Good article! I found it looking for tips prior to working with my first vac canopy. I ruined the canopy of a 1/48 JAS-39 Gripen by trying to "gently" polish it with a Dremel. Derp...
I would add the following observations:
- If you have the original canopy, it can be very useful as a form to provide strength to the vac while working with it. It will probably nest inside well.
- Use the sharpest scissors you can get your hands on. Cheap scissors are a no-go for this job.
- Removing the excess "base": Do test cuts. Nibble away at it until you can really tell how the plastic will react (does it crack easily).
- The importance of scoring the plastic cannot be understated. This will prevent cracks from "racing" into areas you don't want them to. Same principle as drilling a small hole in a car's windshield to stop a crack from spreading.
- If you use a razor saw, remember that it generates heat. Factor a tiny bit of melt into where you decide to make your cut. Don't get too close the the canopy's frame. Draw the saw towards you, don't try to move in both directions.
- Finally, go slow and have patience. If in doubt, don't cut, sand.
I took my time, worked methodically, and was pleasantly surprised with the results. I won't hesitate to use vac canopies in the future.