Master model maker John Eblan and his team have created the Enterprise Refit Artisan Replica, which is available as of today.
Eblan, who has worked for ILM in the past, creating vehicles which have appeared on television shows and movies, explained the process of making the Enterprise Refit model.
Creating the new model begins with a team of workers. “My job as chief model maker here in the shop is to make sure that we’re producing an accurate replica,” said Eblan. “There’s a half-dozen of us here that work in the shop and we all play different roles in getting the replica from a pile of parts to a completed piece. We’ve got some very talented painters. We’ve got other folks who install the electronics on the ship, and they make sure all the electronics are properly installed for longevity purposes. As the chief here, I make sure everything is flowing smoothly, that we’re all on the same page, that whatever reference we have is the latest, most-up-to-date reference. And I am also a model maker.”
Designing the ship “comes down to the colors and the details,” according to Eblan. “Two people in the same room can have different ideas of what certain colors are supposed to be,” he said. “In this case, it was up to us to capture the essence on those colors, on the surfaces textures. One of the things that’s important in a scale-replica is to make it not look like a toy. Subtle things like dulling down some of the colors so that they’re not bright and glossy. Adding just a touch of weathering to certain areas of the ship. The ships are nice and pristine and kept in very good shape, obviously, but in order to convey the scale of a three-foot replica that’s supposed to represent a thousand-foot ship, there are certain things that we’ve got to do that are very artistic, so to speak.”
A Trek fan himself, Eblan explained that there was one moment when the ship became more than just a generic replica ship. “Once we started putting the signage on, the 1701, that’s when she came to life,” he said. “When we put the hull lettering on and it says U.S.S. Enterprise, it’s the completion of her. That’s when it goes from being a replica to being the Enterprise. Anything you’re working on, whatever it is, once you name something, it gives it life. People like to name their cars, their computers, all these inanimate objects, but once you name it, all of a sudden it’s something, it’s real. For me, once the numbers and the name went on, I thought, ‘There’s the Enterprise, right there.'”
The QMx Enterprise Refit Artisan Replica can be ordered here.