Attaching Etched Plates

Discussion in 'Workbenches, including workshop techniques.' started by Joe1980, 30 July 2020.

  1. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    Hello All,

    Im in the process of finishing off a refurbishment of an old Airfix class 31 and have some etched shedplates to attach. What’s the best and most risk-free way of doing it?

    I’m sure it’s been asked a million times, but sometimes consensus/techniques change.

    (I’ve also attached a photo of the refurbish progress so far.)


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  2. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Since shed plates are tiny, especially in 4mm, I’d try a spot of gloss varnish or, if you’re feeling brave, super glue, applied with the tip of a pin.

    If you’re worried about alignment, an ‘L’ of masking tape applied to line up the the spot will help.

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  3. Mike Garwood

    Mike Garwood Active Member

    Acrylic varnish, dries in 5 mins, so lots of time to maneuver into position. I use matt.

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  4. John TAYLOR

    John TAYLOR Western Thunderer

    I always us the Martyn Welch method..... a small blob of the underlying colour paint so if it leaks out it won`t show when dry.....
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  5. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    I've used UHU contact adhesive in small amounts on 7mm models. It is possible to remove them carefully if there is a need.
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  6. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    Cheers guys. Plenty to go on there. I’ve got tons of varnish in too, so I’ll try that first off.
  7. paulc

    paulc Western Thunderer

    Hi Joe , i have used double sided tape , not the foam type obviously but there is one that is like sellotape but you peel the backing off to reveal more sticky . I put it onto the plate then trim around and remove the backing and then place into position and press . I also use low tak masking tape to give me horizontal and vertical lines for alignment , easier to reposition than the plate .
    Cheers Paul
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  8. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    Thanks Paul. I like the sound of that too, as I have some in the house.
  9. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    I'm surprised no-one has mentioned canopy glue, which is what I use. You have time to position, clean up is with water and any excess dries clear.


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  10. Ian@StEnochs

    Ian@StEnochs Western Thunderer

    I tried double sided tape once. It is extremely difficult to get the plate exactly in the correct position AND lined up horizontally as the tape grabs too quickly. I have gone back to using a tiny spot of varnish on the model and the plate slid onto it and lined up. No clean up needed.
  11. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    As it's show and tell..............personally I prefer varnish or canopy glue. Both work well for me. Double sided tape is a no-no as far as I'm concerned. Not only does it grab too quickly, as Ian says, but the adhesive also rots over time so there's a risk of the item falling off and you're left with a sticky mess. Look at the way Sellotape degrades over time when used to repair paper. Admittedly over a lot of years but my earliest 7mm models are easily 30 years old.

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  12. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Well, whilst I hear the objections, I have always used double sided tape, my first 7mm model, a Springside 45xx, is about to have a heavy overhaul - including fitting springing and a non-whiny Premier 2-stage to replace the Portescap. The loco was painted and plates fitted, I think in the autumn of 1997, and they’re still there!

    I made a plasticard guide in the form of an “L” to give me the location.

    Last edited: 31 July 2020
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  13. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    When it comes to attaching engraved plates, I used lightly smeared Evostik. As in so many areas of modelling, there are numerous ways to skin a cat.
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  14. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    There you go, Joe. You pays yer money and takes yer choice!

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  15. NickK

    NickK Member

    I,ve always used a smear of silicon sealant for any etched plates, do one side, leave over night then do the other. Easy to remove the plate and the sealant if needed without damaging the paintwork. Tried it after I had a tiler in to do some work and that is what he used for wall tiles. When the came to be removed the skim coat of plaster stayed on the wall, not the back of the tile.

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  16. Joe1980

    Joe1980 Western Thunderer

    haha! Exactly. It’s beneficial to have a few perspectives.
  17. PhilH

    PhilH Western Thunderer

    Just as important as making the plates stick is sticking them in the correct position !

    Plates 001.jpg

    I use plastikard guides or templates located against some fixed level item such as the footplate - as shown for the works plate above. The one on the tank is located by an angle on the rear of the guide bearing against the top of the tank.

    Plates 002.jpg

    The guides are held in position by masking tape and the plate located and held in position by a narrow strip of masking tape. Using the masking tape as a hinge the plate is turned over and the adhesive applied, then the plate is turned back and fixed in position.

    For 7mm scale plates I've previously used a thin smear of araldite and transparent guides to check that no adhesive leaks out under the guide. However for larger live steam locos I've recently used clear silicone sealant, and this method is described by Tony Wilmore of Rhos Helyg Loco Works here: MDC name, number and works plates - at the bottom of the page.

    It seems to work very well even on glossy surfaces, but I haven't tried it on smaller scale models yet.