Hull plating. Need a few tips


New Member
Hello to all. I am curently building a ship I hope to have ready in time for Wonderfest.

It is based on the Tantive IV from ANH. Not an exact replica, but a different version based very closely on that design with a different engine configration.

It is almost three ft long and I am to the point of putting the plating on the hull. What I am wondering is this, cutting out the plating is no big deal but in the photos of the original ship the plates have these little random square notches cut into them here and there and I really like that look.

Is there some little tool or technique to cutting these things other that just using the point of my knive?

The ones I have done look good but man is it time consuming. I'm looking for some sort of tool that could cut out a very small square notch.

Any one know what I mean?



Well-Known Member
Radio shack (I think) sells something called a "Nibbler" that allows you to make little square cuts. Only problem is that I think the squares might be larger than you want (depending on scale).



Sr Member
Gone but not forgotten.
Outside of a Panel Scriber your out of luck there guy.
There's no tool to my knowledge that will make
a SQUARE CUT into plastic ? BTW, how are you doing this ?
I mean, are you making " little " plate's and making hole's
in them and THEN glueing them to the hull ? I'm curious as I
can think of other way's to make

" square hole kinda' notch's thingy's "

if you explain a little more ?

Plenty of scratching option's if you could clue
me in a little more ?



New Member
Sorry for the lack of info. I have built the body " main hull " out of sheet styrene, PVC tube, and resin cast shapes. Now she looks smoothe and naked. I have been cutting out the shapes of the hull plating out of sheet styrene. the basic shapes come out rather quickly, then I look at where the little " Square notchy things " would look good. I have been cutting them by hand with a razor knife. If they come out good, then good. If not, then I have to start out all over again with a new plate.

It just seems like there should be a better way.

I'll try to post some pics later.



Well-Known Member
I swear ta god the Nibbler from Radio Shack makes square or rectangular cuts in styrene! If you don't believe me, I can take pics, and measure the size of the cut tonight. Just PM or post if you want me to do this.



New Member
Jeeves, I went to Radio Shack. I got a Nibbler. The notches are to large for what I am working on now, but it is an awesome tool.

I need the exact thing at about 1/4 the size. I am going to try to fabricate my own thing now that I can see how this works.



Sr Member
Check with some of the leather supply shops. Some have square punches in various sizes you put the sheet on a surface like a polypropolene cutting board and whack it with a plastic or wood mallet. You will have to search to find the square ones though the round are easy to find.

Sci Fi Smoker

New Member
Hey, guys. Long time lurker, first time poster here. Some of you might recognize me from the Starship Modeler forum.

Here's your answer: use the edge of a cutting wheel of your Dremel. Just go easy with it, and it might require a little cleanup, but it's better than doing it all by hand.


Well-Known Member
Where is Cerney when you need him.

Hey Jim,

I know there is a tool to do what you want. Frank has been building a Falcon for a few years now, he cut all of his plating in a day or so with some type of nibbler.

I will drop him a line, he's in the gulf on a battleship, but I have been in contact.

I will report here with the information.

You should bring that puppy up and share!




Well-Known Member
Thats it. I bought one for a friend who is working on a 3ft Falcon. Such a cool tool I bought one for myself....and it works great!

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