By Adam Catt - images & text © 2007
The subject of Battlestar Galactica has a tendency to bring up grumbling about re-imagining or re-creating classic shows. Even the detractors of the re-imagined BSG, however, must agree that several cool ship designs get quite a bit of screen time in the new version of BSG.
One of the most notable and memorable ships from both the original series and Nu-BSG is the single seat Colonial space superiority fighter, otherwise known as the Viper. Two versions of this ship existed in the first series (and the often denied Battlestar 1980) as well as Nu-BSG. Revell/Monogram (and a few garage kit companies) have released kits of the Viper(s) from the new series over the years.
Initially there weren't a lot of offerings available from Nu-BSG. However, now that the show has been around for a few years, several garage kit manufacturers have started to put out kits for both types of Vipers. One such kit is the 1/72 Sci-Hi Viper Mark VII.
What you Get
Inside the box is a plethora of miniscule pieces, cast in an off-white resin, that have so much detail on them you might think Alex Dumas has a shrinking ray hidden somewhere in his house. The main body and wings of this little fighter are molded almost flawlessly in one piece. (Almost flawlessly, as the trailing edge, a wonderfully thin trailing edge I might note, of the port wing is marred by a series of bubbles.) The scribing and detail on the hull is amazing. What is even more amazing is it appears to be perfectly symmetrical, no small feat when you consider the master was hand scribed.
In addition to the hull are another 18 or so pieces of resin compromising detail items such as the engines, seat, cockpit instruments, etc…. The detail and casting quality on these items is second to none. There is very little if any flash present, and all but one of the pieces was intact. No small feat when you consider just how fiddly small all of these parts are. The kit also comes with a full set of optional landing gear.
While I did mention the bubbles in the wing, and the fractured detail part, I mention them more to point out these were the only flaws in the kit I received. This is especially noteworthy when you consider how many thin parts there are, that by all rights probably should have visible bubbles. Clean up should (and has already on some parts) be quick and easy. And it will not, hopefully, take very long to fix those two 'flaws' If every garage kit I had ever purchased was manufactured to this quality, I wouldn't hesitate to switch to all resin kits. A quick note on the casting quality; the kit that I possess is one of the ones procured directly from the creator, so there may be minor differences from the final product released by Federation Models.
Decals in this initial release are produced by JBOT and are of decent quality. They include markings for a craft from one of three Battlestars (Galactica, Pegasus, and Valkyrie), as well as call sign markings for 5 different pilots (including Apollo and Starbuck).
At the time of this review, Alex hadn't yet released the final assembly instructions, but with the parts breakdown it won't be hard to figure out. Assembly looks so straightforward that this could almost be considered a shake-n-bake kit. All in all a great little kit that makes me wonder who from ZOIC Alex kidnapped to be able to pull off the accuracy he has.
Assembly and Finish
As I stated before, this is a relatively straightforward kit. While it is a resin kit, and will have some of the quirks associated with working with resin, most of these should be offset by the quality of the kit and the intuitiveness of the parts breakdown. (Special note to John: I doubt even you would need any putty in assembling this except to fill what few bubbles there might be)
I know I am starting to sound like a broken record, but this is an outstanding little kit. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to someone interested in trying his or her first resin kit. I would warn them to not expect every kit to be like this though. If you are a fan of Battlestar, I can't recommend this kit enough. I can only wish that the major manufacturers would realize what a lucrative subject they are missing out on.Click here to read another review of this kit.
Many thanks to Adam's wallet for providing the review samples. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 3500+ readers a day? Contact us!
This page copyright © 2007 Starship Modeler. First posted on 22 August 2007.