The Enterprise model, a genuine television star of the 1960s, now rests in the south lobby of Milestones in a new, state-of-the-art, climate-controlled case. From the center of the Hall, the restored Enterprise rests with its camera-ready side on full view.
Washington Post: Here’s what’s new:
A green-gray paint job. Using the original paint on the top of the saucer as a reference, conservators returned the ship to its proper color by removing paint applied during previous restorations and adding new paint where needed. “People are going to say it looks too green now, but it looked more gray on TV because of the powerful incandescent studio lights,” [museum conservator, Malcolm] Collum says.Space tarnish. Artists from visual-effects studio Industrial Light and Magic applied bronze-colored streaks and specks, lost during past restorations, to the exterior. “It looks like the ship was speeding through space and ran through a cloud of something that splattered across its hull,”Collum says.
Old-school decals. With historic photos as a reference, ILM artists added lettering to the sides of the starship using the waterslide method (the same technology that underlies temporary tattoos) used by the original model makers.
A more authentic deflector dish. Before coming to the Smithsonian, the Enterprise lost its deflector dish — the saucer at the front that projects a force field to protect the ship from space debris. During an earlier restoration, “the museum made a not-very-accurate replacement — we referred to it as the salad bowl,” Collum says. The new dish is a perfect replica, re-created using the original specs.
Lights that won’t cause fires. In addition to blinking lights throughout the ship, the Enterprise’s nacelles appeared to have spinning lights inside, an effect created with motors, mirrors and Christmas lights. The old incandescent bulbs ran hot and actually scorched the inside of the wooden model, which is why they were removed long ago, Collum says. The restored version uses LED lights to replicate the original effects. “When you turn on the lights, it just brings the ship to life,” Collum says. “It’s an incredible transformation.”
- 1 Feb 2016: The original USS Enterprise returns to spacedock for detailed restoration work
- 10 Feb 2015: The USS Enterprise at the Smithsonian
to add some extra information…
TrekCore has some galleries with more images from the refit work at the Smithsonian, including lovely detailed shots of the restored model back on display from June 2016. They also posted this video interview with Malcolm Collum.
TrekCore: Here’s the first of our latest round of video interviews with the renovation team, as chief conservator Malcolm Collum tells us all about the new nacelle lighting array, keeping the Enterprise moving at warp speed.
There’s also a documentary on the way!
BUILDING STAR TREK will follow the conservation team from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum as they attempt to restore and conserve the original 11-foot, 250-pound model of the U.S.S. Enterprise from the original series. The special also will track the effort to rebuild a model of the original U.S.S. Enterprise bridge by using authentic set pieces and props, which recently went on display at Seattle’s EMP Museum.