Model shop highlights photo-etch service

17 January 2022
London-based 4D Modelshop shares customer projects produced via its metal etching service.

Photographs: Paul Molyneux-Berry

4D Modelshop has shared images of a recent photo-etched project for one of its customers. The well-established model shop offers a custom photo-etching service alongside its retail business arm, focussing on products for model-makers.

Prices for custom projects start from £80, with the model shop offering photo-etching on brass, copper and nickel silver metals. 4D Modelshop works from supplied artwork, or can prepare artwork for customers at additional cost.

4D modelshop photo etching

Wagons with containerised loads etched to a custom design for modeller, Paul Molyneux-Berry, by 4D Modelshop.

The 4D Modelshop website shares a guideline for minimum etch thickness and design limit sizes for custom artwork creators, with specifications differing for brass, nickel silver and copper materials.

The photo-etching process requires a transparency – also known as a phototool – of artwork to be created which is used to imprint artwork onto a coating on both sides of the metal sheet. The sheet is etched from both sides to create a half-etch, or full etch.

4D modelshop photo etching

A CAD design of the 7mm:1ft scale fruit rack containers to be etched in 0.38mm brass.

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Andy Ferron, Marketing Manager for 4D Modelshop said, "The photo-etching process will turn your CAD drawings or sketches into sheets of brass, copper or nickel silver. We can etch all the way through or half etch on either side of the material. An amazing degree of detail can be achieved through this process."

He continued, "Customer Paul Molyneux-Berry is building a Manchester Ship Canal themed model in 7mm, including a selection of wagons that would have been seen on the MSC Railway in the 1960s. Paul came to us when he was building some open fruit rack containers. We etched his artwork on 0.38mm brass and let Paul's excellent modelling skills do the rest."

From custom kits, to detailed components, photo-etching provides modellers with a level of detail difficult to match. Many RTR manufacturers use the photo-etching process to create metal grilles or mesh effects on models because of the level of finesse it offers.

For further details, specifications and to obtain a custom quote, visit the 4D Modelshop website.


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