Recommended Sites


May 2024

Polar Lights Models: Klingon K’t’inga buildup process Pt.7

posted by JamieH 4:18 PM
Monday, August 27, 2018

Continuing our series of guest blogs covering our brand-new STAR TREK: The Motion Picture 1:350 Klingon K’t’inga model kit…

Finishing, The Final Frontier.

James Small,

Not really much to tell on this post, the last of the series on building the K’Tinga from Polar Lights, Round 2. The pictures pretty much speak for themselves. After all the main colour coats were done, it was time to weather the model, doing so with a dark green wash to tie the colours together, some airbrushing with a tiny hint of black scorching and streaks of zinc chromate. Then the decals were applied. Normally one would say you should apply the decals BEFORE weathering but in this case the decals are small and I didn’t want them to be obscured, lest the low lighting conditions used for the photography would lose the markings altogether.

The decals were test prints sent to me by Jamie in slightly past the “nick of time” we would have liked, but they worked out really well. The only challenging decals to apply are the set of four that make up the big Klingon symbol on the bottom of the ship. When you do this as you finish your kit, make sure you take your time planning them out, and they will need a lot of coaxing and setting solution. The front “splash” surrounding the torpedo tube had not been printed at that time, so I had to spray that one on from scratch by first masking off the area, spraying on some gold and then following up with a touch of clear orange to match the colour seen on the Klingon symbols.

After all this was done, the model was finally finished and I began what would end up being one of the most challenging photo shoots I’d yet done for a model. It took me a full day to figure out the right balances of exposure, aperture for depth of field and lighting so it would all look wonderful on the box art. We also wanted to try to match the ominous look of the ship as seen in the film itself yet see all the details and retain proper colour balance. I had multiple light set-ups, bouncing light off the ceiling, walls, floor, some direct and some indirect, lights on stands, some attached to the ceiling, some on the floor across the room… it was a lot more complex than one might imagine for such a shoot and required a lot of time to figure out to get just the right look. Then I spent another day or two actually taking the shots. I took many dozens of shots testing it all before I could get it to look right. Because the model is so dark and required such long exposures at high resolution, microvibrations in the floor (even though concrete), in the air, whatever, maybe in the camera itself for all I know, made the camera move JUST enough to blur the image slightly. I also discovered that really long time exposures make a digital camera’s dead pixels (all digital cameras get them after even a short time of use, it’s a disease like tooth decay) really stand out like a klaxon! To account for the blurring, I had to do faster exposures with a wider aperture, and then stack shots so they could be stitched together by Jamie in Photoshop to cheat the depth of field. These challenges were exacerbated by the fact that I don’t really have professional photographic equipment, namely a more expensive camera (the Canon Rebel I have is a good camera but is after all, consumer grade) and a good solid tripod. Really good tripods that eliminate the slightest vibrations can cost a lot of money. Also, Jamie had very specific angles in mind for each shot, so it would follow his box art layout, and that took considerable time in some cases to set up and line up as well.

The build took far too long to do (I still have to paint the other two but I’m taking a short break from them to do something else for a while as I’m all K’Tinga’d out right now), the pix were done, the box art under way. I therefore present to you here and now the very first look (no, these are NOT the pictures used for the box art!) at the completed new 24” long K’Tinga kit which is right up there with the most comprehensive, most accurate sci-fi model kits on the market today!

We’ve tangled with solvents, paint and plastic. Now… it’s Chardonnay time. Cheers!

And as a special bonus, here is a look at the box faces for both the kit and the light kit!

12 Responses to “Polar Lights Models: Klingon K’t’inga buildup process Pt.7”

  1. Ron Goad says:

    It’s so beautiful…!

  2. Hunk of Junk says:

    I love it when a plan (and a model) comes together! I was a little skeptical of the paint colors when they were first applied, but that dark green wash and weathering really ties it together. Looks stunning. Good work all around, guys!

  3. Peter Hicks says:

    You have to love how the ship looks green on the kit box, but grey on the lighting box. Hidden message?

  4. JGG1701 says:

    Beautiful work Mr. Small
    Wish I had half your talent sir.

  5. edge10 says:

    Thanks James and Jamie for sharing all of these updates!

    What is the latest word on store availability?

  6. Joe Stains says:

    Following this build-up has been an unbelievable experience for me…

  7. Barnstormer says:

    Fantastic buildup, I am looking forward to this kit very much. Thanks to Everyone involved, once again, for an exciting kit!

  8. Andrew says:

    Any news on the release of this kit? Will it still be in October or now in November?

  9. Craig Carey says:

    Oh yeah! I’ll be getting this one.

    I Really like the large scale kits. There is one large size ship I would absolutely love even though it wouldn’t be 1/350. That would be a 1/537 Excelsior class.

    I am listing my top three choices for big models below.

    1. 1/537 Excelsior
    2. 1/350 Reliant
    3. 1/350 FJ Dreadnaught (or even a 1/537 1/650 or 1/1000 version).

    I realize Discovery is on the boards right now. I’m open for any of the models in any of the three scales.

    Well that is my wish list basically. I realize there is a major list of other models possible in many different scales. I am open to them all in actuality.

    Well thanks for reading this.

  10. Tomh says:

    Is there any news on the Trek front?

    I have the 1/1000 Defiant, and I’ve just ordered the 1/1000 Grissom-Klingon Bird of Prey 2-pack.

    It sounds like the 1/350 K’Tinga is in the manufacturing stage and should be out before Christmas.

    How is development going on the Discovery kits?

    Are their any plans to produce a 1/1000 Voyager kit?


Leave a Reply