Moebius Models' 1/32 Cylon Raider Battlestar Galactica Build Review
|Date of Review||May 2014||Manufacturer||Moebius Models|
|Subject||Cylon Raider Battlestar Galactica||Scale||1/32|
|Kit Number||941||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||New-tool kit||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$49.95|
When my pre-ordered Cylon Raider arrived from CultTVman's Hobby Shop, it coincided with a desire to experiment with some different techniques and materials, so onto the bench it went. As I mentioned in my first-look at this kit, this model is huge. I spent some time looking online for color and weathering ideas and found very few, so whatever I do at least I can't be going too far from 'reality'.
Before starting, examine each part for mold lines and especially flash around any ejector pin marks. I used files to clear any problems as this model has precision fit in most areas so any flaws will adversely affect your assembly. I assembled the upper and lower halves of the fuselage including the engine intake and exhaust ducts. Because of the size of this beast, I'm using Tamiya Extra Thin Cement. It takes a little longer to cure than cyano, but liquid cement is far more tolerant to flexing and handling than cyano and you'll be doing a lot of flexing and handling of this build. The outer wing panels go together next and all are set aside to dry.
You'll see a gap around the underside of the wings and fuselage where the upper and lower halves go together. I used Mr. Surfacer 500 to fill the seams and then wet-sanded the result.
The wing panels were glued to the fuselage and here is where the fit doesn't work so well. It took some dry-fitting, then glued fitting, removal, trimming and reinstallation to get these wings on without gaps. I set this beast aside overnight to let the glue cure and the patience was worth it - the model is solid and I don't have to worry about snapping a seam.
I really don't care for the old Aurora-styled display bases that come in some of the Moebius Models kits and the huge one that is provided for this kit is definitely not welcome. I grabbed one of the Round 2 Models' large Universal Dome Bases that has a hollow metal shaft for use in this project. To convert this model, I simply used a drill bit with the same diameter as the shaft and drilled through the stand slot on the underside of bottom plate and also through the lower fuselage half. If you're lighting this model, the hollow shaft will give you a nice way to route your wires out of sight.
For lighting a model like this, it is important to have a solid barrier coat of paint to keep any part of the model from letting light through where it shouldn't. Though I'm not lighting this model, there are a number of areas where it will be nearly impossible to paint once the model is assembled and these are areas where I don't want to see bare plastic. While the louvered enclosure over the 'cockpit' is solid, the louvers over the engines are open, so you definitely want that area from showing bare plastic. The solution was to paint the shell Vallejo primer black. I painted the top of the model first, let it dry, then flipped the model over and painted the underside.
Once the black had dried, I masked off the dorsal and ventral stripes, and of course I got the dorsal stripes backwards. Back to the paint booth. The main color is Vallejo USN Gray primer and I laid it on in streaks to simulate wear and atmospheric scorching. If you're careful about laying down the gray, the surface details will mask off shadow areas where you've already painted black for even better definition.
The rest of the model parts are painted Vallejo Black primer and installed except the cannons. Once everything is in place, I airbrush more USN Gray primer to blend in the new parts and set the model aside to dry.
The cannons are assembled, painted black and then given a coat of Future for a gloss finish. When this had dried, I tried something new on my bench - Uschi van der Rosten metal polishing powders. I used the steel-toned power and using a cotton swab, rubbed a little powder onto the guns and the result was a gun metal finish with the raised details even brighter. I tried the powder on the two nozzle-looking details atop the fuselage without gloss coat. This stuff works great! I also tried the powder in a few areas to rub on some raised surface details and this is like dry-brushing that can be wiped back off if you don't like the results. I've got some projects ahead for this stuff!
With the model fully assembled, I applied Future on the outer wing panels to lay down the green pentagon logo decals. These decals are very brittle so be careful. The best thing to do is simply apply them and use a decal setting solution and walk away. When they're dry, use a sharp X-Acto blade and carefully cut through the decals along the recessed panel lines, cut through any air bubbles, then apply a decal softening solution. Walk away! When these were dry, I applied another coat of Future to seal the decals followed by a coat of Gunze clear flat. Since it wouldn't make sense to have bright green markings on a worn raider, I lightly oversprayed the decals with the USN Gray primer. The final step was to airbrush streaks of Vallejo Panzer Gray primer across the top of the model and into recesses on the underside. This provided a little more definition between the light gray and black.
This was a fun project. The kit is relatively easy to build if you take care to clean up the mold seams and flash (but that is true of any model). This was the first project I've ever done that was painted with primers, but it worked. This was also my first experience with the Uschi van der Rosten metal powders and I'm impressed so far. When you get one of these kits, think about buying the Round 2 Universal Dome Base to display the model, especially if you're going to install lights. The hollow metal shaft is just perfect for the job.
My sincere thanks to Moebius Models for this review sample!