This is a well-engineered kit of 'slot and tab' construction. On 'dry runs' the various parts all lined up with tab slots and holes. No glue of any kind is needed - except where you make a mistake - see below!
This was my first time with an etched kit and I used only simple tools to fold up and close the tabs on the parts. I used 2 steel rules - one a heavy 1 inch wide one and the other a lighter weight 1/2 inch wide one. I also used a sharp scalpel, various types of tweezers, a fine file and a pair of flat-faced pliers.
I cut the parts off the etch as I needed them. They were secured by tiny tags. Sometimes it was possible to trim off the tag completely, other times I had to run the file over whatever was left sticking out to remove it.
Folding the main parts was straightforward - I held the piece at the fold line with end of the heavy steel rule and folded it by inserting the lighter one under the edge to be folded. Access to some folds was tricky and this is where a combination of tweezers, scalpel and pliers needed to be used.
Cutting and folding were the easiest part of the job. Assembling the pieces so they didn't distort or bend permanently was where assembly became a 'challenge'.
I don't know the thickness of the brass sheet used, but it is thin and the parts all bend easily. Getting purchase to fold the tabs was difficult at times but with patience I managed this. Getting the fold correct was also a challenge. The instructions are nicely drawn, but small in size and a few views of the assembled model would have been a great help in getting the fit right first time. Etched brass usually only bends once if you try and bend it back the other way it will break.
The only part of the build that I must have got wrong is the location of the cabin at the top of the access column. I bent it incorrectly and then had to super-glue it in place - and it is, consequently, too low.
The pathways in the jib that the 'hoist mechanism' runs on distorted slightly when the whole jib was tabbed together. There are minute pins each side the pathways to locate on the jib sides - these line up when not under stress - with just a little distortion many of them do not line up with these location holes.
I think I must have folded some of the tabs the wrong way as the jib does not rotate. It fouls on tabs, but it does move a few degrees from side to side.
All in all this kit builds into a nice model. I think it would be easier to build if the brass was thicker and the instructions were made more clear. Compared to a white metal crane of this type it looks good.
There are specialist etch folding tools available, but for a one-off build I didn't feel the cost was justified.
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