The Romulan Bird of Prey has been a holy grail kit of many sci-fi modelers for decades. The original studio model was designed and built by Wah Ming Chang. The model appeared in the 1966 Star Trek episode “Balance of Terror,” then disappeared shortly after filming. It is believed that Chang was angry and destroyed the model when the propmaker’s union prevented him from being paid for his work since he wasn’t a member. There are other theories, but the absence of the studio model has made it difficult to produce an accurate kit, and the low resolution of 1960’s film doesn’t help. In recent years, a few photographs have surfaced, showing greater detail of the studio model.
The new kit is a snap together kit, much like the 1/1000 Enterprise and D7. The ship is molded In 12 white styrene parts, and 2 clear parts. There was some minor flashing on 2 of the parts, but overall, they appear very clean with no visible mold lines or injector pin marks. It also comes with a stand that allows you to display the ship in a flying position. It has a detailed decal sheet that includes the large bird on the bottom of the ship, which is separated into 3 parts. There are also window decals for the front of the ship, and you have the option of using the light or dark windows.
The only complaint I’ve heard mentioned of this kit is about the raised ports on the top of the hull. However, when compared to the photos of the studio model, and even to the remastered CGI version of the ship from 2006, the raised ports are accurate. Close inspection reveals that there are small indentions within the port, so you can detail these with a wash or watercolors, or drill them out for lighting.