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Moonbase Models' Viper Rear Engine Detail


By John Lester - images & text © 2002

Scale: 1/32
Parts: 1 resin
Instructions: 1 page with photos and text
Decals: N/A
Molding Quality: 8 - very good, though some of the small details were partially eroded
Detail: 9 - what needs to be there, is
Accuracy: 9+ - looks spot on
MSRP: $4.00 USD (~$6.67 CAN/ 4.04 EUR ) available from Moonbase Models
Overall Rating: 8 - worth the price, but assembly will be tricky.

[Parts, compared]

For a kit that's been out of production for as long as Monogram's Colonial Viper has, there sure are a lot of detail sets available.

[Click to enlarge]

^ Detail is sharp and accurate.

[Click to enlarge]

^ A little trimming is necessary for good fit - you can't tell from this vantage, but the piece is actually sitting at an angle, which makes it appear as if there are gaps where in reality some material needs to be removed.
Not that it's a bad thing ....

The latest addition to the line is from Moonbase Models: a one-piece panel to replace the inaccurate rear engine deck. Cast in a smooth white resin, my sample exhibited no major flaws, though the very thin edges of a couple of the "hexnut" details near the center had eroded. This was probably the result of getting banged around during shipping - they are very fine edges, to be sure. Anyway, it's not really a problem as a coat of paint will smooth it all out.

From a foot a way, it's hard to tell any difference between the replacement part and the kit's. However, once you look closely, you can see that the piping is different, as are the "fasteners" (don't know what else to call the details - they look like hexnuts and such to me). All the resin details are much more distinct than their styrene counterparts. Comparing the resin to available refernce images, it looks spot on - Moonbase appears to have done their homework.

Removing the piece from it's backing is simply the matter of a minute with a hobby knife. A little bit of work with sandpaper will get a perfect fit between the engine exhausts. The tricky part will be removing the plastic detail. Moonbase's instructions offer two courses of action for doing this, but neither is without risk. What needs to happen is that the detail between the burner cans be removed, and the whole thing trimmed so that resin piece sits marginally farther back from the edge of the burners than the original details did (the directions give the exact amount).

Conclusions

The resin piece is well cast and definitely worth the price. If you're a detail fanatic and want your Viper as close to perfectly accurate as possible, this one additional aftermarket set is a "must-have". If, however, you are uncertain of your surgery skills, or are content with "close enough", then this is overkill. Personally, I'll be getting one each for the rest of my Viper squadron..

Recommended for those with experience modifying kits.


Many thanks to Moonbase Models for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 3000+ 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 © 2002 Starship Modeler™. Last updated on 30 July 2002.