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To PE or not to PE....


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Hey guys. I've asked this question on a few other forums and thought I'd ask your opinions on this too. I'm curious on what you guys think about using PE. I personally don't use them... yet. Maybe its because I've only been building for 9 months or so, but my own personal opinion is that I would rather see a well painted model that an average PE job. I've seen some modelers 1/700 builds which take them months to do. I'd go nuts! Right now, for me, its OOB with the best paint job I can do. What about you guys? Thanks for your time. Brian M

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I rarely use them. I buy them for the seat belt hardware for my Nascar stockers, or for aircraft seat belts. Otherwise, I kitbash or scratch-build the part. I'm not knocking them, they make some great stuff out there for just about anything (especially the ship and armor goodies), but it would get too expensive for me.

 

Glenn

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If you build Dragon Sherman kits, you almost have no choice. Either learn to bend the PE fenders, find some plastics in your spares, or scratch them. Same goes for the HVSS fenders. All in PE.

 

 

Mark

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Good question

 

For me there are two answers- I love OOB so even for a Sherman (gasp) or some aircraft, I wouldn't do it.

 

BUT, there are certain things, to me, that do not look right without it and one is ships. Doig the railings on a ship cannot be done any other way that I know of (plasitic, scratchbuilding, etc,) other than PE. I must say that aromor with it does look cooler to.

 

I guess the botton line is it is a personal choice. I started by buying seat belt sets and own a bunch of it especially for subs and armor and some planes. I do think it was a natuiral progressin for me

 

Dave

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For me. I won't use it unless it is included in the kit as Dragon tends to do. I will only use it if it is gifted to me. I won't buy an extra set for a model; with my limited income, I like to save that money for actual models. Even when it is included, I will still be selective in using it; I won't use the smallest parts no matter how good they may make my model look!

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I really am not in love with it. I'd rather scratch build the part if I can. Doing it increases build time, but I don't worry about deadlines. It's a hobby. As I do large ships (1/72) I do find doors hatches and the like very helpful. Handrails on that size ship just don't look right to me. I'll most likely scratch them too. My hats off to the guys who do 350 and 700 ships. PE really makes those models stand out.

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I can go both ways on PE parts. For things like screens, seat belts and seats they offer a part you just can't mold in plastic. If it can be molded in plastic, provided its done right, I will us the plastic part almost always. The depth you can get in plastic just cant be matched by PE. Case in point, the Ferrari F-1 race car I built (just posted on the home page under Chris Smith,) came with a beautiful sheet of PE parts. In the end, I used about half of what was in the sheet. The quality of the plastic molds is so good these days, that with the exception of very small scales, PE is seldom needed or noticed when used. Now resin sets on the other hand......

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I love the stuff! If they knew how much I've spent on their aircraft p/e sets over the years, Eduard would probably have a plaque with my name on it hanging in their office. :rolleyes:

 

Yeah, it adds a ton of time to the build but I am a detail fiend. I really enjoy tinkering with the teeny bits and I like the delicate, intricate look that one can get with a good p/e set. The only sad thing is when I put a lot of effort into something that ends up being hidden away when everything is assembled. That's when the old saying "at least I know it's there" comes into play.

 

I do find some parts done in p/e downright silly as the medium is limited to flat and folded shapes. Brake lines is one that comes to mind. Those are better done with wire or fine solder.

 

Eric

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Another thing about armor PE. Periscope covers are round stock and even though PE might be thinner, it is all flat. I use the kit supplied part no matter how thick it is becasue it is at least round.

 

 

Mark

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I'm a PE fan. I even intend to take the road to preparing my own PE details. Yea I know there are companies willing to do your one off jobs but at $150 - 200 setup fee I won't be using them. Or if I get good enough I can start my own service at a more reasonable rate for us plastic hacks with big dreams. You draw it, I'll etch it.

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To PE or not to PE that is the question...With my prostate the answer is usually to PE...OFTEN. Seriously though I go either way. I do OOB but when I'm really going to let my AMS run wild it's resin and PE inside and out. With a bending tool it's not hard to work with and you can't match the look of a well done color PE instrument panel. Of course as with all modeling it's that well done part that gets us. I usually think it's worth the effort on a detail build. When I need a break then I do OOB.

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It's a convenience, not a necessity. I rarely buy any PE except for belts/buckles, but then I have a bunch of sets and leftovers that I can use here and there as needed or wanted. I still have a LOT of vacs and resin kits that need cockpit help, and that's mainly what I use pe on. I do NOT buy a kit, buy the Big Ed update set, buy the resin set (etc.) for each purchase. I have just too many to build and not enough time.

 

In general, unless you're a detail fanatic, save your foray into using pe for that "labor of love". That way you won't get bogged down or burnt out, but you'll still end up with something you consider really extra special every so often when you do use it. Cheers!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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OMG......Jack, along with all the other stuff I have to do here......now I have to start wearing my hip waders!!!!

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...my own personal opinion is that I would rather see a well painted model that an average PE job... Brian M

Brian, I think you've answered your own question, because that's what good judges look for too. Hone the basic skills to a fine art--get the seams to disappear, the paint smooth and even, weathering (if applicable)--then worry about the minutae. A mediocre paint job, even on high dollar PE or resin, is still a mediocre paint job.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I do both. I will usually build one model all decked-out with PE. The next model is OOB. I like what PE can do for a model, but I can't do every model with PE. I'd go nuts. So every other model is full blown PE.

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It just depends on what the part is for me, some things like grill covers and fenders in a heart beat. I have done the tool clamps, can say I have I have done them and don't think I want to do them again!

 

Now on my firetrucks, I have used all sorts of PE left over from sets for armor and aircraft for a wide assortment of stuff. Just takes a little creativity and combining different things to make something that would be nearly impossible to scratch build and look as good.

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