Enterprise Project

enterpise-project-01

A 1:350th Model of the Starship Enterprise

This is a project that started almost 9 years ago when I purchased a model kit of the Starship U.S.S. Enterprise from the Star Trek film series. Ever since the original movie, Star Trek: The Motion Picture (ST:TMP) came out in December 1979, I was enthralled with the big screen presentation of the beloved starship Enterprise from the television series, in a new, sleek, “refitted” design.

Being a Trekker from my childhood, and a sci-fi geek in general, the aesthetics of this iconic vessel hit all the “right notes” for me and left an indelible impression. While many in retrospect have knocked the movie, it was a huge success and a visual feast when it was released. With special effects legends Douglas Trumbull (of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind fame) and John Dykstra whose team re-invented special effect with Star Wars two years prior, it is hard to appreciate how polished and impactful it was in its day.

From the design lines of designers Richard Taylor and Jim Dow, to the idea by Trumbull to make it “self-illuminating”, it simply “made sense” in how it should look. Add in beautiful (yet technically problematic for the cinematography guys) paint job by Paul Olsen, it makes it in my mind the best presentation of the iconic starship, and arguably in the running all-time depictions of a space ship in film.

So this project is an undertaking to make this the most “screen-accurate” and detailed depiction possible at the 1:350 scale.

While the seed of this project, and the purchase of the unbuilt model kit from Polar Lights some nine years ago, lay dormant at the time of the 50th anniversary of the original airing of Star Trek on television, it rekindled the project. This will be a long (maybe upwards of a year or more) project to complete. This site is a result of wanting to have a platform to document my work on this project. Share it with other modelers, and to act as a journal of this voyage.

Welcome aboard.

2 thoughts on “Enterprise Project

    • Hello Mr. Probert.

      My apologies. I was a bit clumsy with how I wrote that sentence three years ago. I had intended to write it and reference Job Dow as the lead “builder” of the model (as opposed to Richard Taylor and yourself as the principle designers). Obviously you know better than I, that many hands were involved at Magicam in the fabrication of the miniature so even then it would not be 100% accurate to share Mr. Dow was “the” builder of the model. Though it’s my understanding he was the leader of the team at Magicam that worked on it.

      My understanding is that once it was determined by Taylor that the Phase II model that Don Loos had been working on (based off of the Matt Jefferies drawings) that for the most part you and Richard were the principle “designers” of the ship. With Richard focusing mainly on the nacelles/pylons, and you doing the photon torpedoes, bridge super-structure/lounge, etc.

      That Jim Dow was leading the people at Magicam doing the fabrication, and Paul Olsen doing the paint work, though I believe you had some hand in that as well in that you did the drawing of the famous “aztec” pattern for the primary hull, the Astra Image drawing dated November 2, 1978.

      I assume you were involved in the redesign of the bridge super-structure around the time the Abel & Associates were shown the door. Though I have not been able to work out the precise sequence of events of whether that re-design was started by Taylor or Trumbull and wether it was pre- or post “firing” of Abel. You had done some drawings of the superstructure/aft lounge on January 10, 1979 that is close to the way deck 1 ended up, but had a deck 2 which was in-between the more rounded superstructure that had been built into the model (with the side docking ports) and the final one that was filmed, which had the docking ports gone, and the inset “soffit” around the deck 2 section.

      So it seems the bridge level was already being re-worked prior to Abel being “fired” a little under month after that drawing (the firing occurring around February 2, 1979). I am obviously going down the rabbit-hole there and I digress.

      At any rate, I apologize if I was sloppy in the wording of that old post.

      On another note, I would love to talk with you more about your TMP design work. I have a myriad questions that your insights and recounting would be incredibly valuable. If you are at all amenable to it, I would love to interview you along the lines of what Richard Taylor did with me a couple of years ago.

      Like

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