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SA-77 Silpheed

[Proudly Sponsored by BLAP! Models]

by Wunji Lau

Scale: 1/100
Those of us elderly enough to remember video gaming in the late 80s and early 90s may remember Silpheed, a primitive polygonal space shooter game. Despite its dated graphics and relatively uninspired shoot-em-up gameplay, SIlpheed remains popular in gamer memories, alongside other classics like Darius, Xevious, and R-Type.

In the game, the player leads a small force of highly advanced fighters blah blah invading armada blah blah heroic last stand blah blah Earth’s last hope. Yes, very original. However, the fighter design, as depicted in the game manual and supporting materials, was a little unusual, and distinctly memorable, so much so that PLUM, in its new series of “nostalgic” video game vehicles, chose it as its first kit.

The SA-77 Silpheed is made up of several modules connected by seemingly delicate struts and spars. The crew module is at the front, flanked by twin Bussard intakes (on which the main weapons turrets are mounted) and the main engine pods. Attached at the bottom is a booster and ordnance pod capable of carrying various types of BFG. Reaction control thrusters are placed outboard, on fins, for improved maneuverability. For a ship that spends its time on screen as a set of low-res unshaded polygons, it seems quite a lot of thought went into its conception and design.

I built this kit straight from the box, making minor adjustments as necessary to fix or replace broken pieces (the plastic used in the kit is extremely brittle, especially considering the large number of thin panels).

Apoxie putty was used to fill the numerous seams, while other lines were added with a scribing tool, hobby knife, and blood. I airbrushed the model with USAF Light Gray and various metallics and grays for the details. Weathering was lightly applied with washes and Tamiya weathering gunk. Decals came from the bits box.

Image: Underneath

Image: Front/left

Image: Top

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This page was last updated 2 February 2011. © 2011 Starship Modeler