Andy Brazier takes a look at the Revell/Moebius Models 1/32nd Colonial Viper Mk. VII.

History 

The famed Viper Mk. II was replaced over time by new models. The latest development, the 9.86 m long Viper Mk. VII, was in service with the Colonial fleet 40 years after the first Cylon War and therefore at the time of the later Cylon attack. Although the design of the Viper underwent gradual development over the years, the basic structure was retained, with a view to use on the Colonial Battlestars. So this latest Colonial space superiority fighter also has a long front section extending from the nose to the cockpit, which also contains the control and sensor equipment and the front landing gear and manoeuvring systems. The rear section still houses the main engines, fuel tanks, tail fin and wings with underwing projectiles and munitions carriers. The Viper is still flown by one pilot, is suitable for flight in both planetary atmospheres and deep space and has kinetic energy weapons and external stations for rockets. Obvious changes however are in the dimensions, equipment and performance capabilities. 

The Mk. VII has software-based controls and fully networked computer systems give it superior manoeuvrability and operational capability and provide the pilot with extensive data.

Most Mk. VIIs, like the majority of spaceships in the Colonial fleet, were equipped with navigation software upgraded by Dr. Gaius Baltar. In this program a member of Dr Baltar’s team, a Cylon agent, had integrated a sub-program that activated a remote-controlled virus, which immobilized all computer systems. As soon as a Cylon ship approached a Mk. VII or other ship of the fleet, the spaceships suffered serious error functions which deprived them of protection against attack. This program was removed from the few Mk. VIIs that survived the later Cylon attack. However, the Mk. VII was dependent on advanced computer systems, so that after conversion to operate without the software it was very difficult to manage and only

experienced pilots could fly it. The old Mk. II fighters did not have this navigation software and were therefore not affected by the virus. At the time of the second Cylon attack one squadron of Mk. IIs was on the starboard outrigger of the Galactica which was to be retired from service as a museum ship. These 20 Mk. IIs were reactivated for a long campaign and saw service with the remaining upgraded Mk. VIIs.

As with the other Viper types the cockpit of the Mk. VII is also pressurized, so that the pilots wear a special suit with an integral life-support system. The life-support system, together with the safety belts, is built into the back of the pilot seat. After an ejection the back separates from the rest of the seat and

then becomes a back-pack which also contains a parachute.

Info from Revell

In the box 

The 1/32nd scale Mk. VII Viper was originally produced by Moebius Models, but has been re-boxed by Revell for the European market.

The Viper comes packed in the universally hated end opening box and comes on seven light sand coloured sprues and one clear sprue.







Also in the box is a set of decals and the instruction sheet.

The parts have no flash present and injector pin marks are few.

The fuselage comes in two halves, top and bottom and dry fitting them makes a nice clean fit, but there does seem to be a seam line on the underside of the wings to deal with.


The fuselage features crisp if rather deep panel lines, with the plastic having a quite rough texture to it.

The wings are moulded into the fuselage halves.

One of the tubes at the end of one of the wings of my boxing has bent to nearly breaking point.


The cockpit although not that detailed does have several decals for the instrument panels, and you do get a pilot.



The pilot is moulded into front and back halves and can be modelled as either male or female pilot, as the chest piece is a separate part.


The head is separate and has the helmet in place. The head can be modelled either facing front on too one side.

A choice of Galactica or Pegasus arm patch decals are supplied. 

The undercarriage bays are not that detailed but I don't remember the prop models having that much detail in the bays anyway.


You get a choice of having the landing skids up or down, and this must be decided early in the build.

There are three clear parts, two of which are for a stand for the Viper if you model it with the skids up. The base of the stand has an engraved pattern on it.

The large clear canopy is nicely moulded with out much distortion.

 

Instructions 

The instructions are the standard Revell type, with a history of the Viper on the front page followed by the paint number guide and the parts trees. 


The build takers place over 25 steps, and is pretty easy to follow. Any choices, decal placement and internal colours are given along the way.



Paint colours are for the Revell paint range. 

Decals and markings

The decal sheet is quite large and has markings for either Vipers from Galactica or Pegasus.

The sheet is well printed with good colour registration.

Pilots Narcho, Starbuck, Hot Dog, Apollo, Chuckles and Kat are featured on the sheet and can be applied to the side of the Viper.

Cylon kill markings and stencilling are also on the sheet.


Two metallic looking badges from Galactica or Pegasus to adorn the base can be used.


Markings are provided for several schemes, but all are the grey/blue paint scheme which Revell would have you mix four of thier paints to get the correct colour. I will probably use something from another paint manufacturer for the main scheme.


Conclusion 

This is a very nice kit and builds up to a nice size. 

As already mentioned Moebius Models first released this kit, and Revell have improved the kit with a slightly better cockpit and more decal options. 

The build looks fairly easy, even with a slight seam line underneath.

Once painted and weathered it will be a nice representation of the Viper from Battlestar Galatica series.

Mfg. ID - 04989

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