Posts Tagged "Photo Etch"

My original plan had been to make more repairs and modifications to the Macharius Salvation sub-project. However I had some Forgeworld stuff and a surprise in the post today which demanded a small post.

Firstly here is a picture of the forgeworld haul …

Two Ryza turrets and a Leman Russ Mars Alpha pattern hull including trench rails.

I have long been a fan of the look of the Mars Alpha pattern hull, for its extra detail and length. You can see below the difference between a normal GW Plastic hull and the Forgeworld one … its a Beast :)

When you add in the nicely detailed hull mounted front weapons … you get a good looking model! … note however no Heavy flamer .. guess who is going to have to make that!

With the Mars Alpha were the remaining weapons I needed to complete the set for the LRIWS sub-project. The normal looking Battle Cannon and a replacement Conqueror pattern (its actually an alternate battle cannon, but it looks really like a conqueror to me!). In addition I got a couple more turrets for my collection.

Also in the post was something I had been interested in from the states.

I had been wanting to add some panniers to my various vehicles so this tempted me also. I had seen some models with them on and thought I would give them a try!

Lastly and definitely not least … There is one single Steel Legion figure I did not have in my collection. The ultra rare Necromunda Sniper … who actually was a Steel Legion trooper kneeling. This figure is really rare and out of production, I have been scouring ebay for four years looking for him, when one came up in America a couple of weeks ago. I bid sniped like crazy to get him and I am ashamed to say paid what felt like a small fortune for a single figure (whoever sold him will be happy I am sure). But he is MINE NOW!!

There are few alternate heads/faces/alternate poses in the Steel Legion, I had them all but this one … Now I am very happy :)

I also got something else in the post … this one from the far east … but that bit will have to wait till I start that sub-project … next week I suspect!

With the work going into the website, getting other modellers interested in Armageddon and working with me on the website and finally the Photo etch kit arriving and trying to learn all about it, I can honestly say I have been busy, but with little I can show you yet.

However I can give a run-down on how the Photo etch system should work, and a review of the various kit and what it does.

For those that don’t know Photo Etching is the process of using strong chemicals to eat away metals placed within them. This process is used by people to make circuit boards for electronics as well as modellers. You can control the eating away of the metal by covering it a thin layer of resistant chemicals which protect the bits of metal you wish to keep.

So it is therefore possible to print this resistant material and laminate it to the metal and use it as a means to make thin sheets of brass containing shapes you wish to keep. Here is an example from Forgeworld showing what is possible: -

Notice how small the possible results can be … If I manage to master the process I will be able to produce Steel Legion emblems for tanks, troopers, flags, ¬†etc. It also opens up possible avenues of modelling I haven’t been down before and will give me some scope to add complex items to models without casting.

However its a bit of a black art, certainly in the wargaming field, although less so in the master modelling field. The pro-etch kit I bought for instance, has almost no reviews I can find on the web, which means I am working on faith. Lets hope it all turns out ok!

My first step was to try and identify and understand every piece of the kit supplied. So without further ado, I present an overview of the supplied kit: -

A - Photo Resistant film, used as the protecting film on the metal, its light sensitive and kept in black tubes to stop it reacting and becoming useless. It needs to be opened and used in a darkroom until you have it in place on the metal and wish to “develop” it.

B - Laminate Carrier film, to hold and take the metal sheet & photo-resistant film, through the Laminator without seperating.

C - Chemical Resistant Plastic tubs to hold the Sodium Hydroxide solutions, first one is used to remove the undeveloped Resistant film so the bits underneath can be eaten by the etchant chemical. Second one is for removing the remainder of the resistant film from the finished product at the end.

D - Pro-Etch Manual, describing the process, I am hoping to make my own guide when I have got on top of the whole process, so that its easier for other people in the future.

E - Etching Tank, the place where the etching takes place, usually 2/3rds full of etchant (Ferric Chloride) and with the metal sheet being etched held inside.

F - Etchant Resistant Tweezers

G - Holding Rod, this sits inside the Etching Tank and holds the Brass sheet horizontally (so the brass particles fall down into the tank easily)

H - Brass sheet supplied with the kit, I purchased more and can get more locally if I need.

A - Disposable brushes, for removing chemicals & brass particles from the sheet.

B - Micro Cleaning pads, to clean the Brass to a very clean bright surface, so the resistant film will stick to it properly.

C - Goggles, the chemicals and the fumes they release are VERY dangerous and the wearing of protection is not optional.

D - Plexiglass plates, for holding the film and metal during the exposure process which makes the film stick to the metal.

E - Gloves in a measuring pot, once again the gloves are important to ensure no risks are taken with the dangerous chemicals.

F - Laminator, to fix the resistant film onto the metal using heat and pressure.

G - Clips, to hold the plexiglass together during the exposure process

H - Aerator to ensure the etchant remains fresh while etching the metal

I - Apron, once again for protection.

As you can see there is a substantial amount of items in the kit, and a relatively complex process to follow. Because the kit travelled from America to England, the etchant (Ferric Chloride) and cleaner (Sodium Hydroxide) need to be purchased by myself, however if I was in the States they would have been supplied.

I am waiting for the chemicals to arrive, and might well take a day off of work to test it all out sometime next week.

On a final note, if there are any people producing armies from the Armageddon 3rd war, either Ork or Imperial, who wish to actively contribute to an ongoing blog format website about Armageddon and the forces fighting there please contact me. This is for the following games: - 40k, Apocalypse, Battlefleet Gothic or Epic Armageddon.