Friday, July 20, 2012

Eentsy Weentsy People for the Enterprise Bridge , or PGMS Cutaway Starship Photo-etch Set, Part 6

Finally, I've gotten back to the tiny Enterprise bridge I was detailing with parts from the PGMS Cutaway Starship photo-etch set. Last time, I'd painted it. I've been painting it some more, for the most part clumsily attempting to fix my sloppy work.

Soon, it'll be time to populate the bridge. I've been painting some Gold Medal Models 1/700 photoetch sailors in Starfleet uniforms, and they'll be about the perfect size. I painted them on the fret, since it'll be impossible to paint them after they're removed. Some of the figures will need to be bent, as well, since i intend for Kirk, Sulu, Chekov, and Uhura to be seated. I made sure to take photos of the painted figures before removing them from the fret--I'll take every precaution, but the carpet monster is voracious!

At 1/700 scale, these figures are about 1/10 of an inch tall, or 2.5 mm. I painted all the figures on the fret with enamels, Testors flat black to start, then proceeded to do uniform colors (gold is Model Master Panzergelb, red is Humbrol insignia red, and blue comes from a bottle of Pactra flat insignia blue so old it says 40¢ on the lid). In order to work this small, I wore a 10X loupe in my eye and held the fret with a hemostat and rested my brush hand against the hand holding the hemostat. Hair and skin colors are various paints and mixtures. I went totally nuts with this: the uniforms have black collars and piping on the sleeves, with the Enterprise arrowhead on the left breast of the tunic. The insignia were done in yellow (indistinguishable from gold here since it's microscopically small!) and I was forced to paint the uniform color up to the insignia to cut them down to size. (This is similar to a trick I used to hand-paint 1/700 Japanese aircraft: an overall coat of white, followed by the red hinomaru disks, and finally dark green around the markings, leaving a narrow white band around the red disk.)

All the Starfleet personnel are chosen from among the figures who don't look like they're wearing sailor's blues and caps. I picked four that I thought I could bend into a seated position to represent Kirk, Uhura, Chekov, and Sulu. A figure with its hand up to its head represents Uhura in her common pose of reaching up to touch her communications earpiece. Scotty, McCoy, and Mr. Spock will remain standing, along with two redshirts and another anonymous crew member in blue, for a total of ten personnel.

Not quite a full complement, but it should be enough to make the bridge look reasonably busy. Looking at these pictures, I realize some of them could still use a bit of touch up: the back of Spock's neck is so big he looks like a Cardassian. After the touch-up, I'll bend them into any poses they're supposed to be in and remove them from the fret and superglue them into the bridge, and this mini-project will be complete. The remaining figures (and bicycles) will likely end up on U.S.S Essex, though I'll need more figures for that!

Next time: the finished bridge with little people in it

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