Klingon D-7 Battlecruiser
1:3788 Scale Amarillo Design Bureau Gaming Miniature

2012 Jim Lewis/GunTruck Studios
All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Finishing materials and sequence can be found here on this page.
Awards & Honors

My first non-Federation Star Fleet Battles/Federation Commander gaming miniature since the early 1980's, the white metal Klingon D-7 Battlecruiser started out as a rescue & recovery effort. I found it at the bottom a a bunch of my minis in a storage box - a fishing tackle box to be precise. I had knocked the box over, from a stack of other boxes, and stuffed with a lot of FASA and SFB white metal gaming miniatures it came crashing down with a heavy thud. Sorting through the damage, I found my D-7 Battlecruiser bent and battered. Sadly, I have had this mini sitting in the storage box since 1981, assembled and primed, and it has been with me all through several moves, my term in the US Air Force, overseas and back the the US - and several more moves since. It made it through all of that unscathed, only to suffer damage in what seemed a minor mishap. So, I set out to recover it and finally dress and finish it up.

Made up of only four parts, it really doesn't take a long time to assemble. Straightening out the bent Boom and Pylons took the most time. Assembling the white metal parts with 5-minute epoxy was a must, because it seems when you use super glue on a D-7 miniature, and the wind blows outside, the Pylons will snap off.

I took a Wire Brush in my battery-powered Dremel Tool to buff and grind down the rougher surfaces. I'm still no fan of the white metal miniatures, it just seems you can never get them smooth enough, and there's always one more burr to grind away or two more pits to fill with putty.

I didn't add or modify the original miniature in any way other than filling some scribing underneath the Engineering Hull. "SVC '79" was scribed into the belly of the beast, as if some huge monster's talon had left its marks in battle. Squadron Green Putty worked fine for the filler need around the gaming miniature's worst warts. As I worked on the miniature, I was impressed by the original coat of Tamiya XF-66 Light Grey I had applied as a primer - it even stood up to the Dremel Wire Brush well. Having changed their paint formulas over the subsequent years, I doubted the newer Tamiya paint would be so resilient.

The second most time-consuming exercise in completing my Klingon D-7 gaming miniature was figuring out just how to paint it. Again, as with my Federation minis, I settled on starting out with examples drawn in the animated Star Trek series, and worked from there. I made a stew of a little of that, a little of the paint job applied to the classic television series and added cues from the gaming suggested painting guides. I used decals from Starfighter Decals' Federation Border Box 1 set to finish it all up.

I took a Dremel Wire Brush to my gaming miniature to smooth out the white metal. Squadron Green Putty is used to fill pits and gouges, and the "SVC '79" scribed into the belly of my D-7 Battlecruiser. Though the detail can sometimes be soft or nondescript, I do like how easy it is to work with white metal when it comes to tweaking parts into shape.

To protect my miniature when I first purchased it and put it together (around 1981), I primed it with Tamiya XF-66 Light Grey. To my surprise, some thirty plus years later, the Tamiya acrylic paint is still adhering and is as tough at nails. I wonder if the new XF-66 I'm going the use is just as resilient.

Gaps at the Pylon/Engineering Hull joint still need to be filled...

The two-tone finish is inspired by both Star Trek: The Animated Series and the original paint job on the miniature shown in the classic television series. It is a little trickier to pull off over a monotone finish, but I like the end result. It has sort of a "classic" feel to it.

As I mentioned above, I didn't follow one rule or suggestion for painting and finishing my Klingon D-7 Battlecruiser. I wanted to bring together my favorite elements from several different sources to render a classic-style Klingon Empire starship.

The base color used for the Boom and undersides is Model Master Acrylic #4763 Flat Gull Grey. The topside color is Tamiya XF-66 Light Gray, applied after the lower portions of the hull and Boom were masked with Tamiya Masking Tape. When dry, the miniature is lightly drybrushed with Vallejo #884 Stone Grey.

I painted the Warp Engine Radiators and Impulse Engine Cooling Vanes with a base coat of Vallejo #864 Natural Steel. I overcoated this with Tamiya X-23 Clear Blue enamel paint. When dry, I overcoated this with a couple of coats of Future acrylic floor finish to protect the clear enamels for the later wash to come. The same method is used for the Reactor Cooling Vanes, using Tamiya X-27 Clear Red.

The Engine Exhaust is picked out with Vallejo #947 Red, 50% diluted with water - more washing in the detail than painting it in. The Deflector Depression is done with Tamiya XF-28 Dark Copper.

The Warp Engine Cooling Tubes are picked out with a Prismacolor #PC949 Metallic Silver Pencil because it is more precise than using a paintbrush.

The Shield Grids on top of the Engineering Hull are Vallejo #70881 Yellow Green, Phasers & Disruptors are Vallejo #994 Dark Grey and the little diamond shape on the Radiators is Model Master #1782 Brass enamel - also overcoated with Tamiya X-27 Clear Red to give an orange cast and protected with Future Floor Finish.

I did not paint the Impulse Cooling Vanes on the Boom blue because I envision them only being "active" when the Boom has separated from the Engineering Hull in an emergency escape.

The miniature is then washed with AK Interactive Dark Brown for Green Vehicles enamel. When dry, it is overcoated with Polly Scale Satin to provide a smooth and shiny base for decaling. When the decaling is done, I overcoat the whole miniature with Polly Scale Satin again. The last step is a coat of Model Master Acryl #4636 Clear Flat, which leaves a slight shine, but takes the finish down to an even level.

All content Copyright 1998 - 2019 Jim Lewis, guntruck.com, guntruck.us, guntruck.org, guntruck.net and GunTruck Studios.
All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Contact GTS

Next Page
Previous Page