Bending Metal

I recently bought my first photo-etched detail set (P-47N set from Eduard). I was wondering what the best way of getting a nice sharp edge was. Also, does the metal take paint well (brushed), or does it need to be primed?


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To re-post, from one of my many ramblings on all parts etched:

I've been cutting and bending etched parts for years, and I find my most useful tools for working with etched parts to be needle files, two single edged razor blades, a #17 X-Acto blade, an X-Acto hobby hammer, and a scrap of 1/4" plexiglass sheet.

The plexiglass sheet is a good, flat, hard surface for bending and striking against. The "striking" I referr to is where the hammer and the #17 blade come in - a metalsmithing technique. You can squarely align the chisel shaped blade at the very edge of the metal "sprue" and give it a tap or two with the hammer - you can make very precise cuts this way to seperate parts from the runner, and also trim parts after they are free. The plexi is just hard enough to back the strike, but flexible enough not to shatter under it.

As for bending, I use the "two razor blade method" for even the smallest of parts. Once the part is free and trimmed, on that same flat plexi surface - hold the part down along the desired fold line with one razor blade. Then slip a second razor blade under the part to raise it to the desired angle. Another way is to look around your bench until you find an object which will mak a good form for the bend - as an example, the cap from the bottle of CA I use is the perfect radius for forming the backs of 1/48 Eduard etched WWII cockpit seats.

For adhesives, I use both thick CA glue and watch crystal cement. I find that watch crystal cement works well for small parts there a thicker glue with a bit more working time is required. It also works well on larger flat joins. The black thick CA "tire cement" also works well with etched parts - I presume because it has a flexing agent in it...but I won't swear to that.

I paint my etched parts just like any plastic part - I use enamels exclusively. One thing to note is that you will need to attach the etched parts directly to the bare plastic for best result...if you attach them over a painted surface they will merely peel off with the paint. So you need to plan them into your assembly and then paint the assembly in accordance. Some people also wash and/or prime thier etched parts - I do niether and that works fine for me with enamels.

Hope I've helped.

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You have provided food for thought -at the very least-.


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