Space & Sci-Fi Vehicles

Reviews of products for scale space and science fiction vehicle models.

Battlestar Galactica Cylon Raider (2-Pack)

Published: February 6th, 2016     
Battlestar Galactica Cylon Raider (2-Pack)
Reviewed by: Brent Bristow, IPMS# 48487
Scale: 1/72
Company: Moebius Models

Ron Moore's reimagined Battlestar Galactica series has been a hit with sci-fi fans for over a decade. As with any series that takes place in space, the ships are just as important as any of the characters. The Cylon Raiders seen in this series are interesting because the ships are characters! Rather than being piloted by humanoid shaped Cylons, as seen in the 1970's series, the new Raiders are, themselves, Cylons. The 1/32 scale Raider offered by Moebius has been very popular with modelers over the last couple of years, and now, Moebius is offering a 2-pack of these ships in 1/72 scale.

The Kit

The kit includes 2 complete Raiders, each of which has 11 parts, and 2 clear bases that consist of 2 parts each. Each ship and base is on its own individual sprue, which makes finding the parts, and keeping them separated easy. I was happy to see that all of the panel lines are recessed rather than raised. No decals are included, or needed, with this kit.

Mercury Spacecraft

Published: December 27th, 2015     
Mercury Spacecraft
Reviewed by: Ben Guenther, IPMS# 20101
Scale: 1/72
Company: Horizon Models

America's first manned space program was best summed up by Deputy Administrator, Hugh L. Dryden in the foreword to the book, Project Mercury: A Chronology (NASA SP-4001) where he wrote " Project Mercury is now history In its short span of four years, eight months, and one week as the Nation's first manned space flight program, Mercury earned a unique place in the annals of science and technology. The culmination of decades of investigation and application of aerodynamics, rocket propulsion, celestial mechanics, aerospace medicine, and electronics, Project Mercury took man beyond the atmosphere into space orbit and confirmed the potential for man's mobility in his universe. It remains for Projects Gemini and Apollo to demonstrate that potential." There are many fine books on Project Mercury, you can use your computer's search function to find them or go to your local library.

Maschinen Krieger 44 Type Mk44 Ammoknights (Smartgun Equipment Type)

Published: November 9th, 2015     
Maschinen Krieger 44 Type Mk44 Ammoknights (Smartgun Equipment Type)
Reviewed by: Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/20
Company: Hasegawa

This is another excellent kit in the Hasegawa Machinen Krieger series. The kit is not too difficult to assemble, so beginners can enjoy the modeling experience. More advanced modelers will enjoy building another unique machine in this series, and the creativity allowed in finishing and weathering the machine.

Background

The Maschinen Krieger Story (excerpted from Wikipedia)

A nuclear World War IV in 2807 kills most of Earth's population and renders the planet uninhabitable. Fifty-two years after the war, an interstellar union called the Galactic Federation repopulates the planet and sends colonists to the surface.

Fearing civil unrest and the colonists forming their own government, the Federation gives the Strahl Democratic Republic (SDR) the right to govern the planet in the late 2870s. In response, the colonists create the Earth Independent Provisional Government and declare independence from the SDR. The colonists hire mercenaries who are descendants of WWIV veterans to form the Independent Mercenary Army (IMA). They attack the SDR forces and the battle to control Earth begins in 2882.

Battlestar Galactica Colonial One

Published: September 7th, 2015     
Battlestar Galactica Colonial One
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Scale: 1/350
Company: Moebius Models

Back in 1978 I was one of many in the TV room in Langford Hall at Montana State University waiting for a new TV series that was trying to capitalize on a surprisingly successful Space Opera that had opened the previous year.  That TV show was Battlestar Galactica and while it only lasted one season it gave us new ships which Monogram released as models.

Fast forward to 2003 (skipping that thing in 1980) and we got a new, gritty miniseries with a new take on the old show.  This one was a hit and lead to a regular series running from 2004 through 2009.

Moebius Models picked up the license for this new series and had been releasing kits of the ships including the newest, Colonial One.  This ship was a smaller passenger ship operating under the call sign Colonial Heavy 798.  It belonged to Intersun Luxury Liners and had the distinction of carrying the last surviving member of the Colonial government thus leading to the Colonial One call sign and a paint scheme reminiscent of Air Force One.

But enough background, let's see what we get in the box.

The New Scale Spacecraft Primer

Published: August 29th, 2015     
The New Scale Spacecraft Primer
Author: Michael Mackowski
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Space in Miniature

Mike Mackowski has released a revised version of SIM #1.1 - The New Scale Spacecraft Primer. It is available in both hard copy and a color PDF digital version.  Mackowski has retained some fourteen pages from the original edition with some of the older material having been updated, notably the Ariane, Mars Lander, and the Space Operations Center review.  The remaining twenty-four pages are new or recycled from some of his old IPMS Journal columns (The View From Space City). 

Since the original was published in 1990, this new version is essentially celebrating the 25th anniversary of the initiation of the SIM series.  Notable new content includes the scratch-built Curiosity Mars rover that Mike took first in category at the 2014 Nationals.  Also included are articles on updating the Revell Astronaut with MMU and the DC-X.

The Chapters include: