Therin of Andor wrote:
IIRC, this was being pushed by the guys who had to use and film the TMP Enterprise model, which was tricky to move around, mount, light and film. The Excelsior model, although bigger in scale in the movie, was very light and only half the size of the Enterprise model in real life.
The Excelsior (various sources describe it at 6' long) was maybe a foot or two shorter than the refit model (described as 7-8'). It WAS lighter, though. The Enterprise was a lot heavier though, because it was built with an arc-welded aluminum frame, and its pearlescent paintjob wasn't intended for shooting on bluescreen, which is why ILM dulled it down so much.