Help: Making panel line cuts in an airplane model

Blender help needed.

I am making an airplane in 1:32 scale for 3d-printing. I have made the body and want to add panel lines (basically recesses indicating panels). How do I best do this? I tried just modifying the topology, which can work but is very tedious as there are not necessarily edges to bevel where I want the lines.

Ideally I wanted to use booleans, but Blender keeps miscalculating/stop calculating these after a while.

Ideally I would want to just be able to “paint” a curve on the surface, give it volume and then use it as a boolean. There are plenty of complex shapes, and the surface has an inner shell, so it is solid. Obviously just using alphas will not work as I am 3d-printing it. The red lines are where I want the panel lines roughly, they do not match with my mesh.

Perhaps the answer you don’t want to hear is that the easiest way is to plan your topology while you’re modelling with such details already in mind. The cuts you sketched are relatively simple and should be possible to obtain when planning your model.

The next best idea I could come up with is to use grease pencil strokes snapped to the surface of your mesh (you can use polyline for straight lines or arc for more curvy results) convert the grease pencil object to mesh and then use booleans. Most likely you will have to do some manual cleanup of your mesh after applying the boolean modifier, but I fear there is no easier way.

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