Second Pilot Painting and Weathering

(In the interests of thoroughness and ease of reference, much of this information is repeated from the first pilot section of this blog, with a few key changes.)

Once you’ve constructed your model to your satisfaction, you’ll probably want to paint it, since the stock kit wouldn’t look too great without those detail colors!

The base color of the Enterprise has been a topic of great debate for many years. Due to varying film stocks, optical composites, and TV reception/video transfers, the ship has looked gray, white, silver, blue, and green over the years.

After much research, the color of the original 11-foot miniature was pretty much pinned down several years ago–it was a gray-green-ish color.

Of course, feel free to paint your model any color you wish! But, for those seeking accuracy to the original, there are a number of choices. Since my 1/1000 scale kit would require a lighter color than the original used for the 11-footer (due to the smaller scale, the “real” color would look too dark), I chose Testors Flat Gull Gray (# 1730).

This is my preferred color for the 1/1000 scale model, since it has a nice light green-gray look, but also appears to be different shades of gray under different lighting conditions.

I used rattlecans for my models–although an airbrush would be preferable–with the details masked and hand-painted.

So, this would be the base color–apply to to the entire model (after primering), except for the clear upper and lower saucers domes and the clear navigation lights on the saucer and secondary hull–unless you want to paint them opaque white for a “lit” effect.

Here are the additional detail paint colors:

* In the second pilot, the upper and lower saucer’s navigation domes were illuminated. You can either leave the domes clear (by masking them off during painting), or paint them white (as I did) to simulate a “lit” effect. You may also wish to paint the navigation lights white, or leave them clear (as I did). Please note that in the second pilot, ALL of the navigation lights (the five blinkers on the saucer and the big one above the hangar deck) appear to have been white/clear–there were apparently no big red/green lights on the real model at this stage.

* The kit instructions call for two colors (Testors Dark Ghost Gray # 1741 and Gunship Gray # 1723) to be used for the highlights on the nacelles. My research indicates that only one shade of medium gray was used on the original model for the first and second pilots.

To that end, I used Dark Ghost Gray for all of the following areas:

* The two corrugated, rectangular vents on either side of the rear of each nacelle. On the 11-footer, these were actually hull-colored, with a darker gray in the recesses. However, painting them a darker gray helps with the scale effect.

* The inboard nacelle “channels” (but not the intercoolers, which are the base color). Recently, it was discovered that only the center portions of the channels (not the sloping top/bottom sections) were painted a darker gray than the hull color on the 11-foot model.

* The two intercoolers on the rear of each nacelle and on the inner trench should be two-toned–hull color for the main body (to the edges of the raised ribs), and a very light, almost-white gray from the curved front/rear ends.

* The T-shaped panels on the underside of each nacelle.

* The louvered rings just aft of the front nacelle domes. REVISION–On the 11-footer, these were actually hull-colored, but shadows and weathering made them look darker. Painting them helps with the scale effect.

As for the nacelle domes themselves, they were opaque in both pilots, and painted with a reddish-brown color. The antenna spikes are painted gold.

I’ve found that a good color for the domes is a 70-30 or so mix of Testors Dark Red # 1204 and Rust # 1185.

Be sure to leave the domes glossy, as well, if you’re planning on sealing the decals with dullcote at the end of the build.

Also, the rear nacelle endcaps were the base/hull color in the both pilots.

* In both pilots, the main sensor/deflector dish–and the rings behind it, at the forward end of the secondary hull–were painted a deep copper-rust color. My preferred choice for this area is a 60-40 mix of Testors Copper # 1151 and Rust # 1185. The antenna spike should be painted silver or chrome.

* The entire connecting dorsal and the “linear accelerator” on the upper saucer (part # 42 on the kit) appear to have been painted a blue-ish color for the first pilot, and the dorsal seems to have had a glossy look to it. For the second pilot, it appears that this color is more subdued, or perhaps was merely dulled-down. The impulse engine housing (kit part 3) is a very light gray color–almost white.

For my build, I mixed some Light Blue (# 1208) with the base color (Flat Gull Gray).

While the first pilot version of the Enterprise was heavily weathered, the second pilot revisions appear to have eliminated most of it. However, some key areas of weathering remained (such as a rust-colored streak underneath the pennant on the starboard secondary hull, which appears on all three versions of the model). There are a few distinct blotches of rust, green, and gray on the nacelles, secondary hull, and lower saucer, as well as what appear to be some very slight streaks on the outer edge of the upper saucer (presumably leftover weathering from the first pilot showing though a light application of the hull color).

The original model was subtly discolored with patches and streaks of green, rusty brown, and gray/black. The weathering on my model was done with ground-up pastel chalks–green, rusty brown, gray, and black. This version’s weathering is much more subtle, and didn’t require nearly as much work as the first pilot versions did.

The trick to the weathering is to take it slow–study your reference material, add in the most obvious streaks and color blotches, then just eyeball the rest (without overdoing it). Feel free to use the photos of my models that I’ll be posting as a guide for your own weathering!

After painting and weathering, apply a gloss coat to seal everything down and prepare for decaling.


One Response to “Second Pilot Painting and Weathering”

  1. I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check
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