think top my head the $1.99 per

pack of two they're going to last you a

long long time really are gonna last a

while so real good pocket value for

money and as you've just seen it works

absolutely put effort so I'm going to go

away at my my random Coppola

and I'll see you guys in the forum so

Paul is M hope you found it helpful and

I'll see you soon

so take care good bye