A couple years ago, I finally reached a level in my modeling where I could build a fairly accurate version of the Enterprise from TOS. It was something that I had worked on for a few years but had never achieved. And, once I had the hero ship from the series built, I moved on to other versions of the ship and various kitbashes. This will be the first in a series of 3 posts that will focus on the TOS modeling I did back in 2007. Naturally, I’ll start with the 3 versions of the Constitution-class from TOS. I built the series version with blueprints from Alan Sinclair and did the modifications for the pilot versions using blueprints from Charles Casimiro.
Original Pilot Version
This is the version of the classic ship as it appeared in 2254, in the original TV pilot, The Cage. (or at least as accurately as I can model it.) It’s supposed to be the ship as it was when it was commanded by Pike.
Things to note about this version: The tall bridge, larger navigational deflector, plain red warp domes, different warp end caps, less details on the nacelles and lower sensor dome, clear bridge dome, and the window pattern and font on the numbers are slightly different. Also, this ship had no lights whatsoever. It had no running lights and the windows didn’t light up. I, however, did not see it that way, so I added a few running lights based off of the 2nd pilot version and did my usual treatment on the windows.
Also, since I didn’t want 3 ships named Enterprise that were basically the same design, I named this one Constitution, NCC-1700, since this is the earliest version of the ship and (as far as anybody knows) how the ship appeared when it rolled off the assembly line.
Another thing to note about this model is that it appeared throughout the series. Due to the cost of filming new shots, the few existing shots from The Cage were used heavily in the first few episodes of the series before new shots could be used. However, shots from that episode were also used in the latter 2 seasons, as certain episodes called for certain types of shots that already existed.
2nd Pilot Version
This is my recreation of the ship as it appeared in Where No Man Has Gone Before, circa 2264. There were few changes from the original pilot, but the main differences are the window pattern, end caps on the nacelles and the impulse engines. The impulse engines appeared this way on this model only, for some reason. Also, the ship had running lights, though some were in different positions than they would eventually be in the final version of the ship.
Also, I named this ship Farragut NCC-1647, the ship Kirk served on as a Lieutenant. Given Kirk’s quick rise to rank and that we don’t know when this refit was done between 2254 and 2264, this could be the Farragut as it appeared when Kirk served aboard her.
Shots of this version were used extensively during all 3 seasons. Almost every shot of the ship flying away from the camera towards something or into empty space were this model, as was every side view of the ship flying by the camera. Also, every shot of the I.S.S. Enterprise from Mirror, Mirror was the side view shot, leading most people to pattern the alternate universe ship after this one.
And last, but certainly not least, came the series version, circa 2265. This is the ship as it supposedly appeared throughout TOS after WNMHGB and TAS. This is the ship I spent years trying to get right. Even though the ship seems simple enough, there are plenty of little goodies that will cause headaches for the novice modeler.
Changes to the ship for this version include, a smaller bridge and navigational deflector, the light up, spinny bladed nacelle domes, different nacelle end caps (again,) more details on the nacelles and sensor dome, more running lights, another change in the window pattern and number of windows and a change to the numbers in the registry markings. Also, the impulse engines reverted back to the original pilot version.
Needless to say, this one was worthy of the name Enterprise because this is the ship as it is most often portrayed.
Tomorrow’s post in this category will feature a few of the non-canon “official” designs, most of them by Franz Joseph. They’re all kitbashes of the Big E, but they’re still fun to build and some cool ships. Then on Wednesday, things will get a bit crazy with some wacky stuff that I created for a scene that I never finished.
I’ve also added some links to what I think are the best Enterprise blueprints out there to my links section, in case anybody is looking to build the Big E and needs some blueprints.