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
2) The wash
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.
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 :
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