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1/32 Moebius Colonial Viper Mk II

Gallery Article by Bill Eggleton on Jan 2 2011

Silly Week 2011

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History  

The Colonial Viper Mk II is an Air/Space Superiority Fighter that appears in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica TV series. 

The Colonial Viper series of fighters were designed to operate in both atmospheric and space environments and is the fleetís primary superiority fighter/attack craft.  The Viper Mk II was introduced into service prior to the outbreak of the First Cylon War.  The Mk II remained in service until after the war and was eventually replaced by newer, more advanced models.  Prior to the Cylon attack that sends the last of the human race running for their life, the only flight/combat capable Mk IIís remaining are in the museum deck of the soon to be decommissioned Battlestar Galactica.  

The Cylons launched a network attack on the Colonial fleet, which left them vulnerable to weapons attack by the Cylon Raiders and Basestars.  However, due to the policies of the Galacticaís commander, Commander Adama, and the antiquity of the Viper Mk II, the Galactica and the Mk IIís were immune to the network attacks allowing the Galactica to escape the attack.  The Galactica now leads and protects the remainder of the human race in their flight.

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The Model  

This is Meobiusí first release from a four kit series from Battlestar Galactica.  The model is molded in white plastic styrene with a clear canopy.  A two piece resin pilot is included.  

The model is fairly well engineered to the point of being over-engineered in some areas.  Overall, the fit is very good but there are some areas that required a bit of extra finesse.  My biggest complaint of the kit was an inordinate number of sink marks; practically every part had at least one sink mark!  The worst were the sink marks on the turkey feathers on the exhausts.  

The instructions are very well done, with written instructions to build accompanying the 3-D line drawings.  Also included in each step are coloured in-build photographs, which are handy in determining part fit.  Colour callouts are inserted into the photographs, however, they are very tiny and I had to resort to a magnifier to read.  Colour references are to Testorís lines of paint, Model Master, Acryl and original Enamel.  

Moebius provides markings for two Vipers, Apollo and Starbuck.  Moebius also provides the red striping as well as separate emblems for the wing stripes for those who wish to paint the stripes.  Unfortunately, the emblems are not backed with white and disappear in the red stripe.

Construction  

I built the model out of the box with the following exceptions:

  • 1)      Modification of the cockpit so as to attach the cockpit walls to the fuselage sides to make filling the seam easier.  

  • 2)      Modification of the fuselage to accept an acrylic rod for a replacement stand.

  • 3)      Removal of the location tabs on the wings to allow installation after the engines are assembled and those seams filled.  

  • 4)      Addition of missing details such as hoses, piping and emergency canopy release, to replicate the full size studio mock-up.  

  • 5)      Replacement of wingtip antennas with wire.  

  • 6)      Drilled out the vector thrusters to provide depth over the provided decal thrusters.

Finishing  

I used a combination of Humbrol and Testorís paints to paint the model.  The overall model was painted with Humbrolís Matt White and the striping was Testorís Acryl Insignia Red.  The engine details, exhausts and avionic bays were painted semi-gloss black followed by Alcladís Steel.  After sealing with Future, the decals were applied, I chose Starbuckís Viper.  The instructions indicate an option (1 stencil) for replicating either the CGI model or the full-size mock-up, however, Moebius does not provide the stencil for the full-size mock-up.  I cut the wing emblems from the red decal striping and applied to the appropriate locations.  The difference in red around the emblem and the red paint is hardly noticeable.  

After sealing with Testorís Acryl Flat Clear, I applied oil washes of burnt umber on the fuselage and black in the industrial areas (engines and avionics bays).  Drybrushing of light grey, white and aluminum toned down the darker washes over the fuselage.  Drybrushing aluminum, gold and copper over the industrial areas highlighted the industrial areas.  The use of differing metallics gives these areas a sense of ďalienessĒ.  After sealing with another couple coats of flat clear, I brushed on some weathering powders from Bragdon Enterprises as well as some ground up white pastel.  

I hope you enjoy the model.

Bill Eggleton

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Photos and text © by Bill Eggleton

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