John Ovington’s Klingon ships


My Klingon “flower” arrangement is a scale-be-damned parade formation of Ertl’s Next Generation Battle Cruiser (#6812), Bird of Prey from the Adversary Set (#6858), and an original series D-7 Battle Cruiser from the Space Ship Set (#6677).  The three ships are posed over a traditional Klingon “Tri-Point & Meatball” base.

Each of these ships were assembled “box stock” except for the Plasti-Struct tubes in their bellies for mounting.  Built at different times I began with the old D-7 and ended with the Bird of Prey.  The BOP was the magnet that pulled the ships together.  While painting it, I thought, “Too bad I can’t put them all together in one display”.  I laid them out on the bed, and that was that.  Their relative scales were wrong, but visually they belonged together.

The D-7 (Space Ship Set) was purchase while I was in college, when I only had money for a cheap kit.  My paint work was neither exciting nor particularly accurate.  I did a little shadowing to pick out some of the detail, added the decals and sealed her up with matte acrylic.  At some point I would like to paint the head and engines their “correct” colors (in my spare time!!).

Next came the Next Generation Battle Cruiser, purchased while working out of town for a few months.  I had almost nothing with me except some artist’s acrylics and brushes.  At a local hobby store, I bought the kit, an X-Acto, a bottle of Zap-A-Gap, and a spray can of Floquil metal figure primer (very light gray).  The model went together very well thankfully, with no real gaps to fill.

Once primed, I worked multiple washes of blue and green translucent acrylic over the ship.  All the color and detail was applied this way.  I had no references with me, only the box art and the kit’s painting instruction, so I invented.  Every panel or shape was separated with thin shadow work.

After, I gently rubbed selected edges with ultra-fine steel wool (stolen from work) to get quick and dirty highlights.  I based the bright accents (yellow, red) first with white acrylic gesso. Then applied their colors translucently. The engine “glow” is painted similarly but in various fluorescent acrylics.

The windows are gesso too washed with a very thin blue.  Decals were applied and sealed with acrylic matte medium, then tied in with a dirty wash.  When I got the model home, I added the base tube, and touched up around the surgical scars.  Finally, I gave the model a very gentle dusting with Krylon Ulra-Flat Black.  Except for the primer and the Krylon, this model was painted exclusively with a brush.

The Bird of Prey is painted with similar techniques as the NG-BC.

The layout for the based was enlarged from the Star Trek Encyclopedia.  Built from 2 layers of MDO 3/4″ plywood, it’s a weighty pig (cat proof).  The “meatball” is painted with orange and dark red casein paint, with gold leaf applied randomly, sealed in gloss poly.  The “Tri-Point” is heavily stippled with a shellac and graphite mixture.  When dry the stipple tops were knocked down with 220 sandpaper to achieve the rough cast-iron appearance (BOP Top View).  The brass rods supporting the ships were aged with a propane torch.

The whole display is a certainly theatrical, maybe even operatic ((Klingon that is).   I like to think of this display occupying a place of honor in some Klingon General’s life (His office? Do they have those?), like Picard’s little ships.

John Ovington

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