Model Making Materials

+44 (0)20 7264 1288


The photo etching service allows us to transfer your drawings onto sheets metal: brass, nickel silver or copper.

Contact Iain to discuss your project / 020 7264 1295





High quality photo etching service from our London workshop







Available thicknesses: 0.15, 0.2, 0.25, 0.3, 0.38, 0.45, 0.7 and 0.9mm
Maximum etching area: 297 x 490mm (we recommended an A3/A4 size for speed and economy).


Available thicknesses: 0.25 and 0.45mm
Maximum etching area: 297 x 490mm (we recommended an A3/A4 size for speed and economy).


Available thicknesses: 0.3mm, 0.5mm and 1.0mm
Maximum etching area: 243 x 493mm.

Finer detailing can be achieved with thinner thicknesses of metal. The chart below shows the minimum line width and minimum gaps between those lines that can be etched with the range of metal thicknesses:

Photo etching for model makers and designers

E.g. For 0.25mm brass the minimum line width is 0.30mm and the minimum spacing between those lines is 0.35mm.





We can provide a full photo etching artwork service if you prefer. If you are providing us with your own artwork, please follow these guidelines:

Photo etching on metal artwork guidelines

Photo etching artwork key:

PLEASE NOTE: Red (front etch) and cyan (back etch) must not touch or cross over each other.

Wherever possible:

Please Provide:

download our 100mm scale for photo etching on metal





Please note you will be charged for the Phototool (one off charge) + the metal sheet charge.

Photo etching on copper, brass and nickel silver

All prices are ex VAT.

Please note you will be charged for the Phototool (one off charge) + the metal sheet charge.

It is advised that final artwork should be attempted only after discussion with us first.





Iain and his team in our Photo Etching Workshop have developed a way of controlling the depth of etching.

This means we can achieve a much higher definition even on the thicker gauges of metal, where over etching is an intrinsic problem.

Controlled depth of photo etching on metal

The left & top is a traditional etching on 0.90mm brass whilst the right & bottom is an etching using the new Controlled Etching Technique. This level of definition was only achievable on the thinnest of metals before.

We can also produce etchings without the need for tabbing, especially useful for small and intricate elements.





In-filling photo etched metal sheets

Infilling is an additional service offered by our workshop. Infilling is where we colour any half etched area. This is often required with name plates.

We have developed several methods of in-filling and marking surfaces: by laser (black only), with enamel paint, with resin or with spraypaint. More details on our In-Filling page.

This means we can offer you the best solution suited to your individual project, whether it be for quality, scale, turnaround or economy.





The metal used for etching is delivered to us pre-coated ready to receive the image from your artwork. This means we cannot see the surface of the metal. The surface of the metal may differ from sheet to sheet (this is particularly the case with nickel silver) and so the surface of the finished work may not be consistent, even with different sheets produced at the same time. The differences occur during the manufacture of the metal and this is not a fault.The main variations which occur are the reflective quality and marks created by the brushes used during the metal manufacture.

We can do work again - this is chargeable - although, unfortunately, the result may be the same because we can't see the surface until the work is finished.

Scratches and gouges are not acceptable surface variations and you will not receive work affected by these. Please call us if you would like to discuss this potential issue.

For quotation for total cost of the etching please email, fax or post us a sketch of your proposed etchings giving quantities, sizes, material, thickness and any other information that is relevant.





4D modelshop brass etching service
4D modelshop brass etching service
4D modelshop copper etching service
4D modelshop nickel silver etching service
4D modelshop nickel silver etching service






t: 020 7264 1295
9am – 5.45pm, Monday to Friday

Our guide to etching (2.2Mb PDF)


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