Smithsonian: The Enterprise model has been carefully separated into its individual components—saucer section; secondary hull; port and starboard nacelles and pylons; deflector dish array; hangar bay doors; and the bridge. Each section is being meticulously studied to determine its construction and condition and will be documented with visible, ultraviolet, and infrared photography.
For areas repainted during previous restorations, a new base layer will be applied on top that exactly matches the original hull grey. “We don’t have to speculate about the original grey color,” says conservator Ariel O’Connor. “Our examinations have revealed a large section of original, first pilot-episode grey hidden and protected under the saucer bolt cover.”
(Includes some pictures from The Washington Post.)
TrekCore: We’ve just gotten back from our catch-up session with the Enterprise model conservation team at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum facility in Virginia! Here’s a discussion with conservator Malcolm Collum about a NEW deflector dish for the Enterprise!
- Preserving an Interstellar Icon: The USS Enterprise at the Smithsonian
- Michael Kretschmer made this gorgeous wooden USS Enterprise model
- Chris Melby made this incredible USS Enterprise model out of LEGO
: Popular Mechanics has a few more pictures…
The article is one of the more interesting ones too:
[Smithsonian conservator Ariel] O’Connor knows her Star Trek well. She grew up on The Next Generation before finally delving into the original series at the dawn of this project one year ago. Now she seems to know it even better than the back of her hand.
There were two models of the ship built around 1964 as Gene Roddenberry began work on the first abortive pilot, “The Cage.” There was a three-foot mock-up to finalize the design, then there was this 11-foot version, the one that appears in every episode of Star Trek from 1966 to 1969.
The three-foot version is lost to the sands of time, missing for decades. “It was on Gene Roddenberry’s desk for a while, and the story was that he lent it to someone and he didn’t know who or where it went,” she says.
There are others, of course. The movie props, and the models from The Next Generation and the show named after the ship, Enterprise. Those are all in the hands of private collectors. One advisory panel member Adam Schneider, for instance, has the Enterprise-E seen in First Contact, Insurrection, and Nemesis. And Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has the NCC-1701-D used in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
I also love that O’Connor calls the weathering details on the model “space algae”.