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  1. Hello folks. Time for me to venture into something completely different... but it was only a matter of time I think. If there is one thing to be known about me it is that I am a HUGE (and I mean HUGE) Battlestar Galactica fan. As such I've spent a few years collecting up a kit and various other parts to build my favourite fighter of all time, the venerable Colonial Viper Mk.II. The Kit Moebius came out with a wide line of models back when BSG came back. For those who know the lineage of the models, please feel free to skip ahead. For those who don't, it basically goes like this (and I'll be speaking specifically to this particular subject). In 2009 Moebius started producing this kit with the sci-fi fan in mind. From the box art to the instructions, the kit was catered to the BSG fan. This included the instructions being printed with the cropped corners and almost like a schematical diagram you would be given during an int brief. The pilot figure was resin, and given it was a bit of a limited run kit, it was pretty good all things considered. NOT great, but good (more on that shortly). Fast forward to 2012 and the Moebius kit is now found as a prebuilt kit. The actual construct kit starts to hit shelves under the Revell banner. Gone is the resin figure (replaced with injection molded options), but present are all the traits of the Moebius kit which aren't exactly great traits. I say this, because if you're expecting this Revell kit to be pushing the bar with the line of kits Revell has been putting out as new tool offerings from that time period, you will be sorrily mistaken. The instructions however - the traditional Revell style instructions - are much easier to follow and are nicely laid out. The kit itself comes with 8 parts trees and a set of decals. Total part count comes in at about 60, with 4 in clear and the rest in a clean white plastic. The plastic is very easy to work with. Soft, easy to cut and sand but firm enough to hold a good shape. with no warping visible. There is a lot of flash, but for the most part it is contained to the sprues and not the parts. The details are very soft and if you are looking to build a very true to form Mk.II, fitment will also be an issue along with soft details. This is not a Tamiya kit where you put some parts in a box with some glue, shake it up and it builds itself. The fitment of parts is frustraing at times, especially everything aft of the cockpit. Although the engineering is sound with the kit, and there are some small additions here and there that do help (such as the tabs inside the sliding lock tabs of the wings to give the right dihedral), the application of those sliding parts and interlocking tabs will really test your patience at times. In fact the only traditional male/female locator pins are within the main fuselage halves and the cockpit tub. Although the clear pieces are very crisp and clear, my canopy came with a surprise in that it had a number of small stress fractures in it. Hey Revell.... another reason to stop using those ridiculous boxes you keep shipping your parts out in. The decals themselves are nice and thin, within register, but are missing a few smaller detail items which I'll cover when I get to the final painting and finishing of the model. Suffice to say that I did order up the JT-Graphics decal set in red... although these appear quite a bit more maroon than red. The Extras Though the new BSG has been off the air for some time, there are still some fantastic aftermarket sets out there that keep popping up. Whether this is due to a large fan following, random aftermarket companies putting out previously unavailable items, or somewhere in between, you won't hear me complaining at all. Looking around and reading various reviews, as well as wanting to have the flexibility to build the particular Viper I want, I picked up these sets: Green Strawberry has two superb sets out. The first set (00815) offers a great cockpit detail set and a couple of exterior extras. The second set (00917) is a very nicely made resit exhaust nozzle set with PE inserts. Then there is the PGMS detail set which covers both interior and exterior. As I mentioned, both sets have their pros and cons, and I'll deal with them as I move further into the project. The Subject There are two variants of the Mk.II in the show, and primarily seen from the cockpit setup and are simply referred to as the early and the late Mk.II. Externally they are nearly identical (excluding the rivet-canopy frame that Starbuck has when she reappears). Although in the books and fan-made stories there different schemes, I wanted to make Starbucks Viper from early in the series. The model will be a simple desk display piece for me to take to work and have with me there, so no lights, and it'll be sitting inside a display case on it's landing gear. The display case itself will have a mirrored bottom to it as well. So, a simple, static model of the early BSG Viper Mk.II. Ahhhhh Starbuck. Honestly, it was her attitude in the show that had me turning countless times through the episodes and saying to my wife "you do that too" that made me want to build her viper. As for references, there are a number of great references out there which I'll be directly referencing to when I get to that stage (with links where available). So there's my long winded write up. Now it's time to get into the actual build.
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