Home > Hobby > Klingon Bird of Prey Buildup, Part 1

Klingon Bird of Prey Buildup, Part 1

So for a long long time, I have been into building models, I actively contribute to various google modeling communities and have been an active reader on http://www.starshipmodeler.com/ Which covers not only Star Trek, but Battlestar , Star Wars and many other SciFi / Fantasy based kits.

Recently I’ve been getting into the lighting end which adds another notch of realism into the kit. I have collected over $300 worth of kits and lighting accessories. Everything from surface mount diode light strips to standard 3mm/5mm LED bulbs. All easily powered via a 9 volt and a few capacitors.

My ultimate goal is to build the 1/350th Enterprise but before taking that on I started a Klingon Bird Of Prey and would love to show the results of my works so far.

I began with the engines. First step to make this as convincing as possible is to use some sort of reference. Well, mine was about an hour of parsing through google images and trying to devise a way to make the light diffuse properly in the engine bay.

Engine Breakdown


To create the soft orange glow, I used 1 yellow LED accompanied by 2 red LED bulbs,

Engine LED

Using thin Styrene strips I masked the inner surface of the clear plastic ,

Masking Clear Plastic

And when turning on for the first time, the Styrene combined with tissue paper creates a soft orange glow.

Engine LED Diffused

After dry fitting the electronics and adding some more tissue paper progress was made.

BOP engine


After getting the engine sorted out I put those pieces aside and began to work on the windows.  I was using small fiber optics to install in the windows.  which would require drilling out the desired locations with a dremel and 0.7 mm bit.  The fibers are created using 1 white led and some heat shrink,  Using a soldering iron gently melt the ends of the fibers and bunch them evenly together, once attached via heat shrink there should be virtually no light leak coming from the heat shrink casing, forcing all of the available illumination through the fiber.

After this was done, I drilled out two small windows and a bottom strobe light on the dorsal side of the ship and ran the small lights through. See below for the effect.

Fiber LED and 1st set of windows.

Close up of the windows which will be right above the torpedo launcher and bottom stage light.

1st set of windows


Torpedo Launcher

The Torpedo launcher was in itself quite a difficult task. But using a few LED’s, heat shrink, and fiber stands I was able to get the job done. I’m using a special FX board , special thanks to John Cook @ Madman Lighting

To create the ring effect, using a piece of heat shrink and a  bundle of fiber attached to a red bulb, i was able to lay the fibers flat on a strip of electrical tape. Then using another bundle of fiber attached to a white bulb place them in the middle of the stretched out red fibers.  Slowly wrap the red fibers around the white bundle to create a ring effect.

Once completed the final product looked like this

Torpedo Launcher

To See a video of the torpedo launcher in action check out this link:


And of course a video with the lights off, to see the full FX of the torpedo launcher


While this build continues I plan of posting more detailed pictures and videos, I’m still figuring out may of the tricks used my professionals such as Steve Neil



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