Discovering the Possibilities of Etched Brass Part 2

A few weeks ago I shared with you my designs for etched brass handrails and details to improve my Baldwin DT6-6-2000 and EMD DD35 locomotive shells.  These etched brass sets are the first in my ‘Additions’ series which will be available for all my locomotive shells.  Now that the first batch have arrived I wanted to share some of the results with you.

DT6-6-2000 Additions Set

DD35 Additions Set

The sets pictured above are etched from a sheet of 0.2mm or 8 thou brass and this has given me the ability to make handrails the correct actual scale size.  Although the brass is very thin I recommend using a very sharp, if not new blade in a craft knife to cut the parts out because pressure applied to remove them with a blunt blade will distort the parts.

The parts have small tabs which are only half thickness showing you where to cut them out, and making it easer to cut.  Depending on how close to the part you can make the cut it is likely there will be a small bur which can easily be removed by carefully filing the area with a flat needle file.  I found the best way to handle the parts was with a set of tweezers with a flat end.  Even between my fingers I could see the parts had the potential to bend out of shape. Below is one of each part from the DT6-6-2000 set.

DT6-6-2000 Additions Parts

The center leg of the end handrails, shown in the center above, is designed to be bent to form a dog leg as shown below. At the bend line the brass has again been etched to half thickness to mark the bend and make it easer to do.  I used my flat end tweezers to grip the brass at the bend line and pushed it over with my fingers.

DT6-6-2000 Addtions End Handrail

The sun visors for the DT6-6-2000 also have two stay bars that are designed to be bent back as shown below.  This again was done simply with the tweezers and there is an etched section at the bend point.

DT6-6-2000 Addtions Sun Visor

This can then be glued directly above the window as shown below on a different locomotive.

DT6-6-2000 Additions Sun Visor 2

These particular sets only have additional etched details on one side, for example the real DD35 handrail stanchions, as pictured below, are made from a folded plate made into a channel section.

EMD DD35 Handrail stanchion

To accurately model this detail I etched the middle of the stanchion to give a fluted effect as shown in the 3D rendered image and photos below.

DD35 Handrails Additions Close Up Render

DD35 Additions 1

DD35 Additions Close Up 1The small handrail sections shown above are for the ends of the DD35 and there is one for each corner.  Once they have been carefully cut out as shown below, again using the half thickness brass as a guide, they need to be shaped.

DD35 Additions Parts

To shape the end rails I rolled the brass handrail around the handle of a watch mender’s screwdriver handle which had the radius I was looking for.  As you can see from the results below the handrail section is now ready to be fixed to a DD35 Shell.

DD35 Additions End Rail 1 DD35 Additions End Rail 2

The ‘Additions’ series are designed to complement my range of 3D printed locomotive shells, enabling you to model in finer detail to suit your budget, and in a later post I’ll show you how effective the ‘Additions’ details really are.

In the meantime, if you would like to purchase one of these brass Additions kits please drop me a message using the Contact page.