Plug Cutting Guide

McDonnell-Douglas DC-9:

The reference point on DC-9s is the first (forwardmost) overwing exit.  This exit is on all DC-9 lengths, from the -10 to the -50.
Lengths are given in number of windows forward and aft of this first overwing exit; the window inside of this exit is NOT counted.   When making your window counts, be sure to include any windows that may be blanked off on your subject aircraft; often on DC-9s the first window on the right side, just aft of the galley, is blanked off.  It still is counted!

DC-9-10/20: 16 windows forward, 12 aft
DC-9-30:      22 windows forward, 15 aft
DC-9-40:      23 windows forward, 17 aft
DC-9-50:      24 windows forward, 19 aft

Because most of the available DC-9 kits are molded to the intermediate lengths (series 30 or 40) it is possible to make a long and a short fuselage version from two kit fuselages by cutting and swapping plugs.

Douglas DC-8:

This gets a little hairy in 1/144th scale.  The Revell DC-8-61 fuselage is actually 1/140 scale in length and height, thus a bit long for a -61.  I will give lengths both to make it scale out exactly to 1/144th scale or to 1/140 scale.   Unless you are planning to drill out the windows, cutting the fuselage down to the correct 1/144th length probably makes the most sense.

In 1/200 scale the fuselage is at scale length.

Remember when making a DC-8-62 (or making a DC-8-63, for that matter) you will also have wing conversion work to do also.

Rather than give the plug removals in number of windows, I will give the measurements.

1/140th scale:

DC-8-62:  Remove 36.3 mm forward of the wing, 29mm aft

1/144th scale:

DC-8-62:  Remove 40.2mm forward of the wing, 33.1mm aft

1/200th scale:

DC-8-62: Remove 25.4mm forward of the wing, 20.3mm aft

Boeing 737-100:

Dead easy!  From a 737-200, remove a two-window plug forward of the wing and a two-window plug aft of the wing.  Keep in mind that the Hasegawa 1/200 scale kit has the Advanced nacelles, with wider pylons than those used on 737-100s.

A guide for making a 737-500 from the upcoming Minicraft 737-300 kit will be given once the Minicraft kit becomes available.   The DACO kit in 1/144th scale has 737-500 cutting guides molded into the interior of the fuselage halves--a very good idea I hope more manufacturers emulate.

This list is by no means exhaustive.  Additions and corrections would be welcome; send me an email!

Andrew Abshier
Tips and Techniques Webmaster

Back to Tips and Techniques