Cutting square window in styrene

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MSgtUSAFRet
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Cutting square window in styrene

Post by MSgtUSAFRet » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:38 pm

Hey Modelers,

I am building a TOS Romulan BOP and I need to create some square windows in the perimeter of the hull. I have 3 layers of strip styrene, stair-stepped toward the ventral to create an angled profile, and covered with a plating of 0.02 styrene to give it a smooth appearance.

This kinda shows the build up of the perimeter to show what I’m trying to describe…
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These are the windows I’m trying to cut and shape.
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I thought by drilling a pilot hole and then filing it down would be a good approach but I kinda ended up with something that looks like my finemotorcontrol.exe file failed to load.

If you could give me some ideas about how to make the windows square and clean, I would greatly appreciate it!

I look forward to your comments.

Steve

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Kremin
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Re: Cutting square window in styrene

Post by Kremin » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:41 pm

I have similar issues so I stole a solution from another forum an used brass tubing
Kremin wrote:by using hulls of different scales one of the problems is that the decks and window sizes are different

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so using a method that an other model maker uses I cut an filed out a larger opening and used rectangular brass to get the shape right

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cut a piece off with the dremmel and file it flush, it looks very tidy when finished
Kremin wrote:And the first set is in

Image

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trekriffic
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Re: Cutting square window in styrene

Post by trekriffic » Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:14 pm

What Kremin said. It's what I did with my own 1/650 build although, to be honest, the scale of the AMT kit was never stated clearly. I now consider it closer to 1/350 scale as it looks about right next to my 1/350 scale TOS Enterprise and much too large next to my 18" Enterprise.

An alternative to brass would be styrene strip. Drill pilot holes close to the width or height (whichever is less) of the square (or rectangular) window you want to make; then take a flat or square needle file to it and square up the corners. If you are really good with the files it may be perfect as is when done; however, if it's not quite straight or you got carried away and removed too much material just frame it with styrene strips until the opening looks uniform and level. Leave a little overhanging the rim and sand off the extra once the glue is dry. Then apply a little Perfect Plastic Putty to fill in any gaps) and sand smooth.
Last edited by trekriffic on Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MSgtUSAFRet
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Re: Cutting square window in styrene

Post by MSgtUSAFRet » Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:27 pm

Kremin and trekriffic, Thanks for the responses!

I was kinda hoping for a "Here's a gidget that you didn't know about and one that could instantaneously solve your problem for $9.95" kinda post, but it looks like there isn't such a gidget.

I like your "borrowed" technique and, from the pics, the result was brilliantly done. I have seen trekriffic's solution with the square tubing on his build, equally brilliantly done, but I am not sure I can do the same thing as he did; especially since I don't think the square tubing you mentioned would come in small enough measurements to suit my preferences. (unless of course you know of a website that offers extra small tubing!)

Before I do anything, I'll have to make some measurements on the exterior openings to see if I can get tubing to fit. If not, I will try Steve's suggestion.

Good responses!

Thanks again!

Steve

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trekriffic
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Re: Cutting square window in styrene

Post by trekriffic » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:06 pm

You're welcome.
One other suggestion concerns how to make sure your window alignments are straight and true is to resize a copy of the bow windows in the attached blueprint to the same size as your model, print it, cut out the windows in long strips, and tape them to the rim of your model to use as a guide for drilling your holes.
romulan-bird-of-prey-sheet-1.jpg
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