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Alliance Battlestar Galactica Kit Preview


By Brian Ludden - images & text © 2006

Scale: 1/9600 - about 7"/ 178mm long when built
Parts: 5 resin pieces (main hull, two flight pods, stand and baseplate). A brass rod for the base, and a small decal sheet are also included.
Instructions: 1 page, front only assembly diagram with painting suggestions
Decals: ALPS-printed waterslide, with names for four different ships
Molding Quality: 8 - Minor flash, one area of missing detail. My main piece leans a bit to the left.
Detail: 9 - Amazingly well done! Really!
Accuracy: 10.0 - Captures the heft and complexity of the ship - even in this small scale.
MSRP: $55.00 USD (~$ 64.01 CAN/ 45.61 EUR) available from Federation Models
Overall Rating: 9.0 - A lot of fun in a small package

[Boxart]

I had not forgotten that I put my name in the hat for the Mini "G" a number of months ago, but was pleasantly surprised when I got an email from Federation Models telling me I could order mine - which I did posthaste.

[What you get]

^ What you get

[Hull]

^ Main hull

Image: Main hull, closer look

Image: Look at that detail!

Image: Hull and flight pods

Image: Detail

Image: Instructions

Within a few days the package arrived, and I greedily opened it. After seeing Coby's master at the (IPMS) Nationals, I wondered if Alliance could mold it in a way to do it justice.

I'm happy to report that they did a great job on it! There are only 3 parts to the ship - the main hull and the two landing bay pods. With these parts you also get a base with a separate Galactica logo that fits into a hole on the base, a brass rod (pilot marks for where to drill are helpfully provided), and a small decal sheet.

The instruction sheet is to the point and calls out the recommended colors in Model Master names.

The parts came with a minimum of flash, and I only had one casting flaw/bubble, right on the end of the bottom port landing bay pod - there is some material there still, hopefully I can work with it easily - but there are 2 main things you need to work on as far as the main hull goes. The first is the bottom part of the ship where the pods retract into. The rib design goes back into it, but the ribs start to skew to the rear and get mushy as the approach the main hull. With the pods open, this area will be visible (and in fact my big photo reference of the Galactica, the poster I got at WF as I was staring at the master) shows what appears to be rust colored plates in there.

The biggest issue came at me after staring at the main hull for a number of minutes - it is unmistakably leaning to the left. It's not a glaring issue for a desktop model, but in a contest it would put you out of competition pretty quickly. Normally I would put the part in hot water and bend it back in line; but I'm not sure how this fairly large and complicated part would react to it. For the time being I am just going to let it go.

The other issue is that the 4 engine pods have no detail at all at the exhaust ports. I get the feeling that these issues are related to how Alliance managed to cast this part up as one piece and get such good detail from it overall. The exhausts clearly are deeply inset into this part, and I'm not sure if I am going to attempt to drill and file (always a crap shoot with resin parts) or cut off the ends and scratchbuild the exhausts.

I've already cleaned up the flash from the model (maybe 15 minutes work) and am ready to wash it well before painting - I'll assemble it after it's all painted up and the tiny decals are applied and sealed.

Conclusions

This kit makes an excellent weekend project involving washes and drybrushing techniques, and will look good anywhere without taking up too much space. I hope that the lean in the main hull is just on my example - I can't wait to see some of these ships built up and shown off at contests. At first, $55 seems like a lot for what is a pretty small kit, but the more I mess with it the more I think it's worth it - unlike many other resin kits I've bought in the past!

Editor's Note

As I post this, recasts of the kit have already started showing up online. Federation Models is the only legitimate merchant carrying this kit. I urge folks to get it from them - and only them. If you see one on eBay, PLEASE ask the source of the casting before bidding. Not only are the recasts that are popping up of lesser quality than the Alliance kit - the artist who put many months of effort into making the master gets zero recompense for them. That ain't right.

Additional: Marco Scheloske has made a file containing images that simulate the blue glow from Galactica's main engines. Simply print the file onto white decal paper or photo paper (the resolution is 600 DPI) in 1:1 and add them to your kit with the exhausts already painted gray. The images are sized in a manner that you will have a small rim at the edge of the exhaust so that it have a decent wall thickness. If you`re not able to print decals on your own you can order a set of already printed and sealed ones (ready to use) from Triliance.

Click here to download the archive (ZIP: contains JPG, PDF and MS Word files)


Many thanks to Brian'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!

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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This page copyright © 2006 Starship Modeler™. First posted on 17 January 2006.