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TimeSlip Creation's Ring Ship Kit Preview

By Terry Miesle - images & text © 2009

Scale: 1/4105 - 12"/ 305mm long (6½"/165mm diameter) when built
Parts: 9 pressure-cast resin ( 2 clear) .
Instructions: Fold out with photos
Decals: N/A
Molding Quality: 9 - see review
Detail: 9 - see review
Accuracy: Not rated - see review
MSRP: $120.00 USD (~$139.35 CAN/ € 85.99 EUR) available from TimeSlip Creations
Overall Rating: 9 - a nifty kit

[Please click to enlarge]

A ragtag fleet…

[Please click to enlarge]

^ Hull parts

Image: Hull halves

Image: Clear ring halves

Image: Closer look

[Please click to enlarge]

^ Main hull/ 'spindle'

Image: Closer look

Image: Detail

Image: Test fit

The fleet becomes a hydra-headed character in Battlestar Galactica. The ships all have different characters, with people from various colonies and built for different purposes. The Galactica may ride herd on this fleet - without Galactica the fleet is dead, but without the fleet humanity is dead. In both original and new series we see a wide variety of ships, from sleek to industrial. It's a pretty well-realized ragtag fleet and we can tell a lot of work went into the designs.

One design really stands out from all the others, and I'm not talking about the film-can ship or the Galactic Movers ship, iconic though they are. The standout is a big, elegant ring ship. Ring ships make a lot of sense, generating "artificial gravity" through centrifugal force. It's an anomaly in the ragtag fleet, because ships as small as Presidential One use synthetic gravity through undefined mechanisms. Perhaps trees don't like synthetic gravity or it doesn't work well at the range needed for trees. Perhaps the ship is old, but so beloved that it is updated over time and maintained like the Delta Queen. Personally, I think the latter is true. The refined elegance of a big ring ship is undeniable, and it could well have become a popular luxury liner.

What You Get

Whatever the case, we now have models of the Zephyr Ring Ship. Fantastic Plastic offers a small model while Timeslip Creations offers a characteristically large model. This one will be roughly one foot long with a ring diameter of 6.5 inches. The stated scale is 1/4105. It has nine pieces, three making the hull, four spokes and two for the ring.

I'd like to make a couple of notes about resin casting. Complexity is the enemy of casting, and the spindle hull is quite complex. My copy had a few easily-filled voids which did not bother me, the details are all intact. Second, clear resin is notoriously difficult to work with. The ring halves are perfectly round and flat, and pretty well engineered, with a floor section. There are blobs of resin which must be removed for the halves to fit correctly, there is flash and a couple of holes in areas which will not remain clear. It will take a little work, and I'll have to think about how to reinforce the joint for assembly. I say all this as a reviewer who does understand how these kits are made.

Assembly & Finish

The hull pieces fit well, the spokes fit in their sockets perfectly and alignment looks great. This is where I noticed the biggest pre-assembly challenge. The spokes are plenty strong to hold the ring in place, and like any spokes, they're stronger then fastened to the wheel. But before then, they're vunerable. You will need to figure out how you'll display your model before building it, and this will allow you to assemble and paint it. Don't try to attach the spokes until you've worked that out and built a temporary mounting assembly. Transporting this model will also be more challenging than most - it will be big and might prove a little fragile, though a wheel shape might be strong enough to survive a bit of stress.

Assembling and mounting the ring promises to be a little tricky, particular care will be required. I will likely reinforce the mounting points with epoxy putty to provide as much surface area as possible. I'll also likely add a bit of styrene strip to one half of the ring to provide more surface area, forming a lip like I do with vacuformed canopies. It's tedious, but the work pays for itself later.

There are other pre-assembly considerations you'll need to consider. The park inside the ship is filled with trees and vegetation, and presumably structures. That must be built to withstand time and transport. Clear resin can be tricky to glue things to, so you might consider either installing thin styrene or cardboard strip to the "floor." I'm going to test various glues to the underside of the floor to see how things stick. Another tip to remember is to rough up that surface with a coarse sanding stick, to provide some grip for adhesives. Here's a bit of math for you - a 30 meter-tall tree in this scale is 7.4mm tall, which is about all the space you have in the ring.


This is a fine kit, it's well cast, well rendered and it proves to be a show-stopper if you can make everything work. You will need to take your time and plan your build, but don't let that stop you.

Many thanks TimeSlip Creations for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 6000+ readers a day? Contact us!

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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This page copyright © 2009 Starship Modeler™. First posted on 6 July 2009.