Sokol diorama blog

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 #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 #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 #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 #8

Here it is under the sun, enough to do almost all the diorama :) For those only checking the RSS, i have been adding the full Koktebel SBS in the '"Article'" page. I still have one week not being able to work on the diorama, I start aagin next sunday, I can't wait! next up is the hull, the chimney and one of the air entries.

The Sokol's hull -rough scratchbuilding #1

Back again for at least 3 weeks before well earned summer vacations ;) Okay, so my Sokol wasn't so much close to completion despite the photoectching being done. So here we are again. first, pleae notice that the whole of the hull (at least the 3 meters that will be ion the diorama) will be devided in 2, just like if it was broken in 2 at 1 cm below the gun place. unfortunately, it is also at the place where the round windows are -oh well, let's cut through them. To create the round openings, i used my wife's paper hole maker as it was of a right diameter. I pre-bent the plastic to the round front of the cabin. of course i needed to create some cross sections in order for the 2 parts of the cabin being straight. I cut those angled up openings so that nobody can see anything once the gluning is don