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Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper Mk.I TOS (FP19 for Moebius) 1:32


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Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper Mk.I TOS (FP19 for Moebius)

1:32 GreenStrawberry




Battlestar Galactica came to our TV screens in 1978, courtesy of Aaron Spelling’s media factory, and was a big hit at the time, even though it lasted a scant two seasons before it was cancelled due to the high costs of each episode, which were coming in at over a million dollars a week. CBS considered picking it up, but it wasn’t until the reboot happened in 2004 that it hit our screens again, and only then if you subscribed to Pay TV at the time.  It ran for five seasons of variable quality, and it still doesn’t seem like it was 17 years ago.  We really are getting old!  The Vipers were a common theme between both renditions, and were similar in form and function, acting as fleet fighters and general run-abouts, having various versions from the original “TOS” (The Original Series) Viper Mk.I, through the Mk.II that was first seen in the opening episodes of the reboot, and later the sweeping lines of the Mk.VII.


The original Viper wasn’t referred to as the Mk.I in TOS, but as the Colonial Viper it ferried the originally male Starbuck, Apollo, Boomer and the gang around the late 70s galaxy far far away (wait, what?), using a design imagined by the legendary Ralph McQuarrie of Star Wars fame, with an unused alternate design showing up as the Thunder Fighter in Spelling stablemate Buck Rogers.



The Kit

This is number 19 in the GreenStrawberry FruitPACK range that bring together a number of smaller sets into a “full meal deal” boxing that gets you everything with a little cost-saving into the bargain.  This set arrives in one of their medium-sized black boxes with their usual green and red printing, and a photo of the finished set on a bare model along with some details of the sets in the box.  It includes the following rather large group of sets:


13521-1/32 - Intake & nozzles

13721-1/32 - Side Panels

VC09-1/32 - VacuCanopy

13621-1/32 - Cockpit

13821/32 - Wheel bay & exterior


Unpacking the box is a satisfying experience involving nine Ziploc bags, a sheet of masking material and a printed clear acetate sheet, plus five sets of instructions to help you along.  As usual, all the sets are available individually, so if you don’t want them all for whatever reason, you can get as many or as few as you need, want or can afford at the time.  We’ll cover each set separately to avoid confusing myself, mostly.


Intake & Nozzles (13521-1/32)

This set includes eleven resin parts on six casting blocks, plus a large fret containing three delicate Photo-Etch (PE) parts.  It upgrades the detail in the front and rear of the three engines, and requires surprisingly little adaptation of the kit parts.  The first activity is removing the locating tabs inside each intake and adding a section of intake on a T-shaped platform in the rear.  At the aft-end, the three fluted exhaust detail parts sleeve inside the kit trunking, increasing the detail substantially.  Back at the front, the exposed central structure of the engine pack has the new intake fans inserted into the front, and once the intake lips are added, the PE parts have a bullet fairing fitted to the centre before they’re placed inside and located on their rear dowels, so don’t cut those off during prep, although there is a spare on the casting block.





Side Panels (13721-1/32)

The side panels in this set refer to the rounded-off rectangular greebly-filled depressions to each side of the cockpit, which must first be removed from the kit fuselage halves, then have their detail replaced by the pair of resin inserts.  The PE sheet is made from thick gauge brass, and contains four parts that are laminated up to create a coaming area in front of the cockpit, and should be curved to match the contours of the fuselage before they are laminated together.  Annealing the parts in a flame and allowing them to cool naturally will make that process much simpler.





VacuCanopy (VC09-1/32)

This is a multi-media set, and includes a vacformed canopy blank in thick crystal clear PETG plastic, plus a set of PE frames to give the canopy sharp definition, and finally a set of pre-cut vinyl masks for each of the six panes.  It will be essential to choose the correct glue to put the canopy together without fogging up the glazing, so choose something like GS-Hypo watch crystal cement, or one of the PVA-based canopy cements that are commercially available.  Care and preparation will be key here.





Cockpit (13621-1/32)

This set is mixed media too, with six resin parts on four pour blocks, plus two sheets of nickel-plated PE and a sheet of clear acetate with instruments and screens pre-printed on it.  The instruction sheet begins with the tub, which is the largest resin part, and is covered in apertures through which the instruments will be seen.  Firstly, remove the flash from over the holes, then laminate up each screen with its matching PE panel and glue them over their aperture.  There are four on each side and one large panel at the front, with smaller button panels above some of the side panels, which also have holes behind them - you can just see one of them in the the photo below.  The holes allow light to show from behind if you are lighting your model, which seems de rigeur with Sci-Fi builds these days.  A nicely detailed control column fits into a D-shaped slot in the floor of the tub.




The lower floor is built up on a cruciform sheet of PE, with foot pads, a detailed central tunnel and rudder pedals added before the sides are folded up, leaving a step at the rear that gives a large contact point for when it is glued to the underside of the tub, adding detail under the seat and in the footwell of the cockpit.  It would be a shame to hide all that detail away, so a canopy rear frame is included in the set, allowing the modeller to pose it open, simply by gluing it to the rear of the canopy (from kit or the lightweight one above).  The other large resin part includes the headrest for the pilot seat and the spine directly behind it, replacing the kit part completely.  The new PE canopy rear frame is glued to a recess in the top of the spine, with one of the three resin rams holding it in position.  Why three?  Spares in case you want to experiment with different lengths or happen to break one.



Wheel bay & exterior (13821/32)

This set is made up of a large fret of PE, and requires some removal of kit details before adding the new parts.  The main landing gear skids have a moulded-in rod removed from each side of the legs, adding a pair of brackets near the bottom, then linking them to the top with a dog-leg PE part on each side.  The main bays have a number of small corner protrusions in the corners removed, with a new bay skin folded up from one main part that is augmented by two more slatted detail parts, then dropped into the bays, leaving the sockets for the gear legs visible in the centre.  Each gear bay door including the nose skid get skins with integrated hinges added to improve on their blank inner surfaces.  The nose gear bay also has a small panel dropped into the roof with opening rams laminated onto it to add more detail in that little bay.




Moving to the intake at the tip of the nose, which presumably comes into play in the atmosphere when there’s some gases to take in, the rear blanking plate is removed from the tapering lip part, and has two layers of PE slats inserted to give it more interest, and the final parts are two replacement gun muzzle tips for the main armament at the sides of the cockpit.




With five sets in the box, this is an extremely comprehensive upgrade to a somewhat bland kit that really does take it to the next level.  It’s not cheap, but if you have limited areas of interest or budget to upgrade the basic kit, check out the individual sets before you move on.  Truly excellent detail that’s easy to work with.


Very highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of



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