This will show my age - photo etched parts

andrewdick68

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
52
So I've just started collecting kits to build when I have time [May not be for a few years]
Family got me a big wish list of tools from Amazon, so apart from the glue, the paint and actually having time in my life, I've got the basics again to re-engage with a hobby I love.

I haven't built a model in or been in a model shop in over 35 years, so it's been a while.
One new thing I'm seeing a lot of are these photo etched parts.

Can someone take pity on me and give me the short version of what they do, why I need them, and how they help me?
Are they replacement parts, additional adornments, painting stencils, or a combination of all 3?

Thanks in advance :cool:
 

urumomo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
2,841
In short , photo-etch allows for tiny parts that are more " in-scale " over what is possible with injection molding .
Wire mesh , antennas , components with thin bulkheads and on and on .
Some kits offer them as replacements for the styrene part and some offer them as the only option .

I can handle only a little at a time :D

Really shows it's superiority in smaller scales :
 

Jim62

Active Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
229
So I've just started collecting kits to build when I have time [May not be for a few years]
Family got me a big wish list of tools from Amazon, so apart from the glue, the paint and actually having time in my life, I've got the basics again to re-engage with a hobby I love.

I haven't built a model in or been in a model shop in over 35 years, so it's been a while.
One new thing I'm seeing a lot of are these photo etched parts.

Can someone take pity on me and give me the short version of what they do, why I need them, and how they help me?
Are they replacement parts, additional adornments, painting stencils, or a combination of all 3?

Thanks in advance :cool:
I personally don't spend money on after market parts but if you want to try PE, find a kit with some included before spending money on something extra that you may not enjoy. I see a lot of complaining on forums about working with PE but I'll eventually find out for myself. Trumpeter has many kits with PE, and I have one in the stash but haven't gotten to it yet. Good luck getting up and running with the hobby.
 

andrewdick68

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
52
In short , photo-etch allows for tiny parts that are more " in-scale " over what is possible with injection molding .
Wire mesh , antennas , components with thin bulkheads and on and on .
Some kits offer them as replacements for the styrene part and some offer them as the only option .

I can handle only a little at a time :D

Really shows it's superiority in smaller scales :
Thanks, appreciate that info.
 

andrewdick68

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
52
I personally don't spend money on after market parts but if you want to try PE, find a kit with some included before spending money on something extra that you may not enjoy. I see a lot of complaining on forums about working with PE but I'll eventually find out for myself. Trumpeter has many kits with PE, and I have one in the stash but haven't gotten to it yet. Good luck getting up and running with the hobby.
Thanks for that. ;)
 

Wolf Star

Man of mayhem
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
341
Dealing with photo-etch can be an artform all it's own. Especially with teeny tiny parts. Patience and magnifying glasses much of the time. And good CA. I've launched my fair share of PE into the netherworld regions of my house.
 

Thereal9thdoctor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
357
I have a love/hate relationship with PE. The first kit I ever dealt with it on, a 1/43 Shelby Cobra(one of the very few cars I care about) turned out fantastic, even despite not really knowing what the heck I was doing with PE. And I've used PE at various times that were fun and not hard to deal with. But then I've had nightmares, like 1/100 scale generic handrails that I used on a never finished and now lost Robotech factory that despite every effort I simply could not get corners bent on without screwing up the entire handrail, were almost impossible to glue down without near disaster, and when I'd spray primer on them would look like Spider-Man sprayed webbing on them instead of looking like they had primer on em.

My take: PE is a diceroll.
 

KINGSLUG

Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
55
The older you are..the smaller the parts are..the larger the magnifier is needed. And whats cool about phot etch is when you are done with the parts..you have all this left over thin brass you can use for other stuff.
 

andrewdick68

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
52
The older you are..the smaller the parts are..the larger the magnifier is needed. And whats cool about phot etch is when you are done with the parts..you have all this left over thin brass you can use for other stuff.
Given my eyesight these days I hope I can get magnifying glasses with Hubble Telescope magnification settings
 

andrewdick68

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2021
Messages
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