Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from TOS-FINISHED with VIDEO!!!


Sr Member
This is my build of the reissued AMT Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from Round 2:


I am doing a LOT of work to accurize it and add lighting effects. These pics have been posted on other modelling sites but I have a lot of respect for the expertise of the members here and would really appreciate any feedback or comments. I'm also going to condense what I choose to post in this thread.

One of the first things I did was to add a sharper angle and extend the rear of the cupola, the command structure on the upper part of the hull:


Then I extended the rear of the upper and lower hull using styrene sheet. I also made the rear sections of the ship concave:


The studio model had a two step rim so I added styrene strip using Gorilla superglue to the flat rim of the kit and ground it down with my dremel to an approximate 20 degree angle:

The rim after grinding and sanding:


.005 thick sheet styrene was laminated around the perimeter then a coat of Mr. Surfacer was sprayed on:

Thanks for reading! More to come...
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Re: Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from TOS

I look forward to seeing how this develops...knowing your previous work, it'll be a real beauty. The modifications thus far are vast improvements already...good on you for doing the extra work to make it right.

Is this kit to scale with the AMT Enterprise? If so, I may have to pick it up and scale it up for another build in the future.
Re: Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from TOS

Is this kit to scale with the AMT Enterprise? If so, I may have to pick it up and scale it up for another build in the future.

Yes. It's purported to be 1/650 scale, same as the AMT Enterprise.

Thanks for the compliments guys! Now for some more pics! :)
Re: Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from TOS

I fell in love with this ship immediately the first time I saw it on TV. The upswept wings and raptor design on it's belly gave it the look of a true predator, capable of pulverizing asteroids then disappearing into the blackness of space. Kirk must have felt at least a trickle of fear at facing off against such an opponent...



I already know that my build it won't be an exact replica of the studio model, my ship is still a little too short and the cupola a little too wide but I'm taking it as far as I can with the limitations imposed by the kit. Striving for an exact match would be easier done building the entire ship from scratch which was not my intention. Still, having said that, I hope to have something approaching the look and feel of the orignal model when this build is finished.

OK then...Onward we go...

One of the nice things about the reissued kit is the inclusion of a plasma torpedo emitter. Having built out the edge of the hull rim, I needed to carve a recess so the emitter would be level and horizontal rather than angled downward at an angle. I did this with the router bit on my dremel after drilling a hole along the centerline of the bow:

The emitter installed with red acrylic rod inserted in the hole:

Having drilled out and filed the square windows and round sensor ports previously...

I decided to use brass tubing to replicate the window frames as seen on the originbal model. To do this I used my mini cutoff saw to make several short pieces of tubing and my dremel with a grinding wheel to smooth off any rough edges and give the frames a bevelled edge:

The box was used to catch the small tubing bits as the saw blade tended to send them flying off into space!

Frames were installed and glued in place from the inside with CA:




Acrylic rod will be cut and inserted in the window openings. Yellow rod in the round sensor ports which will glow green due to the slight blue bias of the internal white LEDs and clear rod for the square windows.

Next up... modifying the wings to a more forward tilting angle...

Thanks for following along...
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Re: Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from TOS

I like the way you're doing the windows on this kit. It's looking good.

Re: Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from TOS

Just saw this over on's staggering! The details and love you've put into this, does you credit!

Re: Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from TOS

Just saw this over on's staggering! The details and love you've put into this, does you credit!


Thanks a lot! Love is a good term; my best work is done when I feel that way about a subject. It inspires me to give that little extra effort it takes to make it more special; to take a chance on a new technique or approach, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, as you'll see later on in this thread. :cool
Re: Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from TOS

Time to fix the wings!

Using this fan made image as a guide I set out to correct the shape and angle of the wings:

After laying the kit parts against the drawing with the hull placed on top as accurately as I could, I traced a line with pencil along the wing root of both the top and bottom halves where it met the hull and cut the excess plastic off the front of the root. I then extended the back edge with styrene sheet giving the wings a more forward tilt.:

The wings seemed a little short (I came to realize the drawing was foreshortened which skewed my measurements) so I added styrene to the tips:

Later on I would remove about half the styrene from the tips. The wings will also be widened. This is so the decals I received from JT Graphics will fit. It will also make the wings more closely match the shape of the wings on my Johnny Lightning BOP which, although smaller, appears to be very accurate when compared to what I've seen of the studio model.

Moving on...

I decided to use brass bar bent at a 30 degree angle as the main attachment method for the wings. So I epoxy puttied two pieces of brass to each side of the fuselage after gluing in sections of styrene sheet to make them level:

These later popped off so I went back and used CA to glue them down then packed more AVES around the edges.

The lower wing halves were framed to accomodate the brass bars:


Lower wing halves were glued in place and the upper and lower hulls were sprayed with Testors gloss white enamel to better reflect light from the LEDs yet to be installed:

Test fit with hull halves together:

Looking pretty good!

The upper wings will be attached once I've glued the hull together. Once in place I'll widen the front tips and back edges with half round styrene rod, putty any gaps, then cover them with .005 thick styrene sheet.

Next up.... scratching a new tailfin...

Thanks for reading! :)
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Re: Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from TOS

That's a lot of holes! Again, the structural modifications you're making are extremely impressive. I too really dig the simplicity of this of the quibbles I've always had about the Kilingon BoP is that it should have been a Romulan ship like originally planned...I always felt that these two ships shared the same sort of menacing profile. I'm torn between waiting for this build to progress here, and having a peek at the Resin Illuminati thread. I'll try to resist :)
Re: Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from TOS

Great job, but the amount of work you are doing, you could have built the whole ship from scratch, might have gone faster.
Re: Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from TOS

Great job, but the amount of work you are doing, you could have built the whole ship from scratch, might have gone faster.

LOL. Maybe so but I lack a lathe, vacuform equipment, or any way to cast large parts so I'm pretty much limited to kitbashing right now.
Re: Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from TOS

OK. Now for the tailfin...

With the extension of the hull and addition of a stepped rim the kit part no longer fit so I had to make a new one from scratch.

Using .080 styrene sheet, two identical pieces were cut using a paper template made using a contour gauge which is commonly used by carpenters for duplicating the contours of crown molding. The contour gauge was pressed down over the rear centerline of the ship until it matched the hull contour. A brass piece was cut for the center section with insertion tabs and sandwiched between the styrene pieces afterwhich I used Gorilla Superglue to bond them together. BTW, This is absolutely the best CA I've ever used. The reason for the brass piece in the middle was I wanted a hard surface to file and sand to as the fin needs to taper front to back and top to bottom:

Slots were cut into the hull:

Test fit was pretty good:

Here's the finished fin after shaping with a file and sanding stick, laminating .005 styrene sheet to it to give it a nice smooth surface, then priming:


Next up... building a battery box using Dollar Store booklight batteries.

Thanks for reading along!:)
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Re: Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from TOS

I wanted to be able to hang this ship with fishing line for photographing it untethered in various space shots but have the lights on. To that end, I decided to build a battery box mounted internally and activated by a pushbutton switch.

The pushbutton switch came from a Dollar Store booklight as did the batteries:

Here's the completed battery box:

I wanted the batteries accessible so I decided why not place them under a hatch on the back of the ship? This was where various fan drawings have shown a shuttle bay so it made sense to me:

The pushbutton switch was operated thru use of a piston inside a "disposal chute" in the stern of the ship. The disposal chute idea came from the Romulan Commander himself in "Balance of Terror". He used it to jettison debris (including the body of the old Centurion) in an attempt to escape the Enterprise by faking his ship's destruction. Didn't work of course but nice try!

Here's the aluminum outer tube glued into place. The brass disposal tube and rheostat switch sits at the top of this photo and will slide into the outer tube so it can turn. I had hoped to use a rheostat switch for activating a couple of different electrical circuits- a nice idea which didn't pan out:

Here is the completed disposal chute assembly wired in place along with the battery box:

And with the pushbutton switch installed:

Rear of the ship showing the disposal chute under the tailfin which had yet to be shaped and primed:

Next up... I scratch build a shuttle hangar bay for the other side of the tailfin. The ship had two bays so why not ?

Thanks for reading along!
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Re: Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from TOS

Hangar bay in progress. I wanted to keep it simple and clean with an original series look...













The main entry doors are located in the front wall. The front wall also has a green LED operated by a pushbutton switch in the rear wall.

The rear wall has a red refueling port which doubles as a power switch for the green LED in the front wall. It also operates the warp bussard lights, impulse engine lights in the rear of the nacelles (those silvery nozzles had to be there for something right?), and the plasma emitter at the bow of the ship.

The right (or starboard) wall has pale green rollup doors for maintenance shop access.

The left (or port) wall has air vents along the top. There are 4 holes for fiber optic spotlights along the bottom of this wall.

Hangar bay test fit:


Bay installed with green light on:

Spotlight made from 4 fiber strands and aluminum tubing:

Of course, there will be a scout ship to house in the bay. Basically a 3 man ship for short range reconnaissance and transport, armed lightly but highly maneuverable. Figure if the big ship is a condor or eagle the little one can be a falcon! :thumbsup

Well I think that's probably enough for today. I'm sure you're all getting sick of this build by now.

Next up... Wiring the bird.

Thanks for reading along! :cool
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Re: Romulan Bird-Of-Prey from TOS

Sick of it hell, loving it!

Through the last post I was hoping you weren't going to leave the hangar empty. Glad to know that it's coming. Will there be room to activate the lights with it in there?
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