Battlestar Gallactica SD (Super-Deformed) Viper Mark 2
This is the latest release from Moebius Models based on the Battlestar Galactica series aired on SyFy. It is their first in the SD (Super-Deformed) series, sometimes referred to as an ‘egg plane’ version of the Viper Mark 2. Please keep in mind, that at roughly 1/32, this kit is much larger than your standard ‘egg plane’. The kit is designed as a snap together model and comes with both water slide decals and stickers.
The kit is molded in white styrene on four trees, along with the left and right fuselage halves and a stand that have already been removed from their sprue trees. Total part count is fifteen with the over double that amount in the decal or sticker count. You even get a bonus sticker for your school notebook! The one piece instruction sheet is folded into quarters and provides graphic depiction of the assembly as well as text call outs in four steps. The decal application and painting instructions are the most detailed and require a modicum of study. The loose parts are bagged separately from the parts still on the sprues. The two sticker sheets and the one water-slide decal sheet are also bagged together. The parts, stickers, and decals are all labeled with numbers making identification easy.
Since I have been doing IPMS Make-N-Takes for some 25-years, I decided to build this kit as some of my charges over the years would with its advertised snap-fit and press-on stickers. I used the standard tools I use at all Make-N-Takes except for Testors’ red tube glue and toothpick appliques. That leaves primarily Testors’ side-snips and Squadron’s 3-grit sanding sticks to get the job done. I was impressed that I only found one injection pin mark that is obvious and that is on the inside of the display stand. I did not see any sink marks where there easily could have been some as a result of the snap-together pins. Fixing the one on the display stand could prove difficult and it may be better to place something over it rather than grind it smooth.
The injection parts are of medium hardness, meaning that the average child will have no problem separating the sprue from the parts with the side snips and cleaning up with the sanding stick. I did observe a bit of flash around the interlocking snap-together pins between the left and right fuselage. A couple of swipes with the sanding stick took care of this issue. Still, pressing the fuselage halves together may give a younger child some problems where the supervising adult may have to help. The instructions do have a call out warning not to press the fuselage fully together until the lower fuselage (3) and the canopy (2) are in place. You’ll find that in Step 4 where you mount the stand that you may also want to insert the stand at this point as well. The instructions would have you pull the fuselage slightly apart to accomplish this, but again, I don’t believe most kids could get the fuselage back apart once it is pressed completely together. If you were to have glued this kit together, getting the stand on in Step 4 would also present a problem.
The upper intake grill (5) is a tight press on, but I believe most kids would have no problem with it. Same goes for the left and right upper thruster housing (6 and 7). The nose (8) can go on at this point, but I would advise leaving it on until you are ready to apply the stickers to avoid it from popping off. The main engine intakes press on over the left and right fuselage and getting both intakes over the hump may require help from the adult supervisor. Once the intakes are on, the thrusters (10) press on quite well. The starboard and port wings are a simple upper and lower assembly and fit into the outside of the engine nacelles.
I would deviate from the instructions for the snap-together version. You will want the child to place all of the stickers on the ship prior to inserting the wings assemblies, or you will continue to fuss with them as they fall off. The port wing assembly on my kit fit very loosely and really is going to require glue to keep it on for any length of time. It may be that I sanded the attachment stub too much, but it is something to watch for.
Painting and Decaling
Since I’m doing this as a snap-together kit like I would do in a Make-N-Take, there is no painting. We always tell the child and parents they can paint it at home. The centers where we do Make-N-Takes are really not excited about having paint sloshed around their tables and floors. The water-slide decals are a bit more refined that the stickers, but both will take some patience from the child to line up properly. The good news on the stickers is that you can easily pull them off and place them again if you are not happy with their look. The bad news is that if you do that enough, they don’t stick so well. The sheer number of the red stickers will probably frustrate most kids fairly quickly, but I have also seen many youths that will persevere to make them line up just right. The biggest issue will be with the upper wing red stripes with just a bit to cover up the leading edge. Mine took a lot of pressing to keep from wanting to pop back up and I’m sure over time that they will eventually will.
Moebius Models’ Battlestar Galactica SD Viper Mark 2 is a relatively simple kit with no major fit issues. The actual plastic preparation and assembly will take most children less than 15 minutes to assemble with another 15 minutes to apply the stickers. Younger kids may need some adult assistance on press fitting the parts and probably some with applying the stickers. It’s a great kit to use at Make-N-Takes, the only drawback I can see would be the price. It will also work out well for the adult BSG fans that don’t want to mess with paint or glue just for the cool factor. The detail is pretty sharp and I was not able to spot any sink marks that would require filling.
I plan on removing the stickers and washing the parts to remove any remaining adhesive, then gluing and painting the the model. Based just on press fitting, I don’t think there will be minimal need for putty other than on the starboard side of the canopy where the snap fin inserts. The neat thing is that there is plenty of room to show off a custom paint job. I am hoping that the Mark 2 does well enough for Moebius to release other kits in this same line.
My thanks to Moebius Models and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great kit.