Thursday, September 15, 2011

Star Trek Enterprise Klingon Disruptor

I dug this piece out of storage about a week ago, and it came together VERY quickly. As with some of of my other recent build ups, I'm suppressing my typical attention to detail lunacy in favor of getting things finished. So far, this has turned out really great, though it is lacking in a few areas that I would normally have spent much more time on.

Long story short, I would typically have spent more time cleaning up the seams and making it perfect. But I'm just trying to plow through it and get it done. The paint turned out pretty well, though the red is not the right color. I'll do some weathering, and I think that will really change the look of it, but overall I'm quite happy with it, especially the results I got from my detailed masking job.

Here is how the kit started life. Just one big chunk of raw resin.

The seam line was pretty clean on this, but it did require some clean up. I knocked it all out in one evening. I could easily have spent another few hours on it, getting it just perfect, but instead I opted to get it done :)

I had a pot metal emitter to go with the kit, which I trimmed up and polished with a wire brush by hand. I probably could have given it some more love to get it even more shiny, but that seemed contradictory to the Klingon design aesthetic. Yeah, I just said that.

After cleaning the seam up, I sawed off the resin emitter, and covered it with a couple of coats of primer. I took a hard look at the parts that needed to be masked and painted, and came up with a strategy. I would paint the silver parts first, the red part second, and the black parts last. I first hit the gun with silver. I wasn't really too concerned with the coverage, though it would have been overkill to paint the entire gun silver.

Once the silver was painted and had been given a chance to dry, I masked off all the parts that needed to remain silver, and then sprayed on the red. Note that I did NOT yet mask off any black parts.

The trick I've really learned about painting props with masking is this: go light! When you lay masking tape down, there are often little gaps in between the tape and the prop, especially where tap overlaps. If you blast a heavy coat of paint down, it will find ways to seep into those cracks, often onto the prop. But, when you lay down a few really light coats, this tends not to happen. And I mean really light coats. It doesn't even have to be completely covered, but can instead just be a misting. Do a few of those, letting it dry in between, and your problems are over. This technique worked VERY successfully on this build.

Once the red was done, I pulled off all the masking tape, and started in on the black areas. The first thing I did was the ribbed area by the emitter.

And then I masked off the body of the gun so that I could paint the handle.

You can see the red overspray pretty clearly in this pic, revealing how my work process goes.

And that's really about it. I have some gold areas to paint, but I don't have any gold paint on hand. I guess I need to go get some. Then I need to decide how to weather it. I've found reference for two different weathering styles, as different prop shops made guns for the show. There's the HMS version, which looks like this:

And the ISS version, which looks like this:

I'm not sure which one to do, though I will probably shoot for something in between.

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