TIE fighter's original color - Not what you think.....

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GKvfx

Sr Member
No, I'm not opening up another debate regarding the color of the TIE fighter - that was an long thread associated with the preview of the eFX TIE at SCDD this past summer (go here for a recap - http://www.therpf.com/f10/efx-tie-fighter-sdcc-91735/index2.html#post1304457)

This is something different, kinda trivial, but sorta cool. A few years ago, one of the SW model guys mentioned that the initial color of the TIE fighter was a shade of maroon. I thought this was an interesting choice as everything in the movie appears to be a different shade of gray or off white. Technically, it was an interesting choice as well since a maroon model probably wouldn't be as prone to bluespill as a gray model. Ultimately, he said, they jettisoned the idea because after some comp tests, they discovered that the smaller the TIE got on screen, the more it blended into the black starfield. OK, makes sense. But where are the pictures of this thing? Would have been neat to see.

The Rinzler "Making of Star Wars" had a small photo that actually shows some hulls painted up with the maroon paint (page 79) -

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Closer -

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Well, just this week, I came across some old wedges (short pieces of film that test various exposures or lighting configurations and aren't meant for projection) and lo and behold, some clear shots of the two-tone TIE emerged.

Looks like it was a simple push-in to see what it looks like with motion blur -
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What's also interesting is that though the model is using the bottom mount, it's mounted upside down (the little square blocky thing under the cockpit window is actually on top of the hull). Also, there does not appear to be an interior or a rear cover in place - you can see right through the hull.

One thing I like about wedges is that they usually scribe in some info, since they may reference it at a later date. This one has a date of "3/6" (1976).

So there you go - the more we look, the more crazy trivia stuff seems to pop up.

Enjoy,

Gene
 
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gizmo

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Cool info but I'm glad as well they didn't go for maroon. Doesn't suit the model at all. Where do you find those "wedges" you talk about?
 

moffeaton

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Gene, your willingness to dig into the bowels of the Earth continue to pay off - thank you for sharing - I LOVE this stuff.
 

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TheRealMcFly

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Having noticed that hull in the book never realized it was something more than a primer coat. Always interested to see the odd ball variations. Could we guess this model was eventually painted entirely stormy sea and that this color could still be hiding beneath one of the Hero TIEs still out there?

How cool would it be to build this TIE... looks like they've got some yellow panels on the ball there near the window.

Gene, many thanks for sharing photos. Everything you share here is invaluable to the projects I'm working on, and I'm certain other's as well. Always interesting to see a part of the process especially what could have been, or wasn't at all.
 

ralphee

Sr Member
OK, just a dumb Q here, but, the red/maroon canopy, and its flanks adorning Red 6 in her paint prep pic, could this be a pattern here, or am i totally off?

lee
 

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Nwerke

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Me! And just maroon, I assume. The half-and-half wasn't the intentional final scheme, just a means to get an in-camera comparison with one take.

And seriously, I'll do it. I don't have a TIE kit but if anyone has one for sale* at a half reasonable price, I'll do it.

* My wife's losing her job next month possibly, and I'm tightening my belt. But after we work through that.
 

GKvfx

Sr Member
I suspect, and this is only a guess on my part - the paint they used is nothing more than a can of Mole Richardson paint that they probably had laying around. Mole Richardson is a lighting and expendables supply place in Hollywood. All of their equipment is painted this hideous shade of purple/maroon. Look at any photo with lights in th and you'll see.

Welcome To Mole-Richardson

I'm going to scan a couple more of the wedges and see if it comes out a little better.

As for where I got these - let's just say they were found in a friend's garage.....

Gene
 

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