For nearly 50 years now, Star Trek has been such a huge part of American culture that the original U.S.S. Enterprise model, which was used on all three seasons of the classic show from 1966-69, has been on display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Donated by Paramount to the museum in 1974, the 11-feet-long and 200-pound model, which was made out of blow-molded plastic and wood, was displayed in the museum’s gift shop of all places. Recently, wiser heads prevailed and decided that the Enterprise needed a more proper display on the eve of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, as well as a full on restoration job.
Although Star Trek debuted on NBC in 1966, the model used for the Enterprise was made a few years before, when the original pilot for the series called “The Cage” was shot. The ship was modified through two separate pilots and tinkered with throughout the course of the series’ run. Besides all the tinkering done to the model back then, there’s all the age wear that five decades will bring. So this year, the crew of the Smithsonian decided to honor the legacy of Gene Roddenberry’s series by giving the model a complete makeover, and they had their work cut out for them.
Now a new short film has been released by Vimeo user William George, showing the process of the detail paint work on the conservation of the original model. All of 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. In a nice little touch, the video uses the music of Jerry Goldsmith from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, from the scene where the Enterprise is in space dock getting its major refit and upgrade.
The model is now on display in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. You can watch the video in its entirety below:
What do you think of the Smithsonian’s efforts to bring honor to the Star Trek legacy? Let is know your thoughts down below in the comments.
Featured Image: CBS Productions