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Building the Cylon Raider

By Mark Crees - images & text © 1999

Value: 7
Quality: 7 - you can tell the molds are getting old by the amount of flash.
Detail: 7 - A little soft, but not terrible
Accuracy: 9 - It's pretty much all there.
Parts Fit: 8 - you'll need putty.
Ease: 9 - the few parts all pretty much fall together.
Instructions: 8
Overall Rating: 8 - a good basic kit with plenty of room for the super detailer.

[Beauty shot]


Click on each of the next pictures for a (much) larger view.

[Parts is parts ....]

^Not a lot of parts in this kit.



[Side views]

^Side views.

[Front & rear]

^ Front and back.

[Another finished shot]

^ Another view of the completed model.

I've always wanted one of these (well several actually - just like to create a flight of them), I've been hunting them down across Australia, until I heard that it was being re-released. I started looking at how to make mine unique - it gets boring building out of the box all the time. Acurizing it was the only way.

First up I looked at all the pieces, for a large model (large for what it was) there is very little in the way of parts (less than 25 parts), including a 5 peice display stand. There are a lot of model pin marks on the insides of both shell halves, and a lot a flash around the smaller parts attached to the sprues. Most peices go together pretty well, but there are large gaps present, which need to be filled or covered. Hull halves could be improved to make gluing together alot easier. After doing several dry fits, I realised that there is some (understatement of the year) filling involved.

Now to start building, I removed the major pieces from the sprues (keep this stuff- might come in handy) and cleaned up. I started on the rear deck, glued the Thruster Fairings on, then glued the Thruster Deflectors in place in the bottom half of the raider. Unfortunately, I can't show you how the engine looked (film didn't turn out), basically it looked like a square block of plastic in the middle of nowhere. I removed the Thruster Deflectors and sanded away the mounting pins. I'll have to scatch build a new engine later. After all this gluing and sanding, I realise that there are several gaping holes where the Thruster Fairings are inserted into the Upper Hull of the ship. I solved this by boxing in the area with 0.10 plastic card.

Once this is done, I flipped the model over and glued the cockpit on, and once again filed the gaps with putty. Then I glued the Upper Hull and Lower Hull parts together. Mine were slightly warped, so I had to glue it together in sections, holding each section in place with wooden cloths pegs. Once again I had to fill areas with putty.

Scratch building the Thruster Deflectors area was like trying to put a round peg into a square hole, well in this case a square into an octogon. I sanded the backs of the Thruster Deflectors, since there was 3 ugly pin marks that could not be removed easily, then glued 0.20 plastic card to the back. I cut 4 romboids out of 0.10 plastic card and glued the smaller ends to the Thruster Deflector pieces. Once these dried, I placed them inside the hull with the larger ends of the plastic card hanging slightly outside the model. This gave me something to hang onto as well as making it easier to avoid having an ugly edge inside the Thruster Deflectors. Then I slowly glued 1 peice in at a time, with only a glue spot in the middle to help 'square' the Thruster Deflector in place. I used Super glue to finish gluing the engine in place. I cut narrow strips of plastic card to detail inside the engine - using my imagination, since I had no clear references for this area. I also had to cover where the plastic meets, so I glued in a small triangle over this area. Finally, I cut off the plastic card sticking out, sanded flush and puttied the seam.

The rest of the kit was finihed per instructions, and puttied where needed.

Now to add some extra detail.  After searching the internet for stuff on the Raider, I found a site which showed an example of the actual show model. The model as is, is a fine representation of the Raider, but lacks some detail around the guns and under the cockpit (well there is a big gap).

The detail under the guns looks like a piece of metal from a building site. To replicate this I cut a small length of plastic card (long and narrow) and punched 3 holes along it, glued it in place, sanded and filled the gaps with putty and wood glue (in the areas that are hard to sand). Where the gap is under the cockpit I basically boxed in with plastic card.

The hard stuff done, it was time for the paint job. Revel-Monogram don't mention color numbers, just paint names: Flat Black and Dark Ghost Grey. I used Humbrol 128 (Dark Ghost Grey) and Model Master FS 36038 (Flat Black). I airbrushed the entire model with Dark Ghost Grey and waited for it to dry. I then hand painted Flat Black over the Thruster Fairings and the Cockpit area. Once all dry I sprayed several Clear Gloss coats using Model Master Clear Gloss. This prepared the model for decals.

The instructions say that the decals are compatible with setting solutions and solvents - yeah right. I first applied the green octagonal emblems to the outter wings, and settled them down with Mr Mark Softner solution. This seemed to have settled them down very well, so I went on to apply the large black decals. I applied 1 black decal to the outter wing area and applied setting solution since I had to make it conform to the 'bumps' in the surface. Guess what: it didn't snuggle down. I applied more solution .... in the end I pulled out some masking tape and ripped the decals off. Instead of the black decals, I masked where they were to go and painted them on using Flat Black. As a side effect it produced a better look and some early weathering (I was planning on weathing with Pastel chalk later). I finished off appling the last decals (straight black strips that went on without and problems - helps to have a smooth surface). Once all this is done, I finished with an overall coat of Clear Flat coat.

Weathering was done using both pastel chalks, which have been ground into a powder, and drybrushing. Only subtle weathering was required, as usually these craft appeared well treated.

The stand is a copper pipe, polished using a Copper Polishing solution, inserted into the bottom of the model and a base made from wood and coated with wood stain. The words "By Your Command" are caligraphy that my girlfriend did, which i then cut out to make masks so I could use to paint the words onto the base.

As an afterthought, I added cotton buds, which I stripped apart to produce the thruster stream. This was slightly weathered with pastel chalk to break up the pure white look.

Overall, an easy job.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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Last updated on 26 May 1999.