I’ve been in consultation with Lee Stringer from the show and Steve Fronczek who worked on the BSG auctions and owned the Galactiguise website. They’ve given me great insight into the methods used to weather the Vipers and give them that used, battle weary look.
Weathering tells a story and makes the ship look like its already got history. In my personal opinion, they weathered them pretty heavy on the show and I understand the reasons for that, but I want to go a little bit lighter on mine.
I’ve started with some dark grey on a rag, smearing leading edges and giving some corners a little rub-over. Just light to start. I’ll add layers as I go. I followed up with a little bit of silver so far.
21 November 2023
I was humbled a couple of weeks ago by a phone call from Colin Meacham, a man who worked for the paint department on-set. One of his specific tasks was weathering the Vipers for filming.
Steve had already told me about the use of furniture polish as had Lee, but Colin was kind enough to spend half an hour on the phone, explaining exactly how he applied it. Call it a crash course, as there were no demos or practice over the phone, but I got the gist of it enough to go and buy all the gear and put it to use.
I bought Gilly’s Carnauba polish from our local hardware store, as well as some tubes of acrylic paint.
The Viper was waxed heavily over all surfaces with clear natural wax, then small portions were mixed in plastic tubs with paint to tint the wax. Using a very small piece of cloth, (towel) I then proceeded to rub on the colours. The beauty of this is that it can be rubbed off, smeared, built up in layers etc.
Scuffed surfaces were done with silver and grey, painted onto a wooden block and then scuffed randomly over the hull.
There’s a bit of work to go on the wings and after I’ve finished and stepped back to ponder it for a while, there are some spots that I want to soften where I think I’ve overdone it.
23 November 2023
Today I finished the weathering, with the wings on. It’s not perfect and I am in no way a seasoned artisan at weathering – this was actually my first real attempt) but I’m satisfied, even happy with it. I fear if I go any further, I will spoil it. I thought I might have gone a bit far with some of it, but once I put the wings on, the order in chaos emerged with the cohesion of all the parts put together.
I had some great advice and coaching and my thanks go out to Colin Meacham, Lee Stringer and Steve Fronczek for all their time and effort and for putting up with me.