How does your custom etching servce work?
Choose from the nameplate, works plate, number plate styles and complete loco sets we offer, enter the details you want for your locos, let us know what size they should be. We'll take care of the rest.
Our plates are produced in batches, a more cost-effective method than etching each pair individually. This means there may be a short wait for your order depending on demand, but we aim to keep you informed throughout.
What size do I need to order?
For nameplates it depends on the size of your loco and the space available to fit them. Generally though, for 009 we recommend 2mm overal plate height, this is also suitable for small 00 standard gauge industrial locos. For mainline locos in 00 perhaps 3mm, which would also suit smaller 7mm narrow gauge and industrials. For 7mm standard gauge you might want around 4mm. For 16mm scale we normally suggest around 7-8mm but larger plates can also make an impact on big locos.
All of our works plates and loco sets are ordered in scale sizes so just the pick the scale you're working in.
We will always confirm your order with draft artwork before production. This has a sizing grid so you can check the fit and ask for changes if needed.
What material thickness do you use?
Our plates are produced on different brass and nickel silver thicknesses depending on the size and scale:
- Nameplates and number plates up to 3mm, works plates up to 7mm:ft scale, 0.15mm / 6 thou
- Nameplates and number plates 3mm up to 6mm, works plates around 1:32 scale, 0.3mm / 12 thou
- Nameplates and number plates 6mm up to 9mm, works plates 16mm:ft and 7/8":ft, 0.5mm / 20 thou
- Nameplates and number plates 9mm and over, 0.9mm / 36 thou
- Nickel silver
- Nameplates and number plates up to 6mm, 0.25mm / 10 thou
- Nameplates and number plates 6mm and over, 0.5mm / 20 thou
How much does it cost?
Our nameplates are priced in size bands: up to and including 3mm overall height are £5.50 per pair, up to 5mm are £7.35, up to 8mm are £11.25 and up to 11mm are £16.25. Larger sizes are also available, see individual product pages for details.
You can order on brass or nickel silver at the same price, there's just a small extra charge to have them supplied painted.
We ship custom etched items worldwide for free, using letter post.
How long does it take?
At present our lead time to delivery on custom etched plates is around 8 - 12 weeks but we're working to speed this up, especially for commonly ordered items.
Can I order kits and custom etched items together?
No problem at all. Any kits or components on your order will be shipped first if they're in stock, but bear in mind that some kit products are made to order with a lead time of around 3 - 4 weeks. Details are given on individual items.
How can I be sure I'm getting the right thing?
We ask for details of your custom plates at the time you order, so be sure to check the text and any other values you've entered before you add to cart. Once the artwork for your plates is ready for production, we'll send you a draft image by email so you can check the result is what you were expecting, and discuss changes if necessary. After you approve the artwork, we'll produce your plates, paint then as required, and ship them to you.
What happens if I change my mind?
We understand that sometimes your requirements might change after you place an order. Model railway projects have a habit of stopping and starting, or new prototype info might come to light. As long as you haven't received draft artwork we are usually able to cancel or amend items on a custom etch order, or substitute one plate style for another.
Once your artwork has been approved and sent to production we are unable to refund the cost of custom plates, and we reserve the right to charge an alteration fee up to the value of a complete replacement if you want to change to an alternative item.
How can I get a status update on my order?
The quickest way is to drop us a line to email@example.com with the order number you would have received with your confirmation email. We're happy to update you on where your custom etch items are in our production queue.
Bear in mind that our current lead time to delivery on custom etched plates is around 8 - 12 weeks, and roughly the first half of that is the artwork queue so you can expect to receive a draft image around 4 - 6 weeks after ordering.
Can you make me something that isn't listed on your website?
At present we have very limited capacity for bespoke etched plates beyond the range listed on our website. We do have some artwork on file that is not yet listed (we're working on it!), especially for commonly modelled narrow gauge locos, so it is still worth getting in touch to see what's possible.
For completely bespoke plates drawn from scratch we would charge a minimum of £20 for artworking time, plus the regular cost of the relevant size/scale of plates, and these requests are always subject to available capacity and likely to be of a longer lead time.