We have to go back to Fotocut and the 1976 works of Harry Woodman to see the first photoetch brass parts for 1:72, 1:48 & 1:28 WWI aviation model kits. Simple brass acid etched parts of varying shapes meant to offer details never before available to modelers. Just a quick trip back into the ancient days when PE was just being introduced to aviation modelers. Railroad modelers first gave us PE and the "WWI aviation modeling Guru" of us all was ( and by rights still is) the good fellow Harry Woodman defined it. PE was never meant to stand alone. Often it must be thickend and given a round or oval crossection with epoxy ( no super glue back then) or plastic strip in halfrounds. Think of PE as the bare bones of the finished product you want to model.
ExtraTech is known for its newer line of 1:72 - 1:48 bare brass photoetch parts. While these parts are about equally divided between Allied & Central powers, one can find many parts for hard to detail all plastic kits. At the current $11.80 cost each part is about $0.16 @.
It is usually very easy to handle if you follow a couple of guidelines.
1. Use candle or lighter heat to pass the PE metal fret over until you see the temper of the metal change colours. Nickel silver (which is neither nickel or silver) photoetch may take a bit longer to heat compared to plain brass. Just keep a close eye on the colour. Some blueing ok. You want it bendable but avoid making the parts brittle. For the Extra Tech parts 5-10 seconds under a heat source is ok but 2 minutes is too much. Also the smaller the part the quicker it will loose temper.
2. Bend as much as you can reasonably do and paint each part while still on the tree.
3. The clear bag that the PE metal comes in...Is a great tool. While the parts are still on the tree put the fret back in the bag. It is the best time to cut them loose. (Parts will stay in the bag and not fly off into the modeler's black hole. ) Cut the bottom corner out of the bag to allow only the parts you cut from the tree to exit the bag.
4. Use tweezers and an opitvisor. finish forming the part for exact fit by tacking it in place at one end and with the tip of a finger (away from the glue) form the piece to the surface and then finish any glueing needed. Viola!
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE
Highs: Specifically identified types of parts in 1:48. The 187 pieces you get for the cost is most impressive. Lows: Some neophytes will have to do a bit of research to apply some parts to a specific aircraft.Verdict: For the WWI fan it is one of those generic sets that you go back to time and time again. The price is right.
About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash) FROM: COLORADO, UNITED STATES
I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...