The Burrell engine nameplate for this tiny model is just 14mm wide. The capital letters are just 1.4mm high. For all of that the etching has come out rather well. When I started looking at this Burrell valve chest plaque I was concerned about achieving the level of detail that my dad achieved over 20 years ago.
Moving the image creation over to Inkscape was actually quite simple. Helped by some tutorials on youtube I managed to put the text onto an arc. This then allowed me to reduce the size of the design and print it onto inkjet photo paper in the laser printer. I now have a lightweight photo paper and this goes through the printer easily. Also, I now heat the brass plate up on the iron before applying the print. I then iron it onto the plate, ensuring it is firmly pushed onto the plate. You can use a cloth to do this. Once cool the thin paper can then be peeled off leaving just the plastic laser print attached to the brass plate.
The first etching came out ok, not perfect, but for a first go I was happy. The ferric chloride was cold (~15°C) and I didn’t leave it long enough.
I warmed the ferric chloride up by placing the bottle in a bowl of hot water. Really it wants to be around 70°C, but if you get the ferric chloride to body temperature around the high 30’s then that works quite well.
I etched a further four nameplates. I think the bottom right one in the image is good enough to use.
The black is just a permanent marker I used to give me enough contrast to see whether they have worked.
I now have a Burrell engine nameplate for the 1/20th scale traction engine.