|Notes||This was a labour of love! The ornate designs for each side panel were recreated with Micrografx Designer, a vector-based drawing package, from as many picture sources I could find, but predominately from freeze-framing the first two films in the series. Once in Designer the patterns could be rescaled to any size without loss of detail. Each panel was then printed out at actual size (3" square) and transferred to clear acetate sheet. |
Sheets of thin brass were then coated with a photo-sensitive resist coating normally used for making printed circuit boards. Once dry, the acetate "positive" was placed over the resist coating and the resulting sandwich is exposed to UV light for a couple of minutes and then developed like a photograph in sodium hydroxide. This 'fixes' any unexposed resist (which was protected by the pattern on the acetate), and dissolves the rest.
The brass sheet is then immersed in an etching solution (ferric chloride) which removes all the brass not protected by the resist coating. The result is a brass copy of the original pattern.
Well that's how it works in theory - in practice it took a couple of attempts to get a successful etch of each panel - an uneven resist coating meant some areas etched right through before other areas had finished.
I also decided to make a 1/4 scale version to replace the poor quality and oversized one that came with the first issue Screamin' Pinhead kit. Put off by my own low yield rates, I found a professional photo-etcher who was able to produce the miniatures as relief etched. This is where each side of the brass sheet has a different resist pattern, allowing the main detail to be etched into half of one side, rather than all the way through. About 20 1/4 scale boxes were etched and sold to friends to recouperate the high set-up costs of the etch process.