Having been building models for quite a while, I have seen things progress a lot. And with my over 400 built kits, photoetch still can baffle me like no other modeling medium. So when the opportunity to review this latest book from AK Interactive came along, I jumped on the opportunity to review it. A quick over view shows this is a fairly comprehensive guide with a section dealing with what photoetch is, how its made and what tools you’ll need to work with it. It then progresses to several simple examples and also using colored photoetch and finished with advanced techniques and soldering. Another nice fact is that the book covers aircraft, armor and ships as well as trains and can be easily transitioned into genres.
A quicker review of the Index looks like this:
- What is photoetch?
- Why use photoetch?
- How is photoetch made?
- Basic tools for working with photoetch
- Simple Handling and Examples
- Box with Hinged Lid
- Workable Clamp
- Damage and Dents
- How to work with a Fender
- Adjusting Color Photoetch parts
- Photoetch applications in Ships and Small Scales
- Advanced Handling and Soldering
- Material and Tools
- First Steps
- External Fuel Tanks
- Soldering Copper/Brass
As you can see, it covers from A to Z on photoetch. I wanted to focus on several areas to highlight the book and its resources.
The first highlight for me was pictures from the production method. They have a great discussion and pictures of the printing of the picture onto metal, the development and then removal of the not wanted metal. This is followed by rinsing and then galvanizing and there is a great picture of the printer they use to get ink onto the colorized parts. Awesome stuff for an old manufacturing guy such as me. This is followed by a small section on making your own photoetch.
Next, I also very much appreciate that there are examples from start to finish on using a specific part. One such example was a colorized instrument panel for an aircraft. Small hints like covering the ends of your tweezers with small PVC cable to better grab the part and prevent scratching. Another tip was to cover the edges with matte black and prevent the silver edges from bleeding through. And another great tip is to use gloss varnish to glue the multi part panels together.
Lastly, soldering parts. I have heard of this and seen several on the Internet, but this set of instructions is worth the cost of the book alone in my opinion. The first examples start with a photoetch pail with separate handles and bottom. The book takes you step by step and picture by picture through the tools, the prep work, how to set up the solder joints and how to clean them up when done. This is followed by a more advanced external fuel tank for an AFV.
If you are new to photoetch, this book is a must have; if you want to take your game up a level, this book is also a must have as it deals with not only the basics but the advanced techniques as well. Highly recommended to all modelers and in all genres.
My thanks to the excellent modelers and people at AK Interactive for the opportunity to review this item and also helping all modelers out. Get one, you will not be disappointed.