We took delivery yesterday of some PhotoEtch (PE) sample sheets from a new supplier in Scotland and we wanted to show you the new elements for the warship kit the Kydoimos being planned for Q2. Designed by Rick Sternbach and created by our talented team here at Wild House Models we’ve started to finalise the kit’s production.
The first stage was to produce the artwork our our new partner in Scotland kindly provided us with Adobe Illustrator files for us to use and some guidance on the approach. This was, after all, our first time creating PhotoEtch!
We took the digital files from Mati and started to create some flat areas in a layer in Illustrator that would give us the base for the PE. It helped identify the shape of the panels, and where we wanted to locate some of the extra detail. We used a digital slide rule to also work out the scale and size against the 3D Printed parts so these flat areas were as accurate as we could make them. The purpose of some of these areas on the kit’s surface was to add some level of complex detail that the 3D printing process would struggle to retain – even with 18 microns of print layer, some of the detail was not accurate enough.
The next stage was to remove the image of the part itself and start to create the surface detail. We opted to use a 2-layer approach with the PhotoEtch where the bottom layer would be flush against the model’s surface, and have no detail. Only the top surface of the PE would retain any detail. We used elements from the Hostile Realms™ kits in the detail we wanted to include – particularly the hexagon grills. We needed to duplicate and mirror some parts of the PE and Illustrator gives us the flexibility to do this whilst retaining accurate measurements.
The final PhotoEtch artwork was then prepared as a series of PDF files for the PhotoEtch partner in Scotland (see below) to review and print some samples in the 10-thou brass material we are opting to use. The areas in light grey represent the lower level of etch, and the darker grey colour is the upper layer of Etch and the layer where the detail is created in the etching process.
We had a couple of samples made as you can see and to give you an idea of scale, we’ve shown a £1 British coin against the brass parts to show you the sheet that will come in the kit.
In the following close-up shots, you can see some of the 46 hexagonal Emergency Pods as well as some ship names and hexagonal grills. These will go into full production once we’ve verified these against the final cast parts but we are planning the release of the warship kit sometime in the next 2-3 months but this is dependent on our casting partners. We will, of course, keep everyone informed as to the release date!