Douglas Trumbull – Lighting the Starship Enterprise

Douglas Trumbull painstakingly crafted the visual effects for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Faced with an impossible timeline, him and his team completed more composites in six months than both Star Wars & Close Encounters of the Third Kind combined.

Enterprise self illumination

The first Star Trek film is often jokingly referred to as ‘The Slow Motion Picture’, and this sequence revealing the refitted Enterprise for the first time is by any reasonable standards hugely overlong. But honestly… I love it!

See also: Other posts tagged ‘Star Trek’

Star Trek Original Series Set Tour

Boldly Go to Upstate New York to Board the USS Enterprise

Wired: [In] Ticonderoga, New York, in a former supermarket. There, at 112 Montcalm St., a valiant would-be commander named James Cawley has constructed a precise replica of the original starship set used for Star Trek: The Original Series.

Cawley began construction in 1996, crafting set pieces in his grandfather’s barn-turned-workshop. Over the past 20 years, he has spent an “astronomical” (he said it, not us) sum painstakingly rebuilding the Enterprise. Some items, like Scotty’s wrenches and a Klingon costume, are originals from the show. Others, like Captain Kirk’s chair, Cawley built from scratch.

The Star Trek Tour is permanently housed in Historic downtown Ticonderoga, New York. The sets are full recreations based upon original blueprints. The recreated sets achieve a high-degree of accuracy based on original blueprints, hundreds of hours of serious research and thousands of photos – both period images and images culled from extensive review and capture from latest Blu-ray images.

See also: Other posts on this blog tagged ‘Star Trek’, including many on the restoration of the original USS Enterprise model at the Smithsonian.

Craft and creativity

Tour replica original Star Trek sets in upstate New York

Visitors can sit in Captain Kirk’s chair and punch buttons just like William Shatner did 60 years ago, or perhaps gaze into Spock’s scanner and search for signs of life. Everyone has to make that decision at some point. — Wired

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Two 1/350 scale USS Enterprises

Two fantastic models by ‘ModelChili’ that are fun to compare.

Scale Enterprise models

The carrier Enterprise had a crew of about 5,500, whereas the starship Enterprise only had a crew compliment of 430. // The carrier Enterprise was commissioned in 1961, the starship Enterprise studio model was built in 1965.

Scale Enterprise models

The carrier Enterprise took about 5 months work, and included buying extra parts such as aircraft, photoetch details, aftermarket decals, photoetch figures, resin Phalanx guns. // The starship Enterprise took about 3 months work and the only extras were some 1/350 scale figures for the bridge and shuttlebay.


This is an especially nice comparison as some of the original starship Enterprise drawings by (presumably) Matt Jefferies also used the aircraft carrier to help show the scale of his design.

USS Enterprise Space Cruiser

(I have this Polar Lights 1/350 Enterprise kit myself. I’m looking forward to making it… one day! You can probably tell from this blog that I have a bit of an obsession.)

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Craft and creativity

Two 1/350 scale USS Enterprise models

“The carrier Enterprise is 342m long, so at this scale it comes to 1005mm. The starship Enterprise is noted as being 289m long.”

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Star Trek Facebook reactions

Facebook celebrates Star Trek’s 50th anniversary

…with a lovely cardboard Enterprise model and some custom ‘reaction’ emoticons.
(I’m not sure about the logic behind using the Vulcan salute for ‘love’ or Spock for ‘wow’.)

Lindsey Shepard: Our internal design team built the USS Enterprise image by cutting and piecing together paper by hand. Then they photographed it using a high quality camera so that it could appear in our greeting.

(via The Verge)

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Craft and creativity

Facebook celebrates Star Trek’s 50th anniversary

“When we caught wind that Star Trek would be celebrating 50 years this month, it got our wheels turning. We wanted to mark this fun, nostalgic moment and help the passionate community of Star Trek fans celebrate in some unique ways on Facebook.” — Lindsey Shepard

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ILM’s Bill George Shares Video of Intricate USS Enterprise Model Repainting Process

Bill George: This is a short film showing the process of the detail paint work on the conservation of the original U.S.S. Enterprise miniature, used in all 79 episodes of the original Star Trek television series. The detail paint work was done between the 11th and the 23rd of April 2016 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. The model is now on display in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.


Bill’s channel also has this fascinating video with the original ‘library shots’ of the Enterprise model.

The Star Trek editors would choose shorter sections of these longer shots to use in the various episodes.

Previously…

Update: In all her glory →

Star Trek fonts
Use your words

The fonts of Star Trek

If you’ve ever tried to find the fonts used for a particular Star Trek series or film, you’ll have found that there are thousands of poor imitations on free font sites everywhere. Thanks to Yves Peters at Font Shop, now there’s a guide to the original fonts of Star Trek!

What’s interesting about Star Trek is that it has a number of typical alphabets that are immediately recognisable, and have become an integral part of pop culture. While many fan-made fonts exist based on the logos and title sequences of popular movies and television series, Star Trek is one of the very rare franchises which at one point had officially released fonts. In 1992 Bitstream introduced the Star Trek Font Pack featuring four digital typefaces – Star Trek, the signature face of the original television series; Star Trek Film, used for the credit titles of the Star Trek movies; Star Trek Pi, a collection of Star Trek insignias and Klingon symbols; and Star Trek Bold Extended, the lettering of the name and registration number on the hull of all Starfleet space ships. The Star Trek Font Pack has been discontinued long ago – possibly over licensing issues – yet individual typeface designs are still available under different names. We will run into them in this article, plus some others.

Posters for Star Trek Beyond and the first Motion Picture

In celebration of the upcoming release of Star Trek Beyond and the 50th anniversary of the franchise, Paramount had a poster created that mirrors Bob Peak’s beautiful artwork for The Motion Picture

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Standard

Smithsonian: Enterprise Studio Model Back on Display

USS Enterprise on display(via @airandspace)

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.

Enterprise restoration

Bill George and John Goodson, both of ILM, mark the position of windows on the secondary hull before painting.

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.”

Previously…

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Craft and creativity

USS Enterprise goes back on display at the Smithsonian after a faithful restoration

The studio model of the Star Trek starship Enterprise is now on exhibit in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. After taking it off exhibit in 2014, assembling a special advisory committee, examining it using x-ray radiography, searching out long-lost photos, and planning the work in great detail, months of hard work culminated in several weeks of painting, detail work, rewiring, and final assembly.

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