From 2014 to 2016, conservators, curators, and experts collaborated to boldy restore the starship Enterprise NCC-1701 studio model from the original Star Trek series.

Follow our journey here and uncover, from paint to hardware, much of what we learned about the starship Enterprise model. Throughout the long process, the Museum published each step so that fans could track what was happening – and even help at times. In order to maintain that public record and as a resource for fans, this page collects all of those blog posts.

Note: the Museum’s research on the colorimeter readings uncovered during conservation are also included here.

This is the large studio model of the fictional starship Enterprise that appeared in episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, which aired on NBC from 1966 to 1969. Take a closer look at some of the details of the Enterprise model. 

Take a Closer Look View Object Record
About the Project

The studio model in our collection was used for filming the original Star Trek television series, which aired from 1966 to 1969. The Museum’s goal was to stabilize the model, document its history of changes, and return it to the appearance it had during the August 1967 filming of the episode “The Trouble with Tribbles,” which marked the last known modification of the model during the production of the original series.

During the conservation process, we... Assembled a Panel of Experts

Who do you call when you need to know everything there is to know about the Star Trek starship Enterprise studio model? The object's curator, Margaret Weitekamp, assembled a team of experts from across the country to offer information, research, and advice to help the Museum make the final aesthetic and structural decisions about the conservation and display of this cultural icon.

Solicited Help From Fans

The Museum sought to restore the starship Enterprise studio model to the appearance it had in August of 1967. In order to do that, we asked to public to send us their first-hand, primary source photos or film of the ship’s early years, from 1964 to 1976. Conservators used these images to help restore the model to what it used to look like. 

Performed an In-Depth Scientific Analysis of the Model’s Composition

Each section of the starship Enterprise studio model was meticulously studied to determine its construction and condition and was be documented with visible, ultraviolet, and infrared photography.

Revealed Construction Details and Documented Markings

Advisory committee member Gary Kerr worked diligently to to document missing parts and secure the hardware needed for the restoration of the model. 

Analyzed Original Paint and Made Matches

The paint colors used in the conservation of the studio model were matched to colors uncovered during the Museum’s exhaustive research on the artifact. In addition, there were some places on the model where original paint could be seen directly. 

Hosted "Nerd Camp"

When advisory committee member Michael Okuda met at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center with other members of the team involved in the restoration, he called it "Nerd Camp." As life-long Star Trek fans, virtually every line, every detail of the starship model felt instantly familiar.

More About Conserving Enterprise Revealing the Colors of the Star Trek Enterprise Enterprise Studio Model Back on Display USS Enterprise Conservation Begins Phase II We’re Sending the USS Enterprise Back in Time Nerd Camp Advising on the Star Trek Starship Enterprise X-Ray Analysis of the Starship Enterprise Restoration of the Starship Enterprise