This was mostly built during recovery from surgery, and I’ll get my excuse out of the way up front – I can’t focus my eyes very well at close distances. That’s why I chose to work on something that doesn’t have very much fine detail on it.
This is the Polar Lights 1/1000 ‘Romulan Battle Cruiser’, POL897/12. Of course you all know that this ship is basically a Klingon D-7, because as I understand it, the original Romulan Bird of Prey model was lost/misplaced/destroyed/unavailable after the first season. (The remastered version of ‘The Enterprise Incident’ uses a computer-generated BoP in place of one of the D-7s, but we won’t go there.)
Anyhow, I did mine in Klingon markings. The kit contains decals and a couple of alternate parts so you can do either version.
Since there aren’t many detail parts to worry about, I concentrated on basic fit and gap filling. Overall it went together pretty well, with a bit a putty needed to close up about half of the seams, but nothing outrageous. I don’t recall needing to sand part to fit. I did remove the snap-fit feature of the boom-to-hull join, and it’s held together with CA glue.
I’m not sure if there is a final consensus on just what colors were on the studio model, as it seems to have been repainted at least once. Various shots from the episodes show various greenish or bluish tints, as far as my color-blind eyes can tell. The options in the instructions actually seem pretty decent to me, but good luck finding the referenced Testor’s colors.
I went with a three-tone grey scheme, and while it may not be correct, or even attractive, I like the way it looks. The boom is Vallejo Surface Primer grey, the underside and nacelles are a mix of Neutral Grey and White, and the top is Neutral Grey, White, and Citadel’s Daemonette Hide. The metallic bits are Alclad Aluminum (above the nacelles) and Model Master Steel (for what I think are the impulse engines.)
The shiny green up front is Tamiya transparent green (or maybe yellow; I forget) over the kit chrome part. I’m not really happy with how that came out; it looks too bright to me. The base just got a coating of Pledge Floor Care over the bare plastic.
The only real issue I had was with decals. I’d initially sprayed a gloss coat over the color (Alclad Gloss Klear Kote lacquer, which is the most powerful-smelling stuff I’ve used in a long time) and I liked the way it looked. Until I put a test decal on it:
Looking at previous Polar Lights kits I’d done, they all had flat-finished decals with thick film, and I had silvering problems. After hitting the remaining decal areas with Pledge Floor Care, decaling, using Solvaset as needed, and a coat of Vallejo Clear Satin, it came out much better:
The edge of the decal film is still visible, but not nearly as much as before. The thick film means that curved surfaces can be a bit tricky, though.
Overall, though, I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. (And it only took two months! To be fair, I was pretty much out of commission for at least three weeks of that time.) A couple of paint boogers, some decal film, but I like the color mixes and there aren’t any obvious alignment or fit issues. I’m glad I didn’t try the gigantic Romulan decals; they look neat but I think I would have gotten frustrated with trying to get them to lie down to my satisfaction. Of course, there’s a Bird of Prey in the closet that needs to be built someday…