Klingon B'Rel-Class Bird-of-Prey
from "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" (1984)
About the Design
In the original draft of "Star Trek III," the hostile aliens were not Klingons, but Romulans. Their ship was, of course, an updated "Bird-of-Prey," the stealth vessel introduced in the first-season TOS episode, "Balance of Terror."
However, when it was later decided that Romulans were "boring", the adversaries became our favorite space-going Cossacks -- but their ship remained the aforementioned "BOP." (Continuity be damned!)
Like the Romulan counterpart, the Klingon BOP had a cloaking device that could render it invisible -- although it had to de-cloak to fire weapons. But unlike any Romulan variation before or since, this craft had moveable "wings" that allowed it to operate in planetary atmospheres as well as in the vacuum of space.
The Klingon BOP (the B'Rel is the smaller version, the K'Vort the larger-- they look identical) subsequently played a key role in Star Treks IV, VI and VII, as well as the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" TV series.
About the Kit
Although the Klingon Bird-of-Prey was introduced in 1984's "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock," it wasn't until "Star Trek: Generations" a full 10 years later that AMT/Ertl finally got around to enshrining the ship in plastic. (Prior to this, fans had to satisfy themselves with garage kit versions, including a decent smaller-scale kit by Lunar Models.)
The good news was, the model was well-engineered, crisply detailed and very, very large. The bad news was, the wings didn't move but had to be glued into one of two fixed positions.
Produced in great numbers (copies are still readily available today), the AMT/Ertl Klingon Bird-of-Prey was also issued in a "flight display" variation that included a clear plastic display stand that gave the ship the illusion of "flying."
The kit was re-released in 2010 by Round 2 using the original AMT branding.
This model was built from an original 1994 edition.