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Aztec patterns for Star Trek models - paints?

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for my next Star Trek build, I want to try actually painting the Aztec pattern using my new airbrush kit and some masks. However what paints do I need? I read about interferance paints, but are these the right type. Basically what paints do I need to order? What make and what colour. Thanks so much.

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Posted (edited)

It really depends on how much you want to get into it. The original Aztec pattern on the large Enterprise miniature for the first movie (ST:TMP) used 5 or 6 different shades of pearlescent paint in a highly complex pattern, plus a number of other colours for things like the secondary hull strongback and details around the upper primary hull, main deflector and engines. You can find (or buy) details of the Aztec pattern and even paint masks -- I know, because I've got them -- but it's a very complex and time-consuming job to recreate what Paul Olsen did.


Later Aztec patterns weren't as complicated, and even the Big E got a re-paint after the fun and games of ST III and IV. The idea was to reproduce something like the Olsen paint scheme, but with less hassle -- and, I suppose, cost; Paul really did go to town originally, but that's what he was asked to do, and he did it very well. To this end, interference paints have been used, as have varying shades of grey with a glossy overcoat. They all work more or less well, so there's not a single, simple answer.


As regards references (including paints) , I can only suggest that you look at sites like this one and CultTVman's, and/or YouTube, for articles, videos and build threads describing what people have done on their builds, and also what the original SFX people did when making the models in the first place, and then decide what you want to do. I can recommend Paul Olsen's book Star Trek: Creating the Enterprise if you want to go the whole hog, but I warn you, it's not gonna be quick.



Edited by Tarkas

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Posted (edited)

@Mondas42  Im in the same boat at the moment. As Tarkas mentioned there doesn't seem to be much reference to the actual paint used. I'm currently building the Enterprise B from Generations and have amassed quite a store of reference and links I'll put some of it below. 


This shows the subtlety of the aztecs (and one of my favourite pics of the Excelsior :) )













http://www.starshipmodeler.com/trek/trekship.htm  - This in particular has allot of links for each ship, other peoples build reviews build guides etc , grouped per ship. 


Starship modeler also has masks and decals for the ships, although allot are out of stock there are still some. 


http://www.dlmparts.com - replacement parts / light kits, also with some picture reference


Trek works on youtube is a really good one to watch - he is on http://scifimodelaction.com/sfmaforum/  and they also have a great wealth of info on various builds. 


Trekspertise is also good. 


And to be thorough Ill mention Trekyards but they are quite controversial people love them or hate them


Its all really down to what you want to reproduce, every ship had variations, even from movie to movie or season to season of the series.


I'm going a custom paint scheme route, the aztecing (both layers, large and small) Im going to keep the shapes/placement as close as I can to the original, just a variation on whats on the studio model as the colours there are a bit too pale and pastel like for my liking. :)


Im right at the aztecing point and I have a WIP up, because no one has the masks in stock im re-drawing and getting my own cut,  I'll be putting up some more pics soon as I'm about to get the aztecing masks cut in vinyl for painting.




Hope there is some food for thought there :) 


Edited by Mark Szeman

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