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Star Trek Enterprise Polar Light (5) :
saucer painting

Assembly of the Star Trek Enterprise Polar Light, next episode. The painting of the saucer was the biggest challenge of this kit. Making a perfectly accurate painting pattern was very hard. I had to use paint masks sold under the brand Aztec wich reproduce the original pattern.

1) The main color


An easy step, I only had to cover the all model with a white mat paint. No primer or underlayer here because I want the light can penetrate the plastic layer (see previous episode). Then the white mat coat is covered with a gloss varnish wich allows to make a wash and to place the decals easily. The varnish used is agrown cleaning agent known as “klir”, slightly diluted in water.

2) The wash

When the varnish is dry, I begin the wash. Every kit or fig modeler use this technique wich consists in passing a dark oil paint shade.The wash must be very diluted in white spirit to go into the surface depressions. Here I used a light grey. I know I said a “dark color” and now I say “light grey”. So I don’t know if I’m clear. Let’s say that the wash tint can be light and also darker than the other wich has to be less dark. And so is lighter than the wash, itself darker but possibly light. Is that clear ?
I usually use oil painting strongly diluted in white spirit and follow the panel lines with a small paintbrush. I wait a bit that the wash is dry (a few minutes) and then I wipe it with a paper kitchen towel. Well done, this step leads to have only the panel lines darkened. Here is the result :


Star Trek Enterprise Polar Light : le lavis

3) Using the Aztec masks

Once the wash is totally dry, the game consists in covering the all saucer with little stickers found in the Aztec kit. The stickers must of course be placed where the white tint is to be visible. The better is to proceed section by section : putting the masks, putting the pearly paint, removing the masks and putting them on the next section etc. If you mask the all model at once, the stickers can become too sticky and you take the risk of removing the white paint.

Star Trek Enterprise Polar Light : masques aztec

Then a pearly white paint is airbrushed. I had to add a few drops of “silver chrome” to darken it a little.

4) The final touch : some colored pearly rectangles

The ILM painters who made this model are littles jokers. To compensate the lack of surface details (the ship is quite smooth), they exagerated the panelling by adding hundreds of small rectangles colored in pearly pink, pearly blue and pearly green. So I tried to reproduce this jigsaw as accuratly as possible using home made stencils. The result is quite convincing :

Star Trek Enterprise Polar Light : puzzle coloré

Posted on 5 September 2018 by petersteven in Work in progress

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