Review Date: April 2020 Subject: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper MK.I Scale: 1/32 Kit Number: Moebius Models 940 Cons: See text Pros: Latest available and most complete kit (released 2013) Skill Level: Average to Skilled (Lighting) Cost: 25 – 35 €
The Colonial Viper introduced with the original television series in 1978 of Battlestar Galactica. The prestigious Viper Mark One (also referred to as the Starhound Class Viper) is the first model of the illustrious Colonial Viper space superiority fighter. The Mark I first entered military service shortly before the First Cylon War as a preemptive counteraction against the now independent Cylon Fleet, the Viper Mark One was later replaced with the Viper Mark II.
Previous releases from Monogram and Revell-Monogram luck some of the basic features like canopy, cockpit, pilot figure and clear engine exhaust nozzles to support lighting. The Moebius Models released in 2013 is considered the most complete kit of this series at 1/32 scale.
Included in the kit:
Decent cockpit Pilot figure with accurate helmet Well-designed engine intake Clear engine exhaust inserts for lighting Landing gear Optional display stand Colored instructions
The canopy isn’t designed to be in open position. Unlike previous kits, there are some interesting aftermarket options for this new Viper including lighting, paint masks, markings, photo-etch, and more.
The build start by checking for pin marks and sprue flashes but nothing was considerable wrong while the total 45 well molded pieces and fit assembly is remarkable. Filler was minor used only for fuselage pieces, just to be sure that no gaps or lines exist for the decals to set down nicely.
Assembly started with cockpit, for which the detailing as it comes from the kit is very basic. Because I planned to build this model with proper lighting, ParaGraphix Photo Etch detail set PGX175 used. Nice aftermarket set for the kit that includes cockpit and engine Photo Etch details. The design of LEDs lighting and the flickering engines effect was done from the scratch, an open-source hardware and software was used for driving 6 LEDs in total with a battery power source 3.3 – 6.6 Volts while the coding was straight forward for me to write it and tested.
I didn’t use the pilot figure (I never do for my kit builds) and left it on the side together with clear stand since the landing gear was used instead, which was a perfect touch to hide the wiring and pass it under the wooden base. With a bit of work all wiring fit to back landing gears and become invisible. Landing gears needs some extra sanding, painting and weathering work to look realistic.
After completion of cockpit and fuselage, I turn to engines part. To work in different areas of the kit made my work easier since engines lighting took some time to align with scratch building. I notice that flickering was working nice but something was missing, Photo Etch and backlight films to soften lighting from ParaGraphix is a great upgrade, in addition plastic film was used to cover the inlet of engines for the light to have better blast.
Decals was really a challenge, DACO medium solvent did the work to soften enough the decals to set down into the panel lines. Still, the decals needed extra care even after setting down and one gloss varnish, too fragile to work with.
The firing laser-torpedo guns drilled and build separately, it was the last item that added to the kit, if you added the guns from the beginning would create difficulties for painting and weathering the fans and other parts of the kit. Different techniques like pre-shading with black enamel paint and weathering with Tamiya black and concrete used, while 3 times varnish (two gloss and one matt) with Mr. Hobby. All colours I used was enamel from AKAN.
This Moebius kit was a great subject to work with, for a beginner is an easy build but if you want to add lighting and extra weathering then an average to skilled modeler should steps in. I spent 60 hours to build and finish the kit.