Android mini production – Part 5: A fresh coat of paint
Long time no update! Sorry about that, things have been very busy over here. For those looking to buy some more figures, you’ll be happy to know that they have arrived and will be available for sale soon! The first few cases will be accompanying me to San Diego for the International Comic-Con (Booth 1335/1337), with the rest going on sale online upon my return. We’re setting up a new shop and doing smaller timed ‘drops’ to ensure that more people than last time have a chance to get some figures!
Back to the progress! This is what a finished, cooled off, assembled and completely naked Android looks like. Please try not to stare.
That is much better. The standard green Android is a pretty straight-forward matter of spray-painting the correct colors in the correct areas. The more interesting part here is that little strip of color swatches on the right.
All you non-designers out there may not be familiar with how hard it is to match ‘on-screen’ colors to ‘real world’ colors. Those color swatches are part of an industry-wide color reference system from PANTONE. Basically the factory has a copy of that book, I have a copy of the same book, and we can all agree on what the final color should look like without having to worry about anyone properly color-calibrating monitors or printers between offices (and countries). In every design file for each Android variation I make note of which specific color codes to reference (by the way, Android green is PANTONE code 376!).
For designs that go beyond basic painting we turn to the mighty machine for assistance. This one is called a “pad printer”, because it uses rubber pads to transfer paint onto curved and irregular surfaces. The artwork is etched onto the pad much like a traditional rubber stamp, but this pad is much softer. When the pad is pulled down onto the Android it deforms over the shape, depositing the paint in all the right places (hopefully).
Despite all the metal, this is still a mostly manual operation. The operator has to be quite skilled in order to line up all of the tiny details on the more complex designs. Some of the Androids use dozens of different pads in conjunction with complicated spray paint masks.
Next Time: Shape up, ship out and party down!