Star Trek Klingon Bird of Prey
I have three or four of Klingon Bird of Prey kits. They were the easiest kit to find when I started collecting. Ebay was brimming with them and I just kept winning auctions. Each kit I have is from a different Star Trek - from one of the movies or The Next Generation. It’s the same kit in a different box. A real treat of recycling. I figured this would be a good kit to begin with since if I screwed it up, I’d have more to work with. This is the strategy for about every kit I’ve made. I’m a retentive coward, what can I say?
Once again, I mixed my own colors for this kit from tubes of Liquitex Basic Acrylics. I tried to find as many sources as possible to match colors. Naturally, there was the box art, but I also did extensive research on the net, primarily through Starship Modeler. I looked at what others had done and studied the studio model. The kit came with a palate of Testor’s colors and a decent painting guide. I don’t think I used more that a single color, but it as good to compare my own connections with something at hand. What exactly is rust?
The model went together easily. It’s actually a very cool kit. Deciding on whether to go with cruising or attack posture was the biggest decision. Cruising has the wings horizontal; attack has them sloped down. I went with attack.
Once I figured how to arrange the kit, I found that the wings didn’t fit very well. There as a large gap where the wings attached to the fuselage under the silver pivots. I corrected this with a couple of pieces of tube styrene plugged with a square piece. It looks like it’s part of the pivoting wing assembly.
Surprisingly, I didn’t notice that there were large plain undetailed sections at the rear fuselage behind the wing until I had almost finished the kit. I guess I was concentrating on other things. Too late and too lazy to add any detail or I just stained these sections.
I used Tamiya Clear Acrylic Red for the rear engine and added aluminum foil to the inside of it for reflection. A tip I picked up somewhere. I did the same for the clear forward torpedo tube, but it’s hard to see.
Painting was a real chore. I hadn’t figured out my airbrush yet. Between fighting with the brush and getting the paint to adhere, I think I hit it with half a dozen coats of paint. Nine months later my paint booth is still Bird of Prey Green.
I used some of my Citadel miniature inks to do a green wash and darken some of panels. The red on the bottom was also from a Citadel paint pot and stained with an ink to various degrees. I picked out details with a fine brush and dry brushed the metal swivels on the wing until it was nice and shiny.
The decals were a total mess. When I built this, I hadn’t yet figured out to basecoat with a gloss sealer coat (read Future floor wax). I also didn’t know how to place and use decals at all. As such, I totally lost the two ship name decals written in Klingon. I painted the characters instead. It’s a practice model, I kept telling myself. The Klingon symbol decals went on, but they’ve silvered a bit.
I didn’t weather the kit at all, though I surely could have put a few streaks along the wings.
The kit took much longer than I thought it would. I was getting tired of it when I suddenly ran out of things I wanted to do with it. When it was finished, I liked it a lot. If I ignore the decals and lettering, I’d say it’s one of my best. It’s a cool and interesting model.