| By Rob
Caswell - images/text © 2000
While Monogram's reissued Viper kits are already starting to become scarce, the welcome support for the model continues from MMI. Starting with a replacement cockpit set for the Viper, this road has
^ The little known Galactica female: Cerberus! Actually you get three head choices. The authentic 70's hairstyles give you great raw materials for doing a Charlie's Angels set...
^ The main body. Pose is a little stiff, but detail is good.
most recently led them to a series of Viper pilot figures, in both seated and standing sets. See the MMI website for full details on their other Battlestar Galactica offerings.
I received the Standing Female Viper Pilot (MMI-1012) for preview. Don't shrug these off as "just lil' 1/32 scale figures". These are small multimedia kits. It's not often you see a figure that stands about two inches tall featuring twenty-one photoetch parts!
Since resin forms the bulk of the parts, let's start our detailed look there. There are ten pieces: a body, three (!) optional heads, two arms, a right and left gun/holster, a flight computer, and three gun cartridges. The molding quality is pretty good, overall. There are almost no voids or bubbles in the white resin bits - just a little easily cleaned up flash.
The detail on the body looks good and crisp. The two guns/holsters are provided so that you can model either righty or lefty characters, and the instructions tell you which characters used which arrangement. Nice homework!
Two of the heads come unhelmeted, with appropriately seventies-styled doos - one with long hair, the other with short. The facial detail looks a little softer than that on the body, but with a good paint job I suspect they'll come out looking fine. Details on the helmeted head look right, and two PE ear pieces are added to that completed head to increase detail.
The pose of the arms seem a bit rigid, but a resourceful modeler can add some relaxation to the pose with a saw and some putty. The equipment details look good. Take care not to cut away the web belt attachment flap when freeing the holsters from the flash.
Shh! Here Comes the Brass…
The single brass photoetch fret looks very well done and delivers an initial "gosh-wow" when you pop open the box. This tiny sheet has twenty-one little bits on it, including the web belt, all uniform insignia, and all clasps and buckles. It's a little masterpiece. I'm sure all this fine detail will make for an impressive (and challenging) final build-up.
What Are THESE Parts For??
The kit contains two other unusual multimedia bits. One is a piece of black, textured cloth tape. By cutting this into strips, you'll use this material to form thigh straps for the equipment. The other oddity is a short piece of plastic coated wire. This is an optional part meant to be cut into small lengths and used as a replacement for the resin
gun cartridges. It's great to see an option like this provided, though I thought the resin cartridges looked pretty good. Still, I'm sure the wire replacements will add that slight detail edge for hardcore figure builders.
And the Judges Say?
This is a neat little kit, built either to complement your Viper model or as a stand alone figure on a pedestal. The level of detail certainly warrants either route. The number of kit options (head choices, handedness choices, and cartridge alternates) is rare to see and very welcome. Overall, this model displays a fine degree of passion - both for Galactica details and kit creation - from its creators.
This figure, along with others in the series, are available from MMI (see their website for details) as well as other mail order sources.
^ The photoetch fret, containing twenty one uniform bits. These details should lend a crisper look than resin would have for these areas.
^ All the carried equipment, including righty and lefty holsters!
This page copyright © 2000 Starship Modeler. Last updated on 19 July 2000.