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1/350 NCC-1701 TOS color


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Trying not to hijack the threat Captain started, but the discussion of the main color came up. I did a lot of internet searching and reading and also read that plastic is molded in the right color as well.

Two colors I came up with.  One I saw built the guy used Light Ghost Grey Tamiya spray lacquer.  The kit recommends the Tamiya XF-12 with 10% white added.  So here’s my comparison of both.   Using a spare cowl I sprayed each side with each color. FYI: My mix was 20 drops of XF-12 and 2 drops of Flat White. 

As you can see, the XF-12 on the right side of the cowl almost matches the plastic the saucer is molded in.  To the naked eye, it’s a perfect match.  In the photo, unpainted plastic appears a little lighter.  And this kind of coincides with what I read about angles and flash making a difference in colors and difficult to make a call. 

For me, its settled.  I now have 5 cans of Tamiya Light Ghost Grey I need to find a big project for.  :dontknow:

 

 

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Edited by Scott Smith
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Having seen the original in the Smithsonian, I think the one on the right is way too light. It's more like the colour on the left. The refit Enterprise is different again - a pearlescent white with lots of subtle variations. No idea why they changed it so radically.

 

Have a look at https://airandspace.si.edu/multimedia-gallery/model-starship-enterprise-television-show-star-trek

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Yea, I’ve seen it too.  I need to dig up pics. 

Wow, looking at the link pics, it looks nothing like that in the show.  I just finished watching the series and didn’t see nearly as much green weathering on it that shows up in the link.  

 

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Edited by Scott Smith
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LIGHTING..External lighting affects colors. Different types of film and cameras affects colors. The film stock used in the original series affects it.

That's why i suggest for those who want to paint their model to accurately reflect the original, Follow Gary Kerr's formulas.

 

The man worked with a team of experts and did all the work for you...( Not some You Tube "expert")in essence, giving away the key to the castle. Those pictures at the museum have the miniature lit from above in the case.

Throwing off, again the colors... I love photography. To understand all this, that is if you want to, Read up on Photography and film...it's not a secret or magic. I personally found it fun! Which is why we do this stuff..no?

That's why, When asked, how I painted mine(unfortunately I did my paint work, on my personal build using a lot of reference material before Gary's article came out, and adjusted accordingly .) , I refer guys to Kerr's articles.

 

 To further illustrate what I am talking about , I have attached a photo of my build in front of a blue screen...The model, like the original, picks up the Blue...

The second photo is in front of a black background....

 

The final picture is on my family room table...

In all three photos, the color appears different!

 

You are correct that the plastic is molded in the correct color.

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Edited by Captain Han Solo
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Here's an AMT 18" Enterprise I built using a mix of Tamiya XF-12 JN Grey,  XF-19 Sky Grey and XF-2 Flat White.  I matched it to a sample Gary Kerr sent me and also a Walmart Concrete paint chip.  It has a slight hint of green but not nearly as much as XF-12 with white added.

IMG_4086 Small.jpg

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19 hours ago, Bell209 said:

Interesting. Never thought about lighting direction or background effects altering the colours before.

Yup. There are soooo many things that effect color on an object like this. Lighting in the location it's taken. reflections on it from objects around it, the color settings on the camera taking the image, the color settings on the monitor and/or film developing that the viewer is looking at it on, the lighting in THAT room and potentially reflections on the screen you're looking at the image on. Color is far from being an exact thing even on objects that you KNOW the exact paint that was used. Because even "exact" colors of paint have different batches which at times can be slightly different...Yeah, a lot can mess around with color. And that doesn't even get in to apparent scale effect on color based on size....it can be maddening.

 

Bill

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27 minutes ago, niart17 said:

Yup. There are soooo many things that effect color on an object like this. Lighting in the location it's taken. reflections on it from objects around it, the color settings on the camera taking the image, the color settings on the monitor and/or film developing that the viewer is looking at it on, the lighting in THAT room and potentially reflections on the screen you're looking at the image on. Color is far from being an exact thing even on objects that you KNOW the exact paint that was used. Because even "exact" colors of paint have different batches which at times can be slightly different...Yeah, a lot can mess around with color. And that doesn't even get in to apparent scale effect on color based on size....it can be maddening.

 

Bill

 

Very well said Bill!  

 

Then there's what the director/film maker intended the color to look like vs. the actual color of a studio model.  Most studio models color doesn't look like what it looked like on screen.

 

Mike.

Edited by crowe-t
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Another example of this would be Dukes of Hazzard.  The General Lee was actually A Corvette Red that was close to orange.  The test paint of orange actually looked yellow on film. 

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That is why when I did my 2001 Discovery XD-1 I did it lighter that the studio model because I wanted it to look more like it did on screen.  With these Syfi ships lighting is everything.

 

Randy

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 6/12/2020 at 1:01 PM, Scott Smith said:

Another example of this would be Dukes of Hazzard.  The General Lee was actually A Corvette Red that was close to orange.  The test paint of orange actually looked yellow on film. 

 

I have another example...

I own a car that was used in a TV series (Bearcats!...replica 1914 Stutz Bearcat built by George Barris and subject of an MPC 1/25th scale kit) on TV it looked white. In reality, it's a creamy yellow...about the color of the inside of a banana.

The reason was if a car is painted bright white, it can look too "hot" on film. There are a lot of technical reasons for the colors used in films.

 

I got an Enterprise model when they first came out circa 1967. Based on what we saw in TV, my brother spray painted a light sky blue. It looked great. 

BTW, I always thought TOS had strange colors, many hues...particularly  the reds, were very bright. I've always assumed it was because of the color film used and lighting. Other color shows of the period didn't look like that.

Edited by JohnEB
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Posted (edited)

OK, I’m showing my age here.  I used to love watching that show as a kid.  Aired in 1971.  Wow, I feel old now.  I fell in love with vintage cars because of that show. 

I used to run camera shading on productions at work. It was video, not film.  But you are very correct about white on camera.  We use to tell talent to NEVER show up in a white shirt or outfit. Even worse (especially shooting weddings on film, another gig I did for a while) was black folks wearing a white wedding dress or tux.  Try to get a balance on that.  It’s impossible!    

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/13/2020 at 11:21 PM, JohnEB said:

I have another example...

I got an Enterprise model when they first came out circa 1967. Based on what we saw in TV, my brother spray painted a light sky blue. It looked great...

 

I did the exact same thing the same year.  It didn't look quite right to me, but at ten years old, I didn't know what was wrong.  I still thought it was close enough.  I saw the show only a few times as it came on at my bed time and I had to sneak peeks.

 

I was sure surprised some twenty years ago when I got on the Interwebs and found out the truth about the color.

Edited by Slartibartfast
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Well early in the series run we didn't have a color TV yet, so that made things a bit more difficult!

 

On TV it looked gray with a hint of blue, but that light blue model looked great with the colorful decal stripes, red scanner and the other painted parts (I can't recall what the colors were at the front and rear of the engine nacelles...).

 

To represent the windows my brother came up with the idea of cutting up black tape. Again, pretty forward thinking in the days before the internet and lots of specialized hobby products. Today you could use thin chart tape for the same result....if you didn't have access to painting masks or LED light kits.

 

And as you said, as kids we didn't care.

But in our case it was even more than that. My brother made great aircraft models and being the sons of an Air Force pilot, we appreciated the need for correct markings and colors...BUT we knew Star Trek was just a (WARNING...spoiler ALERT!!!) fantasy, so certain liberties could be taken.

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19 minutes ago, JohnEB said:

Well early in the series run we didn't have a color TV yet, so that made things a bit more difficult!

 

On TV it looked gray with a hint of blue, but that light blue model looked great with the colorful decal stripes, red scanner and the other painted parts (I can't recall what the colors were at the front and rear of the engine nacelles...).

 

To represent the windows my brother came up with the idea of cutting up black tape. Again, pretty forward thinking in the days before the internet and lots of specialized hobby products. Today you could use thin chart tape for the same result....if you didn't have access to painting masks or LED light kits.

 

And as you said, as kids we didn't care.

But in our case it was even more than that. My brother made great aircraft models and being the sons of an Air Force pilot, we appreciated the need for correct markings and colors...BUT we knew Star Trek was just a (WARNING...spoiler ALERT!!!) fantasy, so certain liberties could be taken.

 

 

So against my better judgement, Im going to respond to this...

"Star Trek was just a (warning...spoiler Alert!!!) Fantasy"...NO kidding.

Ive noticed a sort of shaming on the part of some modelers, who in my opinion. are either, lazy, not skilled enough and or jealous they can't achieve certain results and instead of being honest, they hide behind..it's only a TV show nonsense.

 

Just because the model isn't a real tank, Airplane or other vehicle doesn't mean you can't research the ACTUAL filming miniature/prop to get the coloring/details right...if That's what the individual wants to do.

Some of us find that as part of the fun...your milage may vary.

Personally doing the research on any subject is half the enjoyment...I don't care what your building. I also build Submarines, Aircraft and other Military vehicles. 

 

Yes...certain liberties can be taken...IF that's how you enjoy your build. My point is , don't make it an excuse not to take it further... because you Know Star Trek is just a fantasy...

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Captain...

 

I understand what you are saying, but don't get so defensive...

 

There is a huge difference between a kid building the old AMT model in 1966/67 with:

-No reference material,

-no well stocked hobby shop

-no kit upgrades and

-no airbrush or paint options

-and dealing with early color TV sets in which there was considerable variations of colors (there were actually adjustment controls for brightness and hue).

These factors  created the situation I described from my  past..

Given those limitations, my brother did a great looking kit, especially with the saucer light turned on.

 

And an adult building the $130 1/350th Polar Lights kit with all  the pricey upgrades and benefiting from the ability to do internet research and finished with custom mixed paints and airbrushes.

 

To paraphrase Spock... "What we have Captain, are two universes...each with their own realities and limitations."

 

Yes, if I had the skills to do the Polar Lights kit justice, I'd love to build one (of have it built) and rest assured it would be as accurate as possible.

 

But until Star Fleet itself issues a tech order similar to the old USAF one I have for aircraft, everyone is still guessing to some degree and as pointed out earlier in this thread, colors on film (or today's digital media) are pretty subjective at times.

 

Major JB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, JohnEB said:

Captain...

 

I understand what you are saying, but don't get so defensive...

 

There is a huge difference between a kid building the old AMT model in 1966/67 with:

-No reference material,

-no well stocked hobby shop

-no kit upgrades and

-no airbrush or paint options

-and dealing with early color TV sets in which there was considerable variations of colors (there were actually adjustment controls for brightness and hue).

These factors  created the situation I described from my  past..

Given those limitations, my brother did a great looking kit, especially with the saucer light turned on.

 

And an adult building the $130 1/350th Polar Lights kit with all  the pricey upgrades and benefiting from the ability to do internet research and finished with custom mixed paints and airbrushes.

 

To paraphrase Spock... "What we have Captain, are two universes...each with their own realities and limitations."

 

Yes, if I had the skills to do the Polar Lights kit justice, I'd love to build one (of have it built) and rest assured it would be as accurate as possible.

 

But until Star Fleet itself issues a tech order similar to the old USAF one I have for aircraft, everyone is still guessing to some degree and as pointed out earlier in this thread, colors on film (or today's digital media) are pretty subjective at times.

 

Major JB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Major JB.

 

I never made reference to a child building a model kit in the 1960's.

 

My comment was directed to and for current day builders with the resources we have readily available. The colors you keep mentioning and the formulas have already been provided by Gary Kerr. Who is he? He actually worked on the restoration of the filming miniature...no need for the Star Fleet comment.

 

Defensive? Nonsense, just responding to the back handed compliment in your original post.

 

 

Thanks.

 

Captain HS

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Many years agi, I saw a comment on authenticity in a UK aviation magazine's modeling section.

In it, the author was lamenting the reception a kid got at a local modeling meet.

His plane, a B-17 as I recall, featured an outlandish color scheme which some modelers derided for it's lack of authenticity.

The boy explained his reason for his scheme... "If I had a B-17 in the war, it's the way I would have painted it".

 

Fair enough. After all, not everyone is into 100% realism, even when there are historical precedents.

 

I'm sure most guys spending big money for a kit will follow Kerr's recommendations,  but I'm sure some won't...and it's their money.

Heck, I might buy a repop of the old original AMT kit  (I suppose it's still being made) and paint it blue. 🙂

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As I said...Replying to your comment against my better judgement.

 

Despite playing the indifferent Modeler, you can't help yourself posting the backhanded and condescending comments.

 

 Just to clarify to those begrudgingly following along ,my Reply to your initial comment was a result of you ( and no one else), using several condescending and arrogant words,

As mentioned, by those who shame modelers for going the extra step to make their work as authentic as possible.

 

To anyone who actually opens a sealed box and builds the contents gets my respect. There are too many "Know it Alls" who have never even touched the plastic.

Kids get more of my admiration as this Hobby will die without them. Kids now or from 1967.

 

Another cheap shot of your responses is the use of kids in your counter arguments... I never said anything about kids building models.

 

SO...

The point of my post , AGAIN, is this...

If you don't have the skills to achieve the results of other modelers, how about just asking what they did? Don't resort to the usual...It's just a fantasy, It's just a TV Show, It's not real...

 

Now...back to the work bench!!!

 

Thanks!

Kirk out.

 

Edited by Captain Han Solo
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Interesting discussion. I think there is room for all here on this topic. True, the story of the Enterprise is just a fantasy, but the shooting of the series and archiving the history of it's facts and props etc....is very real. Each modeler approaches such a model in their own unique way. I do agree that telling someone something like "lighten up, it's only a fantasy" is not very helpful or nice just as much as someone telling another builder they "screwed up" because they used the wrong colors. Personally my approach changes from time to time. There are times when I'm wanting to make a replica of a prop and not the object it's representing, meaning I want it to be as accurate to the filming miniature as I possibly can regardless of what it looked like on film or TV. in that case, my ultimate (unobtainable?) goal would be to be able to hold up my model right next to the prop in the same room and not be able to tell them apart. Wish I had the skills and time to do that...practice practice practice...

 

And then there are other times (maybe a majority?) that I want to go in to the fantasy and handle it like it's a very real space craft. And usually on those builds I try to go beyond what's "canon" and make up side stories, or look back before or after the story we know and make changes based on that new reality I created. To me that not only adds to the fun of building it, but it also helps me do something different from all the other builds. I wouldn't say that's hiding behind "it's only a fantasy" but I do agree there are those that will do that and it can be taken as an under handed compliment. My point? I have no idea. Funny, this is another subject that historically has caused some serious spats. I guess that says something to the incredible influence Star Trek has had on the world. I think that's Awesome!

 

Bill 

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Built the Enterprise many times. First time in the early 70s with blue paint I found in the garage. Even my Mom knew something was not right with that ship. Now , as mentioned with all the references I aim for as close to the TV show as possible. Everytime I build it it gets closer to right in my opinion.  Plan on building it again in 1/350. But this time.....?.NCC-1017 in the evil universe with a few changes. Oh, and blown up real good.

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