Mining the rich territory of the new “Battlestar Galactica,” Moebius Models has its first enemy ship, the Cylon Raider. A far cry from the large, warped disc of the 1978 series, the reimagined Raider incorporates a cybernetic pilot to form a living ship. The Raiders in the show — mostly represented by CGI — went through a series of redesigns. Moebius’ kit represents the ultimate version, seen in the show’s fourth and final season.
Molded in taupe plastic, the thick parts feature deep, crisp panel lines and solid locators that give the kit an almost snap-together feel.
Clear plastic provides the scanner lens and internal detail for the thrusters. There is also Moebius’ de rigueur Aurora-style clear plastic stand.
No decals are provided; instead, raised detail represents the simple insignia. The instructions are a great improvement over some of Moebius’ early efforts. They leave little doubt about part placement and feature beautifully rendered exploded-view diagrams with step-by-step text.
I assembled the model in about an hour. The low part count, clean molding, and positive fits made construction a breeze.
Most of the joints fall along natural panel lines, but some, especially the long seam underneath the craft between the upper and lower parts, needed filler to look more like a panel line and less like a gap with a view to the inside. I filled it with Deluxe Materials Perfect Plastic Putty, which can be smoothed with a wet finger, preserving the line.
Light sanding eliminated the other seams. The Raider is finished with metallic colors, so cleaning up and preparing the surface was time well spent.
Moebius advises building the spacecraft in subassemblies for ease of painting, but I built it as one piece, only leaving off the clear parts and thruster exhausts.
I primed the Raider with Alclad II Gray Primer and Microfiller, filling and sanding blemishes between coats. After an overall coat of Alclad II duraluminium, I masked and airbrushed some panels with several shades of Alclad and Testors Metalizer. I hand-painted other panels with Testors Model Master enamels. The engine sections are Model Master rust.
For a battle-weary appearance, I thinned Testors Metalizer titanium with Metalizer sealer and lightly sprayed it along panel lines and around details. A black acrylic wash deepened shadows and recesses.
I painted the inside of the scanner lens Tamiya clear red and used clear blue for the thrusters. The hardest part of the whole model was hand-painting the insignia.
I put the model on the stand and found this is the weakest aspect of the kit. I had to adjust the slot in Raider’s belly to prevent it sitting nose down, and it’s a little shaky.
The finished model looks great and represents the “real” Raider well. I spent an enjoyable 10 hours on it, almost all of that painting, and would have loved the chance to light it. Given the easy fits, Moebius’ Raider could make a good first model. I recommend it for any science fiction fan.
Note: A version of this review appeared in the October 2012 FineScale Modeler.