To Boldly Go…

Where No Man Has Gone Before.

Well, not exactly. There have been many models of the big E in many different scales.

But in studio scale?

Not many models would come bigger.

The Studio Scale Enterprise is over 11.25 feet long.

That’s 141 inches in length, 60 inches in width, and about 36 inches high.

I’m building the pilot and production versions for myself. I’m thinking of offering build-ups, kits wouldn’t be very realistic since the price would be in the 5 figures. Of course build-ups will be far more than a kit, such things are very expensive and time consuming to make. As I will show you in future posts.

How do you start such a project?

You start with drawings and reference.

Years ago I found Alan Sinclair’s drawings.

Those were great, I was so happy somebody made something of the Big E available. They were in a file format I could use(Autocad) So I used those as a base.

After many years of working my way around the hobby. I finally got to see the drawings that were the basis of models such as the Master Replicas 1/350 Scale E.

And was disappointed.

This is not a knock against the guy(Gary Kerr) that created the drawings. He did his job very well, so well he got truly accurate drawings of the original studio model.

Now studio models are not perfect, in fact they are as far from perfect as you can get. They are meant to look good on screen, and that’s it. They are made on a budget, and a deadline. There is no time to get things perfect, most studio models will never meet the perception of the viewer. The E is no exception to this.

As you can see, this side of the ship wasn’t meant to be seen. Which I hope makes my point.

I did a comparison to the Sinclair drawings. Are what I would call eyeball close, I’m sorry I can’t post the comparisons. I wish I could but I’m sworn to keep the drawings out of the pubic eye. I have no problem with that, because such things are people’s lively hood. If we as modelers want more models in the future, then it’s best to leave such things to those who produce models.

What I can show you is a hybrid of each of these drawings along with my tweaks to make things meet my perception of the E.

These are not done, but it does give an idea of where start this process.

As far reference goes, there is a lot of helpful stuff out there. But I wouldn’t go by the restored(re-imagined) E at the Smithsonian. The differences are very stark-

Same model different paint jobs.

Sadly the lower pic is the Big E in her current state. Which doesn’t meet my perception of the Enterprise(it doesn’t meet a lot people’s perception), it’s not only a bad paint job, but it fails one other aspect. It’s not what people saw on the show, that was the biggest mistake. I consider it thumb in the eye of Trekkies everywhere, for at the very least the most iconic ship/model in all of science fiction was treated with such little respect. The ship should be in the state as it was filmed, because of it’s historical place in science fiction.

There is more than just a poor paint job.

This is a composite I made of the accelerator, note the changes made during the restoration. Some will say it’s not a big deal, others like myself consider it a big no-no to do this to such an artifact. I would urge anyone in a position at the Smithsonian, to please do something to restore the ship to it’s original state.

Why did I bring this up? To show that not all reference is credible, and again it’s one’s perception. Do they want to make the ship look like it’s current state? That’s one’s choice, personally I wouldn’t want the extra work.

Now I never said this is going to be accurate model of the E. I would never make such claims with any model, but I do question those that do make such claims. Because you can never have an absolutely accurate model(unless you obtain the original model). Besides these things are all perception, I’m going to spot things you won’t and vice versa.

There is much more to come.





Studio Scale TOS Enterprise(11.25 feet)


  1. NOMAN

    Worthwhile effort to rebuild a studio scale replica! Bravo!

    I agree, the paint job on the current Smithsonian exhibit is hyper-imaginative at best and bizarre. I don’t believe the original studio model was ever that vividly colored at the time of the original series was filmed, despite the artist’s claims to the contrary. Maybe somewhere in between this paint and that of the Masters Replicas model lies “authenticity.”

    I have the 1/350 scale Masters Replicas E and I find it to be pleasantly accurate–or accurate enough to represent the ship as I imagine it to look (since it doesn’t really exist). There are a few inaccuracies to be sure: the exaggerated lines drawn on the saucer section, are the most obvious and bothersome to me, along with the gaps of the shuttle bay deck on each side where it meets the hull. Still, at 33 inches I consider the 2006 MR TOS E the best “large scale” model to date that is still widely accessible and affordable at about $1K. And the amazing-looking spinning bussards are certainly a noteworthy plus.

    • Commander Max

      Thanks, Noman.
      I like the line “hyper-imaginative” that does fit.
      The MR E is certainly closer to accurate than the original as far as the paint job goes.
      Lets hope that gets taken care of somewhere down the road.

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