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When the Future was Black and White


By Marco Scheloske - images & text © 2010

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^ 20 Million Miles to Earth

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^ Earth vs Flying Saucers

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^ The Day the Earth Stood Still

Image: Detail

Image: Display plaque

Image: Proof!

Sometimes you build a model with the techniques you know for years.

Sometimes you build a model with techniques you`ve seen somewhere else, just to try them.

And sometimes you have an idea that will be a challenge for yourself.

The last happens with this little display (which may grow in the future): When the Future was Black and White. It contains three little dioramas from Skyhook, each only a few centimeters in size. Being all from classic black and white SF-movies, I painted them as they were seen on screen: just grayscales, mixed from pure black and pure white only!

To do so I made screenshots of the various scenes to get a feeling of the needed grays. It was an interesting experience to see how much we are trained to look and "think" in colors. Then I mixed several grey ''basecolors'' as a starting point, mixing tones between those from them. I used only pure white and pure black for those greys, not a single drop of another color was involved (astonishing how a single drop of black affects a complete 25 ml bottle of white!). From these colors I made a greyscale chart to compare them with the screenshots - at the end I got a feeling for it, but in the beginning it was really tough. It helped to keep my eyes ONLY on the screenshots, the grayscale and the models - one look to something with ''real colors'', and my brain switched from ''grayscale only'' to ''normal life color mode” immediately.

The paintwork itself was done as usual: basecoat, detail painting, wash for shadows, drybrush for highlights.

Finally I added a plaque for the (so far) complete collection and small prints from the title screens of the movies.

The pictures were taken in front of a grey background - but those are NO grayscale pictures, they have been taken in color! As a proof I added a colored pewter figure in one of the overview shots (Perry Rhodan from the German novel series, so it is a classic one, too…)

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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This page copyright © 2010 Starship Modeler™. First posted on 23 March 2010.