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Sci-Fi Models' Cylon Raider Kit Preview


By Ian M. Fleetwood - images & text © 2004

Scale: 1/48 - about 13" X 11" long (330mm x 279mm) when built
Parts: 23 (purple) resin plus 1 clear vacuformed canopy
Instructions: Two B&W photograph pages
Decals: None with my kit
Molding Quality: 8 - Some unsightly mould lines on the wing that ruin the panel lines; fair bit of flash
Detail: 10 - its all there
Accuracy: 10 - Looks true to the TV prop
MSRP: $145.00 USD (~$174.95 CAN/ 112.05 EUR) plus shipping, available from Sci-Fi Models
Overall Rating: 9 - It would had gotten a Perfect 10 if it wasn't for the moulding lines and the flash on the main body


So here we have an accurate Cylon Raider from Battlestar Galactica (BSG), the bad guys' fighter that always seemed to attack in threes, and always followed the same flight path.

[Click to enlarge]

^ Top hull half

Image: Top/rear of upper hull half

Image: Closer look at engine detail

Image: More detail

Image: Detail in the "trench" between the hull and wing

[Click to enlarge]

^ Bottom hull half

Image: Rear of bottom hull half

Image: Detail

Image: More detail

[Click to enlarge]

^ Wings

Image: Wing top

Image: Underneath

Image: Detail pieces

Image: Cylon figure

It's no wonder they always lost.

Back in 1978, Monogram released a plastic kit version of the Cylon Raider, along with the Viper, Battlestar Galactica and the Cylon Base Star. At the time, and even with the re-issue some 20 years later these were the only version of the craft available until now. Step in pattern-maker Alfred Wong, a gentleman who has given us some really decent crafts and at a nice scale that makes them worth building, and is also accurate.

The Cylon Raider is Sci-Fi models 4th BSG kit, the others being the BSG Blaster, Mk 4 Viper and a 1/48 Viper.

In the Box

Upon opening the plain white box you are greeted with two purple wing sections, a resin cockpit canopy, a clear canopy, a jiffy bag with the engines, cylons and the seats they sit on along with the guns, and at the bottom is the two halves that make up the craft's body.

The Cylons are cast reasonably well, but have no legs, which doesn't really matter as they are not going to be seen, (and as soon as Starbuck or Apollo shoots them out of the sky they won't be needing them at all). The details on the engine, the nose section and the guns are crisp and clear. The main body, which is in two parts, will require some clean up to make the halves flush with each other. What's also nice about this kit is that there was no excess resin built up or any pin holes.

The instructions have some very nice clear black and white pictures showing where the parts fit, but the actual painting guide is not really there. Then again, this craft doesn't really need one as it is going to be mainly one color.

What lets this kit down is that there are some unsightly mould lines around the edge of the wings that go up over the top and on to the panel lines. This is not a big problem, but it does mean that you have to rescore the panel line that is removed in the sanding stage. Also, there is a fair percentage of flash on both halves of the main body.

Conclusions

They say "big is beautiful"; this is true here with this Cylon Raider. All in all a very good kit, and worth the hefty price tag. Alfred Wong has excelled himself.



Many thanks to Ian's wallet for providing the review sample. 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 © 2004 Starship Modeler™. First posted on 18 November 2004.