The Miranda class seems to be a favorite among Star Trek fans. This is probably because it was the first Starfleet ship to be shown on screen that wasn't a Constitution or Constitution Refit class.
Since I like kitbashing in 1:2500 scale, I have purchased a lot of AMT Round 2 3-Ship sets over the last two years. Although the Miranda class is not my top favorite, I can't deny that her unique hull and that oh so popular "roll bar" and weapons pod open this model up for some very interesting kitbashes.
I'd like to give you a small taste of what I mean by this. Some of these ships were kitbashed by me, while others were resin kits. Only two of them are my own design but I'll be sure to share with you as much info about the designers as I can.
I guess, the best logical place to start is with a design that was supposed to be what the Reliant was going to look like.
This is the original design sketch, which can be found on the internet, of what was submitted to the producer of the movie. The legend states that the sketches came across his desk upside down and in his rush to go work on another project out of the country, he signed off on them like that. They debated to resend them but due to time constraints decided to build it in the style we all know.
This original design was later incorporated into other Star Trek stories and tech manuals and has since been called the Avenger class. I decided that I wanted one for my collection.
Miranda Class TOS Era
A lot of people have speculated that there were other ships in Starfleet during the TOS era besides the Constitution class. They further speculated that some of the ships we see in the movies or TMP era were probably refits of those TOS ships.
The idea to build a 1:2500 scale version of this came to me after seeing Gerry Higgin's mirror universe build. I really liked the idea that during the TOS era, the weapons pod was originally a sensor pod.
You can find pictures of his build here at THIS LINK.
I first learned about this ship when I saw Cozmo Heavy Industries selling his 1:2500 scale version of it.
This ship is apparently a Light to Medium situation hospital ship designed for rapid transport of medical emergencies to starbases.
The next couple of ships are built using the Miranda primary hull, but the nacelle struts are mounted differently, giving the ship a much different look.
John Payne of InPayne Designs has come up with some very cool kitbash designs over the years. One of these designs is the Peregrine Class which quite frankly, looks to many people like a Federation version of the Romulan Bird Of Prey. John has quite a write up on this ship and you can find it by clicking on THIS LINK. John gave Cozmo Heavy Industries permission to produce a 1:2500 scale resin kit of the ship and that is what I have in my collection.
I really like this design. It is a simple modification, yet appears to be very elegant at the same time. I could actually imagine a small attack fleet of these swooping into a planet's atmosphere to lay down phaser fire.
Phil Giunta of Plastic Galaxy Models is another well known kitbasher. While searching for kitbash ideas, I stumbled across his build for the Praetorius Class which in essence is a high speed torpedo boat. You can see more information about his build at THIS LINK.
Next, I'm going to delve into some hybrid ship designs. These all have mixed components from either other Starfleet vessels, or even other races's vessels.
The best way to describe this ship is that it is a battleship with extra hanger bays and loads of photon torpedo launchers.
This ship was one of my earliest kitbashes. This was back before I knew about using sheet styrene to build your own parts so my version is not entirely accurate.
The Vagabond class is another hybrid of a Constitution class and Miranda class but in a different configuration than the Starstalker. This other design was by a guy named PT Riley who had conceived several of his own kitbash ideas. You can see more of this ship at THIS LINK.
I really like two of of PT's builds and deeming them simple enough to build on my own in 1:2500 scale, I constructed both of his ships at the same time. Both of his ships were of the TOS era and I also wanted to see what they might look like had Starfleet kept them around and chose to refit them during the TMP era.
For my TMP era ship, I chose to leave the photon torpedo launcher on the top of the secondary hull. It just didn't look right having them just above the bridge module. Plus, by doing the secondary hull like that, I didn't have to contend with cutting off the shuttle bay door and remounting it in the correct orientation.
The next two ships are my own hybrid designs. They were inspired by other ships I had seen but I took the designs in a whole new direction.
This ship is probably one of my most favorite builds and makes me the most proud. It started as an idea I got after watching Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar and just started flowing from that idea. At one point, I even got the Star Trek Modelers Group involved in helping me with some of the design ideas.
The concept was to build a heavy rescue vessel that was capable of going into dangerous situations and extract personnel from those situations.
I have written up a whole article about the history of this ship both from an "in universe" angle as well as a "real world" angle. You can read more about this ship by following THIS LINK.
As I said, I thoroughly enjoyed this build. I got lots of positive feedback during the build process and some helpful advise in how best to accomplish the build and make it a feasible design.
This class of ship was inspired by the ISS Reliant build by Robert DeVoe' over at Star Trek Modeler Group on Facebook. There was something about his build that spoke to me and I asked if he minded me building one in a similar design. I had some leftover Klingon nacelles and decided to use them. As I built the ship, I envisioned her being capable of landing on a planet as well.
The original nacelle struts lent well to becoming landing struts and I only needed to add a small forward strut to keep her from nose-diving once she touched down.
Rather than repeat stuff I've already written about this ship, please feel free to read the article I wrote about her at THIS LINK.
And that wraps it up for this fun little article about my Miranda class variants. As always, I hope you found this article useful and informative. Please feel free to leave any comments, questions or suggestions below.
So for now, "Live Long And Prosper!"
Additional Links To Photos Of My Collection: