John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

She's a Beautiful Lady, And We Love Her

I have gone to see her roughly once every five years or so since I was a child, but never has she looked so beautiful. Freshly restored, lights and engine nacelles completely animated and gorgeous, and right there at eye level where you can just drink her in. You can hear on the video another museum visitor having a religious experience over it, and I can't entirely blame him.

The first time I saw the Enterprise she was painted battleship gray, suspended from the ceiling on cables in a manner that was slowly but surely breaking her back, with blinking red opaque domes on the nacelles. She was given a restoration later that fixed the nacelles but she was painted off-white with almost lime-green detailing (and lots of it). The reasoning was that this was the color scheme that would have been used for filming against a blue screen, but it didn't seem to match the famously-untouched top of the primary hull in my opinion.

For the current restoration, they took all sorts of deep scans, x-rays, and super-high-res weird-light photography, then stripped off each layer of paint one by one, keeping samples of each for archival purposes. Finally they gave it a gray base that matched the original paint, and brought in artists from ILM to re-do the detailing in a more subtle mode for the naked eye.

The result is amazing. My iPhone video here doesn't really do it justice. But when those lights fire up (which they do three times a day for 10 minutes each), the knowledge that you're looking at wood, fiberglass, and cabling falls away and all you see is the Enterprise.

-The Gneech
Tags: star trek
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