Thursday, October 20

Adam Wilder - Dealing with PhotoEtch - DVD Review -

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What precisely can we expect from this title you ask? Well you get everything you need to know as a good base of skills for a start. From the planning to the tools, tips and actual application of all of these together this DVD deals with all of the intricacies of Photoetch – that love it or hate it resource for modellers.

“Hello I’m Adam Wilder” is usually not the start of a played-by-the-numbers DVD. I have watched a few DVD’s that Adam has presented before… and none of them have been boring - how does this one - his first independent release fare? Let's see..
Review – Dealing with Photoetch –
Presented by Adam Wilder
PAL or NTSC
Format 16:9 – Colour (of course)
Running Time 84 mins
Languages: English/German / Japanese
Available from:  www.wilder.su directly

The inside of the DVD – very nice and simple
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Probably the first time you get started with this film you feel it should be called “Masterclass P/E building” as it all seems so very well done and beyond a regular modeller's reach at first. But through patient displaying of the tips and techniques it gives you the confidence and the hunger to approach these sets with relative ease.

Please do look at this video trailer to see a snippet exactly how the video looks
 
This DVD about making your skills better when working with photo etch is a real undertaking for anyone to sit thru all at once – there is so much here. At a running time of just over an hour and a half this title encourages repeat viewings. Adam takes us through many of the different skill-sets you need to work on, practice and develop to enhance your model making skills using Photo Etch material. This DVD is aimed at Armour modellers – but easily could be used by Railroaders, ship builders and aircraft aficionados.
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This DVD comes in a simple hard case with a very simple but slick looking inside jacket showing the subject/test bed of this DVD – the T-34/85 tank. The tank is shown with P/E unpainted and painted; this is to illustrate the improvements to the donor kit the PE makes and then how it looks as a finished product. Adam takes us around a well-stocked tank museum near Moscow to get the inspiration going and also to show you some examples of the damage to the vehicles and the shapes and textures of some of the kit add-ons Adam will make with Photoetch.

Adam explains in the intro that PE can have either a positive or a negative effect on your modelling, and that he aims to show you the best way to manage this material and get the most from it in these how-to steps in this video which will go into detail allowing you to better understand the most efficient way of dealing with PE

This DVD comes with eleven chapters and of course an index separating them so you can have instant access to the part you want to see or where you left off.
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The first section shows you how to apply a PE fender – not just this but an introduction to Adam’s tools he uses as well – and some of the tips and methods of using these to their utmost. Tips on soldering Irons, removing plastic parts of the kit (and the plastic clean up) and tips like how to unstick your tweezers once you have solded them down.

When it need to go - Fast! Get a rotary cutter – Adam shows you how he uses his..
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Adam next demonstrates how to make your own grilles for your tank from the Aber set of metal and Photo etch he has to go along with his T-34 test-bed. Adam takes us back to the tank museum to show us many of the dented and damaged grilles that you often find on military vehicles that have seen some hard wear- and then goes on through a multi-part construction of wire and brass strip to show how pretty much anyone can make a scale correct set for the vehicle of their own choice. Again we see the real thing in the photo comparison at the end of this chapter – the results are inspiring and make the work worth it.
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Adam shows us next how to make a realistic metal tool box – “a box?” you are saying? Well anyone can make one – but can you make a realistic looking tool box with hinges and handles that work, a realistic hinge set and a shaped box completed with wear and tear and even battle damage? I though not – but at least now after seeing this I have a better idea. Adam also shows you how to easily correct your soldering mistakes.
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Adam shows the easy way to make the quite complicated hinges you see on many large vehicles and tanks. How to keep them from being “closed only” in the case of over solder and how to achieve a result which looks like a professional has made them. It is quite evident that Adam has had a welding or metal working background when you watch this DVD – the good thing is after watching it you don’t feel like you cannot do all of this as well. It is instructional and helpful rather than de-motivational.
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Adam next demonstrates a transmission cover that works in an open or closed position. This will be displayed as closed, but the skill here is evident in that I could be shown either way, and with care – Adam shows you just how to do this. This makes such an impressive cover section after it is all cleaned up you may want to watch it again ( I did) To tell you the truth  no matter most people don’t really have the hang of P/E with this type of assembly. Adam guides you through it all and this DVD gives you confidence to make a go of it on your own
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Again we go to the importance of reference material before making a part – the tank museum is a great source of reference when making the next part of the construction – the large cylindrical external fuel tanks you often find on soviet made tanks.
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Adam shows how to easily bend the metal to a round shape, how to fashion the handles and the cap on the fuel tank. You can see again from the real thing the dents that form on the tanks; these are shown to be easily replicated through Adam’s methods.

Watch those fingers!
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Next we see how to make the frames for the Thoma Shield (The Russian stand-off mesh used to absorb antitank rocket damage) First we construct the frame.
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By the time Adam demonstrates how to apply this set to the model it seems that it will be as strong as the tank itself – anyone making a plastic version of this will know that with using the styrene versions they are incredibly thin and delicate – this P/E set looks like you could roll it across the floor with no damage! The robust construction that Adam makes not only looks touch but most importantly “do-able” by the average modeller as well. The results are impressive but not at all out of your reach after you have the knowledge.
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Adam shows you how to easily attach the mounts of the shield so that the solder and methods of construction are not obvious, and at once more realistic. Adam simulates battle damage and wear and tear to the shields as well.

The turret “Thoma Shield” is constructed next along with the superior grab handles and technique Adam uses to make them stronger. From bottom to top Adam has taken us through the whole additions in photo etch to this kit. The video closes with a brief outro from Adam and also an excellent montage of just how the completed kit looks with all of the P/E Added. The only thing that could help this DVD was to show what the kit would have looked like if it was made from plastic parts instead – but that is not the real purpose of this DVD – it is to show you the most efficient and best planned way to use P/E successfully on your kit. This I fell it does in spades.
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There is a “glory roll” of this kit in its bare form against its painted completed form. As well as the completed and painted tank against the real thing at the museum – the result as you can see for yourself are outstanding and well worth the effort. This is THE DVD to show you how to deal with Photo Etch parts. No other film or you tube “video thingy” I have watched on this subject is as comprehensive or as slick. I have purposely not shown you too much as I tend to do with these things – I could not explain them as well as Adam does here.
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As the gladiator would say “Are you not entertained?” – Well yes I am – but more importantly I am a heck of a lot more knowledgeable as well  – Well done Mr Wilder!

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Adam sincerely for this review DVD - you can get yours from his web site directly at www.wilder.su