Colonial Viper Mk II

 

Model by Vaughn M.

 

Box stock

Moebius Models kit MM912

Model Specifications:
Scale = 1/32
Length = 26.4 cm
Width = 15.2 cm
Height = 8.2 cm

 
Battlestar Galactica first hit the screen in the late 70's picking up on the space opera started with George Lucas' Star Wars blockbuster movie. While the movie proved popular, the TV series it spawned was not as well received however a cult following built and over the years pushed for another movie or series. In 2003 a new version hit the small screen and while some purists howled in protest at the changes it quickly became the most popular Sci-Fi on TV and has gained a whole new generation of followers.
   
Moebius Models has answered the prayers of BSG fans and Sci-Fi modelers and is bringing out a line of scale models from the series. The first of these is the MK II viper. The kit is scaled at 1/32 and is a rather good reproduction of the CGI version of the fighter seen on screen. It can be built with gear up or down and canopy open or closed.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on the first kits to hit Vancouver in early April at Burnaby Hobbies.
   
The kit goes together well with few fit issues though the joining edges on some parts are more typical of a limited run kit needing work to square them up. The canopy is thin and clear but has locating tabs on the lower edges that run up a bit past the frames. These will need to be removed and polished. As well with an open canopy the square holes for these tabs will have to be filled. The cockpit is very visible.

There is a very nice resin pilot figure provided but it has two issues. It has the control stick in its hand but the way the figure is molded the stick is nowhere near it's mounting point. You'll need to reposition the arm or build up the console it fits on. The other issue is that it is molded with the face plate only. If you want a pilots face you'll have to carve out the face plate and cut a face from a 1/32 or 1/35 scale figure to fit into the helmet.

   
The landing gear is a good copy of the CGI version but if you want the full size prop version you have to fill the opening on two sides of each leg and scratch build the catapult launch fitting as I did. There are some issues with sink marks so either way you'll need to putty the joints.

Speaking of sink marks they are everywhere, do your surface prep well... there are small ones under the nose and on the front of the two side engine intakes as well as the engine exhaust nozzles which are the worst to fix. My kit part wasn't too bad so I just painted it carefully and it looks ok.

The cockpit has gap and fit issues at the rear corners, I filled the gaps with scrap plastic and rounded the edges where they meet the fuselage.

   
Paint for the detail area's is a mix. Model Master chrome silver, Humbrol copper and bronze, black washes with Vallejo black and touch ups with oily steel. The cockpit used dark ghost gray as a base with details picked out with flat black and German Gray. The gear, gear wells and landing gear legs were German gray, drybrushed with chrome silver.

The white is Mr. Color 1000 base white from a rattle can and the red touched up with a custom mix of Mr. Color Lacquer # 108 red and # 1 white base at a mix of 3 X 1.5 which gives a perfect match to the decal red.
   
The decals look good but they are not easy to work with being very thick and stiff. They do respond to setting solutions but it takes repeated applications and time, sometimes up to an hour before they soften. Trim away the clear carrier film for most of the red stripes specially the ones that go around the rear of the engines as there is no spare room.

Detailing the engines was done with copper and twist tie wire as well as some stretched sprue. The fuselage side panels had some scratch built detail added, most visible being the horizontal round tube
.
   
This build turned into a tribute build mid way though when a good modeling friend I had on line died suddenly. Russ Camp aka; ruzlkampf who was a regular and prolific builder on largescaleplanes.com died suddenly of a heart attack at age 56. his passing shocked us all and a tribute group build has been started in his honor. Though this ship isn't included I added my graffiti tribute to him on the main port inner gear door. You can see the full build at largescale planes.com in the general discussion forum.
   

Photos by Vaughn M.