Wikia

Memory Alpha

Constitution class model (original)

Discuss1
37,501pages on
this wiki
Revision as of 20:56, September 17, 2013 by Archduk3 (Talk | contribs)

Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Template:Faupdate

Constitution class model

The eleven-foot model

For the refit design, please see Constitution-class model (refit).

During the production of the Star Trek television shows, most notably Star Trek: The Original Series, numerous studio models were created representing the Constitution-class, in particular the USS Enterprise, more than for any other class of starship. Starting out with traditional physical studio models, advances in technology have resulted in digital versions that were added to the array of models used in the Star Trek franchise.

Designing the original Enterprise

Constitution class design finding a direction

Designing a new starship, finding a direction

Constitution class chosen design elements finetuning

Homing in on the final design utilizing the chosen design elements

As art director on the original series, Matt Jefferies was given the assignment to design the Enterprise itself, initially with input from Pato Guzman. His only guideline was Gene Roddenberry's firm list of what he did not want to see: any rockets, jets, or fire-streams. The starship was not to look like a classic, and thus dated, science-fiction rocket ship, but neither could it resemble anything that would too quickly date the design. Somewhere between the cartoons of the past and the reality of the present, Matt Jefferies was tasked with presenting a futuristic design of his own, "We also drew on a lot of research material on Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. Again we said, 'This we will not do.' There have been a lot lot of things that took place in those comic strips that have proven out today, but pictorially we felt they were hokey. They used a lot of air-foil fins and rocket tube-like shapes that had no feeling of practicality or necessity. Roddenberry insisted everything be believable. We had to base it all on fairly solid scientific concepts, project it into the future, and try to visualize what the fourth, fifth or tenth generation of present-day equipment would be like. So working within those limits, Pato and I sat down and began to sketch out ideas. When we had about two walls covered with these sketches, we called Roddenberry in and he looked them over. Damn it but he can be irritating. He liked only a piece of this one or a small part of that one, but none of our ideas had what he really was looking for. So we did twenty-some more designs, using the few elements he had said he liked." (The Making of Star Trek, pp. 79-80) The theory that space could be warped – a hypothetical means of faster-than-light travel – had first been proposed by Albert Einstein in 1905. Years later, Star Trek itself established that Zefram Cochrane had first demonstrated warp drive in 2063. In the 1960s, however, warp drive – a delicately balanced, intricate web of chemistry, physics, mathematics, and mystery – initially perplexed Matt Jefferies. He explained:

"I was concerned about the design of ship that Gene told me would have 'warp' drive. I thought, 'What the hell is warp drive?' But I gathered that this ship had to have powerful engines – extremely powerful. To me, that meant that they had to be designed away from the body. Boy, I tried a lot of ideas. I wanted to stay away from the flying saucer shape. The ball or sphere, as you'll see in some of the sketches, was my idea but I ended up with the saucer, after all. Gene would come in to look over what I was doing and say, 'I don't like this,' or, 'This looks good.' If Gene liked it, he'd ask the Boss (Herb Solow) and if the Boss liked it, then I'd work on that idea for a while [....] So I worked on it for a while, and a couple of weeks later, Herb and Gene came in. They liked a bit of this and a bit of that, and I worked on those bits. And then I came up with something I really like, so I preloaded it – used lots of color and put it in a prominent place that made it kind of stand out. And that worked! It looked better than the other sketches and Gene said, 'That one looks good!' They – and Bobby Justman, too, when he came aboard later – were a dream to work with." (Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook, p. 62)
The design process itself, however, proved to be arduous and time-consuming. Starting from Roddenberry's ambiguous guidelines, Jefferies started out by experimenting with shapes, as he recalls; "There was a lot of floundering going on because I didn't know where the hell we were going and I had to start coming up with an envelope to work inside of. I did hundreds of sketches. Gene liked a piece of this and a piece of something else, so I tried to see what I could do with the pieces." Dozens more sketches followed, experimenting with the configuration of the selected components. "My thinking was, because of the ship's speed, there had to be terrifically powerful engines. They might be dangerous to be around, so maybe we'd better put them out of the way somewhere, which would also make them what, in aviation circles, we call the QCU – quick change units – where you could easily take one off and put another on. Then for the hull, I didn't really want a saucer because of the term 'flying saucer', and the best pressure vessel of course is a ball, so I started playing with that. But the bulk got in the way and the ball just didn't work. I flattened it out and I guess we wound up with a saucer!" (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 10, p. 25)

Constitution-class USS Enterprise NCC-1701 finalized plan views by Matt Jefferies

Jefferies's 1967 finalized plan views of the Constitution-class USS Enterprise

Jefferies Enterprise sketch

The sketch Roddenberry and Solow approved

In August 1964, the producers approved a final configuration, based on a color illustration and a small balsa wood miniature Jefferies had made, to give Roddenberry and the NBC execs a three-dimensional feel for the ship. (It is possible that this model was even used in the original title sequence of the first pilot, "The Cage". [1]) "When Gene and the NBC people came in – I think there were about eight of them – they did navigate to the color piece, and I said, 'Well, if you like that, how about the model,' and held it up," recalled Jefferies. "Gene took it by the string and immediately it flopped over, because the birch dowels were heavier! I had an awful time trying to unsell that. And, of course, when our first show hit the air and TV Guide came out, they ran a picture of the ship on the cover, upside down." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 10, p. 26) The "unselling" Jefferies referred to stemmed from the fact that Roddenberry actually liked the upside down orientation. "I held it up and Gene took it by the string and it immediately flopped upside down. He liked that better. I didn't. That was one of our biggest arguments which I won."[2] Jefferies spent the next few months designing the color scheme and refining the chosen design. Theorizing that space was too hazardous for important machinery being on the outside of the hull, Jefferies decided that the hull had to be smooth (which had the added benefit of reflecting light in subsequent shoots). He had to fight off several production team members, who wanted to keep adding detail to the surface. In the end, Jefferies spent full time – the better part of four months – designing the ship.

Early USS Enterprise design concepts by Matt Jefferies

Jefferies' ball-shaped design

Early USS Enterprise ring-ship design concepts by Matt Jefferies

Jefferies' ring ship design

Notably, two of Jefferies' earlier designs captured the imaginations of later Star Trek production team members, like Rick Sternbach, Andrew Probert, Michael Okuda, and Gregory Jein. Through their fascination and persistence, these designs eventually found their way into canon. A "ring ship" design, dismissed by Roddenberry as being too frail-looking, became the USS Enterprise XCV 330, as well as an inspiration for Doug Drexler's design of the Vulcan Suurok-class. The ball-shaped primary hull design, which Jefferies himself dismissed as being "too bulky", though he seriously considered the design as he deemed the sphere the best possible pressure vessel for use in a vacuum (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 10, p. 28), was the foremost influence on the designs of the Daedalus-class [X]wbm and Bill George's Olympic-class.

A large part of Jefferies' original design sketches was sold off on 12 December 2001 in the The Star Trek Auction, in order to raise funds for the "Motion Picture and Television Fund".

Three-foot model

USS Enterprise three foot model ventral view

The three-foot studio model, dorsal view

USS Enterprise three foot model

The three-foot studio model

USS Enterprise three foot model three-quarter ventral view

The three-foot studio model, ¾ dorsal view

After final approval of his design, Jefferies went on to produce a detailed set of construction blueprints – with orthographic views of the ship – and sent it to the Howard Anderson Company, which was to build the pre-production model. (Blueprints published in Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook, pp. 70-71, were erroneously identified as those. They are, in fact, post-April 1966 construction blueprints drawn up as visual production aids and used for AMT's production shop for making molds for a later edition of their first Enterprise model kit, being printed on the side of the box for the modeler's reference sake.) Richard C. Datin, Jr. (who owned a set of the original blueprints) was eventually subcontracted to build what ultimately became known as the "three-foot" model of the Enterprise, though its actual size was exactly thirty-three inches. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 132, p. 51)

Datin later recalled, "All lettering and the logo artwork on the secondary hull were decals. The rest, I believe, were painted on, such as the hatch indications [....] I began work on the small Enterprise on Wednesday, November 4, 1964, and completed it by November 15 for a total of 110 hours of my time. Since I did not have a large enough wood lathe to turn out the major components (the primary and secondary hulls and nacelles), I subbed this to an old-time woodworker whose name, unfortunately, escapes me. My portion of the work was assembly, painting, and decorating. The three-footer was comprised of pattern pine – a sugar pine – primarily because it was kiln dried, free of knots, and consisted of a very fine grain. It finishes well and takes paint just as good. I was able to purchase a Plexiglas dome, a ready-made item for modelers, for the bridge. The deflector dish and secondary hull front cover were fabricated from rolled brass strips and silver-soldered together, then sprayed with a gold color lacquer." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 132, p. 51) The paint schemes were selected by Jefferies. [X]wbm After review by Roddenberry, Datin did some minor revisions and delivered the model on 14 December 1964, at a total estimated cost of US$600. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 132, p. 51)

Use

USS Enterprise three foot model held by Leonard Nimoy

Nimoy holding the three-foot model prior to its modifications

USS Enterprise three foot model held by William Shatner

Shatner holding the three-foot model after its modifications

Although never slated for filming purposes, but rather to serve as a study model for the yet-to-be-built larger model and for public relations purposes, including well-publicized publicity shots of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy holding the model, it eventually was used as such (The shots of Nimoy with the model were apparently taken before April 1966 as they featured the model prior to its modifications, whereas the shots of Shatner featured the model after its modifications).

A time-line drawn up by model aficionado David Shaw elaborated [3]:

  • 4 November 1964 (Wednesday): Richard Datin agrees to build an approximate three foot long model based on an early set of plans which give a real world scale of 1:192 (if this had been the final drawings, this would have been the 540' version, but the proportions of this early drawing are actually different from the final plans... including the length of the model) and for the final large scale model (the plans on the page would have most likely been 1:48).
  • 7 November 1964 (Saturday): The final construction plans are finished. These plans include the scale reference of "FULL SIZE & 3" = 1'-0" TO LARGE MINIATURE".
  • 8 November 1964 (Sunday): Richard Datin receives the plans and starts building the full size 33-inch model out of kiln-dried sugar pine.
  • 15 November 1964 (Sunday): A little more than a week later the 33-inch model is presented to Roddenberry for approval. This may have been when the addition of exterior windows was requested (which were not part of the original design), and the model returns with Datin after the viewing.
  • 8 December 1964 (Tuesday) (or Sunday 29 November 1964, according to model builder Mel Keys [4]): Construction is started on the 11-foot model.
  • 14 December 1964 (Monday): The 33-inch model is delivered to Roddenberry for final approval while "The Cage" is being filmed in Culver City (there are images of Hunter and Roddenberry examining the model on this date). This model is used for all effects shots in "The Cage" except the most important one (the zoom in on the bridge).
  • 24 December 1964 (Thursday): Shooting of "The Cage" wraps, only one effects shot still outstanding (all other model shots use the 33-inch model).
  • 29 December 1964 (Tuesday): The 11-foot model (built by Datin, Mel Keys, and Vern Sion) was delivered to the Howard A. Anderson studio. This version is not powered and the windows are painted on the surface of the model. Even then the model was designed to be shot from the right side only.
  • 23 January 1965 (Saturday): After "The Cage" is already in the can and waiting for network approval of the new series, additional test shots of the 11-foot model are taken in its original condition.
  • 30 January 1965 (Saturday): Aspects of the ship's size like it being 190,000 tons were being distributed to the media describing the new show. (The Making of Star Trek, p.171; the promotional brochure – reprinted in Inside Star Trek: The Real Story as a separate section – upgraded the tonnage to 390,000 tons.)
Enterprise 3 foot model final appearance

Final appearance of the three-foot model in "Requiem for Methuselah"

USS Enterprise three foot delivered to Gene Roddenberry by Richard C. Datin Jr.

Datin (l) delivers the model to Roddenberry, 14 December 1964

Recognizing her use for forced-perspective shots, Anderson shot stock footage for use in the title sequence and future episodes. Besides "The Cage", the model appeared most notably in "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "Tomorrow is Yesterday", "By Any Other Name", and finally in "Requiem for Methuselah", ironically here as a desktop table model. In this last appearance, it could be discerned that the model had been damaged sometime earlier. Stills show that the hangar doors were missing, as well as some of the "intercoolers" on the rear top of the nacelles. In the episodes after the two pilots, the three-footer can be recognized by the fact that she, unlike her big sister, is not lit internally.

In August 1965 and April 1966, a series of revisions were made to the eleven-footer, of which the latter were mirrored onto the three-footer, except for the internal lighting and the animated nacelle domes, which were deemed too expensive. The model was stored away, after its final appearance in "Requiem for Methuselah".

USS Enterprise three foot model in Gene Roddenberry's office

Last known (official) photo of the three-foot model in Roddenberry's office (taken by Susan Sackett)

After cancellation of TOS, the three-footer was given by the studio to Roddenberry, when he returned to the studio in May 1975 in preparation for a second Star Trek production, and subsequently resided in his office for some years. Reportedly, he loaned the model to somebody during the late 1970s but later forgot to whom he had lent it, as was related to William S. McCullars' now-defunct IDIC website by Majel Barrett-Roddenberry on 10 July 1997. She stated, "That particular ship was a real model and it was Gene's – he loaned it to someone and Gene forgot to get it back and it was never returned. It's a shame because it's a piece of stolen property and since it has historical value – it is quite priceless." [X]wbm According to David Shaw the model went missing when it was on loan to one of the Effect Houses as reference for the upcoming project. [5] In 2010, personal assistant to Roddenberry for seventeen years, Susan Sackett, shed some more light on the issue, "Last I heard, it was on someone's coffee table. It was ripped off during the late 1970s when the first movie was being made. It was last seen at a special effects house... btw, I took that photo!". [6] The Effects House Shaw and Sackett refer to might have been Brick Price Movie Miniatures as two photos showing the Phase II model under construction exhibit a reference model in the background. (The Art of Star Trek, p. 60)

The model – for all intents and purposes, the very first studio model in the Star Trek franchise – has been missing ever since. [7]

Eleven-foot model

After the first review of the three-footer, Roddenberry green-lighted the construction of the large model, which would be exactly four times the size of the small model. Again, Richard Datin was entrusted with the job. This time, he was forced - due to time restraints and the limited size of his own workshop - to subcontract the bulk of the construction. The company he choose was Burbank-based Production Models Shop, owned and operated by Volmer Jensen. Most of the work fell on his employees, Mel Keys and Vern Sion, closely supervised by Datin.

On constructing the "eleven-footer", Datin remembered:

"The saucer section was constructed in two separate halves, top and bottom sections, of "Royalite" plastic sheet vacuum-formed over plaster molds, each representing the top half and bottom half of the saucer. The formed sheets in turn were supported, or held together, by a series of plywood ribs or struts radiating from the center. I have no idea how many ribs there were but a sufficient number to support the nearly one-eighth-inch thick sheet of Royalite. The plastic surface was thin enough to be slightly pressed inward with a finger. (...) At the point where the (solid wood) dorsal connected to the underside of the saucer, additional framework was added to strengthen the connection to the saucer. The dorsal was fastened to the saucer by one or two, most likely two, lag screws whose heads were set in below the top exterior surface of the the saucer. A small, low profile section made of wood hid the screws. The teardrop-shaped bridge section was made from a solid piece of wood with in its center hollowed out for installation of the hemispherical-shaped Plexiglas (bridge) dome (the same for the underside dome)...

"The two engine nacelles consisted of a tapered frame constructed of plywood ribs fastened to the respective shaped solid wood ends," recalls Datin further. "The nacelle surfaces that faces each other were flat elongated areas of wood that were set in from the outer skin surface. Other details were added, such as what looked and was described as wood shaped "handles", which Gene took an instant dislike at my terminology. But to me no better description fits! The rib frame was the covered with a heavy gauge pre-rolled sheet metal. A formed corrugated Plexiglas sheet covered the sides of the "S"-curved aft ends, while the forward domes were comprised of a semi-hard-wood-like ash and lathe-turned into hemispherical-shaped half domes. (...) The two support pylons were made of a solid one-piece hardwood, of either oak or walnut for strength." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 132, p. 53)

USS Enterprise eleven foot model

Datin (l) taking delivery of the eleven-foot studio model

The wooden secondary hull was subcontracted out, as well as several component pieces such as metal bits on the nacelles. The spikes on the forward nacelle domes were made by Datin himself. The same paint scheme as for the three-footer was applied, but no decals were used on this version; all the details on the hull - lettering, logos, and all - were painted on. Virtually identical to her smaller sister, the eleven-footer lacked one detail. The surface on the backside of the aft nacelle caps was smooth, where the three-footer, as per specification, sported a detailed rectangular feature. Coming in at a length of 11 feet, 2.08 inch and a weight of 225 pound, the model was delivered to Anderson on 29 December 1964. Too late for extensive use for "The Cage", the model was stored away for months while the studio pondered the fate of Star Trek.

Once the decision was made to have a second pilot produced, Roddenberry - with the people at Anderson's - decided to enliven the large model, in order to enhance their chances. Up until then, he had not wanted any of the models to be internally lit and they were delivered as such – shortly after, he changed his mind about that. Again, Richard Datin was called in to do the proposed revisions. Datin logged in another 88 hours of his work from 27 August through 8 September 1965, doing the following:

  • Bridge: several painted-on windows removed, light panels added in front and on sides.
  • Saucer top: nav lights added, black bands painted near port and starboard edge, painted black and white areas added near bow edge, four light panels added. The port and aft light panel was just painted-on and is not an actual light panel.
  • Saucer rim: center-most bow port changed to nav light, some windows added.
  • Saucer bottom: nav light and two portholes added near edge on each side, at 10 and 2 o'clock positions.
  • Impulse engines: black rectangular vents painted over with hull color, eight small round black vents painted on.
  • Secondary hull: strobe light added on aft flank, rearmost round porthole moved from left side of two rectangular ones to right side.
  • Nacelles: black "grille" pattern painted on rear nacelle end caps.
  • Registry markings were previously painted-on, now changed to decals.

The moment that Star Trek was to become a regular series, in early 1966, Roddenberry wanted to enliven the model even more, and this time also retrofitted the "three-footer". Yet again, Datin was called in to do the revisions:

  • Bridge: bottom half chopped off, light panels removed, a red "beacon" added on each side. Some portholes added on B and C decks. The original bridge module was a deviation from the three-footer as it was far more bulbous than on the three-footer which was originally closer to its eventual appearance.
  • Saucer top: black bands and most other painted-on markings removed, rib added on "linear accelerator", which was painted a darker gray.
  • Saucer rim: Some portholes added, bow nav light replaced by light panel.
  • Saucer bottom: nav lights moved to 9 and 3 o'clock position, some portholes added, "nipple with phaser turret" added below sensor dome. [8] [9]
  • Impulse engines: painted darker gray, round vents removed, original rectangular vents again painted black, texture wraps added on both ends of impulse deck.
  • Dorsal: some windows/portholes moved/added, dorsal painted same as rest of hull instead of the earlier blueish reflective color, with a blueish stripe remaining on the leading edge.
  • Secondary hull: red "beacon" and green portholes added on top, some windows/portholes added, deflector dish diameter reduced (and the dish repainted a lighter copper-gold color than before), "observation booth" added under cowling above hangar bay doors, a grille added on the center line just aft of the deflector dish housing and in front of the Starfleet pennant.
  • Nacelle pylons: four dark gray. brick-pattern inserts placed in slots.
  • Constitution-Class USS Enterprise studio model inner workings of the nacelle caps

    The innards of the animated nacelle

    Nacelles: solid wood "power nodules" with spikes replaced with frosted Plexiglas domes with inner surface painted transparent orange, plus motorized vanes and blinking Christmas lights added behind the dome, being ten bulbs of different coloring, blue, yellow, red and green. [10] Colored mirror shards were also added for reflective purposes. The whole assembly was powered by a van motor. [11] The original wooden domes were removed and were still in the possession of Richard Datin as of 2001.
  • Ribs and aluminum grille added in "trenches" along inboard flanks of nacelles and trench painted darker gray, patterned slabs added inside "intercooler loops" at rear, small slabs added in front of intercooler loops, black painted grille removed from end caps and light gray. spheres added.
  • Typeface used for registry markings changed (resulting in that the number "l" changed to "1"), weathering added .

Datin worked an additional 419 hours on the second set of revisions from 8 April 1966 to 17 May 1966. Total costs for the "eleven-footer" (inclusive the retrofit revisions on the "three-footer" in excess over US$6,000. The heavy internal wiring for the lighting pushed the weight of the model up to 275 pounds.

USS Enterprise 11-feet model decal sheet by Richard Datin

One of Datin's decal sheets

The port side of the model was not as detailed as the rest, especially on the secondary hull and the dorsal. The reason for this was that this side didn't need to be as, since here was the point located where the electric cables were connected, this side would never be filmed. By far the vast majority of the shots seen of the "'eleven-footer" is the ship moving from left to right. On the very rare occasion that a port-side view was required (as in "Mirror, Mirror"), a visual trick was applied. Datin fabricated mirrored decals of the registry number on the nacelles and these were applied on the starboard nacelles. In post-production, the image was flipped so that the number could be read as normal. As a precaution, Datin produced several copies of the decal sheet as spares, in order to replace decals on the model when they got damaged through use.

The second set of revisions are the ones also retrofitted onto the three-footer, save for the lighting options which were deemed too expensive. In this vein, the eleven-foot Enterprise model was used for the rest of the series, save for minor revisions done at Anderson's during the run of the series:

  • Upper sensor dome changed to a taller one, registry numbers on saucer bottom switched around so the starboard one was readable from a front view.
  • Jeffries came up with a "deflector grid" which was drawn in pencil on the primary hull. It was drawn only to satisfy Roddenberry and was done very lightly so it wouldn't be visible on film.

Use

USS Enterprise eleven-foot studio model testshot at Howard Anderson Company in original unlit configuration

Test shot of the model in its original configuration

USS Enterprise, The Cage profile view

First appearance of the yet internally unlit eleven-foot model in "The Cage"

USS Enterprise eleven-foot studio model filmed at Howard Anderson Company after first set of revisions

The model at Anderson's after the first set of revisions

Upon the delivery of the eleven-foot model to the Howard Anderson Company by Datin, the model was retained there for the filming of footage for use in the first pilot, though only one sequence would actually be utilized there. Before the model was stored away to await the verdict of the studio, some additional test footage, not intended for filming use (as the model was not filmed in front of a blue screen), was shot on 23 January 1965 to establish camera angles. The model was constructed in such a way that it could be suspended from the ceiling and it was filmed as such. An x-ray picture taken later at the Smithsonian revealed that some of the the hooks onto which suspension wires could be attached, were still embedded within the model. It was the only time the model was filmed this way, as it was afterwards only filmed while mounted on a stand, the stand having to serve as guidance of the power cables for the by then added internal lighting rig.

Constitution class USS Enterprise studio model assembled by Howard Anderson Company staffers Harry Kersey and Ronnie Peterson prior to shooting

Anderson staffers Harry Kersey and Ronnie Peterson assemble the model prior to filming

After the first set of revisions in August and September 1965, the model, now endowed with internal lighting, again reverted to Anderson's for filming of the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The footage thereof was to be re-utilized as stock footage throughout the remainder of the series, as was the one shot taken for the first pilot. On handling the model Howard Anderson, Jr. has noted, "Dick Datin built he original Enterprise model out of wood and fiberglass. Although it weighed less than 100 pounds, it was pretty sturdy." At Anderson's, the model was mounted on a metal bracket, taking care that the port side, undetailed for lights and cables access, remained unseen. Motor-driven motion control shooting rigs were an expensive novelty at the time and Anderson was not equipped with one, so the static model had to be shot in stop-motion. "Depending on how fast the shot was supposed to be in real time, we'd move the camera a few inches, refocus, shoot a frame, and the repeat. The faster the shot, the more the camera would move between frames. We would start shooting every night at 6 p.m.. Before we started, Gene Roddenberry would drop by to tell us how long the shots needed to be that night.", Anderson explained. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 148, pp. 46-47)

Conditions at Anderson's were not optimal as his studio was not large enough to easily accommodate a model of the size of the eleven-footer. The cramped conditions meant that the studio lights had to be placed fairly close to the model, and behind-the-scenes photos showed that handlers of the model suffered under the heat of the lights. Filming the model under these conditions provided its own set of problems, as Anderson elaborated, "We had to constantly stop shooting after a short while because the lights would heat up the ship. We'd turn the lights on and get our exposure levels and balance our arc lights to illuminate the main body of the ship and then we'd turn the ship's lights off until they cooled down. Then we'd turn them on and shoot some shots all in one pass. It wasn't until later that someone developed fiber optics and 'cold-lights' and other useful miniature lighting tools that are common today". (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 11/12, p. 67)

Linwood G. Dunn shoots the 11-foot studio model

Dunn filming the eleven-foot studio model

DY-100 and USS Enterprise studio models filmed at Film Effects of Hollywood

The model filmed alongside the SS Botany Bay model

When the series went into regular production, it became obvious very early on in the first season that the special effects demands of a weekly production as complex as Star Trek (the most complex television production at the time) tasked the Howard Anderson Company beyond its capabilities. Three other SFX companies were brought in to ease the workload, The Westheimer Company, Van der Veer Photo Effects, and Film Effects of Hollywood. The latter company, headed by Linwood G. Dunn, were sent the three- and eleven-foot models for additional filming of stock footage. "We received the three-foot and the fourteen-foot [sic] models from Howard Anderson early in the first season. We had to make some repairs and modifications to the fourteen-foot model [note: Dunn is referring to the May/April revisions of the eleven-foot model] before we could begin shooting our effects.", Dunn recalled. (American Cinematographer, January 1992, p. 39) Virtually all footage in the series, showing the Enterprise after the second set of revisions, including the interaction with the SS Botany Bay in "Space Seed", were shot at Dunn's company. An added advantage was that his studio was more spacious and better suited to handle the eleven-foot model.

There is no evidence suggesting that any new footage was shot of the model for the third season, due to the budget cuts the series had to contend with. [12]

Post-production use

USS Enterprise studio model on its first public appearance

The eleven-foot model with Thompson on its first tour

After the series had been canceled, the eleven-footer was more or less forgotten by the studio and stored away in a far-away corner of the studio. The very fact that she was stored somewhere was a minor miracle because normal studio policy had it that, in those days, major set pieces of canceled shows or wrapped productions were to be demolished to make room for new productions. In April 1972, the model, minus its deflector dish was displayed at Golden West College, Huntington Beach, California as part of a larger space flight exhibition–arguably the very first time a Star Trek studio model was on tour. Through a series of coincidental contacts, that also involved former Star Trek producer Herb Solow, an opportunity was created to have the model included in the exhibition as well. While struggling to get the electronics back on-line, former Desilu production staffer, Craig Thompson (who has worked as office manager for post production on The Original Series from 1966 through 1969, but was by then employed at the college), noted that the starboard nacelle interior dome rotated clockwise, while the port side rotated counter-clockwise. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 120, p. 77) Asked if the studio showed any apprehension on loaning out the model or pride in it, Thompson re-iterated, "Not at all, other than they didn't want G[ene]R[oddenberry] to get a hold of it, for whatever reasons. [remark: according to Thompson's contacts at the studio, Roddenberry tried to get possession of the model for years after the series wrapped] Proud of it... I doubt it! I have to say that when I took it back, Props would have paid me to keep it. I kick myself every time I tell this story... because I probably could have had it for fifty bucks, if not for free. But, my garage was too small to store it... and even I didn't have the foresight to recognize what an icon it would be in the future. So, it slipped from my hands."

Nevertheless, Thompson managed to retain a memento of the display as a consolation boon, "Several weeks after we took it back, one of my students came into my office and said they were cleaning up the workroom and found a bunch of Star Trek Enterprise decals (in sheets of hundreds) and wondered what to do with them. I said I'd call Paramount and find out. When I called, they laughed and said they'd never use them again. So, they said just to throw them away, or whatever. The sheets are about 2 1/2 feet across, rolled out, with about 200 large and small decals that were used to repair the large model, if the name (‘USS Enterprise,’ for example) got scratched at Howard Anderson's SFX studio, while filming. So, I just about tossed them, (but) I decided to keep them as a remembrance of having worked with the show...along with Mission: Impossible, The Lucy Show, Mannix, etc." [X]wbm What Thompson had acquired were four of the decal sheets, that included detail decals such as "Nitrogen Purge Reducer Value", "Tail Pipe Socket Adjustment" and "Inspection Door Vent Systems Connections", Richard Datin originally made as replacement spares. In 2012, Thompson offered up his decal sheets in the Profiles in History Hollywood Auction 49 as Lot 907, with an estimate of US$4,000-$6,000, where they went unsold however.

File:USS Enterprise 11-foot studio model re-assembled at The Smithionian for inspection.jpg

One year later, in response to an inquiry from former Apollo astronaut Michael Collins, then Paramount Executive Dick Lawrence responded, "I am pleased to advise you that Paramount Television will donate the fourteen-foot [sic] model of Star Trek's Enterprise to the Smithsonian Institution. It is my understanding that F.C. Durant III, assistant director of Astronautics of the Smithsonian Institution, in a letter dated December 17, 1973 to Mr. Frank Wright of our publicity department, has agreed to pay the cost of crating and shipping." (which was estimated at US$350-$500, at the time) (Star Trek Giant Poster Book, issue 10, 1977). The Smithsonian Institution received the model (with its filming stand) on 1 March 1974, in three separate boxes by Emery Air Freight and had it reassembled five days later for inspection. [X]wbm [13] Apart from the already missing deflector dish, the animated warp nacelle caps were also missing, by this time.

F.C. Durant requested the following restorations, ultimately done by Rogay, Inc.:

  • Fabricate two hemisphere of Plexiglas (or other appropriate plastic) to replace missing pieces at forward end of propulsion units. Exterior surface of hemisphere to be "frosted" (sandblasted?). Interior surface to be painted with amber lacquer. Shade of paint to be approved by ASTRO. Affix hemispheres to propulsion units with small screws.
  • At forward end of secondary hull, lay-out, fabricate and install missing "dish and spike" on "main sensor". "Dish" is turned from Plexiglas or other suitable material according to sketch supplied, Both dish and spike are painted bronze approximating existing paint on main sensor, Install using epoxy cement and original fitting.
  • Replace missing Plexiglas rectangular and cylindrical "windows" in model. Attach other loose components including dome ("bridge") on top of primary hull.
  • Retouch with black paint lettering on top of main hull, all black painted windows and other features, Fill two cracks on right dome on main hull with putty and retouch with matching paint, Retouch chafed damage and other minor injuries to reasonable point
  • Push wiring inside or fold and affix on left side of model with three-inch silver colored, pressure-sensitive cloth tape.
File:USS Enterprise 11-foot studio model at The Smithionian after its first restoration,port view.jpg
File:USS Enterprise 11-foot studio model at The Smithionian after its first restoration, ventral view.jpg

This constituted the very first revision of the eleven-foot model – finished about three months later – and, while the restoration was generally well received at the time, Durant couldn't refrain from commenting to Rogay about the nacelle caps. "The paint used by Rogay was turkey red, the exterior is not frosted as requested...". (Star Trek Giant Poster Book, No.10, 1977) The Enterprise was put on display for the first time at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM), the most-visited museum in the world, during the summer of 1974 in the Gallery 107 "Life in the Universe" exhibition. At the end of the summer of 1979, this exhibit closed and the miniature was moved to Gallery 113, "Rocketry and Spaceflight." [X]wbm

Between 8 August and 11 September 1984, a second restoration was performed on the model in preparation for "The Art of Robert McCall Exhibition". More extensive renovation occurred, this time including removal of the silver-cloth tape on the left, unadorned side of the ship (where the internal wiring was hidden). In its place, the renovators added molded air-tubing, which covered the holes on the ship previously masked by the cloth tape. Internal lighting was improved and many of the lights that had not previously been working were made to work again. All internal wiring within reach (when the miniature was disassembled) was replaced. Additionally, spinning lights inside the engine nacelle hemisphere tips were added (although they remained painted the wrong color of red). The model was given a thorough cleaning, paint was retouched in several places, and several of the external decals were replaced at this time. With the refit completed, the Enterprise was unveiled at "The Art of Robert McCall Exhibition", in September 1984, at the NASM's Gallery 211, "Flight and the Arts." After the McCall exhibition ended in September 1985, the USS Enterprise miniature returned to her former home in Gallery 113. (William S. McCullar's now defunct "IDIC Page" websitewbm)

A third, very comprehensive restoration was undertaken between 10 December 1991 and 24 January 1992, in preparation for the Star Trek Smithsonian Exhibit. Ed Miarecki, of Science Fiction Modelmaking Associates (SFMA), was contracted by the museum to do the renovation. As he recalls on "The IDIC Page," "Basically, it was 'Being in the right place at the right time'. I had a chance meeting with Ken Isbell from NASM. He presented a slide show at a Star Trek convention in Baltimore. We had a nice dinner conversation and talked about the 'E'. He mentioned the state of disrepair the model was in and how the museum was considering refurbishment for the 25th anniversary exhibit. I made the comment, 'I wouldn't mind helping out with that.' He responded, 'Really'? We then spent the rest of the evening discussing details while watching a costume contest. When I got home, I submitted a proposal to NASM, and the rest, as they say, is history. (...) I was able, through the courtesy of several collectors, to acquire very clear B&W and color photos of the 'E' for my research. Also, one friend of mine had episodes on laser disc that we were able to 'freeze frame.' The model itself provided the most information about how it 'looked', however." Two of the most noticeable improvements were the replacements of the deflector dish by a more detailed one and the the "turkey red" nacelle domes with animated ones, approximating their appearance in the original series. The model was disassembled and each component was given a thorough refurbishment. [14] It was also decided to let the less-detailed port side of the model remain that way.

The most striking refurbishment was the new paint scheme applied. With the exception of the dorsal side of the saucer section (the museum requested this part to remain untouched, since its paint scheme was relatively in good shape), the model was stripped and repainted. The new paint scheme is noteworthy for its emphasized grid-lining (especially on the ventral side of the saucer) and weathering. "I have taken pictures of the 'E' after restoration under full studio lighting, (which does wash out most of the shading), and it looks exactly right. I hope you understand that the model will never look the way it did 30+ years ago because it was repainted in 1974 without first documenting its original condition. This 'interpretation' was our best educated 'guess'. If someone has better resources and expertise, they may have a chance to restore the model for the 50th anniversary," Miarecki elaborated further. Miarecki apparently was misinformed about the paint job at the time; no repaint was undertaken at the time, only retouching. Miarecki was required by the Smithonian to meticulously record his work in a log and have it videotaped. His team consisted of Steve Horch, Mike Spaw, David Hirsch, Tom Hudson, Ken Isbell, David Heilman, and Roger Sides. (Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models, Issue 14, September 1996, p.28)

Miarecki's statement notwithstanding, the new paint scheme stirred up some controversy. As the original builder, Richard Datin, put it, "The original model was smooth and didn't show any lines or marks, except for the lettering and numbers (...) The Smithsonian had scribed lines to indicate panels, changing the character of the whole model." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, issue 11/12, p. 68) The paint scheme is the main point of criticism and is hotly debated on blogs like "TrekBBS", "Resin Illumanati", "HobbyTalk", "Trek Prop Zone", and the museum blog itself. [15] The continuing criticism has somewhat alienated Miarecki from the fan base, as his reaction to a particularly strong comment on the "Trek Prop Zone" blog on 25 April 2007, showed. "(...) When I first started to read this topic, I had thought I was going to read something interesting. I really didn't expect my work to be described as "BUTCHERY". It has been now over 15 years since I performed the restoration, (without the aid of all the knowledge that has been acquired in those 15 years), and I have to endure in all that time since , nothing but jabs and barbs of criticism from over-opinionated fans who now have access to that knowledge. I have yet to read one compliment... any compliment, on any forum, about any aspect of my restoration. Now after all this time, I refuse to let such a "drive-by" insult such as yours go unanswered (...)"

Constitution-Class USS Enterprise studio model secondary hull X-ray examination

X-ray photograph of the eleven-foot model's secondary hull

The renovated, powered-up model featured prominently in the 1992-1993 Star Trek Smithsonian Exhibit and was, a year later, on loan to the Hayden Planetarium, New York City, for its 1993-1994 exhibition. Upon its return to the Smithsonian, the model was not displayed for the next six years. In January 2000, the museum opened its new refurbished three-story gift shop. Part of the refurbishment was the permanent placement of the (un-powered) model with its mounting stand, in a glass display case on the lower level of the shop, in March 2000. Before the model was displayed a decision was made to examine the model in detail. Up until then the museum had always displayed the model in a suspended state, much like it was displayed for filming of the first pilot. The museum staff responsible for the model decided that a closer examination of its structure was required, and contracted Maryland QC Laboratories (MQC Labs, Inc.) at Aberdeen, MD, to perform an X-Ray analysis of the starship, with special emphasis on possible stress at the attachment points, where the cables from which the starship was suspended were attached to the ship itself. After consideration, the museum staff decided not to hang the starship any more, as it had been up until then. Instead, a special case was built for it, and it now rests upon two stanchions specially built to hold it. [16] The original filming stand of the model was also added to the display.

Enterprise at the National Air and Space Museum

The model on display in the gift shop

File:Richard C. Datin in front of the eleven foot model at the Smithonian.jpg

After the publication of William McCullars' two-part article Enterprise '64 in Star Trek Communicator, issues 132 and 133, 2001, the museum contacted the author to have him send a print with accompanying text of the picture showing Richard Datin taking delivery of the model, which was then added as a plaque to the display. This act gave Datin and the builders of the model the recognition, Datin himself had vainly tried to get for years. [17] The model, reportedly insured at US$1,000,000, [X]wbm is currently still residing there. [18]

Other physical models

While the master filming models were used to provide the majority of shots, there were instances were the master models would not do.

Three- and four-inch models

As Howard A. Anderson, Jr. of the Howard Anderson Company remembered, "In "The Corbomite Maneuver" we used a tiny four-inch model made by Matt Jefferies of the Enterprise to use in front of the huge alien ship to make it look even bigger. We also had an occasion to shoot Datin's three-foot Enterprise model from time to time and we used all three models in the main title sequence. We shot a lot of library footage using that little four-inch model but I can't remember any specific episode titles where it was used. We mostly used the 12-foot model." (Cinefantastique, issue 27, No.11/12, p. 67) It is, however, likely that Anderson (who, after all, made the comment almost three decades after the footage was shot) was mistaken about its filming usages after the title sequence. Analysis of screen captures show that the model used in "The Corbomite Maneuver" sported a lighted, lower sensor dome and running lights, identifying it as the 11-foot model, the only model outfitted with an internal lighting system. [19] There is no indication that the four-inch model (which might have been, or not, the balsa, wooden approval model that Jefferies built for the producers) was ever used again, after usage for the original unaired title sequence.

The 3 inch metal model of the Enterprise

The three-inch metal model of the USS Enterprise

Enterprise pulled in by the planet killer

...pulled in by the planet killer

TrappedModel

The in lucite encased three-inch metal model

In the pre-production stage of season two, Jefferies designed a prop that he referred to as the "Enterprise working prop." It was to become the metallic three-inch Enterprise voodoo charm used in the upcoming episode "Catspaw". The design sheet, which was signed off on by Steve Sardanis, on 18 April 1967, specifically called for two pieces, one of which was to be encased in lucite. [X]wbm Both pieces were used in the episode. The lucite-encased model was donated by Matt Jefferies, hand-delivered by Dorothy Fontana to the Smithsonian Institution on 7 November 1973, together with the original D7 studio model. (Star Trek Giant Poster Book, issue 10, January 1977) It was displayed only once, during the 1992-1993 Star Trek Smithsonian Exhibit. The other model (painted, this time) was later used as the Enterprise in the forced-perspective scene of "The Doomsday Machine", in which the ship is pulled in by the planet killer. That model's current whereabouts are unknown.

AMT filming models

USS Constellation

AMT's USS Constellation in dire straits

USS Constellation approaches planet killer

...and en route to its doom

"At a point, Matt Jefferies called me about building a second three-foot model but they wanted it sooner than I could build it, so that second model never got built," Datin remembers. (Cinefantastique, Vol.27, issue 11/12, p. 67) What Jefferies had in mind was the upcoming episode "The Doomsday Machine", the very first time the Enterprise had to share screen time with a sister ship, the USS Constellation. The script required shots where both ships would be seen drawn in by the planet killer. To do this Jefferies and Anderson needed a second model in an appropriate scale in order to keep proportions believable on screen. Although Datin could not deliver, Jefferies had an alternative by this time. Instead of having had an expensive custom made model built, two of the then recently released AMT Star Trek model kits (kit number S921) were used. Fortunately as chance would have it they were supplied with a crude internal lighting option. One was distressed, its decals rearranged to read "NCC 1017", to appear as the battle damaged Constellation. The first issue of the kit sported the model with a smooth surface on the aft of the nacelle (thereby approximating the appearance of the Enterprise in the pilots) and as such the Constellation differed from her sister ship on screen, which by then sported spheres on the aft of the nacelles. [20] The Constellation model was most likely discarded after use (although footage of this model was to be reused to represent the USS Excalibur in "The Ultimate Computer").

Profilesinhistory

John Jefferies' AMT model

3 Foot and AMT model in viewmasterreel

The 3 foot model (below) and the AMT model in the View-Master version of "The Omega Glory"

USS Enterprise AMT model and K7

...in action in "The Trouble with Tribbles"

The second model kit was used to represent the Enterprise in "The Trouble with Tribbles" as a background element seen from Lurry's office window, and orbiting the far side of Deep Space Station K-7. In the auction description, mentioned hereafter, a former member of the production crew remarked that the modified interior lighting system proved to be problematic in that the operation of the animated nacelle domes was very noisy and had to be painstakingly edited out in post-production. The model was a short time later photographed on site by GAF Corporation, alongside the three-foot model for their View-Master version of "The Omega Glory", representing the USS Exeter. It was in the possession of Matt Jefferies' brother John until 2001, when it was sold as Lot 234, with an estimate of US$30,000-$50,000 [21], to Microsoft's co-founder Paul Allen in the Profiles in History Star Trek Auction, on 12 December 2001 at a price of US$42,500 [22], and is currently residing at his Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle. [23]

Display models

Ronald D. Moore's model kit

Kirk's model

An AMT model, built by Ronald D. Moore when he was 12 years of age, was seen as set dressing in Kirk's quarters in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country as was revealed in Michael Okuda's text commentary of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Special Edition) DVD.

Wesleys desktop model

Crusher's desktop model

In "The First Duty" a desk-top model of a original Constitution-class ship could be seen in Wesley Crusher's dorm room. This was an unmodified ten-inch pewter model released by Franklin Mint in 1988, model 810, of the Enterprise. Later owned by Michael Okuda, it, missing its deflector dish, turned up as Lot#72 at the Propworx' "Star Trek Prop and Costume Auction" of 8 August 2010, estimated at US$200-$400, where it sold for US$720 (including premium).

Enterprise golden display model

One of the golden models

Another AMT model kit (number 8790) also wound up on screen in Star Trek: First Contact as one of the golden models in the display case in the observation lounge. "This was before eBay, so I went and scoured the hobby shops all the way from Los Angeles to PHX Arizona to find any and all kits of the Enterprises. What was available then was the Enterprise-A, a TOS Enterprise that was too small so I opted to get the cutaway version that was substantially bigger, and the Ent. D.(...) Herman asked for 3 of each ship because we were now going to have the smashing of the case scene.", John Eaves, the builder, remembered on his blog. [24] Molds were taken of the model and solid resin casts copies were made (since there were multiple takes of the scene). After smoothing out the surfaces, the models were gold plated at ArtCraft Plating. The models were subsequently smashed when the scene was filmed. For Star Trek: Insurrection there were again three models needed, this time because there were three display cases and Eaves more or less repeated the procedure, solidifying the models by filling them up with resin. Though, due to a late script change, they were not seen in that movie, they did turn up as display models in the observation lounge in Star Trek Nemesis. [25]

Eaves and the studio initially retained most of the models but most of them were sold at various auctions. One was sold as part of a complete set of six in the Profiles in History Hollywood Auction 44 on 15 May 2011 as Lot 1550 for $11,000 (for the whole set), one, originally owned by the Okudas, was sold as Lot #22, estimated at US$400-$600, in the aforementioned Propworx auction of 8 August 2010 for US$8,400 (including buyer's premium), one sold in April 2007 in It's A Wrap! sale and auction for US$1,411 [26] to American collector Jason Stevens, [27], one sold as part of a complete set of six in the Profiles in History The Star Trek Auction on 12 December 2001 as Lot 288, estimated at US$10,000-$12,000, again for the whole set, and another one has reportedly been sold in an on-line Sotheby's auction in October 2000. [28]

"Trials and Tribble-ations" model

The Jein model at Image G

The Jein model ready for shooting at Image G

For Deep Space Nine's "Trials and Tribble-ations" episode, Gregory Jein (who is a lifelong fan of the original series), in ten days, faithfully recreated a 5.5-foot physical model of the USS Enterprise. [X]wbm Jein was delivering the new USS Excelsior model for Voyager's "Flashback" episode when he caught a glimpse of Gary Hutzel's test footage. He recalls being informed, "Yeah, we'll probably do a model of the Enterprise but we don't know when, and we probably won't till the last minute (...) being a crazy kind of guy, I decided to start work on it anyway!" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 386) and, "It was a sort of a lark, it takes awhile to get the paperwork and budgeting done, and if I had waited for them we never would have time to do it. So, I really started it myself." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 110, p. 63) Years later, in 2011, Jein would recall:

"I think the show I get the biggest chuckle out of, and going back to the shadow days, is working on the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations". 'Cause I've always been a Star Trek fan, would it not being kinda cool to build the old Enterprise, yadeeyada, and we just delivered a model to Image G and Gary Hutzel was the visual effects supervisor on that and he said, Hey, you know what, we've something coming up that you guys want to check out. W're gonna going to back and visit Captain Kirk and the original crew, and bring him into the show and do the "The Trouble with Tribbles". So I said, That sounds pretty cool, but he says, Yeah, but nobody has given the go-ahead, because its too expensive, and we have only 2½weeks to do all this stuff. And I said, Well, are you are sure they are going to do this stuff?. And he said, Yeah, I'm pretty sure they're going do it!. So I came back to the office and talked it over with some of the guys, and said, You know, we're not doing anything right know, so why don't we start this damned thing, and if it does not get shot, we have at least have a nice model!. And so we started actually a week and a half before we got a green light on it. And so we did that, got the green light, built the space station, and the Enterprise" (Sense of Scale, disc 2)

Jein ultimately based his model on the carefully-taken measurements taken of the original eleven-foot model by Gary Kerr when it was disassembled at Miarecki's shop for its 1991 restoration. Back then, Kerr took pictures and measurements for his own personal edification. When his friend Jein mentioned to him five years later that he needed blueprints for the recreation, Kerr was able to to tell him that he could provide them. "I got all my measurements together, and every night after work I'd sit down at the drafting board. Greg needed the basic shapes of the saucer, the engines, and the hull. I'd draw some plans, go to Kinko's to make copies and send them all off to him, and the I'd go back to the drawing board.", Kerr remembered. (The Magic of Tribbles: The Making of Trials and Tribble-ations, p. 36) Additional and missing measurements Kerr obtained from Miarecki, who had maintained a log on his restoration, though he could provide them only at the last moment since he was working on the studio model of the Enterprise-E at that moment. On the construction of the model Jein noted:

"There were four different components to build. The saucers were all turned by Gunnar Ferdinandsen, a plasterer and foammaker. They were spun out of plaster on a template, just like throwing a pot, and then we vacuformed those patterns and detailed them out, and then we made silicone molds of them. The main engineering hull, the pylons, and the the engine nacelles were all made out of wood. They were turned on a lathe, and then we detailed those out and made silicone molds of them."
From these molds the final plastic parts with which to assemble the model were cast. With Larry Albright, Jein continued on the lighting,
"We put banks of neon behind the windows for the interior of the saucer and the main engineering hull and of course we have strobe running lights on the saucer, like on the original. The only parts we didn't do were the spinning lights on the caps of the nacelles. Gary Hutzel designed those." (The Magic of Tribbles: The Making of Trials and Tribble-ations, pp. 37-39)

Constitution class Trial and Tribulations studio model details

Detail shots of the Jein model

Hutzel had to take into account that unlike the original series where the model was shot in real time, that models were now photographed in motion control. He had to create a computer program to control the light effects to match the different frame rates. Building the nacelles presented another problem. By season two of the original series the aft of the nacelles sported spheres, but in the "The Trouble with Tribbles"-episode stock footage was used from the pilots were the aft sported louvers. Which version to use? Hutzel recalled, "I asked Michael Okuda what he thought the fans would say. He said that no matter what the stock shots were, the fans would know it's not supposed to be louvers. So I called Greg back to tell him to go ahead and do the spheres. And Greg said, "That's okay, I already made them both. I wasn't going to wait for you to make your make up your mind!"."(The Magic of Tribbles: The Making of Trials and Tribble-ations, pp. 40-41) Painting the model in the correct color, "Federation Gray" as Jein called it, proved easier than could be expected. Back in 1991, Miarecki had a piece of the original paint computer analyzed by a specialized paint store which came up with an exact match for the shade of gray that turned out to be a 1964 General Motors car color - GM gray 4539L. (Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models, Issue 14, p. 28, and which somewhat contradicts Miarecki's own earlier statement to the IDIC page) The only snag was that the formula was lacquer-based, which was prohibited in California, so an environmentally-friendly formula had to be developed first. Jein opted to include some of the modifications both Jefferies (the grids on the upper saucer section) and Miarecki (grids on the bottom saucer section among others) had done on the eleven-footer. This was done in a far more subtle way than the 1991 restoration as not to distract from the perception people had of the Enterprise in her original appearances. Unlike her progenitor, this model was outfitted with several more mounting rod points, so that the model could be shot from several different angles. When delivered, the model weighed in at forty pounds.

A limited production run of twelve pieces was made from the same molds used for this model and were sold at Viacom Entertainment Store in Chicago for US$10,000 each in 1997, accompanied with a certificate signed by Jein and Jefferies. [X]wbm One of them, autographed by Nichelle Nichols and George Takei, and part of the collection of ScienceFictionArchives.com (an European organization that is dedicated to preserve science fiction production assets for public display purposes, such as in museums), was on loan to Paul Allen's Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle until 2011 [29] [30]. The replicas came without internal lighting with the nacelle domes painted red, as opposed to the actual filming model, whose domes were transparent.

The current whereabouts of this filming model, on occasion referred to as the "Jein" model, are unknown as the model has not been sighted since. The model that started to appear as a tour exhibit, beginning with the Star Trek The Exhibition tour of 2009 at the Hollywood & Highland Center, California [31] [32], is a three-foot replica, most likely one of Master Replicas' 2004 limited run of replicas originating from the CBS Licensing Department archive.

CGI models

USS Defiant NCC-1764 CGI model

Eden FX's CGI model

For the Enterprise episodes "In a Mirror, Darkly" and "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", a CGI model was built of the USS Defiant. The model was built by Koji Kuramura and mapped and animated by Robert Bonchune at Eden FX. Remapped to represent the USS Enterprise, it also appeared in the final scene of "These Are the Voyages...". [33] [34] While the model was under construction, Bonchune commented on the HobbyTalk blog on 18 March 2005, "There is some subtle "aztec" paneling and some slightly heavier weathering [rem: which did not entirely met with supervisor Doug Drexler's approval, "I did have some issues with it. Texture mostly. The lads at Eden added Aztec'ing, which I prefer not to see on the original Enterprise." [X]wbm.] We also do have subtle deflector grids on the ship. Some of these additions were requested by the producers. We also have an enormous time crunch, so if it ain't perfect, trust me, we know... The CG ship was wholly and ENTIRELY built from scratch by Koji Kuramura, Nacelle effect by me with reference help from Thom Sasser as well as just looking (over and over and over and over... ad nauseum) at clips from the Orig show. Any ship dimensional reference material we needed was provided by Doug Drexler as well as Koji's own research. I know Doug is good friends with Gary Kerr, so I am sure that made it's way to us through him. As for the Petri [Blomqvist] help, Koji used his shape for the back end of the nacelle cap as a reference piece. We needed it built differently."[35] The script called for aft firing weaponry, something that up until then was not shown for the original Constitution. Bonchune remarked, "(...)the intention was that the rear torpedoes were from the little round port right between the impulses engines. We tried to make it logical with what existed so we didn't have to make a new hole on the ship. Everyone agreed, except that apparently if you frame by frame it, they actually come from the hangar bay phaser mounts. Someone in the chain either decided against it or didn't know. Even one of the writers was surprised it hadn't been done as discussed." [36]

USS Enterprise upgraded CGI model by CBS Digital

The upgraded CGI model

USS Enterprise initial CGI model by CBS Digital

Original appearance of CBS' CGI model

A second CGI model was built for the remastered TOS. Although several parties made pitches to do the model, like Digital Stream, Daren Dochterman, [37] and Eden FX (that model being built by Pierre Drolet [38] [39] [X]wbm), CBS Studios decided to go in-house with their own company, CBS Digital, where the model was built under supervision of Niel Wray and David Rossi, based on the same meticulously taken measurements by Gary Kerr of the original model for the Jein model, in this case earning Kerr an official credit as "Technical Consultant". Of particular concern to producer Michael Okuda was that the model was not too realistic looking as to keep in line with the overall look of the series. The model had to be remapped after a couple of episodes, because it was looking too detailed. Rossi also explained that the high level of detail caused additional problems in that the model took too much computer time to render the shots, ironically making the model more "blurry" looking in the episodes as aired. By cutting down the detail level and rendering time, "We will have time time to test lighting, coloring, and yes…those nacelle caps, it is going to totally change the process, we are very excited about it." [40] Work started on the model after the second remastered episode and the upgraded model was introduced in the ninth episode of the project, "The Trouble with Tribbles". [41] A particular advantage of the CGI model was the increased number of angles the ship could be shown in. "In the original series you only see it in 17 poses, we are going to give you 50 or 60,", Rossi elaborated. [42]

The versatility of CGI also meant that the model could be modified easily enough to showcase variations of the class, such as differing configurations, other vessels of the class or application of damage.

Modifications of the CBS CGI-model
USS Enterprise, The Cage (remastered) profile view USS Constellation remastered Constitutions formation, remastered
...as a previous configuration
...as a damaged class vessel
...as other class members

The models built by Dochterman, Kuramura and Drolet all found their way in the Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendars and their book derivative. [43] [44] The Kuramura, and Drolet builds were supervised by Doug Drexler, who, confirming Bonchune's above-mentioned statement, also used the research of Kerr as reference. [X]wbm Apart from these versions, Drexler, under his nom de guerre "Max Rem" together with Petri Blomqvist, also constructed a CGI model of the Constitution-class for use in the Star Trek: New Voyages fan films. [X]wbm That model too has made appearances in the above mentioned licensed publications.

Constitution-class shuttlebay models

While Jefferies was ironing out the details of his Enterprise design, it became clear that there was to be a "flight deck" or "hangar deck" (Jefferies used both denominations on his design sketches) aft of the engineering hull of the design at very much the place where he had it originally intended. That being said, there was no way, considering the budget restraints, that a full-scale flight deck set was ever to be constructed. Yet when the episode "The Galileo Seven" came along a resolution had to be found, in the process establishing a feature later carried over to the majority of other Starfleet starship classes.

Constitution class hangar deck definitive concept

Jefferies definitive shuttlebay concept

Constitution class shuttlebay maquette

The maquette at Film Effects, showing the cables that operated the revolving platform

Jefferies has said this about his design in an off-hand remark, "We had the the large curved clamshell doors at the back, and it didn't look too much different from a lot of today's modern hangars on the inside. The shuttlebay itself was only in miniature. The view of the shuttlebay in "Journey to Babel" was created by shooting through a set of sliding doors toward sections of interior wall placed eight or 10 feet further back. All of our interior walls were of the same finish, which would have included the shuttlebay." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 12, p. 24) Jefferies took care that he designed the shuttlebay in-scale with the Class-F shuttle model with which the maquette was to interact. After tenders went out, it was Richard Datin, who got the 1966 commission to build the maquette. He recalled:

"The original estimate was $2,100. In the end I invoiced them for $1,800, then I charged them an additional $163 for decals and another $175 for labor, making a total of $2,138. The scale of the model was one inch to the foot, while the drawing was drawn to a scale of 1/8 inch to the foot. According to my figures (the model) was 10'-2" long, 6'-4" wide by 3'-2" high at the inboard end and 5'-0" wide and 2'-5" high at the outboard end, where the clamshell doors were located. The model was based on drawing No.6149-14, perhaps drawn by Matt, or better yet, someone under his supervision.

"The original construction plans called for the entire length of the starboard section from ribbed beam in this half to the floor to be removable for filming purposes. Consequently, the interior port side wall was to be well detailed. However, for whatever reason, the starboard wall was not made to be removable and filming of the miniature could only be done looking back to the clamshell bay doors.
"Observation corridors windows to be frosted and lit separately as well, as the control blimps and Observation Booth Turrets. The section of the roof between the starboard and port ribbed beams will be translucent and certain small control lights o be added to the interior. Clamshell doors to be hand-operated and will be of metal for stability ("I honestly don't recall ever installing the covers nor the operating elevator"). The price includes the dolly to either pull the shuttle ship onto or off the elevator as well as the areaways cut into the side walls ("I don't believe I provided this"). Delivery would be approximately 3 weeks from date of start.

"The interior of he flight deck model was painted in shades of green and possibly light gray. From the looks of two hangar deck photos I took, it was a very light green for the side walls down to the deck, with a slightly darker shade of green for the observation corridors and control booths. The inset areaways look to be the same color as the corridors. The deck may have been light gray or green, it's hard to tell as it reflects the color of the sidewalls. The model was built primarily of pine for the structural frame, masonite for the deck and overhead shell surface, plywood archwork, and Plexiglas for the translucent overhead and observation booth windows.

"I had installed some lighting and some small colored bulbs used as a signal of some sort, I think, in the observation booths. But the major illumination was provided by Film Effects-the usual spots and flood lights. I was not on hand for any of the filming. Those brightly lit corridor windows are illuminated by studio flood lights. In other words, the backside of the corridor was open to the exterior so that the windows could be fully illuminated."

Datin spent 460 hours constructing the shuttlebay maquette, starting on 14 September, and finishing on 25 October 1966. He also spent some time doing some repairs on 31 October on the in-scale shuttlecraft, constructed by AMT, that went with it. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 133, p. 49) Upon completion the maquette was sent to Dunn's Film Effects, where the only footage was shot, utilized throughout the remainder of the series. Linwood Dunn commented on shooting the maquette, "A larger scale model of the Enterprise flight deck was, built, from which its small "shuttle craft" took off and returned, the rear clam-shell doors sliding open and closed. This crafts movement forward and back, and to and fro from the revolving platform on the deck, was maneuvered by wires, which also controlled the craft as it soared into "space" suspended from a special rigging mounted high outside and above the flight deck." (American Cinematographer, January 1992, p. 39) The maquette, considering its size, was more than likely discarded after usage, as it has never been sighted since.

Constitution class remasterd hangar deck by Max Gabl

Gabl's CGI shuttlebay

When Star Trek: The Original Series-remastered came along in 2006, the original footage with the maquette was replaced with new digitally enhanced imagery. At CBS Digital a CGI matte painting was constructed by Max Gabl of the hangar deck, premiering on 3 February 2007 in the remastered version of "Journey to Babel". The CGI effect was manipulable in 3D, so it could interact with footage of the CGI model of the Class-F shuttle. Michael Okuda wanted to use the effect to beef out another scene in the episode, "In "Journey to Babel", we really wanted to put the full hangar deck behind the shuttlecraft in the doorway shots when Sarek and his party are disembarking. Niel and his crew did such a great job on the landing that we wanted to see more of that digital set. The problem was that it was a very long shot that would have involved an enormous amount of rotoscope work and motion tracking.", to which Dave Rossi added, "Niel [Wray] came to our rescue. He suggested a simplified version of the shot in which they put in the bottom of the observation gallery in just part of the sequence. Now, when the camera pushes in, we can see at least that part of the back wall of the hangar deck. It's a nice tie-in." [X]wbm

Appendices

Related topics

External links


This is a featured article. At the time it was featured (July 2010) it was considered one of the best examples of the Memory Alpha community's work. If you see a way this page can be improved further though, we invite you to contribute. Please also check the links below to see how the article has changed since it was featured.
Featured revision (1146929)Diff to currentBlurb

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki