Polar lights USS Enterprise NCC-1701
Star Trek The Motion Picture Refit
1/350th Scale

Page 31, MORE secodnary hull sodding about!
Page Number

I've been doing a bit of thinking..

Or Pondering About Pearlescent Paint If You Will.

Welcome back all and time to get all masking, airbrush and lacquer minded.

So to begin with, I got hold of a set of the Orbital Drydock V2 5 colour aztec masking gear.
Got them in exchange for doing a review which was posted to the Resin Illuminati site.

That done so now said review is posted below for info purposes and for those who aren't visitors to RI.

Waddya mean that's you?
Well get thee hence to ResinIlluminati.com and have a looksee about.
One may be slightly impressed methinks.

Anyways, onward!.

Orbital Drydock's 1/350th Refit/A Aztec Paint Masks Version 2
2 Colour & 5 Colour Mask Set
At this time of writing, set costs are as follows:
$85.00 for the full V2 set
$35.00 for a supplemental set with the new/corrected masks for those who already have the version 1 set.

A fairly packed package consisting of this lot.

Breaking that down equals to:
14 A4 size sheets of very fine cut masking film.
2 Almost A4 size sheets of the same.

1 Sheet of cut kabuki tape for the windows, other clear parts and pin striping masking.
15 Sheets of adhesive transfer film.
1 Sheet with the top saucer registry masks with transfer film already attached.

One applicator assistance tool

And one colouring book.

Yes, I did say colouring book.
Yeah I laughed as well but trust me, it's rather relevant purpose will be revealed later.
So a looksee at the masks themselves. Well as per the version 1 set, the cutting on the masking material is very sharp indeed.
Sharp to the point it's very hard to see sometimes but after the weeding, it all stands out rather well.
I didn't do any of that for this review but it does work as I had a go with the V1 set.

The 'weeding' term is one use my the manufacturer, this means to peel away all the unwanted masking material,
which on some sheets is not a lot.
I'll be including screen grabs from the downloadable, 26 page instruction manual.
It's a very comprehensive set of instructions and some in depth reading and zen modeling

Thinking about it

will be a must before diving in.
They can be downloaded from Orbital Drydock's site at the following linky thing:
Orbital Drydock Aztec V2 Masking Set Instructions.

I would SERIOUSLY advise doing so, it will help you get the idea behind what this set may help you achieve.
It does have text and pictorial instructions plus colour photographs to help you along what is no small task.

A list of some stuff you will require is on the instructions and while some like 'Airbrush' is a tad obvious, the need for wax paper,
nitrile gloves, red, yellow, green and blue high lighter pens may not be.
Trust me though, they all have a use in something like this.

Now after what I said about the version 1 I have in my past review, this is certainly an improvement working toward that much required 5 colour aztec.
This time around i'd call it some 85 to 90% there now which is a bonus.
Where it may not have masks is really for those areas which may not be of concern to many but that's a personal choice.

Before for example, the width of the saucer aztec 'pie wedges' was the same for both top and bottom.
The kit grid lines on the saucer are different widths, the bottom is some 3mm or about a 1/8th of an inch.
That may not sound much but it can make a huge difference to the paint job if you're concerned about such things.
Yeah I didn't notice that before meself so mea culpa on that score.

The version 2 has the proper widths for top and bottom main aztec pattern so sorted there.
Also in the V1 set, the tops of the aztec pie wedges were all the same but the pattern was really only for the underside center surrounding the planetary sensor array.
This is sorted in this set as this grab from the instruction manual on the placement shows.

You may also notice the changed masks going from the inner grid line to the bottom of the B/C decks, that will make something like this...

A whole hell of a lot easier.
The application method of using the transfer tape is still in play and
it's a good idea from where I sit for folks unlike me, basically insane that is,
it will make application so much easier particularly for the saucer aztecs.
A vid of a modeler doing this is in the Version 1 set is right here:

Now to the 5 colour bits. A decent though not fully there shot is taken with this set.
Masks are included for the smaller panel shaped bits on the saucer aztec.

By no means the be all and end all but certainly a good start. Though if you're looking for something this complex...

Then some careful juggling of the supplied masks and/or using your own cut ones may well be required
for the patterns in the main aztec.
Other improvements are the secondary hull masks and this could seem a bit tricky but the theory is very sound for the 5 colour deal.

Now here's where the colouring book I mentioned before comes in.
This will help plan the colours you want to lay down on the secondary hull,
strong back, neck, pylons and engines.

Simple enough thing, just colour in the parts in what colour you need and use that as a guide, this pic may show some of what I mean.

So then, all in all what we have is a very much improved set over the version 1.
This is a better set for which to attempt the full 5 colour aztec with a fair bit less effort than the V1.
A better set is not available at this time of scribbling and untill one is then this set is it for a lot of
time saving and less hair pulling than a paint job like this would normally give you.
The shapes laid out for the 5 colour on the secondary hull are as near as dammit in the layout for the hull sides,
the neck, secondary hull bottom and above the hangar bay likewise.

The pylons are done in a three layer masking deal to get the 'lightning bolt' pattern in the blue,
green and gold as they should be so that's covered.
A set of small masks also provided for detail panel patterns if that is one's thing.

As I said, it's all pretty close to how it should be but for those who wish it all to be absolutely, 100%,
top notch, super duper and uber accurate and correct then best forget this review and reach for the reference material,
a comfy chair as you're going to be there a while, a large supply of frisket and knife blades by the bucket load.

No small amount of work has gone in to this and it shows. There are also masks for the long trenches in the leading
and trailing edges of the pylons, the impulse crystal surround along with
many other small area masks for hatches and the like.

It's still a decent set for doing just the two colour aztec and making a decent go at the 1701-A paint job but I think
the purpose here is to get a grip of the 5 colour and get it sorted.
This masking set will in my humble opinion, help you a great deal along that course of action.

Where it scores is certainly in the instructions which, once you have read through them a few times, will give you a decent idea
of what you're up against and maybe the confidence to give it a go if you and wallet are up for it.

There's no doubt that doing a full 5 colour pearlescent paint job is the goal of some and it's no small goal to shoot for.
I'm not going to say this is a must have, that's your choice dear reader.

For whatever my recommendation is worth, a combination of this masking set and the Trekmodeler painting guide will
have you as set as I think anyone is going to be to give the lady her
pearlescent paint finish she so richly deserves.

Of course if that is not your thing then okedoke and you must be bored if you've plodded through all this my friend

This review set was provided gratis by Brett Cavin of Orbital Drydock in exchange for a fair review which I hope i've done.

More stuff about this set, it's application and use will be revealed when
I get around to painting the beastie i'm covering in this here WIP log that you is reading.

Speaking of which, more pearlescent tests.

Now the bottles of pearl had plenty of time to settle and I noticed that they contained about 75% lacquer to 25% pearl.
I siphoned off enough lacquer carrier to make it about a 50/50 mix in each bottle.

Another change to the advertised program was to use bog standard white car primer for the base.
Sanded down the test saucer top and let it have it a plenty with said paint.
Gridlines in ballpoint pen and the Aztek Dummy masks brought in to play,
along with some very rough cut frisket's for the red, green and gold.

Much airbrushing did happen, just went in lightly with the blue pearl.
Two coats overall with a third in certain areas.
The result when all masking was removed was matt pearls, no paint pulling and almost no stepped paint edges, result!

Rubdowns went on without fuss, residue or paint pull.
Go Me!...for bloody once.

And the usual looksee as one does every now and again.

A youtube vid of the result is below...

So then, with that lot sewn up and I thought i'd leave it there but no....
Just couldn't do that and in light of the V2 aztec set
being in my mitts, a try out for the now spare version 1 set to get sorted.
with masking extras by me for the little bits of other colour pearlescent paint pandemonium.

The idea goes something like this...
A template print on some frisket film that looks like this:

The plan is to cut out each colour and lay on in the order of red, spray, peel off then repeat with gold and green.
The combined templates that should come out with colours laid down something like this:

Now I made up two sets.
One for what I call the positive and negative 'pie wedge' saucer parts of the Orbital Drydock Aztecs.
The aztec pattern in the set is pretty accurate and when laid on looks like this:

When I refer top the 'positive' and 'negative' bits, I mean this:

The frisket pattern i've made up are intended for the specific areas as they sit with the Orbital Drydock paint masks.

If you want to download the mask bits i've done then feel free to by going to the page BY CLICKING HERE!

Yes there's a rather large amount of cutting out to do so at your own risk of carpal tunnel syndrome and carry on.

Here's my stacks of three to do the saucer front and cover the eight wedges.
24 little sheets in total for the three colours.

One of them looks like this, the open bits for the red pearl.

So on to peel and stick time after the blue pearl was laid on and cured nicely.

Spray coats both light and not so light in varying places, peel, stick next lot, repeat and have a look at.

Okedoke, then peel all masking and take a look.

Nice and complex looking with little to no visible stepping in the paint around where the masks did lay

I didn't bother with the registry markings as we know they work just nicely.
A youtube vid of the above saucer stupidity below...

So all in all, i've arrived at what appears to work just righteously enough for me.
More to do at some point and as soon as done, posted here it will be!

You merry mob go easy out there now.

Page 31, MORE secodnary hull sodding about!
Page Number