Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Search4, Jan 29, 2013.
I'm surprised Paul Allen never bought it for the Science Fiction Museum.
The Science Fiction museum is just a shadow of what it was.
Not much is on display any more. They don't have near the room to display it.
My understanding on the Galileo is it's almost been complete replaced. Only a few parts are original.
I first saw the USS Enterprise filming model at the Smithsonian in January 1984:
USS Enterprise at Smithsonian by Therin of Andor, on Flickr
In January 1992, it had just been taken off display, in order to have essential renovation in time for the September 1992 25th Anniversary celebrations, so I missed seeing it. It was decreed that it was no longer structurally-sound enough to be safely hung from the roof.
Controversially, the "weathered" paint job has been criticized as not being "screen accurate", but it certainly photographs beautifully. Here it is in January 2013, in its perspex display case:
USS Enterprise at the Smithsonian by Therin of Andor, on Flickr
The nitpicking meanness gets ridiculous sometimes.
The only reason the old Enterprise model still exists is almost certainly the fact that it's been owned and displayed by the Smithsonian for decades. And BTW, over time the thing falls apart as a result of the limitations of its own construction - heavy wooden and wooden-framed parts bolted together without a metal armature sag and warp under their own weight. If you go take a good close look at it in the gift shop, it's happening again. The thing is not built like a shooting miniature but like a big old piece of furniture.
Imagine that shuttlecraft uptopic being treated the way it has, but without a steel framework holding it together to begin with. That is what your blessed Enterprise model would probably be like today without NASM.
For a pittance (the Smithsonian was unwilling to fund an archival restoration) Ed completely disassembled the model, reconstructed cracked and broken parts, fabricated replacements for missing parts, rewired the thing so everything that was supposed to light up now lights up - he even got those nacelle caps rotating again, something that had never been attempted by the Smithsonian "restorers." The previous reconstructions of the model were far less attentive and faithful to the original than Ed - the ship had always been displayed with bright cherry-red nacelle caps and a great big bowl of a deflector dish, most of the model painted over with primer grey.
At no time during its previous history since leaving Paramount had the model been displayed in as authentic condition as after Ed worked on it.
And in the process, he airbrushed some heavy lines onto the surface. Boo-fucking-hoo.
"Gratitude" is not chief among the attributes of many vocal fans.
It is hard to show complete gratitude when the 1701 was subjected to something seen as unnecessary. Honestly, why heavy lines/weathering? One would think he tried to "upgrade" the look of the miniature to reflect the "worn" trend seen in science fiction miniatures post-Star Wars.
I believe a happy medium would have been his lighting, nacelle cap, deflector dish repairs, but leave the hull with--at least--the 1970s appearance. The lines carry the overboard look of many a customized AMT kit.
I saw her about 3 times, the last around May 1990. The first, it was as in your first photo, suspended near a staircase. Even though it looked terrible, with flashing red nacelle caps, it was like visiting a shrine, and I studied it for 15 minutes (with no camera). The last time, I think it was near the gift shop and looked a bit better. I think it had a spinning engine effect. Must have been before the Miarecki restoration, or before it was completed.
No, as far as I know, the model went from the ceiling of the flight exhibit, to off-display (November 1991-August 1992), and then to the lower level of the gift shop, fully restored.
That's bull. That was the original color, unless you seriously want to claim, that all the original markings down to the small print at the saucer's underside were painstakingly recreated after such a previous paint job.
I should add that I was utterly disappointed to learn that this was Ed Miarecki's doing. I held the man in high esteem for his original starship models for the TNG Wolf 359 graveyard scene for which I am - still today - grateful.
There's a difference between "restoration" and "revisionism".
The creator of the Enterprise, Walter Matt Jefferies, deliberately gave the ship a smooth surface and fought all aspirations to add any protruding elemens. Before the "restoration" the ship looked like it could belong to the 23rd Century, constructed with advanced technology.
Now, it looks archaic and even our welding techniques today no longer leave welding lines or weathering stains (there is no weather promoting rust in space).
What is this? I altered the original model and pray I don't alter it any further?
At least one good thing that came out of the "restoration" were previously unavailable close-up shots of the original model my friend Andy is using to make an exact recreation of the original model.
For that we are very grateful.
Yes, Ed Miarecki did restore the big 11-footer to a structurally sound condition. But those ridiculous heavy weathering lines are a travesty.
At no time in the production of Trek TOS did the Enterprise look even remotely like that. And fans are supposed to be grateful? What Miarecki did is the equivalent of an art restorer "improving" Leonardo's Mona Lisa by giving her a modern hairdo and an Ultra-Brite smile.
But they photograph very nicely. And since that's what most fans do when they visit the model, how is that a problem?
And, no doubt, it can be repainted in a flat grey again next time it's restored. But pics taken of that harshly lit model, as it appeared from the 70s till 1991, weren't very flattering. It wasn't possible to light it the way that it would be lit for SPFX shots in the 60s.
Sorry, no. The only part of the ship that was not repainted - and more than once - was the top surface of the saucer, the bridge and the teardrop-shaped bubble it rests on. That's just the truth. I know; you don't.
It always is; it always is.
Nonetheless, that would be the appropriate response for an effort, undertaken for the relative pittance that NASM was willing to "invest," that rescued the "precious shrine" from a future in storage or the scrap heap.
Exactly. It's a paint job, undertaken during the process of saving the model from ongoing deterioration and decades of neglect.
But all some people have done for two decades is kvetch and whine about it.
There are some other minor inaccuracies in the restoration, BTW. The research the museum had undertaken on the model was limited. When they started out they didn't even know who had built it.
If he saw it in 1990 before the big anniversary Star Trek exhibit that included all the props and costumes then he saw it pre-restoration. It did look, as he says, terrible. It was always being moved from one place to another to make way for more important exhibits. Toward the last they stopped running the internal lights, just taping up the opening on the port side where the cable was run out to a power source.
The spinning nacelle effect never worked prior to the Miarecki restoration. The model arrived at NASM with the nacelle caps smashed and the mechanism broken; they put painted domes on the nacelles, plugged in the cables and whatever lights happened to be working were what they used. At one point I think they did stick some flashing light bulbs behind the domes.
After the annversary exhibit ended the ship went on a national tour with many of the other elements of the exhibit. It was displayed suspended from cables attached to a plexiglass "cradle" to support the saucer and nacelles. The cradle was custom fabricated by a company near College Park, MD.
AFAIK, the cradle support system hasn't been used at any time since the model was returned to display at NASM. That's somewhat a shame, because the model is disintegrating again. It's not immediately evident, certainly not in all photos, but the saucer is sagging forward of its own weight; the nacelles are sagging out of alignment; laminate is peeling off bits like the impulse engines and windows are slipping out of place. This model wasn't built to last fifty years. The materials used were too heavy and not strong enough to support it.
Really the only thing that would stabilize it long-term would be to tear it apart and build it up on a metal armature - essentially, using the "skin" - which would be mega expensive and might violate the museum's archival standards.
Will the Smithsonian spend big bucks to rescue this thing a second time? Don't hold your breath.
A woman who's been beaten to within an inch of her life, but covers it with makeup, also photographs nicely. How is that a problem?
I really hate to be negative, and nitpicky, but if you have to remove every single piece of wood and other material down to the bare frame, and replace it, then you are not really "restoring" the original. You are "rebuilding" the original from new components. Which is still cool, but not at all the same thing. To say "this is the original set/prop used for filming" is not entirely accurate at that point, IMHO.
Having said that, though, I still think it's a cool project, and I wish you well with it.
The woman in the gift shop said that, only a few weeks ago, some Museum staff were standing around the model, discussing where might be a better place for it than forgotten on the often-deserted bottom level of the gift shop. But it wasn't sounding hopeful. She was glad for me I'd finally gotten to see it again.
When I originally saw the studio model Enterprise, it was near a side room containing a few costumes and small props. One of the engineering suits from ST:TMP was there, and I was surprised it was heavy cloth instead of some sort of polyester as I'd thought. The series' Klingon ship wasn't there, but I think there was a notice about its absence. The same thing happened when I looked for Howdy Doody at one of the other Mall museums, but some M*A*S*H sets and Archie Bunker's chair were there and Chris Reeve's Superman costume.
Yeah, because that's totally the same thing.
Do you even hear yourself? The Big E looks amazing and we're all very lucky that it wasn't destroyed or secluded into private collection, never to be seen again.
This is the problem all museum facilities face when considering preservation vs. restoration, very well boiled-down in the "grandfather's axe" aphorism above. My own choice is the real thing, with all its blemishes, as an historic artifact from 1960s Hollywood.
I would agree with that in many cases, but the shuttlecraft mockup was in a state of advanced decomposition.
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