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Scratchbuilt Klingon Scout Ship

By Garry Stahl - images & text © 2003

This is a ship from my Trek PBEM RPG. The Aw is the replacement class for the Bird of Prey in general. Taj is the Klingon word for knife or dagger, so this is a Dagger-class scout. It is modeled in 1/2500 scale. I can't draw, so when I want an example of one of my ships I have to build a model. This is another of those "design it as you go" ships. It is the smallest ship I have tried to build (at the same time I am building the largest.)

[Click to enlarge]

^ Front and rear views

[Click to enlarge]

^ Port side

Image: Future Topside

Image: The bottom-to-be

Image: Metal enters the picture

Image: Construction Final, bow quarter

Image: Construction final, bow-on

Image: Construction Final, Stern

Image: Model and copy

[Click to enlarge]

^ Top view

Getting Started

I began the model with the wing shape. I cut two pieces of .020 styrene sheet stock, made them equal and laid them out mirrored to each other. These I glued to a third piece that was shaped to fit the first two. Three pieces of styrene tubing were then fitted, two on top to shape the main part of the hull (Fig 1) the third cut until it fit into the other two. (Fig 2)

The shape of the hull and wings was formed from additional bits of .020 stock filled in with Squadron white putty. I prefer this medium when working with styrene plastic. It is softer than either green putty or bondo (green putty again) sands well and isn't harder when dry than styrene. The top of the wing ended up being mostly putty so I glued a piece of .005 stock to it ti give a little more strength.

The next step was the head and neck. The head is off a wargaming ship, scale unknown and maker unknown. One of those things I say "Gee, I might be able to use that." and buy a few. I cut the bulky rear off this one and just used the head. The neck is aluminium rod epoxied into the tube. (Fig 3)

Since Klingon ships are known for surface detail; I decided that "feathers" on the wings would be a good detail. I cut feathers for top and bottom from .005 styrene stock and carefully eased them into place. These pieces gave a bit of trouble as they are were paper light and prone to getting blown about the table. I finished the detailing with .010 strip stock to make the stuff at the stern and the impulse engine detail.

The last thing added were the nacelles. I considered making my own but in pawing through a parts box I found a pair of Klingon style nacelles off an old FASA 1/4800 war gaming miniature. There were of the perfect size for the scout. After closing up a third of the mounting slot at the front I mounted them as seen in the final photos. (Fig 4 Fig 5 Fig 6 Fig 7)


I decided to see of being a bit different in finishing would be worth my time. After casting the prototype (fig 8) I set out to paint the resin copy. I have taken to using Vallieo Model Colors. This is a line of decent acrylic paint and the eyedropper bottle is to die for.

I started painting with Citadel black primer. This was followed with a coat of gun metal blue. I liberally dry brushed flat green over that and painted some of the "feathers" in burnt cadmium red. Flat red finished off the impulse engines with sky blue and red for the main deflector. (Fig 8, fig 9, fig 10, fig 11, fig 12.)

Parting Shots

The model came out as follows:

  • 1.897 inches long (48.18mm)
  • 2.199 inches wide (55.87mm) I have this thing about building them wider than long, must be a personal problem.)
  • 0.311 inches deep (7.91mm)

This scales out as:

  • Length: 395.2 feet (120.5 meters)
  • Beam: 458.1 feet (139.7 meters)
  • Draft: 64.8 feet (19.8 meters)

It's a big scout or a light cruiser depending on how you wish to use it. I figure a crew of about 75. I arm it with disruptors and torpedoes. YMMV

Oh and if John will publish this part, I am selling them until the mold dies. $10.00 US plus $5.00 US for shipping in the US or Canada. Pop an eMail to me for details.

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This page copyright © 2003 Starship Modeler™. First posted on 11 November 2003.