Battlestar Galactica (TOS) Cylon Raider – 35th Anniversary Edition
Airing in 1978 and 1979, with a brief return in 1980, the original Battlestar Galactica (BSG) television series laid the foundation for a follow-on series of books, games, and reimagined series of television shows chronicling humanity’s struggle to survive after the Twelve Colonies of human civilization were all but wiped out by the treacherous cybernetic Cylons in an attempt to rid the universe of human life. Despite the limited run of the original TV series, BSG has remained a popular franchise among Sci-Fi fans for three-and-a-half decades.
In honor of the 35th anniversary of the original series (TOS), Moebius Models has released a series of kits depicting craft from the 1978 production, with a 1/32 scale replica of the Cylon Raider as the largest of the pieces.
Moebius wows the modeler with this giant 1/32 scale kit, patterned after the actual studio model which was also in 1/32 scale. Although prior incarnations of the Raider bore suitable resemblance to their prototypes, the latest from Moebius tops all in accuracy and in size
With a box absolutely crammed full of very large and sturdy styrene parts, the Moebius TOS Cylon Raider is molded in light grey and is packed with crisp detail from stem to stern, very closely resembling that of the studio model. 2 clear pieces are included to aid in simulating the engine exhaust openings. A sheet of 2 decals of Cylon insignia is provided. A clear 2-piece styrene stand is also included.
Assembly of the kit is straight-forward and is aided further by excellent narration accompanying the illustrations in the instructions. Assembly sequence was logical and flowed well, organizing the build into subassemblies. In general, fit of the thick parts was surprisingly clean and incident-free, although filling was required to mitigate minor gaps at upper/lower half joints and along the joint between outboard and main hull sections. In all, assembly time only took a couple of hours.
Finishing and Decals
Following full assembly, the Raider was primed with Testors Panzer Gray enamel from a spray can, then select panels were painted in various shades of Alclad II natural metal colors. Borrowing a page from popular armor modeling playbooks, a couple of light coats of hairspray were applied prior to the next layer to facilitate paint chipping. After the hairspray had dried, a light coat of Testors Model Master Acryl Light Sea Gray was applied. Finally, select panel centers were lightly airbrushed with the Light Sea Gray lightened with white. Once the pait was dry, the model was chipped section-by section until the desired effect was achieved, with special emphasis around the boarding area around the cockpit.
Since there were only 2 decals, the flat paint was prepped with a thin layer of Future, and decals were placed into the clear future while it was still wet, air bubbles blotted out with a damp paper towel, then covered with a thin layer of Future. Following some touch-ups with MicroSol, the glossy areas were dulled with Testors Model Master Acryl Flat until the sheen matched surrounding matte areas. Decals settled down well, and the few traces of silvering were clearly the product of my chosen application technique and ham-handedness in applying and positioning them.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Continuing in its tradition of offering top-notch BSG kits, Moebius again delivers with this bigger-than-your-head replica of the original studio model of the Cylon Raider. I highly recommend this kit for BSG fans of any modeling skill level, since the large and well-engineered parts lend themselves well to quick and error-free assembly.
Many thanks to Moebius Models for the sample kit and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review the kit and enjoy a bit of late-70’s sci-fi nostalgia along the way.