Mission Models Etchmate 3C




$59.95 MSRP from


All etched brass sets


Scott Van Aken

There comes a time for all modelers when they start to yearn to do things that are more than just what comes in the box. For many of us, the first aftermarket was a set of decals. Then perhaps a cast metal prop, then it was resin or perhaps photo-etch. Today, it is not uncommon for a kit to include these items in the box. Now there are two basic ways of handling photo-etch. One is with pliers and a lot of cursing, while the other is with a tool of some sort specially designed for bending photo-etch.

That is just what the Etchmate 3C is designed to do. Etchmate has been on the market for a number of years and has gained quite a positive reputation for itself with its original Etchmate. Those who own the older version will see that very little in the design of the 3C has changed. Same large 6x3 inch working surface. Same reversible finger assembly to allow those really long pieces to be bent.

There are basically two new things with this set. One is that it is no longer made of aluminum. It is made of a plastics composite material (hence the C in 3C, I guess) that is just as crisply done as the aluminum and the table is just as flat and smooth. It also has some hold-downs on the outer, smaller fingers. This will help hold those pieces down more securely, but it may also be there due to the change in material for the set.

With the change to a composite, gone is the single edge razor blade as that will scratch the surface. Instead, a set of three folding tools is provided. Two are the same size and one is longer. Thanks to these tools, you no longer need to buy the optional longer folding tool to use when folding really long pieces. When you add that savings with the lower price of this Etchmate, it makes things more affordable.

Mission Models unconditionally guarantees its products as free from defects or a replacement will be provided. I've experienced this and it is so nice when a manufacturer stands behind their product like this. I can also tell you that the first time you use this tool, you'll wonder why you waited so long to get it.

January 2007

Thanks to Mission Models and the DLV company for the review set.

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