A glimpse into my scale modeling hobby

Viper MKII

Finishing Touches

The finishing processes on the Viper first involved a couple coats of a dark gray wash. These gave it a used and dirty look across the entire kit. I also finally added the clear cockpit piece.

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Next, I was ready to get out the weathering material. I used the soot color quite extensively on the crevices and around the engines, some snow around darker edges, and some rust spots here and there. Then, I used the soot color again to make some blast marks on random places on the ship. I topped these blast marks with some aluminum metalizer to simulate a hit that went down to the metal frame of the ship.

So, here are the pics of the final result. I am quite proud of the final product!

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The final photo shows a nice contrast between the old style Viper and the new one. Now I need a Cylon Raider to complement these lovely birds!


Adventures with Masking Tape

Upon completion of the body, I quickly turned to the decals. I had expressed some concern earlier about the brittleness of the decals together with their size, and my concerns turned out to be somewhat correct. I applied the nose decals without too much trouble, but when I started working on the red stripe at the back of the ship, there were just too many issues, so I decided to try masking tape and paint them myself.

The initial nose decals

I went to Hobby Lobby and got some of the best modeling masking tape out there, made by Tamiya, and returned home with a purpose. I planned on using my airbrush, and the masking tape I got was a pretty narrow width, so I added several pieces to account for overspray. Unfortunately, my airbrush skills are still in the developing phase, and when I removed the masking tape there was quite a bit of red overspray in many places I did not want it.

As a result, I had to apply several coats of white paint and spend a couple days recovering from the overspray. No detail areas were harmed, so it was not difficult, just time-consuming. I have included a photo of the before and after white coats below.

The top shows the worst areas of the red, and the bottom is the re-coated white.

I learned a lot about masking tape and good airbrush technique from this experiment, most of all that a tight seal is absolutely crucial when applying the masking tape. Fortunately, the kit is no worse for the wear. Success! I also went back and masked the nose stripes, but brushed the red on by hand instead, in order that all of the red stripes had the exact same shade of red.

Next, it was fairly simple to apply the rest of the small detail decals, and I had no problems with brittleness or gapping. I will leave with a photo of the assembled, painted, and decaled Viper. It is almost done!

Fresh out of the shop.


Quick BSG Viper Update

I am making good progress on the Viper MK II and wanted to share a quick update and picture. The picture below shows three steps in the process of building the main body of the ship. First, I assembled the nose, then added the engine wells, wings, and fin in the back, and finally added the engines and painted some details in steel along the body.

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All Systems Go!

After choosing not to assemble the landing gear for an in-flight look to the kit, the first step involved assembling the cockpit. I briefly considered buying the photoetched detailed cockpit from Starship Modeler, but since I am not to the point of adding lighting yet, I decided it wasn’t worth the extra cost. The assembly of the cockpit was easy; the only elements that took a little more time were the decals and small detail painting.

Cockpit assembly: Main piece, two sides, and some small panels at the front.

After I finished the cockpit, I needed to add the pilot figure. The paint instructions for the figure were the same as the last Viper kit I made, but I wasn’t overly thrilled with the result of the interior green and gold mix. I looked at some pictures of the Viper pilot suits and thought that they were a darker green so I mixed the dark green with just a little bit of gold to add a metallic sheen. Then, I painted the vest and some other minor details a dark grey to offset it from the rest of the suit, which is closer to the actual flight suits.

You can see the contrasting colors on the flight suit here

This gives a decent angle on the control panel

With the cockpit finished, I could start work on the fuselage, and the first and most important thing to do was give it a coat of paint. I sprayed all of the main ship parts with a gloss white enamel (the one that accidentally made its way onto the bottom of my snowspeeder…), and they were ready to go.

All of the parts for the main fuselage


So Say We All

Box art and instructions

Summer has arrived, and with it, lots of free time to work on models. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have enough money to keep up with all the free time, but I will do as much as I possibly can. This next kit takes me back to the Battlestar Galactica universe and serves as a link between the original series and the more recent reimagined series. The ship is the Viper MK II, which is the older version of the ship I built a couple months ago. This ship design was used in the original Battlestar Galactica TV show, but the new show used a few of this model with particular characters.

I am actually a little bit behind in my posts because I started this kit while I was waiting for the weathering material for the Snowspeeder. I have been documenting the progress with pictures, but I have yet to post updates here. I have a bit of OCD when it comes to finishing one thing before starting another.

So, here are some first impressions of the BSG Viper MK II kit. The quality of the kit is on par with other Moebius kits. The plastic parts are solid and the sprues are located in spots where they can easily be sanded down. Unlike the other Viper kit, there is only a male pilot figure. I am a little concerned about the decals because I have had problems with brittleness on other Moebius kits, and there are a lot of large decals. Some decal setting solution should help with that problem, however.

Male pilot figure and decals

All of the parts, molded in white so you don’t have to paint if you don’t want to.

The scale of the kit is the same as the previous Viper I built, so they will look nice sitting together in my display case. Overall, the kit does not look too difficult either to build or paint, and it is coming together quite quickly. Another update will follow shortly.