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Crash Land Viper

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by Rod Lowe

Scale: 1/32

Playing “chicken” with a Cylon Raider is not a good idea…left wing partially ripped off,…port engine fading,…about to hit some not so soft ground…

I’ve seen some great dioramas of crashed and derelict Colonial Vipers, but I wanted to show a Viper just at the moment of impact with engines flaring and the pilot bracing for impact.

Since this is my very first diorama, I wanted to make just make a plain sand base which would also keep the attention focused on the incoming Viper. To show some sand being kicked up at the nose, I used some cotton wool teased apart into strands, coated with hair spray and then coated with sand.

The model is one of the earlier re-issues of the Revell Colonial Viper - ie the one with the solid canopy. A mounting tube in the nose attaches the model to the base and also hides the wires to the power source hidden in the base. I ended up using 30 LEDs to light the engines and cockpit along with some fibre optics.

The cockpit and canopy are scratch-built using graphics from Joel Owen’s Battlestar Galactica website. The pilot started life as a Soviet tank crew man which I then modified into a Colonial Warrior.

I rescribed all of the Viper’s panels, drilled a few small holes, and added some sheet plastic to try to make it closer to the studio model, and then added some battle damage (that was the fun part!). All of the orange and grey stripes are spray painted on which actually didn’t take that long to mask in the end.

To weather the model I used a combination of enamel washes, chalk pastels and Tamiya weathering pastels. I tried to keep the effect subtle, rather than making it too dirty and beaten up. Even though it’s hard to make out in the photos, many of the panels are shaded slightly lighter or darker to simulate repairs and repaints made over the life of the Viper.

Image: Front/left view

Image: Front/right

Image: Left side

Image: Left/rear

Image: Interior (left)

Image: Interior (right)

Image: Damaged wing

Image: Engines

Image: Exposed engine panel

Image: Pilot. right side

Image: Front

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This page was last updated 10 October 2010. © 2010 Starship Modeler