So as all three of you who read this may know, last year I bought an enormously expensive, fantastically screen-accurate 1/350 scale replica miniature of Star Trek’s U.S.S. Enterprise.
I bought this because:
#1 I’m a freak
#2 I’m a trekkie (see reason #1)
#3 It’s part of my midlife crisis dollars at work
#4 It’s fucking AWESOME
Anyway, Since I am an expert miniature builder myself, I took the challenge to match this replica with my own build up of the movie version of the Enterprise. Specifically, as it appeared in “Star Trek:The Motion Picture” (1980 d-Robert Wise)
I’m using the same scale as the replica I bought of the T.V. version (1/350 scale)
It’s a kit put out by Polar Lights 3 or so years ago. It’s an extremely accurate, BIG model kit.The trick in replicating the movie version of the Enterprise is finding a way to render the enormously complicated paint scheme. You see, when they switched to the big screen, The special effects people realised that they needed to modernize the Enterprise with more intricate details, since the camera lenses and film stocks of 1979 picked up so much more than what was available in 1966. One way to accomplish this was to create the most elaborate paint scheme ever devised for a miniature. The famous “aztec panels” cover the entire surface of the vessel, in varying irridescent shades of blue, gray and gold. When viewed, it produces a mother of pearl shimmery effect, almost opalescent.
Here are a couple of pics of the work-in-progress. Many more can be found here.
So far, it’s been about 5 months of work* at about 80 hours all told. the reason it’s so lenghty is because each layer of paint requires a stencil, or “frisket”, which must be hand cut. There were 6 panels with 5 layers each for the engineering hull, and 9 panels (pie shaped) for the saucer, with 2 layers each. It takes from an hour to 4 hours for each frisket cut. 30 seconds for the actual spray application of paint, then an hour to carefully peel off the used frisket which, since it’s basically destroyed by the paint, is un-reusable.
Above is a shot I took as I was applying the second frisket to the lower saucer. Note the first layer was already applied. Incidentally, the base paint coat is flat white.
all photos here:
*Well now you know how I spent my memorial day weekend 🙂