I know now days when a TV show or movie is made, most of the ships are designed as CGI models, so it's possible to produce an entire movie or TV show without ever building a physical model of a space ship.

But I would think some models from earlier shows and movies would be desirable, to some, to have on display (or even in a private collection).

What happened to the models from the original Star Trek? I don't mean every single model, but do we know what happened to the Enterprise? How about the original Klingon or Romulan ships? And, as for the shuttlecraft, is there any information on what happened with the model or the mock-up exterior?

  • It was common to reuse models in order to save money, so many directors had them destroyed to prevent reuse (because they wanted their props to be unique to their movie), such as all the models from 2001.
    – Tangurena
    Feb 14, 2012 at 3:41
  • 2
    isn't the original Enterprise model in the Smithsonian?
    – JustJeff
    Feb 14, 2012 at 7:14
  • @JustJeff: You're right -- with "Smithsonian" as a key word, it does come right up. It looks like it's in the bookstore or giftshop. That's one down!
    – Tango
    Feb 14, 2012 at 7:28
  • 1
    Yep, it is in the gift shop (in the basement). I was there not too long ago. Feb 14, 2012 at 17:14
  • 1
    Between the Enterprise they have in one A&S Museum, and the Close Encounters mothership they have in the other one, the Smithsonian could probably start a nice exhibit.
    – Rogue Jedi
    May 27, 2016 at 21:31

4 Answers 4


Well, I can't speak for all of the models, but some were auctioned off (check out pages 23 and 32 on the Christie's website). Many items from the Star Trek franchise (including at least one of the original starship models) had been stored in as many as seven warehouses until they were sold at auction.

You can find information regarding the Shuttlecraft mock up at the Star Trek Prop Authority.

And the original Enterprise is at the Smithsonian, in the gift shop, as is verified by the Smithsonian's own website.


I believe the original Enterprise model is in the Smithsonian. No idea about any of the rest.

  • yes, the TOS enterprise is in the basement gift shop of the Air and Space museum in Washington DC
    – SteveED
    Feb 15, 2012 at 2:47
  • Here is an link regarding the 11 foot long TOS Enterprise. Just click on the link and scroll down past the "Most popular articles" startrekpropauthority.com/2008/05/… Feb 15, 2012 at 6:38

Apparently, the creator of the Romulan ship destroyed it with a sledgehammer in his backyard after a contract dispute (to vent his frustrations over his bitter parting with Trek).

I believe the Klingon cruiser survived, but have no specific corroborating info for that notion.

And I have often wondered about the Doomsday Device (it sounds like it was fragile and probably just thrown out, but there are no specific details) and Tholian ships myself.

  • 2
    This is moderately interesting. Can you offer any links to back it up?
    – Valorum
    Jan 4, 2016 at 18:30
  • The theory (apparently unconfirmed) is referenced here: absoluteastronomy.com/topics/… Additionally, this related thread contains information on numerous models: trekbbs.com/showthread.php?p=10153165 Jan 6, 2016 at 19:36
  • Hmm. I don't see someone with lifelong polio having the physical strength (nor the inclination) to smash a large model to pieces with a sledgehammer. The part about having a tizz because he didn't get paid certainly sounds true though. You may want to edit into your answer that he didn't suffer a "bitter parting" with Desilu/Star Trek. He continued to work with them well into the second season, after which the show hired dedicated modellers and props teams.
    – Valorum
    Jan 6, 2016 at 19:42

Many of the ships seen on the show were re-dresses of a ship that appeared on an earlier episode. So that's why there's no model of the Tholian ship and the Aurora. The Aurora was the Tholian ship with Klingon nacelles glued on. Actually, there appeared to be very few models made for the show. In many cases, the materials weren't the expensive part of model an miniature making, it was the labor and photography involved. And some of the models that were seen were evidently put together from existing plastic scale model kits or the cheapest materials they could find (available at arts and craft stores). The Fesarius was said to consist of a lot of styrofoam balls glued together. The Doomsday Machine was a cardboard tube like the type used for mailing posters and blueprints. Botany bay was taken from a model kit for a submarine. It stands to reason that many of these models deteriorated in storage or were discarded after they served their purpose. Other than Space Station K-7, I don't recall any other models seen on the show. A lot of enemy ships were barely visible points of light on the screen (achieved via photographic effects) or just plain convienently invisible (Bele's ship). So, if Wah Chang did destroy the Romulan Bird of Prey, and K-7 no longer exists (assuming it wasn't a matte painting) I would guess that other than the Enterprise, only the Klingon D7 survived the original series.

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