The problem as I see it is as follows:
Every original tier version of a manufacturer and ship class is smaller than any later tier version of that ship. This is because the later tiers basically slap on appearance attachments to alter the look of the original. They never reduce the size from the original.
If, hit boxes are modified by the appearance attachments then they increase the size of the hit box making the ship easier to hit. If that is the case then max/min players would always strip off the appearance attachments to reduce the size of the ship back to the original model.
Regardless, we, as players should be told how it works so that we can make informed decisions about our ships. This is a pvp game up front information on something like that gives the game legitimacy if they ever want tournaments and the like.
If the attachments make the ships easier to hit then the devs have two choices:
1) Leave it as it is and let people trade vanity for handicaps. If this is communicated to the playerbase clearly, it is perfectly acceptable since people will make informed decisions. Of course in competitive play we will see the min-tier models being used exclusively.
2) Make the hitboxes uniform regardless of appearance attachments. Again, if this is communicated to the playerbase clearly, it is perfectly acceptable since people will make informed decisions. In competitive play ships will have a variety of physical configurations. The cost is that players will need to accept that they may not have hit that Outis since the nose looks longer than it really is.
Regardless of the outcome - we should be informed. Keeping these things secret does no one any good in the long run.