BSG Colonial Viper Mk.II from Moebius Models
July 14, 2010
Product: When the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica premiered on the SyFy channel in 2003, I was intrigued to see what the new Viper would be like. I wasn’t disappointed. The Viper Mk.II hits all the right design cues — three engines, triangular wing arrangement, long nose — but it’s been updated with wing sweep and more curves.|
And Moebius’ kit replicates it beautifully.
Molded in white plastic, the parts show crisp detail. One highlight is a good cockpit with separate controls and instrument decals. The DRADIS screen is molded in clear plastic so modelers with a penchant for lighting have more options.
To crew the fighter, Moebius provides a nicely sculpted resin pilot with a separate arm including the upper half of the joystick. The decals include patches for the figure.
The kit offers landing gear and an Aurora-style stand for display options.
The instructions feature written assembly sequences bolstered by photos and diagrams.
Unfortunately, some of the photos, especially the color references, are small with almost unreadable text. An enlarging photocopier, magnifying glass or Optivisor is essential.
Nicely printed decals include the red stripes, thrusters, and stencils to mark the Viper for either Apollo or Starbuck. Optional decals are provided for those who prefer painting the stripes.
Assembly: Be sure to read the instruction text; it details exactly when to apply glue to particular joins during assembly of the rear fuselage/engine section.
The interior slides firmly together in slots, and fits nicely into the forward fuselage.
The wings assemble well, but need filler along the leading and trailing edges.
I painted the engine fans metallic gray, the upper intake black, and the upper engine detail before adding the engine section; these areas were impossible to reach after the model was assembled. I left the exhausts off for painting.
After masking the engines and cockpit, I primed with Tamiya white fine surface primer, followed by Tamiya spray-can flat white. Then I masked for the red stripes, added salt to chip the paint, and airbrushed Model Master insignia red enamel. A mix of gunmetal and gunship gray colored the exposed mechanisms on the fuselage and engines.
Marketing: Battlestar Galactica continues to be one TV franchise that catches the imagination of sci-fi modelers, mostly due to the very cool ships, and presents many marketing opportunities.
With the entire BSG series out on DVD, you could make a very cool display around a TV with an episode playing amidst models of the Viper and ancillary products that would be needed to finish it, such as glue, paint and finishing pigments. Pick episodes that are heavy on the space combat, this shows the Viper in action and avoids episodes that may have content inappropriate for younger shoppers.
If you carry games, consider adding Fantasy Flight Games’ Battlestar Galactica board game (No. BSG01, $49.95) to the display as a cross-marketing opportunity.
What’s more, this is the sort of kit that can get a newbie charged up about building models. It’s a great kit of a terrific, popular subject that reaches beyond the typical modeling market. Use that to your advantage.
When running promos, make sure to mention BSG and the Viper kit. Include an image of the Viper on flyers, as part of your e-mail newsletter, or on your Facebook page. Consider how you might use some of these same techniques for other sci-fi themed products in your store.
Product: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper Mk.II
Maker: Moebius Models
Stock No.: 912
Availability: Visit www.moebiusmodels.com for a distributor listing
Scale matches Revell Viper
Good detail; great decals