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Discussion Starter #1
I want to put the subtle grid lines on primary/sec hulls and nacelles. I'm going to paint a darker undercoat, then apply thin strip tape where the grid lines are and then apply a lighter paint coat (s). When the tape is removed, it will leave subtle grid lines.

Question: Any ideas on how to mask the circular grid lines? Straight lines are easy, but how to mask the thin round, radiating rings centering around top bridge and bottom dome sensor on the primary hull?

Any ideas?
 

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My inclination would be to try to draw the grid lines on the saucer with a pencil.
The circular lines would be fairly simply done with a draftsman's compass.
The straight lines could be laid on with a flexible straight edge.

Trying to do it with masking would involve cutting concentric circular masks. That could be done from the masking sheets used by RC Car guys, using a draftsman's compass to lay the circles out and a real steady hand to cut them out, but I'm not too sure how easy it would be to work with something like that.
I suppose that really nice effects could be accomplished with several layers of masking. but drawing the lines on seems easier to me.

Dave
 

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Oxidation Genius
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Since the lines are pencil-thin on the 11-foot studio model, any tape you try to mask with on a 11-INCH model would be grossly oversized!
 

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John P said:
Since the lines are pencil-thin on the 11-foot studio model, any tape you try to mask with on a 11-INCH model would be grossly oversized!
Agreed. It would be hard to get the lines to look right, even with a pencil. I also think that current pictures of the 11 foot model shouldn't be relied on. In my humble opinion I think the guys who restored her went way overboard and exaggerated both that and weatherizing.

I also don't remember seeing ANY lines on the bottom of the primary hull/saucer, which they seem to have added there and elsewhere. Were there pencil lines anywhere else than the top originally?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thin lines

I use 32nd of an inch drafting tape for the straight lines. You can get it at drafting/art stores. I use that tape to do deck planking colors for my model ships - my usual subjects. That tape has a thickness if a sharp pencil line and masks well.

Basically, I'm doing the lines because I like them. It gives the TOS E's large flat, undetailed surfaces a little more detail.

I'll probably go with compass and pencil, paint over the graphite pencil marks, then maybe erase the pencil lines. I really want a *subtle* panel line effect.

Besides, this kit is sort of a test bed for several others I have in mind. evil mirror E, wrecked Constellation, Tug and destroyer etc etc. The small size will make it much easier and quicker.
 

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Oxidation Genius
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Chuck, the top of the saucer is the only part that WASN'T repainted. It was left exactly as it was during the show. So the pencil lines are original.
 

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Oxidation Genius
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Let's see, 1/32 lines at 1/1000 scale means your grid lines are 31.25 inches wide. WOO! :)

I would hope I could sharpen a pencil thinner than 1/32!
 

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John P said:
Chuck, the top of the saucer is the only part that WASN'T repainted. It was left exactly as it was during the show. So the pencil lines are original.
Didn't know it wasn't repainted. What looks heavily weatherized to me though is the Secondary Hull and the underside of the Primary. The scale the weatherized "pencil lines"are airbrushed at is way out of wack on the secondary hull. Seams that are supposedly as wide as are suggested by the darkened paint would have to be deep and the plates ridiculous huge for an approximately 950ft craft.

Again, does anybody know if there were any "pencil lines" anywhere other than the top of the primary saucer?
 

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The bottom saucer had pencil lines as well. These have now been covered over with an inaccurate hull color and half-inch wide airbrushed heavy black grid lines.

If you are copying the Smithsonian "refurbished" look, use the finest and faintest mechanical pencil/compass that you can find for the top saucer grids. Use a thick, black sharpie for the bottom saucer, secondary hull and warp grid lines. That should reproduce the look well enough - maybe even do it freehand, without benefit of a straightedge or compass if you truly want it to be a close match.

Also, remember to paint the saucer top a greener gray than the rest of the ship, as the "new" paint is much paler than the original color. The bridge and B/C decks are the paler gray as well.
 

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Oxidation Genius
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I know - somebody should do a 1/12 scale diorama of Ed Mierecki painting the model! :D
 

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I thought about making the grid ines as a decal. Starting with a 5 foot square "picture size" I was gonna do the circles and lines in the thinnest lines that Illustrator could do. Then, shrinking the size to match the saucer, those lines would be REALLY thin. Then I looked at my printers thinnest lines. Diagonal sucks. The circles look lame because of the method an inkjet uses to put the image on paper. maybe a Laser??
 

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Trek Ace said:
The bottom saucer had pencil lines as well. These have now been covered over with an inaccurate hull color and half-inch wide airbrushed heavy black grid lines.

If you are copying the Smithsonian "refurbished" look, use the finest and faintest mechanical pencil/compass that you can find for the top saucer grids. Use a thick, black sharpie for the bottom saucer, secondary hull and warp grid lines. That should reproduce the look well enough - maybe even do it freehand, without benefit of a straightedge or compass if you truly want it to be a close match.

Also, remember to paint the saucer top a greener gray than the rest of the ship, as the "new" paint is much paler than the original color. The bridge and B/C decks are the paler gray as well.
Several years ago, after reading an article in the September '96 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models magazine, had gotten a quart of the GM Gray 4539L that was allegedly used on the original model mixed at a custom body shop nearby. I painted it on styrene and a couple of years ago compared it to the mixture outlined on Culttvman's website article "What color was the original Enterprise?"

They are both WAY different. The only thing I can think of is that maybe the refurbishing team found a note written on or in the model that the original crew had left indicating that they had used the General Motors color. The original team that built the model might have started out with that color, but I don't know how they didn't notice the difference after repainting the A/B decks... Since the hue and palor are so different they couldn't have just chalked it up to aging paint.

Apparently by the time they finished the entire model and realized the coloring wasn't going to change after drying they felt it was too late to do anything about it...

However, they just flat out state in the article that the right color was allegedly that GM Grey without explaining the source or the info, or the fact that it ended up looking so different from the unrepainted saucer.

Now that I've gone back over the pictures in the article again it's struck me that the only pictures that show any of the upper A/B and saucer sections together is PRE-restoration.

All of the POST-restoration shots in the article that show any of the top of the primary hull are side shots that are carefully angled to show the A/B decks and the rest of the new colored ship. The one shot that shows some of the saucer as well is taken from an distance and heavily overlit from above, washing out the picture and making it impossible to see that the color is off as well.

I always wondered why that of the three shots they took of the model post-restoration, all were profiles from roughly the same angle. Now it makes sense.

Thank you for letting know that there were originally gridlines on the bottom of the saucer as well, although I don't remember them ever being visible. Anybody have any idea at what point in the series these were added? I remember reading somewhere some lighting technicians decided to ad them after some photograhers had problems getting a proper depth of field setting during a publicity photoshoot.

Were there ever any gridlines on the secondary hull and pylons? Those seem more exaggerated than the primary hull.
 

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You know...depending on the age of the film that you saw, or the color correction done in video dump or the lighting of that particlular FX shot, or the amount of blue screen bleed, or the process of multiple compositing in their system at the time I think the colors got changed by viewer to viewer..not to mention the differences of how color on everybody's set looks....well....I'm going for a pleasing color that shows the widows and looks cood with the right amount of contrast between areas.

Eric
 

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Eric K said:
You know...depending on the age of the film that you saw, or the color correction done in video dump or the lighting of that particlular FX shot, or the amount of blue screen bleed, or the process of multiple compositing in their system at the time I think the colors got changed by viewer to viewer..not to mention the differences of how color on everybody's set looks....well....I'm going for a pleasing color that shows the widows and looks cood with the right amount of contrast between areas.

Eric
I do understand where you are coming from, Eric. While there is an article on CultTVman's website that will allow you to mix the original production filming miniatures color, I can understand that since the strong studio lights always make an object appear on screen lighter and a different hue than it is it would make sense for a modeler to want the ship to appear to him as he saw it on the screen(pick any one of three), rather than the actual in-studio color.

Anybody have any idea at what point in the series the gridlines were added? I remember reading somewhere some lighting technicians decided to ad them after some photograhers had problems getting a proper depth of field setting during a publicity photoshoot.

Were there ever any gridlines on the secondary hull and pylons? Those seem more exaggerated than the primary hull.
 

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Saucer grid line photos

The grid lines, drawn in pencil on the 11-footer, were added prior to season one on both the top and bottom of the saucer section. Richard Datin, the original contractor of the 11-footer, said that the GM paint story is not accurate. Richard said he bought the Enterprise paint at a Fuller paint store.

Here's a couple of nice shots of the grid lines on the upper saucer section.

http://www.uah.edu/~jim/nasm4.jpg

and

http://www.uah.edu/~jim/nasm7.jpg

William
 
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