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Fancying a break from vehicle modelling, and trying to find my modelling mojo again, I purchased a Moebius Models 1:6 "Original TV Series" Batman while in my not quite so local model shop stocking up on some "paints and glues" :shhh: Not many sprues! Main parts glued together: Some filler on: Dry fitted together. Quite a remarkable likeness to Adam West! Now, should I glue the arms / legs to the torso, before priming and painting so I can avoid any seams? I might add that I'm going to be attempting this as a brush painting build, as I've been having a nightmare airbrushing. I have stocked up on brush friendly paints (revel aqua color and vallejo model colour) Should be a fun build, in a trying to avoid eye contact with Adam West's pants bulge kind of way....
Batmobile Tumbler Moebius Models 1:25 Before commencing this review I have to confess that I am of a generation many of whom still think of the Batmobile as a customised Lincoln Futura. My interest in the first round of updated Batman movies from Tim Burton was far more focussed on Michelle Pfeiffer’s catsuit than it was on the various vehicles involved, it was all just a bit too gothic for my tastes. Joel Schumacher’s hideously camp interpretation then managed to put me off the franchise completely, so I had until very recently ignored the latest round of films from Christopher Nolan.....That, as it turns out, was a bit of a mistake! So, while I cannot even pretend to be an ardent Batman fan, I really do like model kits, especially kits of armoured vehicles, which it seems is precisely what the current incarnation of the Batmobile is at its core. The new Batmobile (the vehicle is never called by that name in the films, but apparently it was referred to as such in the scripts) makes its first appearance in Batman Begins (2005), as the Tumbler, a slightly wacky prototype AEV designed to leap over linear obstacles at a single bound.....Which is as good an excuse as any to fit a flame nozzle at the back IMHO, a nice homage to the Lincoln of my youth. With the exception of this little touch, the current incarnation of the Batmobile owes just about nothing to the various rather glamorous designs that have come before it, this latest version appears to have been influenced much more by the F-117 than any previous Batmobile, or indeed car. It’s a brutal re-imagining very much in keeping with the darker nature of the Nolan movies, apparently the design brief was summed up as ‘A Lamborghini crossed with a tank’.....I reckon they pulled it off rather well! In The Dark Knight (2008) the vehicle almost plays a cameo role, putting in a couple of very dramatic appearances, before ultimately meeting its demise at the hands of an RPG armed Joker, spawning the Batpod motorcycle in the process. An up-gunned version of the original military design puts in another appearance in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) this time in the hands of the bad guys.....All in all it’s a very cool vehicle, a silly idea for an AEV, but just the thing for cruising around the streets of Gotham raising hell. It’s also just the sort of thing that’s begging to be made available as a kit.....Enter Moebius Models! The Kit The first thing to strike me about the Moebius kit once I’d rescued it from a veritable sea of packing peanuts, wasn’t the actually rather striking graphics, it was the sheer density of the thing. With my AFV kits I’ve become quite used to finding a few small sprues rattling around within the oversized packaging.....There’s absolutely none of that here! The compact tray and lid box is quite literally crammed with sprues, it actually bulges slightly when it’s full and the sheer amount of ‘stuff’ that comes out of it is very impressive, to me at least.....Within, we find a sixteen page colour instruction booklet, one bag containing six vinyl type tyres and a sturdy metal axle for the rear wheels, a second with a single transparent plastic sprue and six more bags that hold the main parts of the kit on fourteen sprues of black plastic. Moebius may have taken a step too far in the direction of authenticity with these mouldings, as the black plastic definitely seems to display some ‘Stealth’ characteristics, especially when you are trying to focus a camera on it! The instruction booklet is very comprehensive, offering detailed construction information as both easy to follow text and rather elegant drawings. Construction is broken down into ten numbered sections, each with several steps identified by letter. Section 1 details the assembly of the cockpit, with Step 1A being the assembly of the seats, progressing logically through to Step 1G the final assembly of all the cockpit components. Detail in the cockpit looks pretty good right out of the box, but I suspect hardcore modellers may feel the need to add a little more. I was somewhat surprised and a little disappointed not to find decals for the various instruments and displays, while the painting guide offers some generic advice, decals would look much better. I was also just a little sad not to find The Dark Knight himself in figure form. It appears that the model was intended to have a figure, as only one set of seatbelts is included for the passenger seat.....I strongly suspect the various after-market companies will fill these gaps quite promptly, if they haven’t done so already, but it would have been nice to have had the option to put Batman at the wheel OOTB. Construction moves on with the tub in Section 2, the front wheels & suspension are assembled in in Sections 3 & 4, with the rear wheels, suspension and transmission taking up Sections 5 & 6.....I’ve learnt to treat Vinyl tyres with some caution in AFV kits, but they seem to be the norm in vehicle kits, so I can only assume Moebius know what they are doing and that ‘Track-Melt’ won’t be an issue here. Sections 7, 8 & 9 primarily comprise adding the transparencies and armour panels to the hull, with Section 10 rounding off construction with a couple more panels and the various ‘aerodynamic’ parts. Moulding quality looks reasonably good, with no evidence of short-shot parts or overly prominent mould seams and although some flash is present on quite a few of the sprues, none of it should prove more than an inconvenience. The sprue-gates are of a reasonable size even on the finer parts and the ejector pins generally appear to have been sensibly placed so that they should not be visible once each sub-assembly is finished, however there are three that will need removing from each shock-absorber mount (Parts 25 & 26) and the back wall of the cockpit (Part 12) will also need some work. I have only discovered one or two very minor sink-marks, the most prominent example is to be found on the cockpit extension (part 20) but again, it won’t be at all difficult to deal with. I also noticed a minor but irritating mould defect on one of the rear lower panels (Part 32), it’s located on a mesh grille, but it’s not terribly prominent and if you are likely to be bothered by such things I suspect there’s a good chance you will be replacing the plastic mesh anyway. Other than these small issues, the details look pretty good, they’re definitely a little softer than some of the very newest of the new kits, but are still quite acceptable in my opinion. One or two of the larger parts have some quite finely cast detail appended to them, which might not always survive too well in such a tightly packed box, especially given multiple sprues per bag, although my example appears to have got through unscathed. The clear parts look to be just that, perhaps a little thick compared to an aircraft canopy, but they are supposed to be heavily armoured, so that really isn’t a problem at all. Two pages of the instructions are dedicated to the painting guide, very simply presented in the form of two labelled full colour photos of an assembled and painted cockpit tub and four more of a completed Batmobile. These provide generic colour references (black being prominent among them) and should be quite sufficient for most casual modellers, those who would want more can easily find stills from the film online. While the instructions are really very nicely done and might at first glance appear idiot-proof, these things seldom are and courtesy of fellow Britmodellers a couple of of errors and minor construction difficulties have come to light: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234951690-125-batman-tumbler/?hl=%2Bbatman+%2Btumbler http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234951883-moebius-batman-tumbler/?hl=%2Bbatman+%2Btumbler It also seems that at least some of these kits may have issues with mould release agent remaining on the parts, the review example doesn’t appear too bad (although I haven’t tried painting it) and a good scrub in soapy water prior to assembly should solve this problem in most instances. Conclusions Normally when reviewing a kit I would base my conclusions at least in part on how a particular model compares to the competition, taking into account relative price, quantity and detail of parts, decals and so on.....Of course with a subject like this, such comparison isn’t possible. So is it good value? Well this is certainly not a cheap kit, but it is the only option I’m aware of in plastic and the price falls well within the typical range for Sci-Fi models of this size & complexity. For your money you get a nicely presented and very full box. The quality of the parts within is by and large quite acceptable for a kit of this scale, although definitely not ‘state of the art’. I personally find the lack of decals and a Batman figure for the cockpit slightly irritating, especially given that it appears that the kit was originally intended to contain a figure. These minor gripes aside, the kit should build into a satisfactory model of the Tumbler OOTB with just a little effort and it will certainly provide an excellent platform for super-detailing if that is your thing.....So it all really depends on just how much you want to own a Tumbler! Sincere thanks to BM member Will Vale for providing backup photos. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for
Battlestar Pegasus 1:4105 Moebius Models The Battlestar Pegasus made its first appearance in the original 1970s Battlestar Galactica series, featuring prominently in the two part episode “Living Legend”. A sister-ship of the Galactica, Pegasus and the heroic but flawed Commander Cain were separated from the Colonial fleet in an earlier military misadventure, The Battle Of Molecay, thus escaping destruction in the Cylon invasion. Cain undertakes a hit and run campaign against the Cylons before eventually encountering the refugee fleet and joining forces with Commander Adama, his superior in the chain of command. Despite initial difficulties which find Adama relieving Cain of command for insubordination, they jointly decide to strike back at the Cylons at Gamoray. At the climax of the episode Pegasus appears to go down in a blaze of glory when Cain sacrifices himself to save Galactica and the refugee fleet, destroying a pair of Cylon Basestars in the process with a point-blank salvo of nukes. Starbuck subsequently hints that Cain might actually have survived the apparently suicidal charge by activating Pegasus’ FTL drive at the very last moment. Pegasus is reincarnated as a mighty Mercury Class Battlestar in the third season of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series, reappearing in the episode entitled “Pegasus” appropriately enough. As has generally been the case with the re-imagined series, the writers have given more than a tip of the hat to the original series, while adding a tasty twist of their own; Pegasus, commanded by the downright belligerent Admiral Helena Cain, has once again escaped destruction at Cylon hands, by blind-jumping out of the Scorpio Shipyard, where Pegasus had been undergoing a systems overhaul, at the very moment of the shipyards annihilation by Cylon nukes. Emerging from the jump Admiral Cain finds herself effectively deep behind Cylon lines allowing her time to restore order amongst the crew and bring the ships systems back online before rejoining the fight. The Mercury Class Battlestars are a significantly larger and more sophisticated vessel than the much earlier Jupiter Class Battlestars such as Galactica, being approximately double the size, with over twice the complement of Vipers and a much heavier weapons array including a powerful fixed battery of ship killing kinetic energy weapons. Despite this increase in size and complexity advances in computer automation allow these vessels to be operated by only half the crew of earlier Battlestars, however this very reliance on automation simultaneously increases the vulnerability of these newer Battlestars to Gaius Baltar’s compromised command software. Many of the Pegasus’ command systems were offline during her overhaul at Scorpio Shipyards and in the process of restoring them to functionality the Cylon infiltration of the ship, both physical and electronic, is uncovered by the crew. The Kit The Battlestar Pegasus is the second in Moebius Models’ range of 1:4105 kits depicting vessels from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series, the first being their rather nice kit of Galactica, which has since been re-released under the Revell label: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234930886-battlestar-galactica-14105-scale-revell/ For the purpose of comparison, I’ve included the main hull and flight bay parts from the Revell Galactica in the first four images below, in each instance the Pegasus part is above its equivalent from the Galactica kit: If there’s one thing you can generally guarantee with a Moebius Models kit, it’s a full box and their Battlestar Pegasus kit is certainly no exception to this rule. The substantial box with its stylish artwork and graphics is literally crammed with sprues of pale grey plastic, bagged individually or in pairs. So full is the box that should you get the parts out to ‘sniff the plastic’, it’s actually quite a challenge to get it all back in there again. Buried under the grey sprues we also find a single small clear sprue with just eight parts for the sublight drive pods, a very substantial metal rod for mounting the model on its base, a simple sheet of decals and a neat and easy to follow ten page instruction booklet. The parts themselves are very nicely moulded with crisp raised detail and sharply incised panel lines, unsurprisingly some of the larger parts have quite substantial sprue gates so careful trimming and sanding will be in order, fortunately these have generally been located so as not to interfere with the detail. There is also some flash on quite few of the sprues, but very little of it extends onto the parts themselves, certainly nothing that will cause difficulties, so obtaining a neat finish with this model shouldn’t be a problem even for an inexperienced modeller. The finer parts too are nicely done with no evidence of broken or short shot parts present on the review example. This kit does not actually have all that many small parts, the thirty two rail-gun turrets (you get two spares) are the only parts with any truly fine moulding and even they are pretty chunky compared to the sort of detail parts one might find in a reasonably modern aircraft or military vehicle kit. The instruction booklet guides you through the assembly process in Moebius' usual logical fashion using numbered sequences, the more complex of these being further broken down into steps which are identified by letter. Sequence 1 covers the assembly of the port flight pod and is broken down into four steps A-D. In step 1A we assemble and paint the upper port flight bay adding the flight bay decals that substitute for internal detail, step 1B repeats this process for the lower port flight bay, Step 1C has us join the upper and lower flight pod halves together and Step 1D comprises nothing more than adding the rail-gun turrets to the flight pod assembly. Sequence 2 is simply a repeat of sequence 1 but covers the starboard flight pod. The eight sublight engines are assembled in sequence 3 and the FTL drive in sequence 4. The latter sequence is the only area of construction that appears even remotely complex, with an array of conduits radiating out from the main FTL drive assembly that are to be fitted in step 4B, but again, with some dry fitting, this should not prove too challenging even for a novice modeller. Sequence 5 has us assemble the upper hull and ‘Alligator Head’ with sequence 6 repeating this process for the lower hull and adding the FTL assembly from sequence 4. In sequence 7 we add the sublight drive pods and we fit the flight pods to the main hull in step 8A and that’s it......We’ve built a Battlestar. Step 8B covers the stand and the most obvious weak point of the kit, the base provided is rather too small in my opinion, it measures approximately 110mm x 75mm and thus is rather dwarfed by the model it supports, possibly precariously. Painting and decalling the model is the focus of the final two pages of the instruction booklet and this information is provided in the very simplest of forms, six basic renderings of the vessel, fore & aft, port & starboard, dorsal & ventral, with the most generic of colour information, ‘metallic grey’ and ‘dark red’ cover everything for those of us who don’t want to paint our thrusters ‘yellow’ if idling or ‘blue’ if they’re firing. Other than the flight bay decals only three other markings are provided for the model, a Colonial Fleet emblem for the dorsal surface and two copies of the name Pegasus plus the fleet registry number in white for the flight pod sides. This is a slightly perplexing addition as the name is already moulded on the relevant part in sufficient relief that it would be a doddle to paint, but there is no trace of the registry number. It might have been better to stick to one method or the other as it seems we are faced with using a rather clumsy compromise or a lot of decal softener. Conclusion I have to admit from the outset that I’m a huge Battlestar fan, so I was naturally pre-inclined to like this kit, which I do, a lot. Sure it commands a fairly hefty price tag, but in return you get a fairly hefty box, absolutely brimming with bits, which when combined with a little skill and effort will build up into a very satisfactory and at over 40cm long, quite substantial, representation of the Battlestar Pegasus. Is it perfect? By no means, no kit ever is. Does it have its faults? This is a matter of perspective, the experienced modeller might argue that such a kit should have included more detailed flight bay interiors and perhaps some finer detail parts generally, however I think one would struggle find many other similarly priced licensed products of this type that do include such details. Aftermarket companies have already paid this model some attention and at least three etched sets, including flight bays, are available for this kit should you feel that extra detail is absolutely necessary. I felt the base was a let down, potentially literally if used unassisted and I was a little disappointed with the decal/moulding compromise for the flight pod sides, but again these are not insurmountable issues and they certainly don’t detract significantly from my overall good impression of this kit. From the perspective of the novice sci-fi modeller or ardent Battlestar Galactica fan who wants a model of ‘The Beast’ to decorate his mantelpiece, this is a great kit.....It’s simple to build, reasonably detailed without being at all complex and it should paint up very well using even the simplest techniques and a little imagination. Review sample courtesy of UK distributors for