Archive-X is a UK based company formed out of the passion for Studio Scale Modelling.
Some years ago, when I was first introduced to this crazy hobby, I realised my heart was always in the painting of the Star Wars models as opposed to the building. As my projects grew and the subjects became more difficult, so did my desire to obtain the most accurate looking paint work I could achieve. And so, Archive-X paint was born.
The goal of studio scale modelling for many years has been to collect and use the correct studio scale model kits parts to kit bash replicas of the original ships from Star Wars, much as ILM did back in the 70’s and 80’s.
As time went on, I started researching further into the paint. Initially, I scrutinised the techniques used, then more recently I started to look at the actual colours that had been used on the original models. As a scale modeler, I have known for many years that the ILM model builders used a specific brand of paint called Floquil, specifically the Railroad and Military range. But more recently, I discovered that the more recent Railroad enamel range (long discontinued) from Floquil didn’t have the same hues as the vintage solvent paint used by ILM. Though the names are the same, the colours could be vastly different.
So, in theory, it wasn't the name of the colour that made the difference, it was the specific hue of the colour. For example, Reefer Grey from the 60's is different in hue/tone from the 70's. The 80's and 90's later hues, once Floquil had changed and added enamels, were almost completely different colours in some instances.
Through a lot of hard work, some good fortune and a small team of very dedicated artists all over the world, I have been able to obtain and collect some of these vintage colours and replicate them to give me the best chance at using the same hues that were used on the original models. Part of the process has been trying to figure out what colours were available in the years that Star Wars was being made. I believe that Archive-X paint has the best selection of known Star Wars model hues available anywhere in the world.
So how do we know what was used?
There are many vintage photographs that are in the public domain showing the original paint being used, and it has been discussed in the making of many books produced by Lucasfilm over the years. Through sourcing vintage catalogues, we have a much clearer idea of what was available. Through hard and intensive research, we started to discover so much more about the way the paint was used by ILM, and a pattern emerged.
Thankfully, a lot of the ILM team from back in the day are still working, building and innovating. Some are very kind and support our quest for knowledge and pass on advice and information where possible.
Through time we will add video guides with scale model painting techniques and help with replicating this style of paintwork. The search never ends and the research is always ongoing.
Please see the FAQ for tips when painting ILM replicas.
Model building and Art will also be a part of the company portfolio with soon to be released completed models for purchase and unique art pieces based on our favourite movie designs.
Archive-X was established in 2017 and now supplies the film Industry and modellers all over the world. We’re very proud that our paint is currently being used in over 20 countries and that our models reside in the Lucasfilm Archive as well as at the ILM UK offices.
We aim to develop more Archive-X paint based products and continue the research into making your modelling easier and more authentic than ever before.
Always feel free to drop us a line, as we can advise and tailor sets to your requirements.