This review covers the Battlestar Galactica Viper Mark II (2 Pack) 1:72 Scale Moebius Model Kit #957. A new release, this model should be readily available at most outlets. These are resized versions of the original 1:32 scale model. Moebius designates this as a Skill Level 3 kit for modelers 12 years and older. It includes two main trees containing most of parts for each craft. It is molded in white styrene with a transparent canopy, display stand, waterslide decals and an extensive instruction manual.
There are markings for different craft in the decal sheet. I have to give Moebius Models credit for releasing this model and to IPMS for providing the review sample.
Construction and Detailing
For the most part, tube glue works just fine for construction on this kit. Use some white glue to install the canopy though. You will also find some heavy sprue tabs and relief tabs on the parts. Just trim them off and sand them smooth, being careful not to damage the part itself. Since both models are identical except for the markings these instructions will apply to both of them. You could however, build one as an in-flight model and the other with the landing gear down. The only difference is the lower fuselage and the additional landing gear.
Start by priming, then painting both sprues white. Having all the parts on one sprue really makes painting simple and if there is any touch up to be made after the parts are removed from the tree, a little matching white should make it look correct again.
The cockpit is very simplistic and lacks detail and the pilot has some rough edges but at this scale you would need a magnifying glass to see that level of detail anyway. For a real challenge you could modify a 1:72 jet fighter pilot and appropriately sized cockpit for additional detail. Add the side walls and instrument panel to the main tub. I used a little interior green for the cockpit and seat and the pilot is a grey/green with a metal helmet. The stick is flat black. Place the arm on after the pilot’s seated.
For the fuselage, paint the mechanicals aluminum then insert the cockpit onto the locating pins and glue the halves together. This will leave the usual seam that splits the fuselage in half. You can give this as much attention as you see fit. Paint the engine halves and intake fans steel and the canopy frame aluminum. After they’ve dried assemble the engine halves and add the intake fans, wings, outboard guns and canopy to the frame. There are also some visible mechanicals on the engine covers so highlight those with some metal color and add them to the body. They form a slot to install the rudder into.
At this point decide whether you want the landing gear down or not and choose the appropriate lower fuselage and optional landing gear. Paint the landing gear aluminum if you use those. The thrusters are next. Paint the outer area a rust color and the inner a dark steel color. You can also detail the mechanicals there on the back of the craft with a steady brush. Add the thrusters to the rear of the fuselage. Install the landing gear and gear doors to the lower fuselage now if you’ve chosen that mode.
Decals and Trim
The decals included with this kit are nice but some are really small. I had to use tweezers for those and some setting solution for the broader red stripes. Take your time and make sure they stick to the place you want them to be in before you move on.
Assemble the two piece transparent display stand and mount it onto the tab in the under-fuselage slot provided. You now have an awesome pair of Vipers to patrol the galaxy in.
These are pretty easy kits to build and the instructions are easy to follow. You could construct them in a few hours after the paint dries. They make for a great break from the contest models you’re building or you could go the extra mile with additional parts and effort. Battlestar Galactica fans will love it and so does just about anyone that sees them because they are just plain cool looking. There was a little more flash and sprue tabs than I was expecting but nothing that isn’t easily fixed. The parts fit together very nicely and I didn’t notice any warping. The decals are what make this a skill level 3 kit because they require patience, a steady hand and some setting solution to fit properly. Knowing these things before you start, you will love the outcome if you are prepared.
I want to thank Moebius Models for providing this model, and to IPMS for letting me build it.