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Darren Roberts

USS Enterprise colors

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I think I'll paint mine white with two parallel longitudinal blue racing stripes and a Cobra emblem to honor the passing of Carroll Shelby. It'll be the talk of the town!

Wouldn't it be a more fitting Cobra tribute if it were metallic blue with white racing stripes? ;) Besides, Shelby seemed to like painting most of his stuff in that color. And if you do it, it should be tweaked in a few spots as well since Shelby never seemed to like sticking with something stock. So maybe some bigger engine pods, or some intake vents on the front (sort of like a King of the Road Mustang). :D

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Hey Jay,

If he's using samples from the 11 ft model as it sits right now, that IS the GM gray. The restoration team had it specially mixed (because it's not available anymore) at an automotive paint shop.

For those thinking your model might look a littl dark, you're right! You need to scale down the color with white to get it to look correct on an 18" model - Just like modeling a jet.

Tracy

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Hey Jay,

If he's using samples from the 11 ft model as it sits right now, that IS the GM gray. The restoration team had it specially mixed (because it's not available anymore) at an automotive paint shop.

In Gary's case, I am pretty sure if he got a chip, it came from an original segment and not the restoration color. When the restoration team dismounted some of the parts, the took samples of overspray areas inside the model, which were still covered with the original color. Gary was on hand for that step (which is how he got measurements off the parts for his plan set). I know he's been working dilligently on color matches as Round 2 plans to have the parts shot in the same shade as a quick reference.

As for me, I don't think my model looks too dark. It depends on the lighting as that can alter how it looks. When I sprayed it originally, it WAS too dark, hence the addition of white to the XF-12 color to get something I liked.

Edited by Jay Chladek

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I think your mix looks awesome Jay.

Like everyone else - except for maybe Sean Sides, I don't have GM Gray lying around the hobbyroom. I mix mine the best I can to.

For the actual color, when the restoration team did the project, they were in no way allowed to alter the top half of the saucer - except for the bridge B/C deck. That was completly stripped down to bare wood and re-finished like the rest of the ship. The upper saucer still has the original finish and weathering. Everything else is the re-created mix of GM Gray. That chip from the over-spray and splatter you're refuring to was used as a referance to match the results of the re-made GM gray. Dispite the aging of the then almost 30 year old and slightly faded finish, the new GM Gray matched the top saucer's finish VERY well.

Tracy

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Well, a couple weekends ago I had a chance to look at Gary's color chips and compare it with my own. The overall color is a tick bluer than mine in the light we were using, but similar. However, the accent color used on the front of the center pylon and the scalloped areas on the bottom front of the warp nacelles seems spot on to an XF-12 based color.

For those that are going to get the 1/350 Enterprise, Round 2 is going to try and mold it in the proper color, so it can be used as a paint matching reference.

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Well, a couple weekends ago I had a chance to look at Gary's color chips and compare it with my own. The overall color is a tick bluer than mine in the light we were using, but similar. However, the accent color used on the front of the center pylon and the scalloped areas on the bottom front of the warp nacelles seems spot on to an XF-12 based color.

For those that are going to get the 1/350 Enterprise, Round 2 is going to try and mold it in the proper color, so it can be used as a paint matching reference.

Well.....far be it from me to weigh in as an expert here on this. I am a big fan and built several AMT 18 inchers when I was a kid, but have not yet tackled one as an adult. However, I have some thoughts.

The best anyone can do, IMO, is get in the ballpark with what shows up on screen. Lighting and type of film/exposure add up to make a huge difference.

Tracy Mann (Vidar 710) is calling out GM gray. He has a built up 18 incher in his studio from a few years back. I have seen it a bunch of times as I am over at his place regularly. It appears way too dark to me....but if it is GM Gray, as has been indicated, it would be technically "correct." However, screen shots from the series show the ship as light gray to very light gray, with several different tints. TOS was shot in technicolor, which is a very slow speed film that requires a lot of light. Knowing this, maybe the producers went with the medium gray (GM Gray) so that it would show as light gray on film when the model was under a bunch of lights. That is my guess anyway.

As far as Polar Lights molding it in the "correct" color; that seems like a waste of effort. Better to provide accurate color call outs or mixes to get the right basic hue, then let the modeler decide if he wants to lighten it up the paint to compensate for high intensity studio lighting.

My two cents.

-Gil

Edited by DutyCat

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I have to applaud Round 2 for making the effort in assisting builders with this long-standing issue. Styrene color cost differential should be miniscule.

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Agreed. And technically Round 2 has addressed the same things already that Dutycat brought up. Lots of us would probably be perfectly happy to paint the model in whatever gray shade we want. But there are some who will want something more "exact" and going to this trouble to mold the model in that color is a nice way to provide a spot color reference for a relatively miniscule amount of money spent when factored in overall. And FYI, the instruction sheet will reportedly have a very thorough explantation on the colorings. Kerr's research will also be popping up in a copy of Sci-Fi and Fantasy Modeler magazine in the UK as well (plenty of US vendors will have the issue for sale).

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Just remember that every TV screen will have different color and white balance adjustments, if you decide to watch the DVD or VCR to get the color. Also every computer screen, CRT or LCD will have different color balances and temperatures as well. The kind of light you display the finished model in will also affect what color it appears to be. Any photos will have differing color balances as well due to lighting, film type, and aging. So you can pick your favorite and just go with it. Short of using the color the original artist says he used there is no right answer and even that doesn't mean it will look like it does in the movie depending on their lighting and film! I'm not sure there is a right answer.

Ken

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When planning on painting the model like the studio miniature, using the TV is not the way to go. That's why they are going through the trouble of determining the studio miniatures color. For folks like me, recreating the miniature is paramount over what is seen on-screen.

Tracy

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And there is the difference right there. Some folks are modeling the miniature used in filming. Other folks are modeling the fictional vessel as portrayed on film. What I see on screen is my reality.

The same goes with my planes. I know that Navy jet is Dark Ghost Gray over Light Ghost Grey. So I could use MM paint straight from the bottle and be technically accurate. But I want it to look like a real jet looks sitting on the ramp on a typical day. That means my paint has to be lightened up for scale effect. So if I walk up to a real F-18 with my scale effect painted model, my colors will appear lighter, therefor inaccurate. But if I stand a hundred feet away, they look about the same.

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And there is the difference right there. Some folks are modeling the miniature used in filming. Other folks are modeling the fictional vessel as portrayed on film. What I see on screen is my reality.

I entirely agree. I want an Enterpise that looks like the one we see on tv. The paint on the 11 foot model will look much too dark, even if it is "right". Not so much because of the scale difference, but due to lighting and film sensitivity.

I have tried several grey paints on my AMT kit. I now have Model Master Light Grey FS36495 on my starships, and I am very pleased with it. Besides looking like it is the right shade, I can see no color in it. Ghost Greys are blueish, and Camoflage Grey is beige. If you prefer a different shade than FS36495, I recommend starting with FS36495 and adding white or neutral grey to it to get what you want. But I say FS36495 is perfect.

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I entirely agree. I want an Enterpise that looks like the one we see on tv. The paint on the 11 foot model will look much too dark, even if it is "right". Not so much because of the scale difference, but due to lighting and film sensitivity.

I have tried several grey paints on my AMT kit. I now have Model Master Light Grey FS36495 on my starships, and I am very pleased with it. Besides looking like it is the right shade, I can see no color in it. Ghost Greys are blueish, and Camoflage Grey is beige. If you prefer a different shade than FS36495, I recommend starting with FS36495 and adding white or neutral grey to it to get what you want. But I say FS36495 is perfect.

.

Maybe so. You are correct about the hues of the tactical grays. But 36495 is awful light....it looks almost white unless you are comparing it side by side with actual white.

I was looking at my PL Enterprise kit today, which they went to great trouble to mold in the supposed actual color of the original model. Too me, it is clearly too dark to represent what you see on screen. You gotta figure they had this thing floodlit pretty well so that it would show up on film. So, no I am not going to go with that color. I am kinda leaning towards Tamiya Fine Gray Primer. It seems as good a choice as anything else. All film has a color bias, and it changes a little depending on film speed and exposure. It is a chemical process and there are several different chemical reactions going on in film to bring out the mix of color you see. I don't know if I am concerned about that green tint that was supposedly in the original paint. I will have to think about it some more.

Gil

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.

Maybe so. You are correct about the hues of the tactical grays. But 36495 is awful light....it looks almost white unless you are comparing it side by side with actual white.

Some descriptions of the color of the Enterprise start out with "The Enterprise was not white...", because a lot of people think it was. On screen, it was a pretty pale looking grey. Go back and look at the pictures that I posted of the 11 foot model from the pilot on the saucer grid thread. Its so light, it makes me wonder if there was a different paint on it before it was painted GM grey. And as you noticed, if you get FS36495 near anything white, it doesn't look light.

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This is an old 22" kit I did a long time ago. To recreate the GM primer, I mixed 90% Flat White, 5% Silver, and 5% Pale Green. View the pics before and after to see what happends as light sources change. This is why I perfer to paint Starship models as close to the studio models finish as possible.

http://s676.beta.photobucket.com/user/Tracy_Mann/media/Star%20Trek/scan0001.jpg.html?sort=6&o=48#/user/Tracy_Mann/media/Star%20Trek/scan0003.jpg.html?sort=6&o=49&_suid=135460520718809820269067872209

Tracy

Edited by Vidar 710

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This is an old 22" kit I did a long time ago. To recreate the GM primer, I mixed 90% Flat White, 5% Silver, and 5% Pale Green. View the pics before and after to see what happends as light sources change. This is why I perfer to paint Starship models as close to the studio models finish as possible.

http://s676.beta.pho...820269067872209

Tracy

Tracy, that pic from the top looking down is underexposed in order to not be blown out by the lighting on that ship, so it is really tough to tell what you actually have there. The beauty pass looks properly exposed, however.

The Enterprise could look light on screen:

Enterprisecapture014.png

Or dark:

EnterpriseCapture375.png

That top pic looks pretty close to Tamiya primer gray. And I don't see any green tint at all. To my eye, at least, it does not look as light as 36495.

So really, all anyone can do is get in the ballpark. There really isn't any right answer. Unless you are WAY off, no one can really call you out on it.

Edited by DutyCat

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This one is aircraft grey and gloss gull grey mixed in a very scientific method. Pour both colours into cup and then spray...........

DSC_0692.jpg

DSC_0698.jpg

Edited by phantom

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I know it's not TV or model accurate, but I use chrome silver on all my enterprise models.  I've tried cement grey and white etc.. they all look so bland to me.  I know some folks may find it garish or annoyingly inaccurate, but the chrome silver is the only color that genuinely pleased me when i saw the finished product.  

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On my 1/1000 TOS Enterprise I used Tamiya spray AS-20 Insignia White, a very light gray.

On the 1/1000 D-7 Klingon Battle Cruiser I used Tamiya sprays AS-29 IJN gray green and

AS-7 USAF neutral gray. jon

jSE0XLI.jpg

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jkjsa63.jpg

 

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I thought the studio model was light green? jon

XvJOt1j.jpg

Just noticed this post. I know it's an old old argument but just to reiterate, I don't think photos like this above is anything to go on to base the actual model color on. For thing, the building in the back also has a slight greenish tint which tells me the white balance isn't set correctly. Not arguing against the "green guys" just pointing out these types pics aren't reliable. To me, build it and paint it how you remember it on your TV or when you saw it in person or in mags or photos or whatever. And then your Enterprise will be the correct color for you. That's pretty much all you can ask. There IS a color it was painted. IF you want to get that color, then perhaps enough research will provide clear evident proof of what it was.

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