I posted this story originally as a reply to the question about Meteor's templates but I thought that it warrented it's own thread.
After reading about others and their trys at making some good templates for painting the '01 I thought it was about time I made my own. As a graphic artist with access to some really cool tools and too much time on my hands, I set to work
First, I pulled the jpgs from Polar Lights ( the color reference ones ) into my software of choice ( Corel Draw) and sized them up to the scale of the model - 11 inch long nacelles and 15 inch across saucer.
Then, using the jpgs as a guide, I traced the shapes the best way I liked ( as well as some general purpose shapes) and then exported the resulting file as an Illustrator file.
Here's where it pays to work in a shop with the good toys. I imported the file into sign making software and then plotted it in vinyl. This was great cuz it meant that I could make the whole "plate" as one piece and the vinyl had a low enough adhesion that I can re-position then If needed and they don't pull up the paint from underneath. I did have to do some recutting and shaping once I actually put them on the model to allow for the 3D-ness of the ship vs. the 2D-ness of the jpg. The model is amazingly faithfull to the dimensions of the .jpg
It took a while, but I stuck down the individual shapes to the model and hit it with the second color of paint. - I stated by painting the whole thing Metalizer Steel. Buffed it, put on the vinyl then sprayed Metalizer Aluminum-
Waiting as long as I could ( 2-3 hours) I peeled up the vinyl and was amazed that my hair brained idea actually worked.
I'll let it dry a good long time then buff again and seal, then do some brush work to add more detail and variation.
PS I'm using jwjr's lighting kit. It looks very impressive (of course, it's still in the box)
Here's the update:
I added pics of the finished product. the second pic is the vinyl sheet with the plaing peeled up. third is a top view of the saucer, forth is the sensor dish with a 3" blue CCL I bought at Auto Zone
The last pic is one of the nacelles with jwrjr's lights in it
*Update 12-20-04 Removed pics to make room for completed pics
I've been thinking about that. I know we're not supposed to be talkin' about such matters in an open forum, but really I did this as a thing for me and I would have done it if nobody else ever saw it, So if I could cover my cost in materials and mailing, that would be enough for me. I'm not planning on retiring on these.