A team of artists from the Smithsonian have spent a year painstakingly restoring the original miniature model of the USS Enterprise. This model featured in all the episodes of the weekly hour-long Star Trek: The Original Series, which aired from September 1966 until June 1969.
The fictional USS Enterprise weighed 190,000 tons and measured 289 meters long 127 meters in diameter. This massive ship would include 11 decks that served as living and working quarters for the 430 crew members.
The Smithsonian writes principal designer of the USS Enterprise model, Walter “Matt” Jefferies, created the craft from concepts provided by Star Trek’s creator Gene Roddenberry. “At first, Desilu Productions commissioned a rough 4-inch balsa and cardboard prototype. A 3-foot “pilot” model mostly of solid wood was then built by model-maker Richard C. Datin under subcontract to the Howard Anderson Company. Enlarging the plans for the 3-foot model resulted in the final 11-foot model shown here. The Anderson Company again turned to Datin who contracted it out to Production Model Shop of Burbank, California, with Datin supervising the construction while he did the detail work.”
Watch the video below for a brief look at the restoration process.
Source: Popular Mechanics USA
Video credit: Smithsonian