Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper Mk VII

Published: September 20th, 2011     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: Mark A. Dice - IPMS# 31326
Scale: 1/32
Company: Moebius Models
Price: $30.00
Product / Stock #: 916
Product provided by: Moebius Models

Background

The Colonies' current frontline version of the Viper design, the Mk VII retains the Mk II's general layout with the addition of fully integrated avionics that provide the pilot with superior battle management and flight information, three forward firing cannons, wing mounted missiles, and the ability of atmospheric flight. Sadly, most were wiped out in the Cylon's renewed attacks against the Colonies when their more modern computer systems were infected and shut down by a Cylon computer virus. Most were easily wiped out by Cylon raiders, with only a few models that were in need of upgrade escaping the virus and living to fight another day.

Kit

The kit parts are cleanly molded in a light gray color, flash free, and have recessed panel lines that might be a bit heavy for some. There are 4 trees of aircraft parts, one tree of pilot parts, the upper and lower fuselage parts and one tree of clear parts separated into 3 plastic bags. The decal sheet is also separately bagged. The wingtips of the Viper had an extra protective wrap of cardboard to prevent breakage. Nice touch!!

The instructions are a color six-page fold out. Text and line drawings are clear with the parts clearly identified with their numbers. There is a decal placement page with the option of a Galactica or Pegasus version, and a painting guide that is a basic list of parts and their colors. Color pics are provided on the box and instructions to give you an idea of the Viper's color scheme. Paint callouts are in Testors brands (Model Masters, Acryl, and Enamel).

Construction

There are 3 base subassemblies joined together in the final step. The kit is well engineered and overall fit is excellent with only a couple of exceptions. The seam between the upper and lower fuselage required the most work, filling, sanding, and rescribing of the entire build, and I'll say this is where I spent the vast majority of my time during construction. The fit of the upper rear fuselage, engine assembly, wing cannon blisters, and cockpit to upper fuselage is excellent with only slight sanding needed, if any at all.

The landing gear and gear well details are very basic and there is no detail to speak of on the landing gear doors, so cleanup was quick and easy. Both the main landing gear and doors fit a little loosely into the fuselage, so some care must be taken to obtain the correct alignment and stance. I ended up gluing the main landing gear doors with white glue and then turning the Viper over and setting it on its gear while the glue was still setting up, so the doors could hang down into each other and hold each other in the proper angle. The nose landing gear and doors fit more snugly and were very much less fiddly.

The 4-piece cockpit assembly detail is very sparse. You can watch the miniseries of Battlestar Galactica for the few Viper Mk VII cockpit shots available to get an idea how to spruce up this area. Another good reference for the Mk VII cockpit and other details can be found at http://bruce-domain.blogspot.com/2010/11/mark-vii-colonial-viper-referen.... Scratchbuilders can have a field day here. I chose to add a few extra instrument gauge decals to the two provided in the kit to busy-up the instrument panel a bit. The cockpit positively locks into place in the upper fuselage using a 3-pin-and-loop arrangement, so there is no chance of any misalignment.

The sitting pilot figure is next. While the Mk II Viper had a two-piece (body and arm) highly detailed resin male pilot figure, the Mk VII Viper pilot is a 5-piece plastic figure with a choice of chests so you can make either a male or female pilot. The details are softer than the resin pilot but you get a bit more freedom in posing your figure's head and arms.

The canopy is well molded, clear, and fits very well. It basically clicks into place. If you want to display the canopy open, you're going to have to do some cutting and scratchbuilding to modify it to look correct. The above listed reference has a few good pictures of the canopy in the open position.

The two piece clear display stand is identical to the one from the Mk II kit. It's sturdy and just snaps into place into a precut slot in the bottom of the Viper.

I painted the cockpit, landing gear wells and the interior of the landing gear doors Model Masters medium gray. I painted the landing gear and engines Model Master metalizer titanium and burnt metal with light splashes of Alclad pale burnt metal.

I preshaded the Viper's panel lines with Tamiya flat black, then painted the Viper overall with a mix of Tamiya sky grey and light sea grey. Once dry, I traced a 0.5mm lead pencil along the panel lines to darken and define them. The cannons are painted flat black. No other weathering was done to the Viper.

The decals were cut out and applied over small puddles of Future. They handled well, snuggled down flawlessly, and show no signs of silvering. As stated before, you get a choice of Vipers from either Pegasus or Galactica but only pilots' names from Galactica are provided on the decal sheet. No names of Pegasus pilots are given. You also get "scorecards" of kills to apply but these were only on the Pegasus' Vipers. I flat-coated the entire model with Testors Dullcoat once the Future had thoroughly dried.

Conclusion

This was a fun build!! Fit was excellent! Detail is very nice! It does look pretty cool!!! Moebius Models continues to impress with their Battlestar Galactica items! Thanks to Moebius Models for the review kit.

  • Left view
    Left view
  • Right view
    Right view
  • Pilot figure comparison
    Pilot figure comparison

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