Photoetch brake tutorial
Ok, you’ve sorted how to get your paint all deep and shiny,
you’ve been able to assemble the kit without turning it into a “glue bomb”
and you’ve added some wiring and weathering but you want more.
You want to go to that next level of detail and you’ve seen other builders use Photoetch parts but the instructions aren’t always clear on what to do.
You may even have added a few parts that came with the kit but these were basic but want to go further.
I am writing this tutorial based around building Hobby Designs Photoetch brakes for the Tamiya Aston Martin DBS.
What I will be describing is my first ever attempt as building Photoetch brakes;
I’ve added the flat discs that fit over the kit plastic parts and have built windscreen wipers but I have never attempted to build the brakes.
First off, you’re going to need some tools.
What is shown here is a set of Tamiya mini pliers for bending photoetch, a set of fine cutters, glue,
a “hold & fold” and a flat cutting surface. In making the brakes I used CA glue to get a strong bind.
Here are some pictures of the 3 sprues that hold all the parts to make the brakes;
they are a direct replacement for the plastic kit parts. There are 11 pieces for each brake and some have to be bent to shape; there are two sizes,
one for the front set and one for the rear. Hobby Design also provide very nice resin calipers.
Now let’s look at the instructions;
you will see that there are no words to help you but they do offer a clear guide.
One of the nice features about the Hobby Design set is that they have covered them in a thin plastic to protect them. This can be seen in the following photo.
One thing you should do with photoetch parts is to give them a gentle clean to remove any residue to help paint adherence; I use Lacquer thinners.
Just be careful you don’t accidentally bend a part in the process!
Ok so now we have looked at the parts, cleaned them and studied the instructions,
it’s time to commence building.
To do this we have to remove the parts. With most manufacturers there is a little tab that has to be cut through to release the part.
Now since this is made of metal you either have to use a sharp knife or pair of snippers.
Please be careful if you use a knife as the blade can break off and hit you!!
When cutting the part out with a knife you should do this on a flat surface (not your best table top) and hold the part securely.
The following photos show the procedure.
Now you need to sand off the little bit of the tab that always seems to get left behind.
Hold the part carefully and use a sanding stick.
In terms of building the discs, the first thing that needs to be done is to rotate the spines that make up the fins through 90%.
This is not as difficult as it looks and the spines are quite sturdy.
Once you are happy with these they should be glued to the backing discs;
handily these have groves cut into them to help location and gluing.
Once you are happy with this you can add the disc plates.
You get one for the front and one for the back.
These are drilled so glue does come through
but you can sand this off.
Once you are happy with this you can add the back spacers.
These help you locate the disc to the model.
Now we can build the front hub assembly.
Again you have to bend some tabs so that it fits nicely
Now you have a finished disc which you can paint
Here is the disc with the caliper added.
There is even a small piece to add with the logo
In terms of building these took me 30 minutes or so each.
I went very carefully as I was afraid of making a mistake.
I am delighted with how these came out.
Don’t be scared to have a go at these,
They are easier than you think.