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Mike

Colonial Viper Mk.II

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Colonial Viper Mk.II



1:32 Moebius Models

boxtop.jpg

Like many, I approached the "reimagining" of Battlestar Galactica (BSG) with trepidation - not because I was frightened they'd ruin it, but because I always thought that the old series was somewhat cheesy (I know... burn the heretic!). When I got round to watching the first three series, I was pleasantly surprised and quickly became a fan. Partly because of the special effects, partly because of the new tweaked storyline, but mostly because of the new hardware that was zooming around my screen.

The Viper Mk.II is the first of a line of BSG models from Moebius, which will include the Galactica herself, a Viper Mk.VII, and a 1:6 scale Centurion figure in the first quarter of next year (2011), all being well.

The box is a glossy top opener, and has a fetching picture of a Viper heading towards us in that gritty pseudo-real space lighting that BSG is so fond of. On the bottom of the box is a scene from the hangar that if cut out could form a background for your model once completed, if you feel inclined. Inside the box are seven sprues of white styrene, plus a clear sprue including stand, a resin pilot figure, decals and glossy colourful instructions.

The white styrene is reminiscent of the old kits you used to get in the 80s on first glance, but on closer inspection, the translucence of the parts hides good detail, so don't be put off. The build is quite simple, but here the odd nature (to me) of the instructions makes you pause for a moment to take them in. Instead of the usual graphical instructions with icons providing you with additional information, the instructions are rather wordy. For each section you get an arrow with the steps described, offering tips and options for gear up or down etc. Unusually, you're incited to start the process with the underside, so that you can select the gear position from outset.

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sprue2.jpg

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sprue4.jpg

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The cockpit has a pleasing 8 parts, which is augmented by decals for the numerous instruments and screens. This is further enhanced by the addition of a 2-part resin pilot figure, which is superbly moulded and depicted with visor down, so you should probably break out the Alclad chrome, black or something similar here. The instructions advise on gluing resin with either superglue or epoxy, which may well be useful advice for people unused to handling resin. The figure feels somewhat greasy, so giving it a good wash in warm (not hot) soapy water would be a good idea to ensure that the paint sticks.

pilot.jpg

Once the cockpit is painted, it is installed between the fuselage halves, which in turn drops onto the underside, with the large cylindrical engine pods attached to the rear of the fuselage. The wings and final engine assembly take up relatively few parts, but again detail is good here. A pair of nicely rendered cannon are provided as separate parts for the tips of the horizontal(ish) wings, and the final act is to install the canopy. On seeing this single part canopy, I couldn't take my eyes off it, as it is extremely smooth and clear, and appears almost unreal when you first see it, but is easily scratched. Careful masking is a must to preserve the clarity, and ensure that it is stored safely away from the other parts if you're not building it immediately.

The final two parts are also clear, for the optional stand, which bears a passing resemblance to a contorted Airfix stand form yester year. There is a design resembling the continents of the earth embossed into the underside of the clear plastic here, with a large triangular shape in the middle, although there is no decal to fill this space. The presence of the earth seems a bit odd to me too, although I've not yet seen the final series, so I guess they make it to earth in the end.

clear.jpg

Decals are nicely done, and in good register, although the "beware of the blast" symbols in grey have been printed before the red bands, and some of the printing shows through the red. The red bands are bright without being blinding, and additional decals are provided in case you decide to mask and paint them yourself. From this sheet you can portray either Apollo's or Starbuck's Vipers - it's odd how many alien races speak and write in English, isn't it?

decals.jpg

Conclusion

This release is in a different class from the old BSG kits from Monogram, and are comparable in quality with kits of more earthly subjects from the late 20th or early 21st centuries. The build is straight forward, although my icon tuned brain took some time to get used to the instructions, and only the resin may take the novice modeller out of their comfort zone, if only briefly.

This modeller is tempted to build this review copy with gear down on the stand for a bit of drama. I'm rather looking forward to the rest of Moebius' BSG releases, and have the full series on my wishlist for Christmas, in case anyone is feeling generous!

Recommended.

Review sample courtesy of logo.jpg UK distributors for logo.gif

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Excellent Mike,

I agree with Anthony, you got to build this one.

Seems to be a nice simple build, and the pilot figure looks excellent ( just wondering if the self adhesive 'mirror' film you can get for AFV wing mirrors would do the visor ? ).

Can anyone suggest a UK retailer who stocks this ?, would look great lunching off the rear end of my Schnellboot !.

Chris.

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Maybe... :)

I believe there's an aftermarket set suitable for this kit that includes extra detail to improve the already good level of detail. Tempting :hmmm:

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I have a couple of these in the stash and look forward to seeing what other people do with them! ;)

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 I still think the pilot has a dildo in his hand.

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 I still think the pilot has a dildo in his hand.

:rolleyes: don't you have an internal monologue?

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:rolleyes: don't you have an internal monologue?

He must still be suffering the after-effects of the unfreezing process.

Anyway, nice review Mike, it almost makes me want to buy one - but I don't like these new-fangled Vipers. I prefer the originals.

Obi-Jiff :fish:

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im not a nerdy sci fi fan but i quite like this...whats the rrp?

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£29.99 springs to mind :)

ouch................

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Considering it's a fairly low volume release from a niche-player (Moebius) over here, that's not too painful, especially as it's a nice kit. That's also the RRP don't forget, so you'll probably get it cheaper if you shop around :)

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Beware of the yellow insignia on the wings if you are painting the stripes. They are totally transparent and are invisible after application. I had to cut the insignia from the red stripes and use them instead.

Mark

Edited by chadders

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Beware of the yellow insignia on the wings if you are painting the stripes. They are totally opaque and are invisible after application. I had to cut the insignia from the red stripes and use them instead.

Mark

Ahah! you mean transparent... like many a yellow decal. Good tip :)

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The final two parts are also clear, for the optional stand, which bears a passing resemblance to a contorted Airfix stand form yester year.

I think it has more of a resemblance to an Aurora stand, which like the Moebius logo itself I suspect is quite deliberate.

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I think it has more of a resemblance to an Aurora stand, which like the Moebius logo itself I suspect is quite deliberate.

Ah... I never had an Aurora kit with a stand*, so I'm not surprised I didn't make the jump. I'm also more used to the newer metal-look M of the Moebius brand. I suddenly feel like a callow youth ^_^

* I'm pretty sure I had one, but couldn't tell you what it was :hmmm:

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The 'Starshipmodeler' web-store has various detail sets from PE, dual seat conversions to masks, think I also saw a resin 'lunch pad/rail' somewhere.

www.starshipmodeler.biz/shop/

Realy looks tempting, but the £29.99 could easily spiral out of control.

I think I saw a build here on Britmodeller of one a while back, in a NASA while scheme.

Chris.

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Ahah! you mean transparent... like many a yellow decal. Good tip :)

Yep, that's what I meant and the post has now been rectified to try and hide my stupidity :whistle::confused::unsure::blush: :blush:

P6190106.jpg

Edited by chadders

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Ah... I never had an Aurora kit with a stand*, so I'm not surprised I didn't make the jump. I'm also more used to the newer metal-look M of the Moebius brand

Well, you know, having made the comment, I'm pretty sure that I've never had an Aurora kit ... but I'm sure that at some time some where I've seen photos of Aurora kits with stands like that. But I could be just imagining it.

I've got the "Aurora Model Kits" book at home, perhaps I saw it there?

Tum-te-tum, a few minutes of Googling later ....

OK, take a look at this one:

als-box-lg.jpg

als-parts-lg.jpg

and note the triangular decal:

als-decal-lg.jpg

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I built this kit earlier this year...waiting for the Mk. VII now.

Edited by Mike
Removing photo quote & binned off PB photo.

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Have you seen the Green Strawberry etch set yet ?

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9 hours ago, Mick4350 said:

Have you seen the Green Strawberry etch set yet ?

mike reviewed it here;

 

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