Succeeding homemade photoetch #7

Now have a look at this :) :) three weeks in the bloody making, but it really looks bloody good. Now just think at those last points: remember to check the bath VERY regularly after the first quarter of hour, because it the stuff eats too much metal, you can start everything all over again! Once the empty spaces are being eaten, the FeCL3 indeed begins to eat whatever it finds! Now why did I wrote about doing recto verso printings, hey, because this way you can do some 2 sides printings! etch some letters, do some special stuff, why, simply because it etches on the 2 sides in one time eh... I have forget to etch a small wheel with some etched numbers for the Canet gun, so I will explain this later :)

Succeeding homemade photoetch #6

When the plate is done, you can store the developper liquid in a bottle an dstore it in a cool poorly lit place and it can be used again. Then you put your FeCL3 in a plastic plate (NOT an aluminium plate otherwise the whole buisness might turn nasty) and put your brass in it. Now there is another heating buisness. To work reasonably fast, the FeCL3 should be kept at a 40°C temperature. here I have been using my glass sheet and put it under the sun, the temperature raised fast enough for the whole to be etched in few time. But then I wondered about winter time.. And there came my step brother who said '"duh, you just put a lightbulb close enough and it will work'" :) The stuff should be agitated too, so I think I will buy a small motor and will try with a few resistances to slow it enough for the stuff just being agitated without doing some waves or whatever. Then remind to put ome *bad clothes*, because if the FeCL3 touches your clothes they will turn brown!! And now, just enjoy the pics...

Succeeding homemade photoetch #5

Now when the whole is being sunned up, I went back to my cellar and once again had to proceed under a dim light -why then? hey because while you develop the plate, the light still works on the brass!

So now as i stated before, I had buy some product to develop pictures specially designed for brass, so here you usually have to mix it with the right amount of water before using it and then, it is stated that the liquid '"has to be warm enough'".

Now guys this is important, *warm* means 25°C, NO MORE otherwise you simply dissolve the whole of your printing!! I have been failing quite a number of time with this particular step!

You use a *plastic* basin (nothing in metal!! I have been using one of those you put under flower pots) and put your sunned up plate in the mix and now look at the picture: you can clearly see the places that were exposed to the sun being simply dissolved!! You have to move the bath a bit to accelerate the process but basically you are there.

When it's dissolved you wash the stuff carefully under clear water.

Succeeding homemade photoetch #4

Sorry again no pic -there will be some further ones in the final SBS paper when the diorama is finished. Anyway, what you have to do is to go in a dimly lit place (I use my cellar), and to take in sandwich your photoresisitant covered brass plate WITHOUT touching it with your fingers while you take of the plastic protection (I use some rubber gloves). Then put it on some rigid surface -I use a bathroom tile, and put a sheet of glass on the top and be sure the whole is being pressed -no space must be left if you want the trick to run. Then fix the brass plate with tiny bits of scotch at each corner. Now of course you have to wait for a sunny day to do this -unless you want to spend a 100€ + UV machine, but then '"modellers love spending money'" ;) You go outside and leave the whole in full sun for a '"number of minutes'". Well, now I suppose it could be the hard stuff to guess. On one site i saw '"2mn 20 with an UV machine'" Let's say that under a full summer French sun, 3-4 minutes looked okay, but then on winter I would certainly wait for than 5 minutes. Of course after having insolated the first side of the plate, i flip sides an put the other side under the sun for the same amount of time.

Succeeding homemade photoetch #3

-Then you must buy some *special recto verso photoresistant brass*. I have learn this thing: don't even try to spray the stuff by yourself recto and verso, because there will be some drippings everywhere, and the slightest dust grain will destroy everything. So that's a bit more expensive solution, but at least it WORKS. the brass I found was 25cm x12,5 which was more than enough for my needs. The brass comes with some opaque glueing paper on it that you have to remove before use. I bought the stuff here

Succeeding homemade photoetch #2

-then you go to your favorite photocopy place and get *4* exes on acetate. I have been noticing that if the photocopy machine didn't work too well, there would be some slight grain on the dark places, and this grain often has some *direction* some very fine lines that may lead some of the details to carve in a strange way later. The way to avoid this is to break the lines by gluing (I used superglue) one side on the other side -as you did a symmetric drawing there should be no problem, so you are 2 groups of 2 photocopy sheets -and like on the picture, you glue those 2 sets together on one side.

Succeeding homemade photoetch #1

-First thing you must do, take your drawing software and draw the parts you need . This will prove probably the hardest thing to do for most. -You notice that the drawing is entirely symmetric, you will see why soon. -Then you must not fear of cramming your drawing, even with stuff you won't be needing as the more empty space there is, the more the acid will have to work and the more it will be out of order because of clogging.

Photoetching failing last step

And here is the result.. Okay, now if I have wanted to do the bismark after 40 years under the water, this coulod have been cool. I alm indeed modelling another wreck, but it's a recent wreck, I need rust but not that kind of rust.. So then it went on for 20 days, failing and failing until I didn't had any brass left and began to wonder a bit... next time that will be to explain how to *succeed*!!