Sokol diorama blog

Some drawing for the photoetch -first failure

Okay, now I can tell I will be doing a little bit of a Sokol class destroyer, from the gun to the first chimney. To be honest, the whole will be a little bit *compressed* so that it may fill on a short surface. The first step is to do some drawings with a vectorial drawing software, you just do in black and white whatever bits and pieces and nuts and bolts you need. When you know those softwares, this is a fairly easy job to do -when you don't, well, just ask somebody who knows because itcan take ages to do. Now did anybody noticed my (not so) deliberate mistake? no? well later then..

Photoetching failing step 2

The next step is to print your drawing and to go in a photocopy place where you will be able to make one copy on acetate -transparent plasic if you prefer, you know teacher's stuff.the price was 0.57€ one piece at 5 minutes walking from home. kinda cheap. Now there is another mistake here -anybody? okay, the following tomorrow

Photoetching failing step 3

Next step is to try and get '"a photo sensitive brass sheet'". So then. I bought several 0.2mm small sheets of brass at a local RC shop and proceeded to spray some photosensitive resin on the plates in a dark place -for the light not to interfer when the stuff is drying. Big problem: any grain of dust falling on the still wet product led the liquid to coagulate near the grain of dust because of the capilarity, which means I had a lot of trouble to get an even surface.

Photoetching failing step 3

Once the plate is covered with dried photo resistant stuff, the next step is to put the photocopy on acetate over the plate and then to recover it with a sheet of glass. then put under the light for 3-4 minues. (I have been reading 2,20mn)...

Kronstadt -failing the photoetched parts

When those 3 minutes are over, you go back to the cellar and put the brass plate in a mix of 1/8 water and photo revelant stuff -I don't know the word, but it's the product the photographers use to develop the pictures. After 3 or 4 minutes a picture starts to show, and here you can see the catastrophe, because the '"holes'" in the pic are because of the dust grains that attracted the photo resistant product..

Kronstadt -failing the photoetched parts

When you have washed under water the plate, you can put it in a FeCL3 bath. that's called '"percholure de fer'" in french, '"Ferric chloride'" in English maybe? Anyway it's the acid you can find in any electricity shop!

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*!!

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.

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 #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