See The Restored Enterprise In A Whole New Way In These Great Videos

The Smithsonian’s recent restoration of the Enterprise shooting model has the old girl looking better than ever, and our old friend Paul Sibbald has created some new videos using photos of the restored physical model in celebration.

Paul (known to longtime readers as Spockboy) created two spectacular video clips that show off the restoration in all its glory.

The meticulous composite work is stunning and a great tribute to the ship and the team who restored her.


He also created several fantastic wallpapers:

Tomorrow is yesterday FINAL 2 TREK WALLPAPER 02 (1) AMT MODEL KIT with new Enterprise TREK WALLPAPER 01-PHASERS

We would like to thank Paul for sharing this with us.

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The most-perfect ship in sci-fi history.



Just to clarify, these video and pictures are using the physical model?

Yes, Paul told us everything is based on photographs taken recently at the unveiling of the restoration. You can see the photo credits at the bottom of the wallpapers.


That’s perfect! I wish they could have reused this in re-mastering the original TOS, but do have to admit the re-master kept the series and interest alive. I can’t wait to go see this on display someday!

The botched color job is so Ecce Homo..

You’re kidding right? The colors are completely accurate ( And I can attest, when you take video or pictures of her, she comes out screen-gray :)

wow. That starboard marker light is massive! I never realized that in the show.

Isn’t that the “research pod” that contained Ben Finney?

the date of the smithsonian channel program is september 4 @ 8pm and 11pm EST and it also on wensday september 7th @ 3pm EST it called 50th Annivrsary of Star trek – Building star trek

Oh, NCC-1701. My original love. As beautiful as ever. Long may you sail the stars!

We owe you a debt of gratitude, Smithsonian and Spockboy :) -JB

She’s so damned beautiful!

Don’t hope for a re redo over of TOS. The current CGI is “fine” and “good enough”. Although if I had the money and inclination, I’d have a 4 foot model built and have it all redone properly.

Anything Spockboy does is gold. Love it!

I’ve occassionally wondered what the cost would have been to build an HD worthy model and reshoot the effects shots rather than CGI it. Might have looked great.

I expect it would be prohibitively expensive. You’re talking about motion-control photography, which requires extremely specialized cameras, lenses, sets, and lighting, not to mention the skilled cinematographers needed to coordinate the shoot. The best corollary would be 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick pioneered motion-control techniques that are still being used today. TMP used the same team (John Dystra, Douglas Trumbull) and look how much that film cost. Look at it this way, the Enterprise in Beyond was entirely a CGI model and it still cost a literal boatload of cash. If they can’t scare up a physical model for a tentpole film, I doubt they’d do it for a TV remaster.

I honestly don’t think TOS-Remastered looks so bad. I know that the ships are CGI and it does bounce me out a little, but I’m also looking really closely at those shots. I like to see the big E moving about a bit more than she did in the original form. I think if I hadn’t seen the 60s model shots, I doubt I’d know any different.

Makes sense. Though if you were simply replicating the original FX there wouldn’t need to be many shots.

I love miniature photography. I definitely think a physical model adds a verisimilitude CGI seems to miss. I often feel like I’m watching a cartoon. There’s a sense that you can do whatever you like with CGI, so they often do. You can recreate physics as you see fit. A physical model and camera must obey Newtonian physics even if the movie doesn’t. Our brains must pick up on this, subconsciously. But again, we’re talking about exorbitant amounts of money.

I also don’t think this particular model is up to the task of modern cinematography. It’s been restored as an artifact, not a working “performer” if you will. She’s had her time. Let’s enjoy her for what she is.


Re:Newtonian physics

You do realize that if Newtonian physics was intuitive we wouldn’t have needed Newton to explain to us why our intuitions as a species were wrong in the first place?

Also there’s no air in space, so everything that our brains would intuit about flight and flying things from living on the surface of the Earth would be wrong in spacecraft movement possibilities and actualities.

What is your point? I don’t understand what you’re responding to. I think you missed my point.


Re:motion-control photography

Interesting dissertation, given that it’s more than obvious Spockboy in no way used motion-control photography here.

You don’t think there might be a third way that could be further developed? I mean a computer controlled virtual camera should be able to duplicate all the movements on a 3-D capture of a real model that a computer motion controlling an actual camera can.

I think that third way is what CBS did with the Remastered episodes. They used the original Enterprise model as a base, then rebuilt it in a CGI world. There is indeed a virtual camera moving about that model in those episodes.

Again, I was not critiquing Spockboy’s work. I was responding to the idea that this model could be used in a Remastering project.

Actually it’s getting cheaper all of the time. With today’s 4k DSLR cameras you can get a good motion control system for about $800 especially for the level of movement for TOS shots, I tried winging it with an office chair.


Good to know, and I totally didn’t consider all the now ubiquitous robot arms more than capable of holding and operating such cameras too.

In no way did I mean to impugn your work here. You did a beautiful job. Thanks for taking the time. I really enjoyed seeing the Enterprise fly again.

I was simply pointing out:
a) This beautiful model isn’t camera-ready any longer. According to the Smithsonian team themselves, it’s an artifact that reflects its 50 year journey. It would require an entirely different restoration process to bring Enterprise up to contemporary digital standards. This definitely could be done, however, it would likely erase much of its history. The top of the saucer section has seen the least restoration. From an historical preservation perspective, it would be ethically problematic to do that, imho.
b) Motion-control photography is an expensive, skilled process. Remember that you’re not just paying for the equipment and software. You have to hire skilled cinematographers, who do not come cheap. Could this be done? Absolutely. Would CBS pay? Absolutely not.

Wow, if I could do that I would never leave the house!
As the saying goes.
I believe I have already said too much.

Too bad that CBS had to do the CGI FX in-house and not farm it out to another company (say, the people that did the effects for the 2004-2009 Battlestar Galactica)-we would have gotten CGI that looked really great, as if models were still used (at least, that’s the feeling I got from seeing that show each week.)

Wow! Just, wow! I’ve always loved that ship, but this was seriously breathtaking! Thanks to all who restored her and to Spockboy making these videos!

just stunning,yeah i had to say even thou it said it,i was thinking, is this real the model, yes please to another remastered with this being used

Now that is some great writing right there. Nice.

not the biggest fan of how dark they make the tos enterprise and tng enterprise w/hd renditions

I hoped for years that they could recreate the TOS shots with the original model. I love the work they did on TOS- remastered, but there’s a real visceral thrill to seeing the physical model shots!

Bravo! Would have loved to have seen model work like this used for the Remastered editions, but hey. Just glad to know the old girl’s still out there and not showing her age a bit!

it’s time to re-remaster star trek tos..we need spockboy to head the project…thank you Paul!

She’s the most beautiful ship ever.

Thanks! I’m using the second Enterprise photo as my new wallpaper.

Nice work. Having built more then a few hobby kits in my youth, I’ll take a well shot model over CGI any day of the week.

That short simple scene from Space Seed is still one of my favorite, great music, great camera angle, all that action on the bridge around the calm and cool Captain Kirk, and the beautiful profile shot of Enterprise sliding in next to Botany Bay, even in it’s original 1960s version. Love it. Can’t wait to go see this model in person.

Imagine this beauty on the big screen in place of the dreadful version we have in the new movies.

Yeah I could imagine, the audience laughing their butts off and wondering if a joke was being played on them. Look I love the lady as much as the next fan, but even they knew when they were making TMP they had to upgrade the girl for the big screen. We’ll always have her on the screen, no worries imo.

Woah I missed this comment, the old E looks just fine :-)


Nothing save that the prettier right side of the model was used which necessitated the lettering and numbers had to be blotted out as mirroring the image mirrored those?

I prefer the original effects over these modern ones.

God bless!

Said effects don’t really work anymore.

Great work Spockboy. You never disappoint. Love the model box callback.

Wow. Makes me want to get back to the Smithsonian.

Thanks, Paul. You always do fine, fun work. Such a pleasure to see someone doing things I wish I could do, and things I wish I could even conceive of doing.

Scott B. out.

I was not to impressed until I saw the final three photos. Thank you!

There will never be another Enterprise as beautiful as this :)

Amazing! – I especially like the video w/ the shuttle flying past the starboard nacelle cap. – Way cool!

Nicely done Spockboy! I loved the vignettes. Great stuff.

Gotta say (not your doing, of course) that I hate to see “Copyright 1966, CBS”. Those dillrods turned down Roddenberry in favor of ‘Lost in Space’. Kinda sticks in my craw.

Now we’re at the mercy of CBS for the next series. . . . how ironic.

Long Live Spockboy.