The model making nerdI work as a programmer, internet caretaker by day, and sometimes at night when I reach for my pliers and brushes and mess up on my dioramas I scream “Ctrl+ Z, Ctrl+ Z!!” that’s it, there is no undo command when you do dioramas.
On the top of this I always wondered how my knowledge in computer graphics could help me do those things.
A few years ago, I tried to use a graphic software to draw plans, and even 3d software to simulate some proportions, but I quickly realized I was spending way too much time doing this, and that cutting bits of cardboard and holding them with blue tack was an easier option.
But I always kept in a corner of my mind that there must be a way to apply that knowledge to my dioramas especially because I am that kind of scratchbuilder that I don’t really like cutting plastic, and the idea of letting some devices/tools do the tedious work was certainly appealing. And then I found it!
Last year when doing my Izmail torpedoboat, I was pissed to have to spend quite a few euros to buy a small photoetch grid so that I could do the gun cradle. Then I realized that the pattern of the holes was not the right one and on the top of this, the grid was not big enough and I had to cobble the whole thing with leftovers so that I could cover the entire surface.
After a few hours spent on this I took an oath never to be swindled this way anymore and that as long as I was ready to build every element by myself, photoetch should be included in that oath.
So I basically spent the following year looking on and about “how to do homemade photoetch”.
I discovered that the main difficulty was indeed to design the fret.
Once everything is drawn, the rest is either a question of big bucks if you want to buy some good quality material, or if you want to play it cheapo a question of being very wise. I tried to comply with the second option with more or less success because “wise I ain’t”.
I used to have a teacher in high school that made a big difference between the success of his failings and failing of his failings. I can say my first attempts at homemade photoetch where of the latter.
Last June saw me trying to succeed my fret almost every day and failing every time miserably to the point of not believing in it anymore until I tried something new which finally succeeded. So I will try in the following lines to tell roughly what you should do and the different pits in which I fell.
Copyright ©2020 by Jean-Bernard André. _OPINIONS Model Shipwrights, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2008-02-16 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 56555