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Old 14-01-2013, 07:01 PM   #1
headcase
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Default Color of TOS Enterprise

OK so I bought the new Polar Lights 1/350 scale TOS Enterprise kit and it's nice and real big and blah, blah, blah.... The painting instructions along with some info I've found on the www state that this Enterprise is a greenish/gray color. Here's an article on CultTVMan's site by Paul Newitt on the subject. So, I pointed this out to a friend of mine (who also happens to have bought the Polar Lights kit) and he says "Phooey! The TOS Enterprise is off white and that's how I'm going to paint mine!" What I think is that the original Enterprise WAS gray but the studio lighting made it APPEAR white. So, this makes me wonder - do you paint something to look like how the real thing looked (in this case, the studio scale Enterprise model) OR do you paint it to look like how it looked on screen?

I realize this is strictly a matter of taste. I'm just looking for opinions here, especially if you are a true hard core Trek fan.

Last edited by headcase; 14-01-2013 at 07:02 PM. Reason: fix multiple typos
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Old 14-01-2013, 07:55 PM   #2
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In my humble opinion, it really does come down to personal taste. I prefer my builds to look like they do on screen and not the model workshop. Although, I distinctly remember building the AMT kit of the classic E in the 1970's and painting it light blue - because that's the way the poor local broadcast made it appear at the time. + the cover photo on 'The Making of Star Trek' paperback made it really blue.
I tend to perceive studio-accurate colour replicas of classic SF vehicles as incorrect. A relevant example would be replicas of the SHADO Mobile that are painted metallic blue, (the accurate colour applied to the studio miniatures). They just don't appear right to me because they present as silver on my TV.
Anyway, I prefer the classic E in light gray with very, very subtle weathering.
So, there's been a lot of hype with this kit - Does it live up to it?
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Old 14-01-2013, 08:34 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, TF1. I haven't started working on the kit yet, for a couple of reasons. first of all, I want to buy the lighting kit for it, but it costs as much as the kit itself, which ain't exactly cheap! So, I decided to get it for myself for my birthday, in March. The other reason is that I'm still building my RU 23" Eagle and I DON'T want to have both of these on my bench at the same time. So my plan is to hopefully finish the Eagle by the time my birthday rolls around (I started it last May), then buy the Polar Lights lighting kit for the Enterprise and get to working on it.
But, I've opened the box and looked at the parts and they look very well made. I've read some really good reviews of the kit, too. Now I have to decide what COLOR to paint the damn thing - and it's going to require A LOT of paint!
I built the Polar Lights Refit Enterprise a couple of years ago and it's a beauty, but I didn't light it. Here's a photo of it hanging over my workbench.
I expect great things from this one, especially with the kind of $$ I'll be sinking into it for the model plus the lighting kit.
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Old 14-01-2013, 09:03 PM   #4
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Hey headcase - Very nice job on the Polar Lights Refit E. Damn, I wish my workspace looked as neat and organized as yours I'm wishing they had brought out the 1/350 TOS about 10 years ago when I had more time and funds were less limited - It's a bit out of my reach at the moment. I'm hoping it stays in production for a while so I can save my pennies.
Getting back to colour: I know they used a green tinted gray on the original studio miniature to counteract the bluescreen spill and studio lighting so it would appear white on screen - but the builds I've seen using that colour scheme online look odd. I've seen a couple with a light blue/gray base colour that look beautiful.
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Old 14-01-2013, 10:16 PM   #5
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It was originally grey (photos form the time show this) but it never looked that color...you'd have to have pretty poor color discrimination to think it was white, it ALWAYS looked bluegrey or slightly greenish due to spill, and depending on what color correction was done in post.

White enterprises ALWAYS look wrong, and besides it was NEVER that color, either on screen or in reality. Very light blue or blue grey is what looks the best, and that's what color the pre-built models are, not to mention the studio display models (built for various star trek exhibits).
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Old 14-01-2013, 11:54 PM   #6
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LOL the ONLY time my workbench looks that neat is when I finish a project and clear it all off. It's like hitting the RESET button. Most of the time it looks like a bomb went off on top of it.
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Old 15-01-2013, 12:10 AM   #7
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Ham:
I'm going by my memories of the show from the 'original' airings when I watched in the early 70's. The colour depended upon which TV station was broadcasting the show. Memory's a powerful thing. Channel 4 in Buffalo presented the TOS E as white, while CFTO in Toronto made the E look very blue - especially the third series. (The effect was very much like the cover of the Stephen E Whitfield book where it looks more blue than gray). Anyway, it's all subjective I guess...

headcase:
You must have the deluxe workbench. Apparently my budget version doesn't have a reset button
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Old 15-01-2013, 12:05 PM   #8
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Majority of the title sequence also show the pilot model (as it goes past the orange planet) which was then subsuquently modified and re-painted for the TV series. The pilot model did look more white than grey. The pilot model sneaks up in almost every episode as part of stock footage. Don't go off the DS9 episode Trials and Tribbleations as the ship was completely re-painted and new weathing added at the consternation of fans. I always painted my Enterprise models an off-white colour.
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Old 15-01-2013, 08:46 PM   #9
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The DS9 episode was a new model built by Greg Jein - the original is in a museum and has been repainted, apart from the top side of the dish.
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Old 15-01-2013, 09:39 PM   #10
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It shows you the colours on the Box doesn't it?
Don't paint it white or any variation of white and get the grid lines off.
I think MR got the colour pretty close and there's always Steve Neill.
http://steveneill.wordpress.com/2010/12/
John.
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Old 15-01-2013, 10:37 PM   #11
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Man, that Steve Neill guy is a maniac!!! Lots of differing opinions going 'round here - good to see it. Thanks!!
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Old 15-01-2013, 10:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark42 View Post
The DS9 episode was a new model built by Greg Jein - the original is in a museum and has been repainted, apart from the top side of the dish.
I believe your wrong there Dave although I stand to be corrected ...whilst Greg modelled the Klingon D7 I believe the Enterprise was the Smithsonian original they f**ked up in it's latest restoration mate. There was an article in SF&FM some years back showing the restoration. I would love to be wrong about this but don't think I am.

Edit...I stand corrected. Just researched and Dave is correct. Don't know where I got the fact original studio model was used, must have dreamt it. Latest paint job on the original 11 footer seems to be based on Gregs' model mind. Apologies Mr S.

Last edited by Slate Mcleod; 15-01-2013 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 15-01-2013, 10:48 PM   #13
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I've heard it said that the Smithsonian didn't do their homework when they did the restoration on the studio model Enterprise, but I think the guys at Polar Lights did - they REALLY put A LOT into this project - they understand that it's something that's going to be talked about A LOT for years to come. Like I said, I built their Refit Enterprise (you can see the build here) and it's pretty sweet IMO.
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Old 15-01-2013, 10:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headcase View Post
I've heard it said that the Smithsonian didn't do their homework when they did the restoration on the studio model Enterprise, but I think the guys at Polar Lights did - they REALLY put A LOT into this project - they understand that it's something that's going to be talked about A LOT for years to come. Like I said, I built their Refit Enterprise (you can see the build here) and it's pretty sweet IMO.
Only seen pics of the Polar Lights one but again, like the original AMT model didnt they put the ridges on the primary hull when it should have been totally smooth ?? Took me ages to sand them off on the old AMT. The cut-away version got it far better.

Pic of the Polar Lights version I believe ?


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Old 16-01-2013, 12:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slate Mcleod View Post
Only seen pics of the Polar Lights one but again, like the original AMT model didnt they put the ridges on the primary hull when it should have been totally smooth ?? Took me ages to sand them off on the old AMT. The cut-away version got it far better.

Pic of the Polar Lights version I believe ?

Not the Polar Lights kit. It looks to be (size wise) the new Revell Germany Enterprise kit.

R2 (Polar Lights/ AMT) removed the grid lines from the top of the old AMT toolings. Only the top of the saucer had raised grid lines.

The Smithsonian does have the original 11 Ft. Enterprise model, and it has been restored at least 2 times while in their hands.
As it was delivered to the museum it was missing parts- domes for the warp engines. front dish- they got a local company Rogay(sp) to paint and fabricate parts for the model.

While Rogay was given details and colors for use they painted the engine domes "Turkey Red" aginst Smithsonian instructions, and didn't seem to research the dish at all.
The next update would see the domes replaces and the spinning inner domes fixed, the model was repainted except for the top of the saucer which the Smithsonian has demanded be left original. The paint job while matching the original color suffers from what most consider to be heavy handed weathering. During the restoration the metal screen down the center of the engine trenches was replaced with metal panels that were chosen to be a close match to the originals as time had run out for the restoration.

Here in the US the "correct" hull color off the shelf is WalMart Concrete, a close second is Ace Hardware Shady Cove. In the real world it is what ever color the modler wants to paint his or her model.

Last edited by swhite40; 16-01-2013 at 01:03 AM. Reason: addin info
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Old 16-01-2013, 06:50 PM   #16
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Ahhh, yes, the old saucer grid debate!! I think I'll just keep my head low on this one.

That's definitely not the new Polar Lights Enterprise. The panel lines on that one are far, far too heavy and out of scale, for one thing.

Last edited by headcase; 16-01-2013 at 06:53 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 17-01-2013, 09:27 AM   #17
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If you watch the enhanced Blu ray discs you can see it is grey,and not white,if you switch between the original footage and the new footage,there is also a LOT of panel shading on the enhanced footage
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Old 18-01-2013, 12:44 PM   #18
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I used to have a copy of a magazine called Famous Spaceships of Fact and Fantasy. I managed to track it down again on Amazon, if it's of any use (?)

AmazonAmazon
As I remember it there was an article about the studio model. After the pilot ("The Cage") the left side of the model was left unfinished and only the right side was ever seen in the TV episodes. The model was in a very bad state but ended up in the Smithsonian after being refurbished.

There's also an article about building one of the AMT kits and how to remove the "grid" pattern from the upper saucer section. The model was finished in grey with an airbrushing technique. (Can't remember much more because I bought it about thirty years ago!)

There was also a game based on the original series, where all the star bases and ships are finished in a battleship grey with red stripes.

Not sure if this helps.
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Old 27-01-2013, 06:43 PM   #19
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Daewoo Casablanca White: is a perfect match for the original colour.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:54 PM   #20
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Along with talk of color, from what I've seen the engraved grid lines are only on the bottom of the saucer, correct?
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