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Archive for August 13th, 2019

Space: 1999 Models: New 1/72 scale Eagle kit Pt. 7

posted by JamieH 9:13 AM
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

This post finishes up the preview look at our new 1/72 Eagle kit. As things stand now, we have gone through three rounds of test shot refinement, the box art is done and production will begin soon. The kits are on track to be in the market in November.

Paint: The Final Frontier

Oops! Wrong show. Carry on.

By E. James Small

First, I apologize to readers for finishing this up so late. Life and other jobs took priority so I just couldn’t put it to mind until those chores were done. Anyway, we continue with where we left off.

After all sub assemblies are done it is time to paint the model.

I first used gray primer to paint all parts, straight from the rattle-can. Then when the gray primer was dry I primed it again with white.  Why two primer coats? First, the gray primer is much more opaque than white primer is. And primer is much less physically thick than the colour coat. By priming it first with gray to knock back the translucency of the plastic and then putting white (which covers better than colour coat) over that, it makes it possible to use a lot less of the main white colour coat.

The off-white colour coat was then sprayed over the white primer. I like to use automotive lacquer when I can because it dries very fast, is very tough, and goes on less thick and less likely to run than enamels or most acrylics or alkyds. When lacquer dries, most of the carrier evaporates and the paint pigment hugs the details very well.

Details were either left in primer gray or sprayed black and silver as shown.

Weathering was done by first cutting chunks from an old business card and using it as a soft mask to airbrush light gray paneling effects over the entire model. This method is very fast, easy and looks authentic because they often used this technique on the original studio miniatures as well. 

Further weathering was done by dusting some black powder paint over the model then wiping or blowing off the excess. Black powder paint is gray unless you add water to it. This allows the details to pop a little more.

Now it’s time to paint the details and add decals.

The landing gear oleos’ silver struts were just hand painted. Those of you who need more attention to detail and more time to spare would do well to cover those struts with Bare Metal Foil for an even better appearance. The landing feet “toes” were dusted with a lighter gray. Since the actual kit decals had not been done yet, I printed a set myself by using scaled down ones from the previously released 22” Eagle also available from MPC/Round 2. I find that using “Future” floor coating applied to the model just before the decal is applied gets rid of a lot of silvering and saves having to spray the entire model with a gloss coat, as decals never work well over matte surfaces. The Future blends the decals into the surface. Just apply the Future to the surface a few seconds before you apply the decals. 

Finally the entire model, minus the silver bits, was sprayed with dull coat.

Here are all the painting products I used to finish the model.

Left to right: Generic Canadian Tire gray primer, Krylon white primer, Dupli-Color off-white automotive lacquer, Krylon Chalky Finish Misty Grey (for the airbrushed weathering), black powder paint for weathering, Krylon Chalky Finish Matte Sealer for the overall finishing dull coat, Krylon silver for the engines and finally Rust-Oleum Quick Color flat black for airbrushing inside the engine bells.

Why use spray cans instead of hobby paints, you ask? Because of the expense, mainly, and convenience. There are no hobby shops near me and spray cans like these are readily available at local hardware stores. Also you get a lot more paint for the money with spray cans and at the rate I go through paint it would cost me a fortune in hobby paints for my work. I do have a stash of hobby paints that I have collected over the last few decades (usually Tamiya, with some Testors and others) used mostly for small detail brush work.

Then came the photography of the model for the box art once the painting was all done. Jamie Hood did a GORGEOUS painting (Wait ‘til you see it!) for the main box art but we needed pictures of the model for the rest of the box and tray. Most of it was all just standard stuff shot against a black velvet backdrop but I wanted a “hero” type shot showing an environment for the main box tray picture.  Jamie picked out a shot from the show itself that had the angle he wanted, so I just more-or-less copied that shot using the 14” model in place of the original 44” VFX miniature. I painted up a quick and dirty partial launch pad to scale from an old board I had laying around for the model to sit on so that shadows cast onto it would look natural. That was better than just Photoshopping the model onto a digital background. Besides, even though this was to be a manipulated shot and a composite, I wanted to use real physical elements wherever possible. Real objects always look better than computer generated ones. Knowing the angles necessary I didn’t need very much of the pad to show, that’s why it’s mostly unfinished and all chopped up. Took just a few minutes with a couple of spray cans to make.

Then when strategically lit to look somewhat dramatic it was photographed then brought into Photoshop where I matted in a background of the Lunar surface using elements I had made from the 22” Eagle Cargo Pod kit box art. The mountains are just bits of foam chunks and tin foil sprayed with gray primer, covered in cement dust for texture and shot up close with appropriate lighting. The mountains are only about 3-5 inches wide or so.

Looks pretty good and reasonably well matches what was seen on screen. Only thing I’m not happy with are the launch pad lights. I didn’t have the time needed to wire in real lights on the pad set so I just digitally plopped those in quick.  I’m not the artist in Photoshop that Jamie is though. Maybe he can make them look a lot better by the time he lays out the box art. He can probably improve the entire scene as I did that composite rather quickly, I had other work to get to.

I hope you people out there will enjoy this new kit. It is amazingly well done for its size and has all the external details of the larger 22” model but takes up less space for those of you who don’t have much room to spare. Another fantastic achievement by Jamie and his gang over at Round 2!

We can’t wait to see what you all do with yours!

Jim.

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