The 11 foot model and the panel lines

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ChallengerHK, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. ChallengerHK

    ChallengerHK Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I would like to get 1) people's opinions on the panel lines, and 2) any information that I may not have seen about them. Obviously, this is somewhat aimed at tech fandom.

    I was at the Smithsonian Air and Space building on the day that it opened (concurrent with a Trek convention in Washington). I saw it in all its damaged glory, with a missing sensor dish and silver duct tape applied to damaged areas. I did not see panel lines, but the lines I later saw were very light, likely in pencil, in it may be that from the viewing distance from which I saw it they were not that obvious. the paint was very much gray, with possibly a tinge of green.

    The first "refurb" that I aware of involved replacing the sensor dish (it was more of a sensor bowl), and I'm guessing that they touched up damaged areas. At least, the duct tape was gone. The nacelle cap motors were not working, but the caps were lit. The viewing area was the same, so same notes on the panel lines.

    Of course, Franz Josef put obvious panel lines on his drawings...but only on top of the saucer. When they did the first "real" refurb that I'm aware was,I think, in the 90s. I can't recall the name of the guy who did it, but I met him. He said that the panel lines were obvious, and that he thought that they were always "meant" to be visible, and that the cameras/lenses/filmstocks of the time just didn't pick them up.

    They moved the model to the gift shop some time around this period, possibly right after the refurb. It was more or less on eye level, and you could get within a couple of feet of it. One could definitely see the lines, as he had emphasized them. However, I could see panel lines, which, again, looked to be in pencil. Since he had clearly changed the paint (Cthulhu green, as I referred to it), and added rust streaks, I assumed at the time that those lines were his additions, since the Cthulhu green would have covered what was there before..

    My interpretation of the panel lines was thhat Datin had used them during assembly, to do some things as determine where to drill holes or place decals. Somewhere along the way they became "part of the design," I'm guessing with Franz Josef.
     
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  2. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    The only panel lines on the finished ship model, used during filming, were the grid on the saucer. Those were penciled on so as not to be too blatant, and can be seen, for example, during Doomsday Machine while the Constellation is under tow. There were no other panel lines on the ship during production. The 1992 referb by ed Mairecki, covered with lines and exaggerated shading, was a brutish mistake. The current restoration puts things back to 1969 as closely as their very good research made possible.
     
  3. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    They're very light, but they can be seen here:
    http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/2x06/doomsdaymachine_146.jpg

    IIRC, they were not on the ship during shooting of the pilots. They were added when the show went into production do add just a touch more visual detail. I think either Datin or Jefferies objected, but whoever asked for them prevailed. Franz Joseph just kinda went nuts with them later. :lol:
     
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  4. ChallengerHK

    ChallengerHK Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Very good info. Thanks, Forbin. As for Mairecki, he somehow convinced people at the Smithsonian that he was a restoration expert...then proceeded to destroy a lot of the original, without even documenting his work. Shameful.

    That is a great shot to show the lines, and thanks again. At least my interpretation of them being penciled in is correct :-)
     
  5. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    A member of the HobbyTalk forum, Gary Kerr, was involved in the Smithsonian restoration, and (IIRC) assisted Meirecki in 92. He posted a very valuable thread over there during the restoration, revealing a lot of great details and newfound info as they went along.
     
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  6. daedalus5

    daedalus5 Rear Admiral Moderator

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  7. trynda1701

    trynda1701 Captain Captain

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    Is the port side still undecaled?
     
  8. ChallengerHK

    ChallengerHK Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes. They latest restoration was to what it looked like during the filming of a specific episode, I want to say Tribbles. The power cables still run into the port side, just as they did back in the day.
     
  9. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    At the time, Miarecki and his company were making models and props for TNG. Maybe the Smithsonian figured that was close enough in terms of experience/knowledge.

    Kor
     
  10. ChallengerHK

    ChallengerHK Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm sure they did think that, and I'm sure they thought "It's just a damn TV show, for crying out loud" as well. My opinion is that they have a priceless artifact, similar to all the other priceless artifacts that they hold, and it deserved the same care and professionality that they all deserve. I can't imagine that they'd let a conservator paint the SR-71 orange or put a 426 Hemi in the space shuttle. They should have required him to present a proposal for his work, backed up by all the research that could be done.

    I'll stop now :-)
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
  11. seigezunt

    seigezunt Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yikes! I wasn't aware of this. I saw her at the Smithsonian prior to that, and haven't been back, only seen the latest referb in pictures. Wow, I googled it, and that's shocking! People must have been incensed.
     
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  12. ChallengerHK

    ChallengerHK Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    To be clear, when I say "destroy a lot of the original", I mean things like painting over the original paint without documenting it first. As far as I know, he didn't do any physical damage to the model, but if anybody knows anything different, speak up.

    EDIT: Datin did say that the Smithsonian had scribed panel lines into the model. Was that Miarecki?
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
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  13. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    That's was I heard, that Miarecki actually cut grooves into the plastic for his gridwork on the underside of the saucer. If that's true, the 2016 (proper) restoration might have involved filling the grooves with putty before the final paint job.
     
  14. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Right. That was found to be the final time the model was modified during the production of the show (IIRC, some detailing or cable-hiding on the port nacelle to accommodate a new VFX shot looking forward from between the engines as the ship approached K7).
     
  15. ChallengerHK

    ChallengerHK Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Having talked to him, the impression I got is that he viewed the project as creative rather than conservationist in nature. He wanted to make it what he thought of as better rather than returning it to any given original state.
     
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  16. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Did they tuck her into an alcove?? She was out in the middle of the floor after the restoration.
     
  17. ChallengerHK

    ChallengerHK Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    As I understand things, that center lobby spot is her permanent home. I have heard, however, that they're having problems with sunlight hitting the model vis a vis the hoped for archival status of the display, and raising the heat inside the case.
     
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  18. daedalus5

    daedalus5 Rear Admiral Moderator

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    The model is in the Perspex enclosure. One side of the enclosure is against a partition wall. The other 3 sides are more or less near the middle of one of the exhibition rooms. She was quite hard to spot!
     
  19. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    The starfield-decorated back blind is raised when the sunlight is not intense. I was there twice in June 2018 and the blind was down both times, but I have seen pics from others when the back blind has been raised to reveal the "less complete" side of the model.

    The Smithsonian explains the curtain:
    https://airandspace.si.edu/stories/...sQbK5QJi4BLxtnwmx_eKpZ7W2rqtYAldSAz40UqlJSjEg

    [​IMG]
    USS Enterprise at Smithsonian, 2018
    by Ian McLean, on Flickr

    A friend saw it in its first weeks in this new location and the blind was up:

    [​IMG]
    Shields up!
    by Ian McLean, on Flickr

    Prior to these visits, I saw the model in its original position (in January 1984). I missed seeing it in January 1992, because it was off-display, being readied for September 1992. Then I saw it in the gift shop's lower level in January 2013. (Many people never descended to that lower level of the shop. Sometimes the stairwell was even roped off, but I begged.)

    [​IMG]
    USS Enterprise at Smithsonian, Hall of Flight, 1984
    by Ian McLean, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    USS Enterprise at Smithsonian, 1984
    by Ian McLean, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    USS Enterprise at the Smithsonian (lower level, gift store), 2013
    by Ian McLean, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Paint restoration controversy!, 2013
    by Ian McLean, on Flickr

    Proudly permanent spot, right near the huge Robert McCall space mural!

    Hard to spot???

    No partition wall. But the "unfinished" side of the model is often screened by a blackout starfield blind. Otherwise, you can see the huge space mural on a far wall through the perspex.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  20. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Shielding from the sunlight makes perfect sense. I didn't know they had shades.
     
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