Date: Mon Aug  3, 1998

Obligatory Disclaimer: The information contained in this message was
contributed by individuals, who, unless otherwise indicated, speak
only for themselves and not the institutions or buisnesses they are
associated with.  The author(s) and editor(s) of this material make no
warranties as to the correctness of the information provided.

This material should be considered copyright by the author.  This
material may be redistributed for non-commercial use without explicit
permission of the author(s) as long as the text is used exactly as is
(except for reformatting) and the author is given full written credit
for the material.  Commercial use requires explicit permission of the

Part 14

Part 14 ** Painting tips for assorted (real and fictional) space craft [Q] What paints/colors should I use on my (Star Trek) Enterprise ? [A] (DMARKO@FREENET) When I saw the Enterprise FX model at the Smithsonian, it appeared precisely as described in TREK article "Star Trek Miniatures: The Starship Enterprise", most prominently reprinted in the modeler primer FAMOUS SPACESHIPS OF FACT AND SCIENCE FICTION. Of course this is the Enterprise following the 2268 refit, apparently effected after Kirk took command. The color scheme for the original configuration (2245-2268) suggests overall neutral grey, perhaps compass ghost grey, but more likely LIGHT compass Ghost Grey, semigloss finish. Hull and nacelle details appear dark enough to likely have been a medium grey/silver mix, while the forward sensor dish and mount were a deep copper. I believe the correct color of the Federation insigniae is none other than Cunard Red. Try Humbrol Vermillion, or even Testor Competition Orange if you elect a light CGG hull color for your pre 2268 Enterprise. I have read very little concerning the strange groupings of graphic shapes visible on the nacelle and secondary hull undersides. These are the most overlooked aspect of the Enterprise external appearance, and file footage typically offers little insight. Currently available through the Smithsonian are a series of prints offering multi-point views of NCC-1701. These prints are the only official publication that shows ALL of the shapes, including those on the upper primary hull, behind the bridge deck and stretching back to Engineering. Most, if not all, of these shapes seem to be present on the pre 2268 Enterprise. The only exception are the two wedge shapes on the primary hull underside. Most of the shapes are medium grey, light yellow, or white, bordered alternatively by black, grey, and cherry red. Graduated numbers along the lower flanks of the secondary hull appear to be absent from the pre 2268 Enterprise. Has anybody tried to determine if these are in metres, feet, or signify something else (assembly stations?)? I am stymied, for I do not possess sufficient photographs to resolve the question myself. The Enterprise following 2268 is metallic light grey, matte finish. All insigniae and markings mentioned above are preserved, plus the additions of the two wedge shapes, the numbers, and as well the four "formation lights", the large rectangular illuminated patches on the primary hull upper surface, readily visible in the post-pilot footage of ST. The weathering visible in the post 2268 Enterprise seems to be concentrated at seams, edges, and corners of the craft, with additional weathering flaring backwards from nacelle front ends, main sensor mount, and the lower sail, the large support between the primary and secondary hulls. I found that a very faint tint of green in the hull color, added to ample browns and umbers in the weathering produces a very attractive patina, similar to the appearance of the Small Model as it appears in the Episode "Requiem For Methuselah". Apparently Majel Barrett is the current owner of this model. Perhaps she can shed further light on its appearance today, as well as how it looked brand-new. I have never attempted to illuminate an AMT NCC-1701 kit; as long as one does not use white for a hull color I have found straight gloss white, as well as cream, depot buff, and even tan to make excellent "porthole" effects. Dark grey or grey-blue simulates rooms or passages with the lights out. I've found this effect to photograph far better in this scale than any form of lighting ever could. My favorite method of simulating the lighting of the nacelle front ends is first airbrushing Antique Bronze (Floquil), then dusting it with Gold Flake (Metalflake). Finally I airbrush flat white through a mask cut to imitate the "swirl" pattern of the lights, holding it far enough away to avoid sharp demarcation lines. A coat of polyurethane, tinted with yellow, goes over all this. Old-fashioned shellac would work as well, and will acquire a yellow cast after a year or two. The nacelle rear globes I paint powder blue, then overspray with white to create a "luminous" effect. The large dome light over the shuttlebay is done much the same way, but with yellow as the foundation color. [Q] Who makes the best Saturn V kit? [Q] What is the "correct" paint scheme for the Saturn V? [A] (Peter Alway) Steven J Baines ( wrote: : Hi all, : Can anyone comment on the various Saturn V (complete rocket, not : just Apollo craft) kits that are available. To my knowledge there is a : 1/96th Revell (recently re-issued?) one which costs wads of cash, and I : recall seeing a 1/144th model which is much cheaper but says on : the box 'kit contains model rocket' only, whatever that means. It was : unclear from the box whether or not the different stages were modelled : (e.g. second and third stage engines?), or whether only the launch : configuration could be made. I also saw another one, again at : 1/144th scale, that did have separate stages, but from the box details : appeared to have the second stage engines completely wrong (They appeared : to have a flat plate to which the engine nozzles were directly attached, : i.e. they didn't even look like rocket engines). One of these two kits : was an Airfix product. I don't recall the name of the other manufacturer. : Anyone who can add to these rather vague comments, please do so! I think I must have posted these a year or more ago, since they are all edited for 80-line screens, but here are my opions: Saturn V kits currently available Excerpt from a draft of an article to appear in Quest Magazine Copyright (c) 1994 Peter Alway Monogram 1/144 scale Saturn V. The least expensive Saturn V kit available today, MonogramUs Saturn V is probably the most fun. Not only do all stages separate, but the Lunar Module fairing opens in four hinged quadrants and the Lunar Module features folding legs. If you want a Saturn V to re-create every phase of an Apollo flight, this kit is for you. Unfortunately, this kit suffers from several inaccuracies. Most grating to me is an undersized command-service module. While modeled at the correct length, the diameter of the service module scales up to 135" as opposed to 154", about 12% too small. This cannot be corrected without destroying most of the functioning gimmicks of the model. The Service module also features surface detailing characteristic of the early Block 1 spacecraft, rather than that of the manned Block 2 Apollo. Monogram cut corners in tooling this kit, with the result that some details are poorly represented. The Reaction Control System thrusters on the service module are integral with the Service module halves, and are poorly defined. One problem inherent in a kit build with stage haves is that the quality of the corrugations is poor near the seams. The engines of the S-II stage are especially badly represented. Only the bottom halves of the engine bells (below the second stage heatshield) are molded. Above the shield, in plain view when the stages are separated, is a gaping vacuum where the J-2 engines' mechanisms belong. The most conspicuous errors of the kit are the most easily corrected. The recommended paint scheme (at least in my 1986 "Young Astronauts" edition of the instructions) is based on pre-flight documents, and is not correct for any Saturn V flown. Monogram directs the modeler to paint the original first stage roll patterns used only on the unflown integration test vehicle SA-500F. The black areas were greatly reduced when technicians found the temperature in the intertank area became unbearably hot. There are also "USA" marking provided that appeared only on SA-500F. The Monogram kit comes with eight ullage rockets for the S-I-C/S-II interstage ring. This is correct only for the unflown SA-500F and the unmanned Apollo 4 and 6 launches. To model Apollos 8 through 14 accurately, you would need only those parts directly above the first stage fins. Apollos 15, 16, and 17 carried none of these ullage rockets. Unfortunately, there are visible flat areas remaining if these parts are left off. The Monogram 1/144 kit features an appealing, if inaccurate "launch pad" display base with three tiny figures that give a sense of size to the model. Unfortunately, the base hides the F-1 engines of the first stage. Airfix 1/144 Saturn V Sold for a bit more in the US, the Airfix Saturn V could easily be mistaken for the Monogram kit. The chief difference is that Airfix put a bit more effort into detailing and less into operating gimmicks. The Airfix kit shares most of the inaccuracies of the Monogram kit. Most notably the out-of-proportion service module is a hair worse in this kit, and it shares the out-of-date surface detail. The Service Module thrusters are molded as separate pieces and are much better defined. The second stage engines are complete (if not highly detailed). The lunar module shows a bit more detail, although the stages are molded together and the landing legs are fixed. This kit includes four integrally molded ullage rockets for Apollos 8 through 14, but they are positioned incorrectly. As was the case with the Monogram kit, the corrugation quality is poor near the stage half seams. Again the paint scheme is incorrect in my kit (dating to the 1970's) but this is easily fixed. A simple display stand includes a decal commemorating the Moon landing on July 21, 1969, the correct date in Greenwich time! Revell-Germany 1/96 Saturn V This is the largest, most detailed, and most expensive Saturn V kit sold. The Revell kit is over 45" tall and will dominate any model display. Going for nearly $100 in Europe, imported kits may sell for as much as $130 in the US. These comments are based on the History-Makers edition of the kit released around 1980 and the instructions from the original 1969 release. The most striking feature of this huge kit is the technique for building rocket stages without seams or excessive weight. The smooth tank portions of the model are made from flat printed styrene sheets rolled into tubes by the modeler. The corrugated sections are injection molded. The corrugations are uniform all the way around the model. Aside from spacecraft decals, the only markings provided with this kit are on the pre-printed tanks, which must be left unpainted. The result is a color mismatch between the white of the tanks and the white of the corrugations. There are no fin letters, or even quadrant numbers on the first stage fuel tank. The original kit recommended the SA-500F paint scheme. This time, the service module is of the correct diameter, but it still features Block 1 surface engraving. At 1/96 scale, this engraving is too conspicuous to ignore. I scraped all detail from my service module, and applied thin striping tape to simulate the radiator lines in the correct positions. The kit also lacks the Boost Protective Cover over the command module. I adapted a spare command module piece (at the time, I had several 1/96 command-service module kits around) to act as the cover, and glued the escape tower to this part. The Lunar Module shroud features a clear plastic window, making the Lunar Module visible. I painted this over in my kit. You may wish to add to clear windows to each interstage to show off the engine details. Engine details are a high point of this kit, with four parts per engine, plus additional structural parts for the outboard engines. Unfortunately, many of the exterior details are not dealt with so well. The kit provides 8 ullage rockets, placed incorrectly. Correcting this will not be easy, as there are large locator tabs on the interstage ring filling space between corrugations. The outside of the S-II stage is poorly detailed. Among other errors, the five hydrogen line fairings around the base of the S-II stage are spaced incorrectly and are of the wrong shape. This model is fragile and awkward to disassemble. Be sure to set aside a display space for the kit before you attack it. I store mine in the special "carrying case" box, and find I have to repair it most times I take it out. The assembled display stand cannot be stored in the box, making temporary display precarious. It may be possible to correct some of the Revell kit's defects by using the decals and plastic parts from the Estes 1/100 scale kit. Estes 1/100 Saturn V This kit is probably the finest flying scale model kit of any rocket now available. As a flying model, it lacks much of the detail associated with plastic models. Internal detail is completely lacking. Externally, however, it is good for a flying kit. Corrugations are represented with embossed paper wraps, and are not as three-dimensional as those on the plastic kits. There is considerable rolling and wrapping of die-cut cardstock, which requires extra care. The body is made of spiral wound paper tubing, and the fins are balsa wood. Both need some filling for best results. Ullage rockets, S-II fuel lines, the escape tower, and other details are represented with injection molded plastic parts. The model is well-proportioned except for somewhat oversized fins needed for safe flight. This kit comes with 8 ullage rockets. The locations are embossed on the corrugation wraparound, so if you leave four off, it shows. Careful burnishing may fix this problem. The recommended paint scheme is correct, except that Service Module is oversimplified. Decals are more detailed than those of most kits, with several camera targets included. There are no engraved details on the service module, and the RCS thrusters are oversimplified for extra strength in flight. The first stage has dummy scale nozzles are provided for display. These must be removed for flight. As a flying model, the Estes kit is very light, and aside from the dummy nozzle attachment it is more durable than most plastic models. Cox 1/130 Saturn V This model hardly deserves mention. ItUs a pre-fab toy. A final note: since I put this together, Estes has discontinued their Saturn V. [Q] Are there any sources for parts to "accuratize" the common Saturn V kits? [A] <72571.1107@CompuServe.COM> (Glenn Johnson) For anyone who is interested in building the 1/144 scale kits of the Saturn V but wants to have the Apollo section (CSM & LM adapter section) in the correct scale RealSpace Models makes a conversion kit in Solid resin. For more information contact RealSpace Models at
rec.models.scale FAQ, part 15

FAQ Table of Contents