Automan Lamborghini Countach

Lamborghini Countach from the TV series Automan
Automan Lamborghini in daylight Automan Countach rear view in the dark


When I first started planning a build of the Automan Lambo Countach, I was going to use fiber optics to create the outlines. But I realized that those would only work for parts of the car - the wheels, parking lights, and rear panel were large enough that fiber optics couldn't be used without looking too bright, too dim, or too spotty. Next, I thought about using glow-in-the-dark paint/powder, but that really works better for indirect lighting and I wanted this to at least look passable in the daylight. I finally decided to give fluorescent paint a try...if it didn't work out, I could always strip the body and start over.

It took some searching, but I eventually tracked down a can of fluorescent blue paint at a local hardware store. The car was first sprayed flat white (Tamiya decided, for some reason, to cast the car in dark blue plastic instead of a more reasonable white), then sprayed blue. When it was dry, I masked off all of the outlines with thin strips of painter's tape, then painted everything satin black. Since the car was essentially supposed to be a solid hologram, I kept the details as simple as possible: the only parts of the car that aren't satin black or fluorescent blue are the driving lights, since they were visible on "normal" on-screen. Mechanically, this is pretty much straight from the box other than the wheels: these are custom made from parts box items and sheet styrene.

The finished car looks decent enough under normal lighting, but really pops when the lights are low and it's under a black light. As usual, the human eye is much better at seeing at night than a camera, and photographing something in the dark is pretty difficult. It took several dozen shots and quite a few different setups, but in the end I was able to get the above photos using my camera's "low light" setting and an inexpensive black light.


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