Opening closed hatches?

Brad9826

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#1
Hi all,
what method / tools have you found best / easiest for opening up closed hatches/ engine decks etc, without then having to major scratch build a new one?
Cheers in advance....
 

minitnkr

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#2
Scribe (using Xacto #11 blade upside down) from the backside until plastic whitens around the edges on the topside. Then use it right side up to cut out the hatch/grill on an angle wide side up. You can just cut it out from the top using the blade normally if the plastic is soft or thin enough as long as you cut on an angle. This allows the representation of a hinge or hinges and the preservation of the original shape. The hole can be dressed as req'd. PaulE
 

Brad9826

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#3
Thanks Paul, that's what I do, but usually make a hash of it... Less rush methinks...
 

Allen Dewire

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#4
Evening Brad,

I'm not an expert, but for opening larger hatches or engine decks, I use a JLC saw blade with out the handle. You can drill a hole in each corner of the item to be opened. You can then drill a few more along the recess in each direction and with the blade in your fingers and using the fine tooth side, begin sawing on one side. then repeat on the other sides. You will probably have a bit of over cut, but that should be easy to fix. There are also small saw blades for the hobby knife that you could use for smaller hatches and such.

I also use an awl with a very fine sharp point and scribe the area with repeated strokes until you are almost through the plastic. After scribing all 4 sides, turn the piece over and reverse scribe the part until it is free. Due to the scribing, if you want to put the piece back in place, you will have to fill it in a bit. If you want to model the hatch open, you should have no probs at all...I hope this helps a little!

Prost
Allen
 

Brad9826

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#5
Evening Allen, thanks for your input. I don't have a jlc, its on the list, so I'll muddle through at the mo. Thanks again.
Ps Lovin the V2:thumb2:
 

Brad9826

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#6
Has anyone used the method of drilling a hole, then threading cotton through, and it using it as a saw?
 

John Race

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#7
No Brad.
Would like to know if it works. I would just do as Paul says, but have yet to attempt it .
John.
 

Jakko

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#9
I’m a bit late to reply, but I always drill holes in or near the corners (or just one of them, for a small hatch), then connect them using a fretsaw. This is really easy, and far less bother than the method many older (British) articles and books recommend, of drilling holes all around the edge. It’s also less likely to cause damage outside the hatch than when scribing with a knife.

Alternatively, a Tamiya (Olfa) plastic scriber also works well for larger hatches, because it removes a sliver of material rather than pushing the plastic to the sides like a knife blade does.
 

rtfoe

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#10
Hi Brad,

I've tried all ways to save the hatch but it never works as more work will need to be done for the hatch opening. It's even worse if the hatch rim is covered with a raised rim.

I would either take a photo or trace the surface detail and measurements of the hatch rubbing pencil lead over the paper trace. then shave off carefully all detail like hinges and bolts and put them aside. Check with references how the hatch closes like how much does it cover over the hole and whether there is an extra lip on the inside. Draw the hole opening size onto the hatch cover and drill the four corners and along the line making sure that the outer circumference of the drill is well inside of the line, this ensures any excess plastic can be filed off and need not be replaced by over cutting. Shave off the cover surrounding the opening. The opening as well may have a lip edge. You will have to determine the thickness and may have to thin from the inside to add the lip edge.

Make a new cover depending if it's lipless or not. The one with a lip is done with sandwiching two pieces (one slightly smaller that the other depending on the lip size)....I'm starting to get fed up with lips :tears-of-joy::tears-of-joy: I've gotta show you...sori if the image is blurred.
20180830_172437-1.jpg

With the new hatch replace all the shaved tid bits saved earlier. Repair any with scratch building.
There is no other easier way but patience and perseverance.

Cheers,
Richard
 

Jim R

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#11
Would it be possible to make a mould of the hatch detail and then use that to make a new hatch out of resin. I imagine it could be done with a bit of care. Then damaging the kit hatch when cutting it out wouldn't matter. I'll bet Simon T would have some thoughts worth sharing.
Jim
 

Jakko

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#12
If the hatch is mostly flat with detail on it, you can also make the replacement hatch first from plastic card, shave the detail off the model and stick it onto the hatch, and only then cut the hatch out of the model.
 

Brad9826

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#13
Jakko, Richard and Jim, thanks for your input, I've now have several way's to try if and when, lol...all great info and techniques to squirrel away for the future, panzer 3 in the cupboard looks like it's up for trying out on, figure to paint first though...thanks again...
 
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#14
Just to add to Jakko’s comment, a jewellers piercing saw can be threaded through any drilled hole of about 1mm or bigger, and comes with really fine blades as well. To be honest, I’ve used all of these methods to open out holes in plasticard, and they all work....
Cheers
Tim
 

Jakko

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#16
a jewellers piercing saw can be threaded through any drilled hole of about 1mm or bigger
That’s actually what I meant when I said to drill holes and then cut the hatch out with a fretsaw :smiling3: Putting a hole in each corner helps with not sawing too far.
 
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