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A cube and its greebled version
Greeble effects on a Lego spaceship model

A greeble (/ˈɡrbl/ GREE-blee), or "nurnies", is a part harvested from plastic modeling kits to be applied to an original model as a detail element. The practice of using parts in this manner is called "kitbashing".[1]


The term "greeblies" was first used by effects artists at Industrial Light & Magic in the 1970s to refer to small details added to models. According to model designer and fabricator Adam Savage, George Lucas, Industrial Light & Magic's founder, coined the term "Greeble".[2] Ron Thornton is widely believed to have coined the term "nurnies" referring to CGI technical detail that his company Foundation Imaging produced for the Babylon 5 series,[1] while the model-making team of 2001: A Space Odyssey referred to them as "wiggets".[3]

Other uses[edit]

A filming model of the mother ship from Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Greebles are also used to enhance interior sets. In Star Trek, corridor walls were decorated with objects such as pieces of pipe, which extended out from walls, usually with several fittings and a label implying it was an important part of the ship's infrastructure. In the movie Alien, the interior of the ship Nostromo was thoroughly greebled. Art director Roger Christian said

Let's have a go at it. So we recruited some dressing prop people, got a hold of several tons of scrap, and went to work on the Nostromo's bridge... encrusting the set with pipes and wires and switches and tubing... then we painted it military green and began stenciling labels on everything.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Fronczek, Steve (January 20, 2008). "Interview: Charles Adams". Archived from the original on September 9, 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2022.
  2. ^ Fameli, Joey (6 September 2018). "Adam Savage's One Day Builds: Kit-Bashing and Scratch-Building!" (video). YouTube. Adam Savage's Tested. Retrieved 9 December 2022.
  3. ^ "What Are Nurnies". LEde Designs. One FX group in the UK who built the space ship for '2001: A Space Odyssey' called them wiggets.
  4. ^ Paul Scanlon; Michael Gross (1979). The Book of Alien. Heavy Metal Books. Page not numbered; heading on page "It's just a monster of coordination.".

External links[edit]