Romulan FireBird


The Romulan Bird of Prey is one of the iconic classics of Star Trek TOS. That simple design and garish paint job!

But as a model to build it’s pretty damn boring. It’s just a few pices to glue and a big ass decal. So I am taking the kit and upgrading the design a bit. I don’t want it to look out of place in the original show universe. Have to keep the clean styling but with a few more interesting details.

Here’s a video of the completed model. A bit about the build below that.

In the pics you see I’m adding siding to the  hull. This will be shaped down to show the angle of the actual ship. The model is very inacurate on this point. Also adding a bridge dome, a new-bigger tail fin, and a couple of scoops. The fin and scoops came from a BatBoat kit I had laying around and the dome is the lower half of the dome on the robot from Lost In Space.  Click to enlarge pics.

These are the only major structural changes I’m making to the kit. The rest is styling changes done in paint. Below you see proof of the rule that there will not be any flaws in a perfect putty job until after you apply primer. I think primer causes the flaws… anyway… fixing them and will begin paint soon.

And now the preshading is done for the upper hull. The lower doesn’t get shaded.

And now I’ve got the first few thin coats of paint. I’ve also done some trim color on the leading edge of the wings and around the bridge dome. But it gives you an idea of where I am going.

All that remains is my Bird of Prey paint job on the bottom and a few detail trim colors. With my shaky hand it may take a while to get that paint done right…

Masked off, but pattern and painted red and yellow

Apply some decals left over from Enterprise and Vulcan Shuttle builds plus some custome decals.

I downloaded a Romulan Font from a fansite and typed “FIRE-BIRD” and “Romulan Star Empire”. I did not use a English/Romulan dictionary. Close enough.  Other changes, I added a sub-light drive and shuttle/cargo bays to the back of the ship. Also, it bugged me it was so plain so I added Green Stripes and words to the ship hull and nacelles.

Here are the photos plus some “glamour” shots at the bottom pasting in photoshop.- ENJOY! {see below where the ship gets it’s name from}

Hope you liked my ship.


12 Responses to “Romulan FireBird”

  1. leon Says:

    love i, it look very good

  2. John Considine Says:


  3. Jeff Shipman Says:

    Hi Gerry, AWESOME SHIP!!!! To say the Least!!!! Do you know how I can get some replacement parts for my original 1975 Romulan Bird of Prey model? I need a tail fin & the engine “Ball” globes/nacelles. Any advice? I’ve had this model since 75 and it’s partly built, (sloppy I might add), I really would like to restore it.

  4. Jeff Shipman Says:

    Hi Gerry, How did you paint the bird’s head/beak? Is it airbrushed or hand painted? Please let me know if there’s a YouTube video about this model build!!! I’d love to learn how to build a variation of your Firebird!!!

    • Gerry1of1 Says:

      I cut out the decals and used them as a template to draw the head & beak & shoulders. The flames were drawn free hand and the whole thing was air brushed. I use an Aztec airbrush ’cause they’re really easy to clean.

  5. Jeff Shipman Says:

    Also, would you happen to remember the “Romulan” Font page you went to to make the upper hull markings? I can’t find a decent one anywhere….

    • Gerry Says:
      Or I can email the zip files to you. I found 2 fonts, but don’t recall which one I used. Also, I didn’t translate “FireBird” into romulan. I just used the font and typed FireBird & Romulan Star Empire. I’m not anal about that level of detail though I’m sure some true fan will notice.

  6. Jeff Shipman Says:

    Hi Gerry!!!

    I’ve said so much & have bragged on your FireBird ship, that some model builders here, are going to make an attempt at doing a flame-job on a spaceship!!!! This is truly one of the VERY BEST B.O.P.’s I’ve EVER SEEN!!!! This redefines “COOLNESS” on ALL LEVELS!!!!

    • Gerry Higgins Says:

      Jeff you’re too kind. I enjoyed doing something “new” from the old show. I thought it fit in well with whate they would have done back then. But it wasn’t well received by most modelers. They thought it was dumb. But I’m very happy with the result, and I’m glad at lease one person out there likes it, too. 🙂

  7. Jeff Shipman Says:

    Hi Gerry!!!

    Many thanks for forwarding me the font page for the Romulan Alphabet!!! By chance, may I ask you who made your custom decals for your Firebird? My model will be a tribute to the man who designed the ship. Mr. “Wah Ming Chang”. I’d like to have his name printed on a waterslide decal for my ship to pay homage to him. My compleat objective is to have in small lettering at the top of the decal to say, “Romulan Star Empire”, then beneath that, in the larger, and rounded lettering, Mr. Chang’s full name. Personally, I think he deserves this small gesture of recognition. If you will, please let me know who made your decals. I thank you in advance and hope to hear from you soon.


    • Gerry1of1 Says:

      Hi Jeff, Glad to hear it’s comiong along. Who did my decals? I did them.Any model hobby shop has home-decal kits. I used Testors brand.It comes in either white or clear. You just print it on your home printer.Key thing is get the SEALER. I comes in a spray and if you don’t do at least3 thin coats of sealer it will disolve in water. Do you have a web page so I can see your progress. I’m very curiousand looking forward to seeing your final ship. Gerry P.S. work kept me busy but I’m back to modeling now. Should startseeing some changes on my page in a week or so. > Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2012 10:03:49 +0000 > To: >

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