Paint scheme of DS9 kitbash fleet

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Cpt. Kyle Amasov, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. Cpt. Kyle Amasov

    Cpt. Kyle Amasov Commodore Commodore

    Jul 10, 2001
    Hey guys,

    I'm in the process of collecting spare parts to build some Wolf 359 and DS9 kitbash models. Number 1, U.S.S. Kyushu, is amost ready to enter my drydock (I was lucky to hunt down a second AMT 1:1400 Enterprise-D kit on ebay recently). Next up is U.S.S. Yeager. Currently, I'm collecting data on the model itself (and try to get my hands on a Maquis raider kit).

    The pics we have of her (link to EAS) and the other kitbash ships indicate a very unusual paint scheme (excessive use of copper and blue). Any experts on this board who know if that was done for some obscure VFX reason (meaning the ship would look like regular Starfleet grey on screen after several passes) or if this could have been the intended paint scheme for the model - if so, feel free to duscuss reasons for that. (If you're not sure what I'm referring to, compare the neon yellow of the Centaur windows on the model to the finished on-screen appearance.) My intention is to have her resemble the on-screen appearance, not the workshop look.
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Good question.

    I trust that under the lighting conditions of most DS9, and especially at the distances involved in shooting the kitbashes, the light blue on the superstructure of the Yeager would be totally indistinguishable from the color of the rest of the hull. After all, it's almost impossible to see the similarly light green streak on the neck of the TOS movie Enterprise, under much more favorable conditions... In other words, it's probably there for style (making the Maquis engines look more like an integral part of the Starfleet ship) but would fail to do its job on screen.

    Copper I trust is there for detail the builders really wanted to stand out. It'd be black, black, blaaaaack on screen, though, as we see on the Centaur. Although in theory, it might be used for some sort of VFX trickery. But I think the neon colors (green on the Centaur portholes, purple on that fancy Antares they never used for Wolf 359) would work much better.

    "Imitating onscreen", I guess we can get away with all sorts of subtle color patterns, as with the aztecing that "always" was there yet never really was visible on certain ships. So I'd retain the light blue superstructure and perhaps apply something similar on my Voyager and Bellerophon - possibly individual ships have individual colors there?

    Timo Saloniemi
  3. Cpt. Kyle Amasov

    Cpt. Kyle Amasov Commodore Commodore

    Jul 10, 2001
    So maybe the kitbashes just left the dock without a proper paint job or it'S Starfleet's version of a war paint. Then again, maybe Starfleet ships are not painted at all. One has to wonder if the aztec pattern on the movie era ships is just slightly different colors of the plates itself or some kind of subtle camouflage paintjob (which of course would lead me to ask the obvious question: if you want camo in space, why not paint them black and remove all the external light sources and install some window shutters?) .
  4. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    The neon windows and engines actually were for an obscure VFX reason; rather than rigging the models with internal lighting, the glowing parts were painted in fluorescent colors that were filmed under blacklight. They were then color-corrected to white or blue or red or whatever, and composited over the scene-lit footage of the model, just light a regular self-lighting pass would've been.
  5. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

    May 3, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I'm certain that these ships are not painted. That was the whole intention of the aztek paint on the models since the 70's, the idea that we're seeing slightly contrasting panels of material. The model builders of the TMP ship had the newly commissioned space shuttles in mind, whose numerous layers of ceramic tiles and thermal blankets give them a very textured look.

    I tend to agree with the position taken by Mister Scott's Guide to the Enterprise wherein we read that the TOS era ships were painted with a grey paint to proof the ship against heat or radiation or something, but that it was deemed unnecessary by the time of the refit so was left off. Therefore the TOS ship was painted, but those are the only ones; all others were just in their hull material colors.

  6. Cpt. Kyle Amasov

    Cpt. Kyle Amasov Commodore Commodore

    Jul 10, 2001
    Small update:
    That piece of info inspired me to try and reconstruct what the effects team did to achieve the finished on-screen look of the Centaur. I'm fairly certain that, besides a black light pass for the windows, the regular pass to film the model was filmed in black and white. I turned the color photo of the Centaur to b/w, and it pretty much look like what we saw on screen. Note how the copper details compare to each other. I think we can discard the idea that this (or any other Frankenstein fleet model) was ever intended to have blue highlights, as suggested by the CGI recreation done for the fact files and now immortalized by the Eaglemoss miniature.
    David cgc likes this.