Frequently Asked Questions
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 £4.50 per pair, up to 5mm are £6, up to 8mm are £9 and any size over 8mm are £13. You can order on brass or nickel silver at the same price, there's just a small extra charge to have them supplied painted.
Works plates and number plates start from £2 per pair in 4mm scale and our complete loco sets start from £5 in 4mm scale.
We ship custom etched items worldwide for free, using letter post.
For the time being, you can save 25% on the cost of custom etched items when spending over £5 by entering the code ETCH25 at checkout.
How long does it take?
At present our lead time to delivery on custom etched plates is around 4 - 6 weeks but we're working to speed this up, especially for commonly ordered items.
What happened to that thing where more nameplates ordered together were cheaper?
Unfortunately we haven't been able to replicate this in our new website system yet. But for the time being, you can save 25% on the cost of all custom etched items by entering the code ETCH25 at checkout (applicable when spending over £5).
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.
Who are Narrow Planet?
NP was formed in 2010 by three 009 modellers, Stephen Fulljames, Tom Dauben and Robert Kaczmarczyk, who realised there was a market for suitably sized customised nameplates for narrow gauge locos. They're also perfectly suited to standard gauge locos, of course! Over time we've expanded to cover common works plate designs, and complete sets of plates for locos such as NGG16 Garratts where specialised artwork was needed.
In 2012 we launched our first 009 kit, the RNAD Baguley-Drewry, and have gone on to expand the range by working with other modellers and designers including James Hilton, Jon Reeves and Mark A. Greenwood. James and Jon are also developing their own independent kit ranges which we list for purchase on this site.
In 2015 we were proud to be able to take on the plastic injection moulded rolling stock kits formerly in the Meridian Models range after Pete Wilson decided to retire. The etched and whitemetal loco kits also in this range are being continued by our friends at Small Run Batch and Mosskito NG and are available here too.
We are also working to create a marketplace for narrow gauge kit designers looking for somewhere to sell their products without the overhead of setting up their own online store and handling payment. So far we have welcomed Stuart Brewer of Small Run Batch, Neil Sayer of Neil Sayer Scale Models and Neil Moss of Mosskito NG and Rob Waller of Boston Largs Works. We're gradually expanding this offer, but if you're interested please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.