Revell 1/32 Colonial Viper Kit First Look
|Date of Review||February 2008||Manufacturer||Revell|
|Kit Number||6442||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Re-release of classic kit with new parts||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$24.95|
The Colonial Viper Mk.1 was a short-ranged fighter that lacked FTL (faster than light) drive capability. It was deployed from fixed bases and from Battlestars that were the colonies' version of terrestrial aircraft carriers.
When Battlestar Galactica first aired in 1978, it offered a new and interesting glimpse at an alternate past/future in weekly installments. The series was relatively short-lived, but it carried a cult following. Unlike the TV writing in those days, the new Battlestar Galactica series is much more vivid and darker. This well-cast and well-written new series has far surpassed the life of the original series and its short-lived successor.
This kit was re-released several years ago in its classic configuration and I squirreled away several of them. A number of aftermarket companies were producing some cool enhancements to this kit, including one that I wanted for mine - a cockpit! The basic kit did not have a cockpit. Little did anyone know how well the new Battlestar Galactica would fare in the ratings and it has drawn much favorable attention among viewers. I know that a number of us thoroughly enjoy the writing and dimension of this new saga. Of course, where there is success, there is also the associated products to capitalize on that success.
Revell already owned the molds for several kits in the Battlestar Galactica line-up. Major kudos go to them for not simply re-releasing these kits yet again. Instead, Revell did a little re-engineering to bring the kits a little more up-to-date.
If you compare the kit parts to those from the previous releases, you can see that many of the parts are identical. The basic molds were not drastically modified, but they did do some nice work. First of all, the part in the upper left of the first image is the rear of the Viper with its three afterburner nozzles. In the original release, the nozzles were more like simple bowls that were blocked off. Here they've opened up the back of these and added three clear nozzle inserts. That's part of the good news since this is the first time this kit has even had clear parts!
In the second image in the top middle area is a cockpit tub and immediately below that is a crew figure. In the original tooling, that was where the base of the display stand went.
The third and forth images are all new parts, with the third image representing the new display stand, and the forth image providing the new clears. This is the first time we've had a clear canopy for this model! Note that the canopy is designed to be closed only, but a little surgery will allow you to pose your canopy open.
This kit includes completely new decals that replicate te complex striping and also provides service shields for the Vipers. The decals also replicate three variations of the central display screen in the cockpit.
Just below the canopy rail, the decal set also provides a number of crew names from the original TV series (though many of the names have appeared in the new version). Once again, major kudos to Revell for these nice touches!
I am pleased to see these improvements in the basic kit of the Viper, even though I've spent time and money finding aftermarket conversions to do the same thing (before I learned of this re-engineered re-release). Now that we have a proper Viper Mk.1, how about the Viper Mk.2 and Mk.7 from the new Battlestar Galactica?