I DO NOT want any in-universe explanations or answers for this. I'm interested, strictly, in the decisions made by the producers.

In The Enterprise Incident we see Romulans using Klingon ships (or Klingon designs for their own ships). It's the first reference we witness of any connection between Romulans and Klingons.

This is explained with one throw-away line, when Spock says, "Intelligence reports Romulans now using Klingon design." Nothing else is made of this in TOS, even though we see more of it in ST:TNG. (In fact, after this episode, real Klingons or Romulans only appear in Day of the Dove and the "alliance" is never referenced.) This, and the need to explain it, seem totally superfluous.

Have any Star Trek producers or staff members ever spoken about this? Why go through this extra effort instead of just using Warbird models for the FX shots?

I can see more off-screen explanations for this than on-screen. It could be that they needed multiple models for the shots they wanted and had more Klingon ship models than Romulan ship models. Or the Romulan ship might have been destroyed, along with other props, when they thought the series was cancelled after season 2. They might have also felt Klingon ships were more recognizable.

Or were they actually planning to use an alliance in later stories that never were produced?

  • 1
    'we see more of it in ST:TNG' - Do you just mean the Klingons and Romulans both referred to their ships as 'birds of prey', or were there any TNG episodes where Romulans were using ships with an identical design to ships we had previously seen Klingons using? I only remember Romulans using ships with distinctly Romulan designs.
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 22:25
  • I mean in ST:TNG we hear references of an alliance (like when Worf says the Romulans ambushed the Klingons when they were supposedly allies). Also, there are Klingon ships using the Romulan cloaking tech. But that's a side issue to the main question.
    – Tango
    Commented May 5, 2016 at 22:34
  • I believe they had accidentally destroyed the Warbird model, and television production being rushed as it is, they just used the Klingon D7 model instead. Commented May 5, 2016 at 22:57
  • 1
    Just got your ping about this post now --- great question! :-)
    – Praxis
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 2:20
  • 1
    @Tango "Also, there are Klingon ships using the Romulan cloaking tech. But that's a side issue to the main question." Real Klingons don't use cloaking shenanigans. Problem solved. ;)
    – Mario
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 5:43

2 Answers 2


The original model Bird-of-Prey was destroyed by the model maker, Wah Ming Chang.

Herb Solow and Robert Justman's book Star Trek: The Inside Story explains that a union grievance had been filed for a non-union contractor selling props to the production. After the one appearance was filmed, the model was returned to Chang without him being paid or receiving credit for his work and he destroyed the model himself.

The Klingon D7 model was used in it's place with a throw-away line of dialog explaining the change.

In the remastered version of "The Enterprise Incident" a CGI model of the Bird of Prey was used in place of one of the Klingon D7 ships surrounding the Enterprise.

rear view

and to the left of the Enterprise

front view

  • 3
    Poor Wah Ming Chang Chang!
    – 1252748
    Commented May 6, 2016 at 4:19
  • 5
    The wiki page presents this as one theory, but also mentions alternative theories. Commented May 6, 2016 at 8:56
  • I know it took a while for me to pick your answer. I generally wait - just to see if other people have more research to do and if it takes time for someone to post their answer. Thank you.
    – Tango
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 2:05

As John Sensebe said in a comment, it may be because the original model for the Romulan ship was lost, as stated in this article from startrek.com:

After filming, the Bird of Prey model disappeared, which may account for the Romulans showing up in Klingon D7 cruisers in the third-season episode “The Enterprise Incident.” It may also have been the case that the producers wanted to display the D7 model as much as possible as a courtesy to the model kit company Aluminum Model Toys, which actually paid for it. In any event, the model’s whereabouts remain unknown.

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