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Discussion Starter #1
Fellow Modelers,
I plan on building the ERTL D7 model before too long and need help with a couple of color questions. From the AtomicCity forum website the following colors are listed for the two-tone paint scheme that both 28" miniatures carried:

Light Green Areas
>Tamiya XF-21/Gold (1 part) (Is this really correct?)
>Tamiya XF-23/Light Green (2 parts)

Gray Areas
>Tamiya XF-66/Gray-IJN Kure Arsenal

I use only Model Master paints and would like to know what is a close match between the two maufacturers. Also, is the raised square on the winged grill section above the warp engine really painted gold/copper? The finished model shots on the Custom Replicas website are an outstanding reference.

Any help/direction would be appreciated.

P. Gore
 

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Cautiously Optimistic
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I'm working on the Custom Replicas D-7, but since I used a custom mix based on paint chips included with the kit I'm therefore unable to say which Tamiya shades might come closest to the mark.

The good news is that in his assembly guide Jim Key gives a formula for mixing the correct shades of green and grey, and IIRC the brand referenced is Model Master. I've got the instructions at home, and will post Key's formula later this PM.

And, yes, the raised areas on the grills above the engines should be a pale, dull gold.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Rob,

Thanks for the response. I look forward to seeing Jim Key's paint formula. Since you are knowledgeable on the subject, can you confirm which areas are painted silver/aluminum?

Thanks

P. Gore
 

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Rob,
I thought I was pretty up on the D-7 colors, but this is the first time I've heard about the shuttle deck grills being anything but the same silver color as the grills on the engine "wings". I went to the CR site and sure enough there is a gold grill pic.

Can I ask, what is the source of this color choice? Like I said, this is the first time I've heard mention of it.
 

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Cautiously Optimistic
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Key researched the heck out of this thing (if you've never met Jim, he's a tad obsessive about this stuff), and according to my own reference data he nailed it.

Here's a shot I took at Paul Allen's museum in Seattle...



Not the best image I'll grant you, but if you look closely you can tell the "hangar deck" grills are, in fact, gold.

EDIT: Although the grills appear to be gold in certain shots of both the FX miniature and Custom Replicas' reproduction, subsequent research indicates they are in fact SILVER (flat aluminum). Sorry for the confusion!

As for which areas are painted aluminum, that would be the aforementioned grills above the engines (a dull aluminum), along with the louvered vents on either side of the forward bulb "hat."

Jim's kit includes varying widths of silver Chartpak tape with which to fill in the recessed gaps between the "teeth" at the leading edge of the hangar deck. Ditto the recessed areas on either side of the "neck" where it connects to the secondary hull.

Oh yeah; the twin sets of six short, stacked horizontal ridges at the ends of the engine pods are also dull aluminum.
 

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Key researched the heck out of this thing (if you've never met Jim, he's a tad obsessive about this stuff), and according to my own reference data he nailed it.

Here's a shot I took at Paul Allen's museum in Seattle...



Not the best image I'll grant you, but if you look closely you can tell the "hangar deck" grills are, in fact, gold (in person this is quite obvious).

As for which areas are painted aluminum, that would be the aforementioned grills above the engines (a dull aluminum), along with the louvered vents on either side of the forward bulb "hat."

Jim's kit includes varying widths of silver Chartpak tape with which to fill in the recessed gaps between the "teeth" at the leading edge of the hangar deck. Ditto the recessed areas on either side of the "neck" where it connects to the secondary hull.

Oh yeah; the twin sets of four short, stacked horizontal ridges at the ends of the engine pods are also dull aluminum.
I don't doubt Jim Key's research, I know from helping on his Jupiter 2 about 20 years ago, what a stickler he is. What I wouldn't trust is the photo of the "original" prop in Seattle. After seeing how they turned the original LIS stunt Robot into an inaccurate "Fan Replica" (No offence to Fred Barton and his skills, he just did what he was hired to do!), I wouldn't trust the look of the model as it is now as what it looked like in 1968. I remember seeing good, color pictures in the old Star Trek poster books when it was first delivered to the Smithsonian and it was much grayer but they could have butchered it just as much as they did the Big E!
 

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This does fit in with my fuzzy memories of the original AMT artwork though--I wonder if that was a retouched photo of the actual miniature.
 

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I wouldn't trust the look of the model as it is now as what it looked like in 1968.
Well, the model shown above was originally Gene Roddenberry's. Roddenberry gave it to Stephen Whitfield (Poe), who sold it to a Beverly Hills collector in 1998. Paul Allen bought it at auction in 2004, and its current condition matches the pix found in the Profiles in History Auction #18 catalog (i.e. the museum has done nothing to alter its appearance since acquiring it). The twin D-7, the one Matt Jefferies donated to the Smithsonian, was previously re-painted for Phase 2 and "restored" for Jefferies by Ed Miarecki. So far as Profiles was able to determine, the Roddenberry model has never been significantly altered (although, given the model's age, it stands to reason it's been given a touch-up or two over the years).

As an aside, I've discussed the Custom Replicas D-7 paint scheme with Greg Jein, who said, and I quote, "Looks pretty good to me." I subsequently learned from Jim that Greg had been consulted during production of the CR model. Suffice it to say Greg has a long history with this stuff, and if he says Jim's paint scheme looks "pretty good" that's good enough for me.

But you're absolutely right to be skeptical in general of any claims made by the Museum of Science-fiction with regard to originality. There are plenty of items in Allen's collection that are not as "original" as the museum would have us believe.

All of which is my long-winded way of saying that the CR paint scheme is as accurate as possible given the variables.
 

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Cautiously Optimistic
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Here are a few shots of my model, FWIW...









Grey is a very tricky color in that differing lighting conditions can really alter the tone and hue.
 

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Rob,
would you go so far as to say that the gold is correct for the three tone "roddenberry" version only?

I have to fall back on the post series/arrival at smithsonian pics that show the two tone paint scheme and silver grills as my "go-to" colors given that I don't think the Roddenberry D-7 was ever used in filming.
 

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Looks great Rob, better than the museum piece! I didn't mean to start something, my point was, so much time has passed, memories, like colors, fade. Color memory is very poor,or so they told us at the Art Institute, in humans and can be fooled by subtle shades easily. I feel, paint what looks "right" to you while including all the research info you can find!
 

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Rob,
would you go so far as to say that the gold is correct for the three tone "roddenberry" version only?

I have to fall back on the post series/arrival at smithsonian pics that show the two tone paint scheme and silver grills as my "go-to" colors given that I don't think the Roddenberry D-7 was ever used in filming.
I would say trust the Smithsonian photos if you want an accurate "On Screen" paint job. If you can find the original "uncrated" photos from 1974 that should be the original colors. Star Trek: Phase II was 3 years off at that point so it was still the original paint when they got it. The one Roddenberry had was probably "dolled" up for the boss! I saw the Enterprise about 6 months after it went on display. Big let down with the modifications they made in Washington.
 

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Cautiously Optimistic
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Rob,
would you go so far as to say that the gold is correct for the three tone "roddenberry" version only?

I have to fall back on the post series/arrival at smithsonian pics that show the two tone paint scheme and silver grills as my "go-to" colors given that I don't think the Roddenberry D-7 was ever used in filming.
Works for me, Lou.

My problem with the Jefferies model is that it was re-painted for Phase 2 and then given the Miarecki treatment before it ever arrived at the Smithsonian. Given Ed's rather loose interpretation of the 11-foot Enterprise paint scheme I can't say his take on the D-7 would be my personal "go-to" choice accuracy-wise.

As mentioned above, Jim Key spent more time than I ever would have researching this stuff, and based on my own (admittedly limited) reference I'm comfortable going with his color choices -- especially given the aforementioned endorsement by Greg Jein.

Or to put it another way Lou; if you decided to go with silver instead of gold I would be the last guy on Earth to accuse you of "getting it wrong."

Personally, I think we modelers spend WAY too much time fretting over this kind of stuff. Sure it can be a fun challenge to try and nail a given paint scheme, but there comes a point when you just have to slap some paint on the damned thing and get on with your life. :)
 

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Looks great Rob, better than the museum piece! I didn't mean to start something, my point was, so much time has passed, memories, like colors, fade. Color memory is very poor,or so they told us at the Art Institute, in humans and can be fooled by subtle shades easily. I feel, paint what looks "right" to you while including all the research info you can find!
Thanks -- and I agree 100% with your comments re: the illusive nature of color, especially with regard to studio scale modeling.

I would say trust the Smithsonian photos if you want an accurate "On Screen" paint job. If you can find the original "uncrated" photos from 1974 that should be the original colors. Star Trek: Phase II was 3 years off at that point so it was still the original paint when they got it. The one Roddenberry had was probably "dolled" up for the boss! I saw the Enterprise about 6 months after it went on display. Big let down with the modifications they made in Washington.
Good points.

I'd completely forgotten that the Smithsonian had taken possession of the Jefferies D-7 as early as 1974. Those pix could prove useful indeed -- or, given the lighting conditions, they could be utterly misleading. Case in point: the finish on the model currently on display in Paul Allen's museum (see above) and the finish on my model (see above) are virtually identical. Not that you'd ever know it from the pix.
 

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Don't know about you Rob, but half the fun of this hobby to me is the research. Finding little nuggets and applying them to your build. But as we have both said, make yourself happy with final product, that's who you are making it for anyway!
 

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^^ I agree. On one hand it's kind of fun to still find something new about these 40+ year old models.

On the other, it can be a nightmare for the anal-retentive.

Unless they were retro-staged, I tend to favor these pics from the Star Trek Poster magazine that showed the models as they arrived in DC (missing nacelle caps and all)
I'll admit that they may not be color matched to todays' standards, but while you can argue over the shade of grey or green, the grills say silver to me.
 

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Don't know about you Rob, but half the fun of this hobby to me is the research.
I don't know if it's "half" the fun, but I do enjoy it.

Thing is, even though I know I'll invariably end up going with what I think "looks right" from a subjective standpoint, I really do like being able to make an informed decision.

The problem I tend to have with replicating studio paint jobs on a display model is that what looks good on film often does not look convincing or otherwise aesthetically pleasing in person. Irwin Allen miniatures are a prime example IMO; those two-tone "painted shadow" paint jobs helped to sell the effect onscreen, but I find the technique a bit theatrical and heavy-handed for my own display purposes (others disagree, God bless `em).

And then there are those "white" ships that aren't really white at all. Research indicates, for example, that the Proteus was originally given an off-white finish lest the reflecting studio light play havoc with the lens. Good to know from an historical/ educational perspective but, honestly, who wants an off-white Proteus sitting on their shelf? If ever a sci-fi vehicle wanted a gleaming white showroom finish it's the Proteus! :)

But I digress.

One thing I do find surprising about the D-7 filming miniature(s) is the complete lack of weathering and/or shading. Given the way the Enterprise and Galileo models were weathered one would think the Klingon crusier would have been given a similar treatment. So far as I've been able to determine however the D-7 miniature(s) were completely free of weathering.

Fancy, blemish-resistant alien technology, I guess. ;)

I tend to favor these pics from the Star Trek Poster magazine that showed the models as they arrived in DC (missing nacelle caps and all)I'll admit that they may not be color matched to todays' standards, but while you can argue over the shade of grey or green, the grills say silver to me.
Great archival image Lou, but as color reference I confess it doesn't do a lot for me.

Anyway, stop obsessing with the damned grills already! If they look silver to you paint `em silver, by golly! :p:thumbsup:
 

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Thought these might help out.

These are pictures of the model used for filming in TOS.

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff206/Scotty701/D7_3_4_Aft.jpg

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff206/Scotty701/D7_CobraHead.jpg

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff206/Scotty701/D7_Intake.jpg

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff206/Scotty701/D7_Stbd.jpg

The second D7 model (what we now call the 'Rodenbbery model') made was to be used as the master for the comming AMT kit. The AMT D7 kit is a half scale replica of the Rodenbbery model. I think I heard somewhere that the 'Rodenbbery model' was made first so that it could be rushed off to AMT in time for the model to be cast; that's why there are some minor differences in detail, compared to the orginal filming model. The original filming model was kept a little longer and tweeked before it was put on the model stand for filming. That's what I've heard, and it makes sence to be.
I guess they were painted with the same colours in the '60s but I dunno.

You all might find these pictures interesting too.

As you can see there is some hidden detail in the torpedo tube or deflector, or what ever it was supposed to be at the time..

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff206/Scotty701/gkerr1.jpg

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff206/Scotty701/gkerr2.jpg

These pictures are of the Rodenbbery model, note the different detail on the outboard nacelles that matches the AMT perfectly.

http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff206/Scotty701/B_MODELL_D7LQ_001.jpg
 

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Recall, it wasn't a case of the model being rushed off to be planographed for the kit. AMT MADE the models, did the tooling and THEN shipped them to Desilu.

and while it's not weathered like the Enterprise (and I do question that some, based on a few effects shots stills) I am fascinated by the use of the colors to really give all the shapes and contours definition. Was that Jefferies doing? Planning the paint to take into account the multi-gen degrading of the image in effects process work?

I mean, you can SEE it in the show, how the different shades make the front of the 'secondary hull' pop, how the 'bridge' doesn't get lost in the shape of the entire piece. Or at least you could back in the original episodes, not the digital enhanced ones.

I would imagine the D-7 wasn't dirtied down because the color wasn't 'hot' under the lights, and it was a smaller size and not meant for the closeups like the Enterprise.
 

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I remember AMT released the Klingon ship in a bunch of different colored plastic--there was a brown version, black, probably a blue one and a pale green one that was a very close match for the colors shown above. Definitely made them more collectible as I really wanted one of each color version.
 
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