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. Done...cheap. 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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