he genesis of this design is one of the all-time strangest stories from the
rocky road traveled by ST:TOS. A mirror image of the
Klingon D7 ships
seen in TOS, the Romulan "version" of that ship (click
here for FASA original graphic) came about purely
because of budgetary concerns.
Model making for science fiction
television has always been a pricey affair, but for the TOS guys it was in many
ways a deal-breaker when it came to SFX shots and SFX-heavy scripts. When
the third season script for 'The Enterprise Incident' hit the producers' desks,
they liked it enough to want it shot, but cringed at the idea of having to build
a whole new model for the Romulans. Seeing as how they had just dumped a
big wad into the building of the Klingon D7 ship, the producers decided to get
some extra mileage out of their new model and made up a balogna improvisation
about how Romulans were suddenly using Klingon designs.
Thus, with the stroke of a single
production decision, the entire Star Trek political realm was turned on its
pointy ear! The Romulans were suddenly "buddies" with the
Klingons, exchanging hulls and other technologies in a seeming alliance against
the Federation. And even though the Trek movies and especially ST:TNG made it
clear that the Klingon/Romulan love affair was short-lived, the Klingons
retained cloaking technology for their own use (first demonstrated in Star Trek
III) while the Romulans got stuck with a fleet of old Klingon cruisers (which
were never seen in Romulan use again.)
The ramifications of this 1960's
production decision still echo loudly in the Trek universe, both officially and
unofficially. In some ways the later writers of Star Trek totally reversed
course and disowned the one-shot Klingon/Romulan pact. In other ways this
pact was embraced, showing up in the FASA game world as the "Bird of
Prey" class ships. In any case, what was initially a budget-saving
dodge wound up impacting the saga of Star Trek like few other production
Personally, I have always wondered
what the hell happened to the neat model they built for 'Balance of Terror' back
in the first season. That was a purely Romulan design and would have
performed perfectly well in the role assigned to it in 'The Enterprise
Incident'. Especially considering that in 'Balance of Terror' we have
already seen this ship using a cloaking device--the key to the plot of 'The
Enterprise Incident'. Did they lose the first season model? Did they
forget?? The mind boggles, especially since we already know that the drive
to re-use the D7 model for the third season appearance of the Romulans was based
entirely on economics.
Predictably, this ship is most fun
when played in trios against similarly armed Klingon D-7 cruisers. It's
not powerful enough to compete with the better Federation ships, but against
older Klingon D-7's it can be a real hoot.
--- Brad, STSTCSOLD&A
From the FASA Star Trek ROMULAN SHIP RECOGNITION MANUAL, circa 1985
V-11 (Stormbird) Class VII - X Cruiser
Known Sphere Of Operation: Empire-wide use
Data Reliability: A
Major Data Source: Klingon version in Star Fleet possession; Klingon Sector Intelligence
Because of the Romulan-Klingon technological exchange treaties, the Klingons agreed
to exchange their D-7A Class cruisers for Romulan plasma weapons and several old-style cloaking devices.
These vessels, delivered Stardate 2/09, 2/12, and 2/17 became the V-11 Class.
The 80 vessels in the initial shipment were stripped of their weapons, but the Klingon engines were retained to form the Type 1.
The 42 in the second shipment were delivered without engines, shields, or weapons; these were fitted as the Type 2 with a plasma weapon and more efficient shielding.
The 50 vessels in the final shipment also were delivered completely stripped, and these were fitted as the Type 5, with
fore and aft-mounted photon torpedoes reminiscent of the Klingon D- 7M Class.
Types 3 and 4 are modified Type 1s.
Although 172 of these ships have entered Romulan service, they are not liked by their commanders or
crews, many of whom consider them to be enemy vessels. In recent years, the Romulans have begun deploying many of the approximately 160 remaining in active service along the Klingon
borders in direct violation of the signed accords. The class is named for the
vas'kalabam (bird of storms), a small, flying predator of Remus. These
nocturnal avians are often seen gliding on the rising winds before a storm and
it is said they are capable of traveling hundreds of miles in the vanguard of a