Romulan Bird-of-Prey from TOS

trekriffic

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Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
699
I've been working on this build of the Round 2 1/1000 scale Romulan TOS Bird-of-Prey for a few months now. I'm going to give you guys sort of an abridged version if you don't mind...

Box art:

23296476992_10bf8dd2c0_o.jpg Romulan TOS BOP 1/1000 Scale by trekriffic, on Flickr
23296474972_aba27fee1d_o.jpg Romulan TOS BOP 1/1000 Scale by trekriffic, on Flickr

There are also some nice dorsal , ventral, and profile view on the sides and ends of the box.

The parts:

23296473972_9f0d717297_o.jpg Romulan TOS BOP 1/1000 Scale by trekriffic, on Flickr

Instructions are pretty basic:

23404953305_75c741be8d_o.jpg Romulan TOS BOP 1/1000 Scale by trekriffic, on Flickr

Paint and decal guide:

22777777853_c29fbc5492_o.jpg Romulan TOS BOP 1/1000 Scale by trekriffic, on Flickr

First thing I did was cut off the plastic nacelle "exhaust nozzles" and replace them with aluminum tubing:

23390823492_19b150771a_o.jpg Aluminum Tube Replacement Nozzle by trekriffic, on Flickr

I had to grind the thickness of the metal tubing down some to get things to fit:

23499335045_d18edd0911_o.jpg Grinding Down the Wall Thickness by trekriffic, on Flickr

Some thin rings were cut from the same tubing and slid over a section of some smaller diameter tubing:

23203570700_e6429f2191_o.jpg Plastic versus Aluminum Nozzle by trekriffic, on Flickr

Test fitting in the nacelle:

23203570310_be6a3dc603_o.jpg New Nozzle Test Fit by trekriffic, on Flickr

Not bad!

22872171623_999ea62b1e_o.jpg New Metal Nozzle by trekriffic, on Flickr

One thing missing from the kit were the frames around the rectangular windows and round sensor ports on the bow of the ship. These were included for the windows and ports on the upper hull and command cupola but not on the front rim for some reason (probably because they would not be easily removed from the injection mold) so I decided to add them myself. I used a copy of the kit decals as a template for drilling holes for the fiber optics as this model will be lit:

23499333245_2b1f171025_o.jpg Templates for Window Drilling by trekriffic, on Flickr

After drilling with a pinvise:

23459469261_6bb290cc8c_o.jpg Window and Sensor Openings Drilled by trekriffic, on Flickr

Window frames made from some rectangular Evergreen stock. I used round stock for the sensor ports (not shown):

23012806043_9d18535b65_o.jpg Window Frames for Bow by trekriffic, on Flickr

Frames in place:

23011699864_59e47a81b0_o.jpg Bow Window and Sensor Port Framing by trekriffic, on Flickr

I decided to include a shuttle bay so scribed some hatches behind the cupola on either side of the tail fin to get started:

23108631573_4dc07939bb_o.jpg Shuttle Bay Hatches by trekriffic, on Flickr

This part deals with some metal balls I made for inserting into the ends of the nozzles. This reinforces the whole idea that this ship was a product of Romulan espionage and built from stolen Federation ship designs; a theme that was mentioned in one line of dialog in the original series "Balance of Terror" episode that was later cut from the final broadcast version. The enterprise had balls at the ends of its nacelles so why not?

First I made two grills from some leftover tin photo-etch fret:

23108630323_423de74806_o.jpg Nozzle Grills Made from PE by trekriffic, on Flickr

23626922882_2aecec451c_o.jpg Nozzle Grill by trekriffic, on Flickr

Piano wire was inserted thru some plastic tubing to make a shaft for inserting thru a hole in the center of each grill. The piano wire then slid into holes in the center of the metal beads I used for the balls:

23735433735_48c9210682_o.jpg Metal Balls by trekriffic, on Flickr

23439724960_a742949fbf_o.jpg Nozzle Ball Assembly by trekriffic, on Flickr

The grills with balls were glued into each nozzle with 5-minute epoxy:

23653111991_c9ea7e45e2_o.jpg Nozzles with Balls by trekriffic, on Flickr

The nacelles were wired up with the finished nozzles which are lit with an amber/orange LED. A blue LED at the front of each nacelle will light the bussard domes:

23709330506_3ee015157e_o.jpg Nacelle Wiring by trekriffic, on Flickr

A light test of the nacelle nozzles and bussard domes:

23107291394_b64c2ca6c9_o.jpg Nacelle Nozzle Light Test by trekriffic, on Flickr

23626925402_ed51451d99_o.jpg Nacelle Dome Ligth test by trekriffic, on Flickr

Power for the ship is provided by a 2-wire rectangular coupler in the stern of the ship:

23107289724_b61a341b47_o.jpg Wings wth Nacelles Attached by trekriffic, on Flickr

23459469721_d09c405414_o.jpg Female Power Coupler by trekriffic, on Flickr

23246158740_6755ec3e05_o.jpg Male Power Coupler Inserted by trekriffic, on Flickr

Here's the finished stand with two slide switches-one to operate the ship lights and the other to operate a spotlight at the bottom end of the brass display arm which I made from scratch. The spotlight will illuminate the Bird-of-Prey decal on the underside of the ship when I'm done:

24345218175_5cdca2ea63_o.jpg Display Stand by trekriffic, on Flickr

Along with the rim windows and ports I drilled out all the ones on the upper hull. Talk about tedious work! I must have broken about 6 drill bits along the way:

23557461561_778da92a5f_o.jpg Cupola Holes Drilled by trekriffic, on Flickr

After drilling I sprayed the interior with Tamiya black lacquer for light blocking followed by a coat of primer then a coat of Tamiya white lacquer:

23613785306_d2f6faeaf3_o.jpg Edge Masking Prior to Priming/Light Blocking by trekriffic, on Flickr

For the plasma torpedo launcher in the bow I built a box with a red wide angle LED in it and glued it into the front of the lower hull:

23367498589_b1e2897e02_o.jpg Box for Plasma Torpedo Launcher In Bow by trekriffic, on Flickr

23107287044_b21398a96f_o.jpg Test Fit of Plasma Torpedo Box by trekriffic, on Flickr

To light the windows and sensors I glued a 5000mcd ultrabright cool white LED into the center of a spool taken from a pack of Glide dental floss. The spool is translucent and helps to spread light evenly around the interior of the model, sort of like a lampshade would:

23284614444_287a144882_o.jpg 7000mcd ultrabright LED by trekriffic, on Flickr

23886726426_de817db78e_o.jpg Main LED by trekriffic, on Flickr

On to the shuttle bay...

After cutting one of the shuttle bay doors out using a Tamiya photo-etch saw I installed a pushbutton switch I pirated from a Dollar Tree push-on light. The switch will control the bay lighting and the red LED at the front of the ship for the plasma torpedo launcher:

23760185710_1ac72a3810_o.jpg Pushbutton by trekriffic, on Flickr

Jumping ahead a little, here's how the hangar bay door looked after I thinned it down with my dremel and needle files and glued on a piece of PE screen. The door hinge is made from two tiny pins made from piano wire inserted at the inside corners of the door:

23443909513_38b5877086_o.jpg Shuttle Bay Door Revised by trekriffic, on Flickr

One wall for the bay has a rollup door for access to a shuttle maintenance shop:

23947716362_2c9898fd8f_o.jpg Starboard Bay Painted and a Screen Added by trekriffic, on Flickr

The opposite wall has some control consoles and doors for accessing other areas of the ship. The grill above the doors allows for air to be pumped into and out of the bay:

23973281941_2358aabc69_o.jpg Port Wall with PE Screening by trekriffic, on Flickr

Here's a part I found in my greebly stash. I think it was a part from an F-16 Fighting Falcon kit I got some years ago for kit bashing. Anyway, I drilled out some exhaust ports to turn it into my shuttle/two-man scout ship:

23760184130_580c4f6bed_o.jpg Shuttle by trekriffic, on Flickr

The walls were glued into the underside of the upper hull:

24055860245_cba853e9a8_o.jpg Shuttle Bay Walls Glued In by trekriffic, on Flickr

Pins were cut off and inserted into holes drilled into the underside of the scout to make landing struts:

23973281361_c6d19ca778_o.jpg Landing Legs Installed in Shuttle by trekriffic, on Flickr

I gave the scout a fin to match the one on the mothership:

23427624794_371601f749_o.jpg Fin Added to Shuttle by trekriffic, on Flickr

Some red stripes were added to the nose using some old decal material:

23760182750_27786e049c_o.jpg Decaling the Shuttle by trekriffic, on Flickr

23688020889_7e727c7512_o.jpg Shutttle with Red Stripes by trekriffic, on Flickr

The scout, referred to by the Romulans as a Talon, serves many purposes functioning as a transport, reconnaissance, and fighter craft. It measures 3/8" long which works out to 31" 3" at 1/1000 scale. Sleek and stealthy with the ability to cloak, the fighter is armed with disruptors and a single mini plasma torpedo with which it can destroy targets many times larger than itself; however, once fired it has to return to its launch bay for reloading. Its limitations are that it can only travel at sublight speeds with limited range shortened each time it is required to use fuel reserves to fire its weapons. Also, like the mothership, its cloak drains power from the engines and must be lowered to fire the plasma weapon.

Now back to the shuttle bay...

After soldering some wires a light test was performed. One end of the bay has the pushbutton switch as indicated previously; the other end has a bright white LED. Fibers will run from a purplish pink LED in the brass tube shown in the pic to holes drilled inthe walls to give the bay the same multi-hued glow seen with the bridge lighting in the Balance of Terror episode:

24029749996_ef0ee09a17_o.jpg Light Test of Bay LEDs by trekriffic, on Flickr

Parts were cut for the floor of the bay. The white styrene frame is glued to the base of the walls first, followed by the clear frame piece (which will get some edge lighting), then the photo-etch screen. Finally a piece of translucent "milk jug" plastic (not shown here) will be glued to the PE screen which will allow some light to shine thru from below the bay:

23947714612_74c61929c3_o.jpg Shuttle Bay Floor Components by trekriffic, on Flickr

The completed floor installed in the bay. You can also see the fiber optic strands:

24055858865_e50d25ddd8_o.jpg Fiber Optics and Floor Installed in Bay by trekriffic, on Flickr

Light test:

24055857565_0b2ae0c5d8_o.jpg Wiring and Soldering all Done by trekriffic, on Flickr

The lit bay with the scout ship cemented in place using CA:

24029748696_c896f20af8_o.jpg Shuttle in Lit Bay by trekriffic, on Flickr

24029748436_c178aebf3d_o.jpg Rear of Lit Bay by trekriffic, on Flickr

Next up... I glue the hull together!
 

trekriffic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
699
Quaralane said:
Some excellent mods made to this one

Thanks Q!

Hull light test. Eureka!

23429082963_77925394e8_c.jpg Light Test by trekriffic, on Flickr

24029748696_7a6f3fc81f_c.jpg Shuttle in Lit Bay by trekriffic, on Flickr

24029748436_8886a1d3c3_c.jpg Rear of Lit Bay by trekriffic, on Flickr

23947712812_3805f21f63_c.jpg Blue Pushbutton in Forward Section of Bay by trekriffic, on Flickr

The hull was glued together with Testors cement and clamped to dry:

23688019179_e24ca7f790_c.jpg Hull Glued Together by trekriffic, on Flickr

I think I need to straighten up my workbench pretty soon:

23688019169_aa7c939715_c.jpg My Workbench by trekriffic, on Flickr

Got most of the hull scribed. Still need to sort out the cupola and wing panels but she's gettin' there...

I used the needle of my compass to scribe concentric circles on the upper hull:

23633770403_5a7c67cb11_b.jpg Scribing Circles by trekriffic, on Flickr

The compass and a circle template worked well for the lower hull. A metal ruler served as a guide for the straight line scribing.

23892737419_71e35f5d6d_b.jpg Ventral Hull Paneling Scribed by trekriffic, on Flickr

Upper hull paneling almost done. Have to sort out the cupola and the wings:

24260570245_14f80860c4_b.jpg Upper Hull Panel Lines by trekriffic, on Flickr

Finished up the scribing with the upper cupola, wings, and nacelles:

23696799693_263c34a4ef_o.jpg Scribing Nacelle Panel Lines by trekriffic, on Flickr

24241111891_d8cc188f3a_o.jpg Cupola Panel Lines by trekriffic, on Flickr

I decided to revise the location of one of the arcs on the underside so I filled it in with PPP and rescribed it:

24297456436_2835536871_o.jpg Revised Panel Line by trekriffic, on Flickr

Here she is after a wipe down with an alcohol wipe and her first spray of Duplicolor automotive primer:

23696799073_8f0a121c16_o.jpg After Priming by trekriffic, on Flickr

24323629375_21eceb6f69_o.jpg After Primimg by trekriffic, on Flickr

23955812379_31b8fcd784_o.jpg After Priming by trekriffic, on Flickr

24215424452_a7321ae720_o.jpg After Priming by trekriffic, on Flickr

Next I'll plug her into power and see if there are any light leaks.

First I wired up the stand:

24237008582_9b69a935a8_o.jpg Display Stand Wiring by trekriffic, on Flickr

24345218175_5cdca2ea63_o.jpg Display Stand by trekriffic, on Flickr

Plugged the ship in, pushed the slide switch and she lit up! Niiiiiiiice...

24237008952_b2df2bdfd7_o.jpg Ship on Stand Powered Up by trekriffic, on Flickr

Slid the slide switch for the spotlight on the end of the arm and... yeah... it lit up too!

23717037814_061bd3587d_o.jpg Test of Ship to Stand by trekriffic, on Flickr

Pushed the button in the bay and the shuttle bay lights up! Very nice!

24237009132_0b3850db22_o.jpg Ship on Stand with Lit Bay by trekriffic, on Flickr

Whew! Now that the stand works I'll tackle the paint scheme.
 

trekriffic

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Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
699
Here she is after a wipe down with an alcohol wipe and her first spray of Duplicolor automotive primer:

23696799073_8f0a121c16_o.jpg After Priming by trekriffic, on Flickr

24323629375_21eceb6f69_o.jpg After Primimg by trekriffic, on Flickr

23955812379_31b8fcd784_o.jpg After Priming by trekriffic, on Flickr

24215424452_a7321ae720_o.jpg After Priming by trekriffic, on Flickr

Next I'll plug her into power and see if there are any light leaks.

First I wired up the stand:

24237008582_9b69a935a8_o.jpg Display Stand Wiring by trekriffic, on Flickr

24345218175_5cdca2ea63_o.jpg Display Stand by trekriffic, on Flickr

Plugged the ship in, pushed the slide switch and she lit up! Niiiiiiiice...

24237008952_b2df2bdfd7_o.jpg Ship on Stand Powered Up by trekriffic, on Flickr

Slid the slide switch for the spotlight on the end of the arm and... yeah... it lit up too!

23717037814_061bd3587d_o.jpg Test of Ship to Stand by trekriffic, on Flickr

Pushed the button in the bay and the shuttle bay lights up! Very nice!

24237009132_0b3850db22_o.jpg Ship on Stand with Lit Bay by trekriffic, on Flickr

Whew! Now that the stand works I'll tackle the paint scheme.

Before that I tested once again for light leaks with the room lights off and ... she failed the test. I decided to give her an overspray of Tamiya black lacquer follwoed by a second coat odf grey primer.

You guys don't know how tempted I was to leave her as a black ship:

24398947235_5b85d42534_o.jpg The Black Ship by trekriffic, on Flickr

Oh well... In the end I decided not to.

Here she is right now with her second coat of primer. She has successfully passed the light leak test and I can now move on to airbrushing the base coat followed by some paneling:

23772158023_0907352655_o.jpg Second Primer Coat by trekriffic, on Flickr

After spraying the primered hull with Tamiya Ghost Grey and allowing a day to cure I started in on the paneling. I gave up trying to airbrush using frisket paper as it was too messy and labor intensive. I found I could do the job just as well with thinned paint and a fine tipped brush. Once I got rolling I was able to go faster than I could have with an airbrush. Any rough edges are cleaned up easily using a white mircobrush dipped in thinner. Painting enamel over lacquer works well because the tired thinner I use won't affect the Ghost Grey Tamiya lacquer :

24337444232_e269a75f4a_c.jpg Panel Painting by trekriffic, on Flickr

The first panels are metallic silver:

23817539994_746ed0fcf3_c.jpg Silver Panels Brushed On by trekriffic, on Flickr

This is not a true aztec as I am pursuing a completely randomized (albeit balanced) panel pattern; much like the underpainting I did on the Enterprise B some years ago.
Once I'm done with this color I'll paint steel panels. Then brass or gold.
Then I'll do a custom mix for the final hull color, take some and add a lighter color, then take some more and add a darker color, to make paint for two more layers of grey panels.
Then the whole thing wil get oversprayed with more of the thinned down hull color.
Once that all cures she'll get lightly sanded/polished to knock down any paint ridges; although I may leave some to give the impression of raised panels.
Then I may give her a shot of gloss transparent pearl metallic to impart a metallic finish. Then apply some masking tape randomly (perhaps over the metallic panels just visible under the hull color).
Then shoot her with Dullcote, remove the masks, leaving the glossy metallic panels glinting visibly in the light when viewed at an angle.

Or not...
 

trekriffic

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Jan 6, 2012
Messages
699
Here's the latest update...

I went ahead and roughed in the silver panels on the rest of the upper hull:

23880942563_75577c30fc_c.jpg Upper Silver Panels in Progress by trekriffic, on Flickr

Then I went back in with implements of construction (microbrushes and pointed cotton swabs and weakened thinner) and neatened up each panel so the edges are a little straighter and cleaner:

24399452432_aaccc6a0a1_c.jpg Upper Hull Silver Panels Touched Up by trekriffic, on Flickr

Now working on the underside. This time I cut some shapes into pieces of Tamiya tape to use as templates. Later I'll go back and augment them adding and subtracting so as to preserve the random asymmetrical aztec pattern appropriate to this model's idiom:

24507744535_14e7350a38_c.jpg Lower Hull Silver Panels in Progress by trekriffic, on Flickr
 

jake

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Feb 12, 2013
Messages
346
That is beautiful tedious work there trek! I wish I had your dedication. Its going to be gorgeous when your done.
 

Hagoth

Active Member
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Mar 11, 2015
Messages
492
Wow! That is an incredible amount of work and care you have put into this. It is paying off with a beautiful build of this classic.
 

trekriffic

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Jan 6, 2012
Messages
699
Thanks for the comments everyone!

Here are some new pics. Pretty boring stuff I'm afraid. Just painting lots of little aztec panels...

Finished painting the metallic silver panels on the main hull and moved on to the wings and nacelles.
I took a shortcut and cut panels out of one large piece of Tamiya tape for the upper and lower wing surfaces. The pattern is the same for the port upper and lower starboard wing surfaces as I just flipped the tape over and around to do the opposite side. So not sure if this violates the assymetry rule or not as far as the wings are concerned:

24324202939_aa63b20477_o.jpg Wing Masking for Silver Panels by trekriffic, on Flickr

Here's the upper hull, wings, and nacelles all done as far as the silver paneling:

24691877455_569928b911_o.jpg Dorsal Silver Paneling Complete by trekriffic, on Flickr

And the lower surfaces:

24324202239_a44b394b43_o.jpg Ventral Silver Paneling Complete by trekriffic, on Flickr

Working on the next layer of steel/gunmetal panels:

24574108442_d702b12743_o.jpg Starting on Steel/Gunmetal Panels by trekriffic, on Flickr

I mixed in some gunmetal to darken the panels a bit and provide more contrast with the metallic silver panels.

Almost done with the upper hull steel/gunmetal panels. Need to work on the cupola next. She has a very flat finish now as I found the silver panels were rubbing off onto my fingers while I gripped the bird whilst brush painting. So I sprayed her with Testors Dullcote to seal the enamel paint layer after I went back in and fixed the rubbed off areas. That seems to have fixed the problem thankfully:

24063710554_41c7b04e96_o.jpg Upper Hull Steel/Gunmetal Panels Almost Done by trekriffic, on Flickr

After I finish this layer of panels top and bottom I'll proceed to painting of the brass panels.

Thanks for following along!
 

Hagoth

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Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
492
You would be hard pressed to notice what you did with the tape pattern on the wings without mention of it. There are enough differences in position and extent of the pattern, even being able to look at pictures of both the top and bottom at the same time, that I vote asymmetry maintained. ;D

Looking good!
 

trekriffic

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Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
699
Thanks for the comments guys!

Here are a few more pics of current progress with the "aztec" paneling.

Masking tape template in use. I probably have about 8 or 10 different patterns I use:

24599679089_a755d59119_o.jpg Masking Tape Template by trekriffic, on Flickr

Here I finished all the lower surfaces with the second layer of steel/gunmetal panels:

24849313232_b2d70080ab_o.jpg 2 Color Aztec Done by trekriffic, on Flickr

And here's the lower hull after the third layer of gold panels:

24940992376_6f0036106c_o.jpg 3 Colors Done-Underside of Hull by trekriffic, on Flickr

And the upper hull after gold panels:

24340451823_3948c43b38_o.jpg 3 Colro Aztec Done-Upper Hull by trekriffic, on Flickr

I still need to finish the gold panels on the nacelles and the sides of the ship. Also the fin has no paneling done yet so there's that to do too.

When I'm done the paneling will be much more subtle than it appears right now. The paneling serves mostly as underpainting to break up the surface and make the hull more interesting.

Thanks for your patience folks!
 

Hagoth

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Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
492
Looking good. That is a lot of hand painted paneling, masking not withstanding.

Question on technique and anticipated result. For stuff like this were so many layers are being applied that will later be muted down is it just experience from past projects that keeps you on a set path for the desired results or do you take a test piece and do a complete run of the paint up process to confirm the result you want first?
 

trekriffic

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Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
699
Hagoth said:
Looking good. That is a lot of hand painted paneling, masking not withstanding.

Question on technique and anticipated result. For stuff like this were so many layers are being applied that will later be muted down is it just experience from past projects that keeps you on a set path for the desired results or do you take a test piece and do a complete run of the paint up process to confirm the result you want first?

It's a little of both. This technique has been used before on my builds of the Enterprise B, Leif Ericsson, and the NX-01 Refit. For this build, I've also painted four test areas on thin styrene sheet with the base of Light Ghost Grey lacquer and the three layers of paneling. I'll try different mixes of the final grey enamel mixed with other colors to give a slightly overall greenish tint to the ship. The enamel will need to be thinned so as not to totally obscure the paneling hence the four "zones" I'll be using to test different formulas and thicknesses of paint.
 

trekriffic

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Joined
Jan 6, 2012
Messages
699
Started in on the gold paneling for the nacelles. Before that I masked off the rest of the ship so as not to rub away any existing hull paneling. Then I used some thin stripe masking tape prior to hand brushing the stripes/panels:

24914960472_c20f125de3_o.jpg Nacelle Masking by trekriffic, on Flickr

After removing the masking tape:

24939706951_376e73e069_o.jpg Nacelle Unmasked by trekriffic, on Flickr

Here, as mentioned in my previous post, I have added the gold panels to the four test zones for trying out different layering effects prior to airbrushing the model:

24402393524_1178b9c879_o.jpg Test Patches by trekriffic, on Flickr

Tomorrow I should finish the other nacelle then the fin....
 

Hagoth

Active Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
492
Thank you for the explanation and illustration of your technique. I've been very impressed by your previous work and this gives me a lot of insight to the work behind it.
 

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