Colonial Viper from LHVCC

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by sjsquirrel, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    This is the build thread for my entry to the Free Model Competition #2. It's the Colonial Viper from Jleslie's site.

    I just started the model last night with 19 days to go before the contest deadline, so we'll see if I can finish on time. I decided to go with this one because I'm still kind of in a Battlestar Galactica mode after working with Gearz on the Galactica last year.

    The model is 5 pages, with two pages of instructions. Personally I find the color scheme a bit dull, but I don't have time to repaint it :wink:, and if I'm not mistaken, the ships in the original series weren't all that colorful either (it's been years since I actually saw an episode).

    Picture's soon.

  2. murphyaa

    murphyaa Designer

    Cool. If you have any problems, questions, or suggestions, let me know. 1 suggestion: Don't try to form the wings using the internal bracing, it doesn't work. I ended up laminating the wings on cereal box card.

    The coloring, graphics and a few minor build problems are being worked on, though.
  3. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    Stage 1

    Right on - Do I take it that you are the designer of the model? If so, glad to meet you! So far I really like it. Of the models I've built so far, my two favourites both come from JLeslie's site (the Avro Arrow and Tie MFP). I'd say yours is looking like it's going to be just as good.

    Anyway, for my first report, I mentioned in my original post that the model was 5 pages. Turns out I had misplaced a page - there's six.

    Parts 1 to 4 went together pretty easily. I found it hard to keep the bottom of the fuselage as smooth as I'd like.


    Here's another reference shot of the fuselage with a detail of the inset panel.


    Now I'm on to the engines. There is some excellent detailing on the engines. The shot below shows how parts 11A and 11B layer onto 11 to give a nice 3D effect. Parts 11A and 11B were cut out, edge colored, then glued to part 11 prior to cutting it out. Figured that way part 11 couldn't move around on me.


    Well, back to building. Got a deadline to meet you know!

  4. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Great pics! What app are you using?

    I have seen several finished vipers but dont recall a good detailed biuld - looking forward to this !!quick!! one :)
  5. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    Hey good luck in the comp Steve!

    BSG mode! you've got tiny vipers, paper Vipers, plastic Vipers.......
    Your house must be a Vipers nest... lol
    :-D :-D
  6. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    RE: Pics

    I have a 2.1 megapixel digital camera I took the pics with, then I used the GIMP to annotate and combine them. I'm trying to use every opportunity to learn GIMP more.

    While I'm at it, here's a partially completed engine.

    Attached Files:

  7. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    That's right

    Yeah, and then there's the people that live here :cry:. When we all wake up on the wrong side of the bed it's a viper's nest all right. I'm glad I have to go to work :wink:

    Now, here's todays progress report.

    I showed a partially completed engine above. This photo shows the engine parts in progress.
    I cut additional blank disks to put on the back of the exhaust port to cover the tabs, and did the same for the intake ports at the front.

    This composite shot shows the progression once the engine was completed.


    I wasn't sure whether or not to trim the central disc at first, but for the two side engines I decided I would. It looks nicer.

    After the first engine the second two went without a hitch. Well, er, except for when I glued the exhaust of one engine onto the front and had to cut it off, fix it up and re-glue it. Oh yeah, and then I forgot the nice little detail piece that was supposed to go behind the intake - I thought that engine seemed short! Anyway, the engines are done and now it's on to some detailing on the underside.

    This shot shows some of the engine detailing and the installation of part 35.


    After that we find, cut out and install the launch rails. The instructions show the launch rails as parts 36, 37, 38, but they are actually parts 16/17/18. I had to think about it a bit before I realized how they were intended to be folded. This composite shows two of them roughly folded into shape, folded and glued, then installed on the ship.


    After that, I cut out and installed part 34, the front of the cockpit, and here's how she looks so far.


    I had trouble getting the two intakes of the lower engines to be nicely shaped (and they're a far cry from the same shape). If I was doing it again I'd cut them both out and score them exactly the same (don't want to think of everything first time through right?) and probably play with a couple copied pieces to determine exactly where to fold them. Sloppy, sloppy.

    Well, off to bed now. Gotta get my rest and then get back at it over the weekend. Plenty more parts to mess up - er, I mean, put together before she's done.

  8. murphyaa

    murphyaa Designer

    Yep, I'm the designer. Your build is looking a lot better than any of mine did though.

    The side intakes were more meant to be squared off by eye, by pinching.
  9. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Its a beauty! Thanks for the great pics.
  10. loafandjug

    loafandjug Member

    that looks awesome. thanks for the pics, now i can dream.
  11. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    On with the show

    Hey what do you know! She's done with a day to spare. I'm done building and now I get to go into marathon posting mode. :-D

    When we last got together I had just finished building and installing the engines. From there we add a little detailing, then move on to assembling the wings and tail. In the image below, the upper left shows the wing ribs and some detailing parts laminated to heavy card. I decided to ignore the designers advice and go with the formers for an "as-designed" build.


    In the upper right I've cut out all the pieces - the smaller bits on the square of paper are the laminated parts from the picture in upper left.

    In the lower left you see the same pieces but for the opposite side, a little further along in the assembly process. You can see in the upper right image, on piece 39, that I left the background around the green pipes, but in the next one (part 41, lower two images) I removed it. When I installed part 39 and it's buddies I didn't like the way it looked, so I adjusted it on the other side. The two sides don't match but what the heck.

    Here's how the two different sides look.


    Now then, on to the wings. Despite murphyaa's warning the formers worked out very well. As mentioned I laminated them to heavy card so they were thicker and stronger. Only formers 1 to 11 should be laminated though - 12 and 13 should remain a single layer of cardstock. By the way, there were only one each of parts 12 and 13 on the parts sheet - you'll need to cut two extras (or four if you're like me and laminate them only to discover that you shouldn't have - but now that I've warned you, you don't need to put yourself through that now, do you? :wink:). I also added a couple formers as indicated.

    Here's the wing in progress:


    Let's leave it at that for this post and I'll be right back with another one.

  12. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    Wings and Tail

    So, now the wings and tail. You saw the wing in progress above. After what's shown in the previous post you just lay on the other side of the wing skin, then tidy up the edges with parts 12 and 13, sandpaper and a bit of glue here and there. Then you stick them on the bird, discover that you put the formers in one wing upside down, so you can't get the angle of the two wings to match, briefly consider rebuilding the defective wing, then you say $#!@ it and glue it on anyway! And here's how that looks:


    In between gluing wing bits I cut out and glued on part 38 which dresses up the top of the fuselage. In the picture above it's only partially glued. Anyway, once you get over the wing angle stuff move on to the tail. It folds up real nice if you're careful. Look:


    But SJ you say, that looks like, well, crap! That's right! I said it folds up real nice if you're careful, but I was watching TV while I worked, so there you go!
    The two pictures along the right show the tail being rebuilt with a couple of formers at top and bottom so I could get it right. But I forgot to turn off the TV, so while it was better, it still wasn't perfect. Make it a third time? Heck no. I did what any mediocre modeler would do - I said $#!@ it and glued it on. There's more stuff to build you know! Here's what you get. Looks nice doesn't it?


    By the way, in between all this I was working on the forward landing gear too. Since I had to reprint the tail I took advantage of the opportunity to touch up a few parts of the landing gear, as well as make the formers for top and bottom of the tail. This additional parts page is available in the gallery.

    I'll be back soon!
  13. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

    That's one sweet looking Viper!

    Great job on this one! I have always loved the Vipers for their sleek looks!

    Thanks for sharing your build!:grin:

  14. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    So, you wanna land do you?

    Thanks Amazyah! And there's more to come too.

    The poor thing is still just sittin' there on it's wing tips. That's gotta be uncomfortable, so let's give it some feet.

    There are some numbering inconsistencies between the parts pages and the instructions. The actual part numbers are like this:

    Forward landing gear: LG3, LG3A, LG3B, LG5C, LG5D
    Rear landing gear - one is LG5, LG5A, LG5B, LG3C,
    the other is LG4, LG4A, LG4B, LG4C.
    Parts LG3B, LG4B and LG5B only give you one side of the part - these should be two-sided. Corrected parts are on
    the extra parts page I posted.

    Assembly is fairly straight-forward, and a good opportunity to practice rolling tubes. Here's the deal:

    The rear landing gear are identical in assembly to the front except they only have one tube. You have to notch the bottom ends of the tube to fit over those one-sided LG3B, LG4B, LG5B pieces.


    Bet you can't wait to see how it looks!

    But wait anyway, there's more. We need weapons by golly! To make the weapons I cut a square of paper the right size, drew two lines on it with a felt tip marker, flipped it over and colored it's backside with a colored pencil, then I cut a couple strips off it. Then roll them strips into tubes, wrap em up in their decorative wrappers (parts 46 and 47), and voila (as those eastern Canadians say).



    Now, if you look carefully at that lower right image, the first thing you'll notice is how great those weapons look :wink:. Shortly after that you'll notice that the decorative wrapper pieces have a front and a back, and that them weapons would look a whole lot nicer side-by-side if they were both built the same. But hey, the fleet is fleeing the Cylon tyranny after all, and sometimes it's hard for those workers to focus with all that shootin' and flee-in' goin on.

    And besides, those lasers get mounted on opposite sides of the ship anyway. Hardly anyone will notice.

    Well, it's almost midnight, and I'm exhausted. I hoped to finish this all off tonight but I gotta get to bed. I still have a couple more posts worth of pictures to finish off this thread, so I'll see ya back here tomorrow.

  15. BazookaJo

    BazookaJo Member

    Great job!

    Fantastic work Steve!!!

    Great pics too, very clear and informative - Wish this thread had been available when I built mine :)


  16. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    Very nice build Steve, crisp and true. Despite your great pics, I can't see any %$#&* parts, it all looks good to me. I prefer the original Viper over the new version. All it needs now is a Wingman!!
    :-D :-D
  17. Clashster

    Clashster Member

    Great build and thread, Steve! Excellent curved surfaces! This baby looks very real! Thanks!

  18. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    So, ya wanna launch too!

    Okay, almost there.

    It's got wings, it's got landing gear, it's got weapons. Now we need to launch that puppy.
    The kit contains a nice set of launch rails to go with your viper model. Here's the quick overview of the assembly process.


    And here's a shot of the finished product with an overview of the factory.


    And last, but not least, the Viper ready to launch.

  19. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    Ta da! The finished model.

    And now folks, we storm across the finish line by finally gluing those landing
    gear to the model. Let's see how she looks.




    Now tonight I think I'm going to a movie! It's been a bit of a marathon, but I've totally enjoyed building this model and writing this build report. Thanks for the kind words everyone. It's great to know others enjoy reading the thread as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    I'd also like to share something that occurred to me while building this model. In my collection, the four best models I have are the Avro Arrow by Bill Jones, the Tie MFP by Mitchell Conrad, the Oriion III by Gary pilsworth, and now the Colonial Viper by Aaron Murphy. They are all well designed models that give great results, and they are all from Jleslie's site. The only other free model I've done that comes close in quality is a race car from

    I'll be making a donation to Jleslie's site and I encourage everyone who can to support those who design and host all of these great models for us.

    And thanks to Silverw for getting this competition going. It's been fun!

    See ya around the forums,

  20. murphyaa

    murphyaa Designer

    Wow, that is one gorgeous Viper. Way better than any I ever did.

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