I was notified of this today by a friend. Richard C. Datin, Jr., the man who led the team of craftsmen responsible for building the filming model of the U.S.S. Enterprise for the original Star Trek series, passed away back on January 24th at the age of 81.
Mr. Datin enjoyed a long career as a professional model-maker, mostly scale projects for use by architectural firms, but his forays into Hollywood are quite memorable. Mr. Datin built models for Petticoat Junction as well as numerous television commercials, and also worked on the feature film Tora, Tora, Tora! Of course, one could argue that his most famous work involved breathing life into Matt Jefferies’ design for the Enterprise.
I was forwarded a link to an obituary located at the website Colin.org, which features a more recent photograph of Mr. Datin in front of the Enterprise model as it now appears on display at the National Air and Space Museum:
I wrote a bit about the Mr. Datin’s work on the model back in December 2009, on the occasion of the model’s “45th birthday.” You can read that here. I also wrote a couple of other pieces on related topics, which you also can check out by digging into the depths of my blog. The second link is the more interesting one, I think, as it points to pages at NASM’s website devoted to the model’s restoration:
So, it’s fair to say that Mr. Datin’s work has left a lasting impression, at least on this fan. Rest in peace, sir, and thank you.