A Few Tips for Photo Etch Parts by Jeff

Any questions, comments or cutdowns can be directed to jeff@ampersandpubco.com

1. Removing PE from the fret.

I like to use an X-Acto with a No. 10 blade. This was shown to me by another modeler.

A small piece of glass is handy for leaning on so the PE fret is not deformed during the removal process.

 The curved blade allows you to use a gentle rolling motion to cut the part and it spares the tip of your No. 11 blades, which will frequently snap off.

The blades get dull quickly, so change blades often!

2. Trimming

Most of the time, there is a small attachment point that has to be carefully removed. A Flexifile can be handy for doing this, although it will wear out quickly. Small metal jeweler files are hard to find these days, but they work best. Make sure to hold on to the part securely with tweezers or pliers so it does not deform while getting rid of the attachment point. This takes some patience and practice.

3. Manipulating Parts

Sometimes those little brass bits are difficult to pick up, even with tweezers, without deforming them. A little ball of Blu-Tac at the end of a toothpick can be helpful for this.

3. Attaching PE Parts

Super glue is the traditional method for attaching PE parts.

I use this method too, but first I like to tack them down a bit. Regular liquid cement can be used for this on styrene. Apply enough liquid cement to soften up the surface, then just push the PE part into place with light pressure. Add a little more cement afterwards to hold the part in place.

Pledge Floor Polish can be used to secure small PE parts too! Just apply a little with a small paintbrush and wait for it to dry. Any excess can be cleaned up with Windex.

I still use CA glue to make sure my parts are nice and secure after placing them using liquid cement. When attaching PE parts to resin, CA is the only real way to do it.

Here's are a few tips on CA Glue:

- I usually make a small puddle on my piece of glass and then use thin styrene (.020 or thinner) rod as an applicator. When the end becomes a round glob of congealed glue, I just cut it off. Stretched sprue works just as well.

- I usually use the super thin variety of CA glue as it runs under and around parts and leaves minimal residue.

- You can get CA glue at the local hardware store for much less than the hobby shop glues and it's the same stuff. Pat and I get the multi-pack of small tubes from Home Depot or Lowes. Another benefit is if the glue in the tube goes bad (it no longer adheres things), just open a new tube!