Let's run though a checklist before we start off this month's post.
We're all set with the secondary hull, saucer and engines as far as building goes which means that we must be playing with paint? I'll let +Christopher Whitford take over from here...
This month we are indeed working on painting the saucer and engineering hull of our starship. Painting a model is not as hard as it seems and can be done in a couple of easy steps.
Painting can be done by airbrush, rattle-can (aka spray paint) or brushing by hand. For the purpose of this article we'll be using rattle-can as it's easy and since the Enterprise does not have that many colours to it you can paint it relativity inexpensively. We'll also be covering base coats and color coating as we get further in.
The first thing you want to do is prep your saucer and engineering hull by dusting them and giving a quick sand to make sure your surface is smooth and free of dust. Next thing you want to do is go outside in a clear area so as not to let over-spray get on walls or flooring. I also recommend laying down some cardboard so you have something to sit the model above while you're painting.
The colour I choose for this project is Model Master flat light aircraft grey. Now using a spray can for paint is not ideal as you have to use it outdoors and the weather has to be perfect to spray - and you also need to account for humidity because if that's too high paint dries to fast and can be splotchy.
Firstly you need to run your can under hot water since this allows the paint in the can to properly disperse when it comes out of the nozzle. When spraying your model you need to do it in even strokes back and forth building up your coats. Your base coat does not completely cover your model as it provides a base for your colour coat and after you let your base coat dry you need to sand it down with a fine grit sand paper, making sure that once you finish sanding your model it is clean and free of dust and dirt.
After that you need to apply your color coat and follow your same process as before even strokes back and forth allowing it to fully dry when you are finished your paint is smooth to the touch and with that we wrap up another month. Next month we will go over detail painting with a brush and how it adds to you model. And as always get out of her and build something.
You can catch up on all Chris' modelling tips and techniques by clicking back through the Trek Modelling 101 Archive and if that's not enough, check out the Google+ Sci-Fi Fans and Modelers' United Community