The set consists of a large square “base” and five lengths of
metal rod of different diameters that fit into corresponding troughs in the
base to form basic curves.
On the back of the base is a soft rubber rolling surface that acts like a large ‘foot’ to secure the base to the workbench when using the top parts and as the rolling deck to create the curves when required.
Using the tool:
Using the set to create curved parts is very simple, take the metal part to be curved (in this case I have used the exhaust shroud from the Voyager Hetzer PE set) and once removed from the fret you can ‘anneal’ this by running through a candle flame for a few seconds (just till the part turns red), this will remove any spring and make it ‘softer’ for easier bending.
Place this part over the appropriate width trough in the base and press down with the corresponding metal rod, ensure the etched part is parallel with the trough before bending to get an even curve.
Once you have added a basic curve to the part, turn over the base and using the appropriate diameter rod “roll” the part on the rolling surface as you would roll dough on a bread board. This will “roll” the etched part around the rod and the longer you roll the part the tighter the curve will be. Use a rod smaller than the diameter you require as this will allow a little room to play with as you roll the curve and you now have a perfectly formed curve in a very short time to add to you model as required.
To bend MG barrel cooling jackets you use the same principal but can use an appropriate sized drill bit to roll the jacket around forming the cooling jackets very easily.
Also included on the BrassAssit unit are a series of raised sections (“beams”) of differing widths and heights that can be used to form tie down cleats from the etched parts often included in update sets.
Simply cut the required cleat from the etched fret and lay over the required ‘beam’ and holding the part in place with the tip of a blade press down on either side of the ‘beam’ with a pair of needle point tweezers, this will form the cleat bend and then using your trusty pair of snub nosed tweezers hold the cleat and bend out the ‘feet’ with the needle point tweezers or use the Etch Mate or Hold & Fold to do this.
Remember to try and avoid bending the joins too many times or they will come adrift so care is needed in this process and keep a firm hold with those tweezers or you will be search the nether regions of your carpet for the cleat.
Another little tool on the BrassAssit is the Grad Handle Bending Comb on the end of the unit which sees a number of cut outs at different widths and heights to allow the forming of soft wire (copper wire or thin solder, don’t try it with hard brass wire) grab handles.
Simply loop the wire through the chosen comb openings and bend to shape, then press down on the outside to form nice sharp corners and then holding the wire in place (with tweezers or needle point pliers) bends outwards on the underside of the comb to form the tie down shape.
Once formed remove the grab handle from the comb and cut off any excess wire, you can use a small metal punch to flatten the ends of the wire grab handles to form the weld ends to complete the grab handles or this can be simulated with the dab of thick cyanoacrylate when attaching the handle to your model.
There is another tool I use in conjunction with bending tools which is invaluable for simple bends and handling the etched parts, this is a pair of snub nosed tweezers which are also just the thing for holding the etched parts while filing off the resulting burr after cutting them from the frets.
A very useful and easy to use tool that will come in very handy for those tricky curves in etched parts as well as for forming the grab handles and tie downs.
See the BrassAssit Roller web
page for additional guides and tips on using the roller tool.
This BrassAssit can be purchased directly from The Small Shop EU
Also available in the US from WW2MM HobbyShop.
Thanks to Alasdair of The Small Shop EU for the BrassAssit sample.
Page created 13 April 2004