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Photo Etch Tutorial

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Hi All,

Is there a tuorial somewhere that describes Bending/Application of Photo Etch parts? (Ladders/Handrails/Etc/Etc)


Any advice would be very much appreciated.


Cheers and Regards,



Completed Builds:


A/L Bluenose II

A/L Mare Nostrum

Sergal/Mantua Cutty Sark

A/L Pen Duick

A/L Fulgaro

Amati/Partworks 1/200 Bismarck

A/L Sanson

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There is a US company called the Small Shop that makes a couple of Photo Etch bending tools, mainly aimed at the plastic modelling community, but it should apply to any PE part

Not so much a tutorial, but the link have a small video clip explaining how it works https://thesmallshop.com/collections/photo-etch-bending-tools/products/sms003-4-inch-hold-and-fold


Application - from my experience, don't use a tweezer, it will launch a PE part into another dimension! I use a toothpick dipped in diluted PVA glue to move the parts around. Normally use CA glue to hold PE part in place.



Edited by Jolley Roger

Samuel Pepys notes in his diary on 19 July 1667: "the Dutch fleets being in so many places, that Sir W. Batten at table cried, By God,says he, I think the Devil shits Dutchmen."


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  • 1 year later...

Not everybody will agree, but ....

File/grind a chisel point on the edge of a box-cutter blade. Put the fret on a piece of hardened glass or smooth steel and then use the chisel-point to shear the connecting tab. Press straight down, worry it a bit and it will leave a clean edge.

I used to cut hundreds of etched pieces at a time (in another life, not part of any hobby) and this was the method that gave the best results time after after time. It works for brass and nickel silver, stainless steel too but keep the chisel sharpened.

FYI, if you try wood or a cutting mat instead of a steel/glass support there is every chance of distorting the etched piece.

There are other ways and I am sure they will be pointed out, so take your pick 🤐




A model shipwright and an amateur historian are heads & tails of the same coin

current builds:

HMS Berwick 1775, 1/192 scratchbuild; a Slade 74 in the Navy Board style

Mediator sloop, 1/48 - an 18th century transport scratchbuild 

French longboat - CAF - 1/48, on hold

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Jim, I deleted your topic where you asked this same question and Bruce directed you here.

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans - ON HOLD           Triton Cross-Section   

 NRG Hallf Hull Planking Kit                                                                            HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               


Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         



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