Star Trek Rarities

The Long Voyage of the USS Enterprise

A chronological look at the model used in filming the original series!

Click on each thumbnail to see a larger image.

Stardate 1966: Desilu Studios, Hollywood, California.

Two views during filming of the episode "Space Seed." The Enterprise and Khan's ship are being filmed in front of a blue screen so that the stars can be matted in later. (Photos from the collection of Joe Orman)


Disclaimer: These images are faded and scratched because they are scanned from original 35mm film that came from the cutting room floor 40 years ago! To my knowledge, these images are not copyrighted.

Stardate 1980: Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Washington D.C.

After being donated to the Smithsonian in 1974, the Enterprise model underwent extensive restoration. Here it is shown being moved into position for public display. The initial restoration was not completely accurate -- note the bright orange nacelle domes, which would later be replaced with a more authentic material. (Photos by Mike Orman)



Stardate 2004: Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, Washington D.C.

The Enterprise model on permanent display in the museum gift shop (downstairs in the toy area). Note the lack of detail on the port side; the model was always filmed from the starboard side. (Photos by Joe Orman)



Here is the text of the plaque beside the model:


Gift of Paramount Pictures


This model of the starship Enterprise was used in the filming of the Star Trek TV show, which ran from 1966 to 1969. It is mostly made of poplar wood and vacu-formed plastic. Sheet metal tubes were used for the two engine housings or nacelles.

The Enterprise was based on the ideas of Star Trek producer Gene Roddenberry and made from a design by Walter M. Jeffries. A tiny balsa and cardboard version was built first. Then Richard C. Datin Jr. built a 1-meter (3-foot) wooden model, which was scaled up to create the final version.

Paramount Pictures donated the Enterprise model to the Smithsonian in 1974.


Length, overall: 3.3m (11 ft.)
Diameter, saucer: 152 cm (60 in.)
Length, engine pods: 185 cm (72.25 in.)
Length, secondary hull: 135 cm (53.5 in.)
Height: 80 cm (32 in.)
Weight: 90 kg (200 lb.)

Click here to go to my other Star Trek Rarities page:
Unused Scenes, Bloopers, Special Effects,
and Other Treasures from the Original Series!

Revised: September 17, 2007
Copyright © 2004 Joe Orman (except "Space Seed" images and plaque text)
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