Battlestar Galactica Model Build (Moebius Models 1:4105 scale)

I decided this week to take a break from painting wargames figures. Not really by choice, more down to the fact that I finally got round to painting some 28mm WW2 germans and had only two of the paints I needed! So, having to wait for my online order to arrive, I decided to crack open my "rainy day box" of model kits that I've bought over the years and never got round to putting together for one reason or another, and see what kits were inside. The one that immediately caught my attention (lets ignore the fact it was the biggest box), was the Moebius Models Battlestar Galactica 1:4105 model. I'd love to say I bought this kit recently, but that would be a total lie. I've owned this kit for well over a year now, and it took quite a while to even find one in the first place! Even longer to find a one for sale in the UK. It retails (at time of writing) in the US at $44.99, which in UK pound sterling SHOULD mean that it would be about £30. But, I couldn't find it anywhere for less than about £55. Much higher than the retail price. The guys at moebius kindly offered to ship me one over from the states, but the shipping cost alone made it a prohibitive venture. In the end I waited until I could pick one up in the UK and then promptly packed it away not to be even looked at for over a year. But, now with the painting buzz firmly back with me, and the lack of german coloured paints, I decided to give it a bash. So without further ado,

The kit

Battlestar Galactica kit box

Battlestar Galactica kit box

Not much to say about the box really. It's a box. I will admit though, I am frequently horrified at the bad design of wargames/scale model kits box art (and general design in this industry, from magazines, websites, advertisements etc) but this particular box looks pretty nice. Good render of the model, simple, but not "basic". I like it a lot. Feels very much in keeping with the theme of the show too.
Box contents

Box contents

The contents of the box are shown above. The kit was very well packaged and split into three bags. With the main hull in one section, the nose and engines in the other section and then the hanger bays in the final bag. There was another small pack that contained the clear plastic sprue, A 6 page full colour instruction guide and a decal sheet.

The kit in more detail

Hull sections and supporting pin

Hull sections and supporting pin

The first bag contained the main hull section and the support pin. I was very impressed by the support pin. Most model kits I've had in the past either don't provide a base, or, it's a pretty crappy design, more of an afterthought than anything else. This is a solid metal pin that can easily support the weight of the model kit, and has been positioned sensibly so it's sturdy when finally constructed. Bravo to Moebius for this one. Might be a small piece of the puzzle. But they got it right.
Hull sections and supporting pin from underneath

Hull sections and supporting pin from underneath

These two pieces of the hull weren't on sprues, and needed very little clean up work, I could only find one small piece of sprue to cut off (photo above, right hand piece)
engines and nose section

engines and nose section (also contains base)

The second bag contained the small engine sections, the nose section of the craft, the top section of the  hanger bays and the base. These sections all needed to be cut out of sprues. The plastic was firm enough that it makes a solid model, but soft enough to be easily cut. Generally, I cut out from sprues with clippers, then use a swann mortison knife and number 26 blade (your classic medical looking scalpel blade) to clean up the plastic. This worked very well across the whole model.
engines and nose section from beneath

engines and nose section from beneath

The same parts shown from the underside. The nose section came in 6 pieces, which were all stacked on top of each other to form the front section of the model. while the engines (four of them) were each in two pieces, these were simply in halves which needed matched together. The rear piece of the engine needed attached to these pieces but that's on another sprue.
hanger bays and turrets

hanger bays and turrets

The next bag contained the lower sections of the  hanger bays, which were in two pieces each. It also had the large engines, and the turrets. As well as the hanger bay support arms, which were in two pieces. Aditionally, it contained the end caps for the engines. These needed to have clear plastic parts added inside them before attaching to the model.
hanger bays and turrets other side

hanger bays and turrets other side

Same parts from the other side.
Clear sections

Clear sections

This sprue had the four clear sections which go into the end caps on the engines, and also the very rear part of the hull. Personally, I think these parts are unnessasary, I plan to just stick them on and paint over them.
Clear sections other side

Clear sections other side

Under side of the clear parts.
decals sheet

decals sheet

The decals sheet. The decals for the hanger bays need to be attached before the hanger bays are glued together, as it will be impossible to get them inside once it's put together. It's a nice touch to add these in. However, I did feel it was slightly pointless as the opening at each end is so small that you can't really see much of the interior. The side panels have spaces for the galactica's name badge, and the top section has a place for the emblem and another "galactica" to be added underneath. These decals (as I'm writing this after it has been put together) are very brital, but, they come off the sheet easily and adhere very well to the surface of the model. I was very pleased with the results. The emblem broke in two places as I tried to move it into position, but with a little effort, a fine brush and some water I managed to get it back together and you can't tell it broke at all.

 The build

The instructions led me to believe that this model was going to be quite a tricky build. The skill level was rated as 3 on the outside of the box. This generally means nothing to me, not because I feel like I'm any good or anything, I just tend not to take notice of what the numbers mean. The not inside did say to pay careful attention to the instructions though, so, Before I set about building the model, I sat with the instruction booklet and read it thoroughly. Well I say that. I paid careful attention the first paragraph, then realised that this probably wasn't actually that complicated, and I'd just look at the pretty pictures...
Hull assembly stage 1

Hull assembly stage 1

The first things to do were to glue in the internal hull pieces, this is where the launch bays retract when the Galactica engages it's FTL drive. Unfortunately, the model doesn't let you build it in it's closed state, only the open one. I thought this was a bit of a shame. To be fair though, I probably wouldnt have built it like that anyway. Moveable parts might have been nice, but would probably have pushed the kit price up a lot more than it would be worthwhile to do.
Turret details

Turret details

The turrets were also added at this stage, these were simply a case of glueing them into place. little pins sat nicely into little holes. Usually on kits like this you find the hole isn't the right size, but these fitted perfectly. I then stuck the two halves of the hull together (top and bottom), there were three locator pins in the middle of the chassis which made this very simple.  
Engine Sections

Engine Sections

Next up was the engines. These came in two main pieces, two halves each. Then the very back section was also in two pieces. A clear plastic section was added into the back and slid right up to the end, then that could be mounted onto the main section. Personally I wouldn't have bothered with these clear pieces, I've painted over them.  
engines attached

engines attached

The engines fitted perfectly to the chassis with no problems at all. In fact every single piece of this kit just neatly fitted into place with out any fuss whatsoever.  
large engines attached

large engines attached

Another picture of the engines.
Completed Hull with engines

Completed Hull with engines

By this stage the main hull is looking pretty good. All of the parts have went together very well without a hitch. I could have probably made them a neater fit if I'd got some elastic bands and left each piece to dry completely before moving onto the next bit, but I kinda just wanted to get it all put together so i just went with the flow.  
Nose parts

Nose parts

The nose section was a sandwich of 4 parts. Then some turrets added as you can see in the photo. Again, none of these parts needed much clean up.
Scoring the bottom

Scoring the bottom

I scored the two halves of the nose section to give a better bond. Scoring increases the surface area of the piece being glued so gives a better bond. Generally this only gets used on metal models, but I thought it couldn't harm here.  
Scoring the nose

Scoring the nose

When attaching the nose to the rest of the chassis I also scored these parts, as with most of the other parts on this craft there were locating pins so you can't really go wrong when fitting the two halves of the ship together.  
Nose section attached

Nose section attached

With the Nose attached the ship is really starting to look like the Galactica!!
Finished rear view

Finished rear view

So I may have neglected to take photos of the building of the hanger bays. Oops. these were actually the most involved pieces, as they had the most "big" parts, The bottom part was in two halves, this then had the decal applied to it. After that was applied, it was dried off and the top section stuck onto it. The arms came in two pieces each, these simply slotted into place, then two arms were affixed to each hanger bay, then the hanger bays simply slotted into place on the sides of the main hull. Very simple. here's a few more pictures of the completed build.  
finished top view

finished top view

   
Finished top view

Finished top view

   
Completed Battlestar Galactica Model

Completed Battlestar Galactica Model

   
Completed Battlestar Galactica Model other side

Completed Battlestar Galactica Model other side

Overall, I loved putting this together, it took absolutely no time to clean up the parts at all. There was very little flash and the amount of sprue contact points was minimal too. This surprised me because of the level of detail on the craft itself. I expected to be cutting and filing for hours to get the detail to pop out, but I was pleasantly surprised! The build was over and done with from box opening to final photos in a couple of hours. I could have spent more time on this, but at the end of the day, I work on a project, then move onto the next one. I'm not a modeler who can spend months on the same model. The skill level was a 3 for this kit, but to be honest I didn't find anything even remotely challenging. The way the sprues are laid out, and the excellent diagrams in the (full colour) guide meant I built this model with no problems at all. In the end the kit is around 13" long, which is a pretty decent size. The plastic is nice and thick, and there is plenty of detail. The display stand is very good and fits together perfectly (I didn't even need to glue mine). I would highly recommend this kit to any galactica fan! Please come back soon as I'll be writing up how I painted this kit very soon! Hope you enjoyed the post. If you did, please leave a comment below! thanks. ~ Chris

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.