Cutting out the partsThe next stage stage is to carefully run a new blade around the the outline of the parts. Don't try to cut right through - there's no need and you'll probably just mess things up if you try; just score gently with a number of light strokes.
Obviously, the closer you cut to the parts, the less spare plastic you'll need to get rid of later. One neat trick to reduce the clean-up is to score around the parts at an angle of about 45%. Also, for complex shapes I normally run a few extra score-marks out to the edge of the sheet so it's easier to work on tight areas.
Now for the moment of truth! Once you've scored right around the part, gently flex the styrene sheet. As you flex it, the part will begin to separate from the sheet - don't rush it, but the plastic will split accurately along your score-marks and the parts will drop free. Once the parts are removed from the sheet, the purpose of earlier ink/paint stage is obvious - all the excess is highlighted as bare plastic.
The parts will be moulded with any windows and cockpit cutouts solid - whatever you do, don't be tempted to open these up yet, because they help maintain the rigidity of the parts, which helps you sand them accurately.
Sanding & trimmingThere's no escaping this stage... but it really isn't as tedious as many would have you believe. Some modellers like to work on a flat surface, other's prefer to hold the parts and use a tool like Handvik Handy Sander or wet 'n dry paper attached to a piece of tile (as in the photos) - either way, work steadily and sand the parts with a "figure of eight" technique. Check your progress frequently to make sure you don't sand away too much. On large parts try to maintain an even pressure across the surface and shift your grip regularly to avoid "pressure points".
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