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TOPIC: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper

Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #1

  • Whiterook
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This is my Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper, which was built from the 1/32 scale 30th Anniversary re-issued Revell kit.




The Colonial Viper from the original Battlestar Galactica is one of my all-time favorite space fighters (though, it was also capable of atmospheric flight and ground landings!), and looks absolutely plausible for flight, whether in space or over a distant alien planet. It's a sleek and sexy craft! It also screams 'fighter' to me. It's been updated with newly tooled details molded in light gray plastic, and clear parts.....far surpassing it's predecessor of 10 years ago from what I've read; and this kitcomes with a detailed cockpit interior and pilot figure, which is an added bonus to me.







I built this for a Challenge Build I initiated on another forum, and some of you here may already have seen the following. The Build is not yet concluded, so final shots will be added to this thread later; and I won't bore you with every picture and every description posted elsewhere, but I will go fair in-depth here. This is a big build with a ton of pics on my flash drive, and even though I won't post all of them, it'll take awhile to finish this thread, so sit back and I'll get as much as I can on here as soon as possible,
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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #2

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I found that the kit doesn't have a huge amount of parts. I guess I'm getting so used to building more complex pieces with tons of tiny little bits, so this really threw me a bit on first inspection, wondering how much of a challenge this kit would present, but in the end, it actually proved to be a satisfyng build, overall. Being a Revell kit, perhaps this is more of a starter kit? But the addition of scratchbuilt extras and moving away from the kit out of box and tailoring it to a specific purpose brought the model to life for me!

What I ended up going to was straying decades before the events in the original Battlestar Galactica series canon, and modelling after the First Cylon War; a Colonial Marine Forces Patrol (MFP) Recon Viper, Piloted by the intrepid, yet ruggedly handsome Captain Gallant ....inside joke :P The MFP was a squadron of elite fighters based upon the new Battlestar Galactica, and served as recce deep in Cylon territory, which forced these birds to fly long sorties; fly in atmospheric low-level flight and duch & hide in asteroids and intersteller dust clouds; and well, just get the crap beat out of them. This means they were 'dirty birds' in more ways than one: Both in appearance, and in lethal stealth kills. These pilots were Top Guns of the Colonial Fleet....and damned good at Pyramid!

First up, the cockpit. Some decent detail in this clean-molded part. It's to be painted Semi-Gloss Black, and I plan to use primarily Tamiya Paints on this model.......








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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #3

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The 'metal' flat areas came out very nice and have a nice sheen to it; but the seat on the other hand is like one giant cushion. I don't remember what the original seat looked like in the show, but this is pretty cheesey...still, I worked with what I got, and jazzed up the seat with some scratchbuilding later, along with some brush painting enhancements!

The figure of the the Captain Gallant came next, and the sculpt on it was pretty basic. Still, again, you work with what you got, as after market figs aren't exactly slapping you upside the head!






The figure is stuck upon some Blue Tack, sitting upon a recycled cat food cup!








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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #4

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That's interesting. The first lot of shots isn't loading.

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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #5

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So as you may be geting a hint of by now is, I jump around a little! Next, I worked on the rear of the Viper....the engines!



















As you can see, it was a clamp-fest!

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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #6

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I hope they're showing up by now. This is taking so long between posts that my teeth are starting to hurt! To say tis is slow is an understatemet. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.

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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #7

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I think Gary will have suitably killed the host server people by the end of the week. They're all showing up now Em. Great stuff.

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Amateur plastic surgeon!

Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #8

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Yeah, I feel bad for him....what a pain that must be. I hate dealing telephonically with help desk people...they are generally no help at all! Hang in there Gary!!

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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #9

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Next on went the thrusters and engine pods, and on the side, the pilot had Squadron Putty placed in a HUGE recessed hole in his back (part of the molding process, I am sure). You gotta love clamps! They did their job indeed, as when I unclamped the engine pod sides, all seams matched up perfectly! A little sanding and they looked pretty good, with no need for puttying, witht he exception of a dab where the wings connected later on.










The above pics of the Pilot show the putty unsanded, of course.....he was sanded down afterwards.
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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #10

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The Pilot was altered with a needle file and sanding stick to bring the arms down a little, alter the shoulders a tad, give a little more angle to the right arm's elbow joint. I've seen worse figures with kits, and including some I've owned recently, so overall, this is a decent figure; but what's bugged me about it is, looking at photos of builds on the Internet from other modellers, I've not seen ONE of these little guys I've liked yet....they all look horrible, actually (IMHO), so my aim was to see if I can make a masterpiece out of a so-so piece. I think when you see the finished product coming up later, you may agree that it came out very good indeed. The alterations and extras really made it come out much better than what I was given with the kit.

Once the Pilot was finished, I also finished up the thrusters....








And then it was time to work on the Pilot's cockpit tub once again. This is where I started some scratchbuilding, adding in some armrest console panels which was lacking in controls, and also made a more form fitting interior. This as a by-product however, caused a ripple effect in having to file down the ass of the pilot to squirm his meaty rump INTO that tub seat!














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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #11

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Then, in went the Pilot, Captain Gallant, for a dry fit.....










Once I saw the fit was right, more scratchbuilding! I hated that 'cushion' of a seat, even though if oyu look at the original series, this is about what they had! Still, it just wasn't right, man! So, I scratchbuilt an election seat. Hey, this is a recon Viper, and subject to greater stresses behnd enemy lines; so the chance of having to pull the plug were greater....hence, a quick way to bug out and hit the silk!







You gotta love Plasti-card!!!

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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #12

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As an example of what I was after.....


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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #13

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It was at this point in the build that the Viper saw it's epiphany, and changed trajectory! It strayed away from the first TV series version, and into a realm all it's own. That's because this Viper had seen a few twists and turns since starting it, in order to capitalize fully on a simple kit, and it was now going in a new direction:

  • First, I had decided to make this an amalgam of the Mk I and Mk II Viper, and souped up to boot, so it is now a 'Hybrid Mk II'; and....
  • Second, I am made this a Recon Viper, complete with camera(s) on the bottom fusilage!


OK, on with the show! After adding on side-board instrumentation panels under the Pilot's arms, which fit more closely with a Mk II, and hence will compliment the new designation as a Recon Viper along with the camera and surveillance controls, this bird is now in uncharted territory! Since this is a Recon craft, the Pilot's compartment is a little cramped with all the added electronic gadgetry to accomplish it's missions! As this is a Recon craft, the Viper is subject to high-danger missions "up-close-and-personal-like" with the Cylon enemy, so there is a good chance that the Pilot need be prepared to exit the vehicle quickly, so a full modified ejection seat was further enhanced.

I built up the seat head-rest with Evergreen plasticard to a flat rectangular piece of plasticard. After glued and dried, I filed edges down, and then used two different micro files to create the head cushion shape, and then sanded smooth. Next, I applied some Squadron Putty to the seat back, which was sanded smoth later, along with the addition of hydraulics to the seat, as well as ejection pulls. Then some paint!














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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #14

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Then the hydraulics and ejection gear, made with my trusty pin vice and .30 guage wire.....























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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #15

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Next up, the Recon Vipers main rig....the camera and camera pod! I hit the old spare parts box....yes, I have one now!....and found a few cockpit and gun turret spares and looked for the best that would really represent what I wanted to accomplish. I hit it way lucky with the PERFECT item....I have no clue what it went to, but I was glad to have it......




I placed the camera bubble on the bottom of the Viper, looking for not only the most viable spot, but one that would look right. After picking the spot, I held the bubble in place and traced around it with a mechanical pencil, with a little help from my trusty carpenter's tape to hold the hull halves together. Cutting out the section from the hull was a bit tricky, as I wanted to go slow using my #11 hobby knife. It went fairly well and the exact size I wanted, but a corner split a tad, but no worries as I'll just putty it later when I do the seams.....




I then dry-fitted the camera canopy bubble on the Viper bottom to make sure I had the hole exact, and I did.....




I should mention that I also dryfitted the nose atmospheric air scoop in the front of the bird to make sure there were no conflicting components, and there was plenty of room. I also want to point out that the camera canopy was not glued to the exterior hull, but rather had a base plate made for it with plasticard, so the canopy was lowered INTO the bottom of the hull, the plate lying on the interior floor of the hull. I made a 'box' attached to the base plate and painted the interior black. I left the camera itself gray.





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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #16

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The camera itself! I started with the camera lens, and found a spare part in the spares box that fit the bill. I used a pin vice with a large micro bit to drill out the lens. I considered putting some Tamiya Red Clear acrylic in the lens, but opted not to, as it was a pain in the sphinc to even attempt it! It came out very nice, I think. BTW, hadn't noticed the girl in the pic when snapping it at the time, but she sure is cute!!!!!





Then the film housing cannister....I found this spare bit from an RF-4B Phantom Build, and it was a perfect fit for what I was trying to do....





This is what it looked like to that point all glued together....







The problem came when I dry-fitted the camera into the camera canopie and it didn't fit! So I did what all good modellers do....I reached for the hobby knife! Off came the side of the film cannister and it fit like a glove!


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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #17

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Next came the canopie base plate! I cut a piece of plasticard to size, and then placed the camera canopie on the plate and traced around the canopie with a mechanical pencil. I then VERY carefully cut the interior hole out, cutting with the hobby knife about a 1/32" smaller than the canopie.....




Then I glued the camera canopie to the base plate and held until dried in place. I then glued the camera to the inside of the camera canopie, to the base plate. I let this dry overnight, and then fashioned a support plate for the camera on another day; and then the housing 'box'.










The support piece is a small strip of plasticard the width of the camera film cannister, and glued to the bottom of the cannister to hide the hole there; and also a tad longer so as to glue to the base plate, angled at the join between each where they meet....this to offer a tad more stability and keep the camer in place for the duration.
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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #18

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I have to say that I never really saw a Recon Viper on the shows, other than perhaps the Blackbird, "Laura", on the new re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series; but given the fact that they were at war with the Cylons, and being the First Cylon War where it was more offense-specific, Intel wold have been a huge asset and necessity, therefore a Recon Viper squadron would certainly have been emloyed. The new series (as mentioned), did have Raptors, which probably served much the same purpose of Intel gathering, but they were not a stealthy craft....more like a flying mini-bus!

So, finishing off the camera bay. I started by adding some support pieces to the back of the camera to buld it up to the point where I could have the camea back flush against the camera bay box. Remember, this whole unit was going to be lowered down THROUGH the hull and lay flat on the interior floor of the nose section.

I then created the camera housing 'box', cutting small sections of plasicard and painting the inside surfaces black with a Sharpie marker pen....I wanted the interior of the camera housing unit to be all black, as I estimate it would have been matte to deflect and absorb external light. A top section was scored and flolded in place and the back supports of the camera glued to it; and then I glued on scrap pieced to the sides and a strip in the rear to seal the entire unit. The sides actually are NOT cut to angles, as they are totally hidden within the nose section, so it wasn't necessary to get major detail here.

Lastly, I hand scribed a scrap of plasticard with a shape to accomodate the camera canopie, which had a semi circle openning to the back of the canopie....black interior....file it to perfection on another day when it's fully cured.




This is what that semi-circle openning looks like that I needed to fill in......



And what the filler piece looks like; again, picture this whole unit inverted upside down and placed through the interior openning in the nose fusilage, so all you'll see is the canopie bubble......




The oposite side with the camera peering through.....










The above last two pics give a good perspective on the sides that were cut not to exact angles.

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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #19

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Switching gears yet again, next came some more work with the Pilot himself! I started with a base coat of Folk Art Acrylics (a craft store acrylic paint I use sometimes to suppliment Tamiya Acrylics) Teddy Bear Brown and a lot of Black. This is for the shadows.....





Now mind you from this point, I applied most of the other colors, but the figure is NOT complete yet. All paint on the figure and cockpit are Folk Art Acrylics. OK, so what happened was, I painted Desert Sand for the jump suit, all drybrush and layered more opaque; followed by the hands and face. Then came the jacket, in Teddy Bear Brown, drybrushed; followed by highlight coats with Desert Sand and White added to the mix. Next came the helmet, with Metalc Gold, again, drybrushed. I also painted the gunbelt in a darkened Teddy Bear Brown. And finally, the boots painted straight, with a mixtire of lightened Black. What's to come is the buckles in Metalic Gold, side arm details, and highlightes/dertailing/weathering. Here's what we have to this point.....










A sampling of the detailing to come is, the lap computer pad was finished, complete with dials and knobs painted, but the strap around the leg still needs to be done.


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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #20

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SWITCH!!!!!

The cockpit intereior....I started the weathering at this juncture, and the color came out super! Just what I was looking for...a hand mixed metalic matte gray. Detailing will go into the dials and lights, and then chipping. The seat back is just a base coat, so please be kind, LOL!





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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #21

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A moment to tell you....I really, really liked the way that cockpit 'tub' was coming out! The original design was so uninspired to me, and every rendition I've seen on the Internet looks like hell. I knew I had to do something spectacular with this, and therefore would need to be inventive and spend a good deal of time on it. It's just in the formative stage in these pics, and has a long way to go at this stage, but I like the direction it was heading. It just looks so much more plausible to me.

One thing I wrestled with was the foot board...or rather, lack of it. The pilot is demonstrating a "Flintstone Car" design, having his boot-clad tootsies dangling into the bare nether regions of the Viper. That bothered me. The question was, do I create a plasticard flooring for it, basically constructing a box compartment to mount the floor upon? In the end, the answer to that question was a no....it never came into play, as you can't really see that far into the underbelly interior.

The other hurdle to decide on was the cockpit canopie....open or closed? I was leaning towards open, basically slid forward onto the nose, but as a spoiler here, I decided against it, simply because of the canopie' shape not looking right in that position.

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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #22

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OK, so back tio the build....I finished up the painting of the helmet, with a creme color typical of the early series, using a liner brush and a steady hand, as I was painting around the eagle on the top front, and drybrushing over some of the valleys.....and I also painted the 'lights' of the inner helm rim with a mixed white and yellow. I then applied the Galactica shoulder patches (decals), and then faded the uniform blouse, including a watered down brown wash over the decalled patches to take away the gloss of the decal and fade them. Painted the strap to the lap computer pad, touched up the boots, and gave the whole figure a once over to make sure all was cool. And finally, the gold buckles to the jacket blouse. What comes later are the dark brown patched on the flight jacket shoulders (simply put, I had forgot them at that stage, LOL!!!)








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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #23

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Here's a view of the top of the helm, with the eagle detail. Some Clear was added to it next session in the workshop to give it a gloss. The interior helm lights came out fantastic, I think!




I had to add some shadowing to the sides of the face, to reduce that *wide face* look!


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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #24

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Next the cockpit.....

I added in the blinky lights and monitors with various colors of mixed whites, yellows, and reds, including flat and clear. I used a liner brush, tooth pick, and straight pin! I also added the front radar screen with a clear plastic insert and a decal on top. I also put a few chips in some strategic spots and some fading of the flat surfaces. I painted the seat with Teddy Bear Brown in several layers of drybrush; and then faded it with lighter drybrush shadeing. Lastly were the ejection seat hydraulic cables, painting them black and then applying yellow striping.








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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #25

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From the back of the cockpit looking forward at the Dradis (Radar) Screen.....








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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #26

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And finally, with the Pilot glued in place!














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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #27

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I decided to fix up the pilot as mentioned, by putting some shadows on the face to make it less wide. I added the black stripes on the inside of the helemet....this helmet isn't accurate to the original series, and is more like a lower hybrid of the new series helmet....so in a way, this supports even further the notion that this Recon Viper is a segue from the Mk I to the Mk II......





Next, the pilot's hand was really bothering me....it looked more like a frakkin' mitten! So, HE GROWS FINGERS!!!!

Looks better!




Matte, gloss....all works great. Even the pad came out cool!
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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #28

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Next, the recon camera goes onboard. I glued the unit to one hull half first.......




This is another angle on it....




I would then put the cockpit on and then glue the other half. The tough part on this was making sure the recon camera and the cockpit glued in place properly, at the same time! The cockpit was a tough fit, as it sits on a little plastic 'pin head'....the very end....and in back of the cockpit at the top, it rests on a small nub against the fusilage half. Not a very easy fit. Put on top of that the recon camera placement and it was delicate positioning to say the least!


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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #29

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The cockpit ended up sitting perfect!





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Re: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Recon Viper 8 years 6 months ago #30

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I glued the fusilage halves together, first the bottom, and then the top, ensuring a tight fit in the seams and no overlap. The cockpit sat perfect in the opening, thank goodness!







And the recon camera in place!


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