Hey, Millennials! As a geek geezer from the hated Baby Boomer generation, I have some unwanted advice for you. Put down your iPhones for a few minutes and do something practically nobody does anymore: build a scale model kit. It’ll teach you the virtues of patience, pride in your accomplishments, and the value of a well-placed curse word. Building model kits
Building model kits was once one of America’s most popular hobbies and plastic models sold millions of units so that every teenager probably had at least three model airplanes hanging from their bedroom ceiling. Nowadays, not so much. Which is too bad because there are still a few kit makers out there sweating the details to bring us models of all the neat stuff out there from Star Wars, Star Trek, Galactica and other special effects franchises out there loaded with super-cool spaceships, vehicles, and monsters.
Frank Winspur’s Moebius Models is one of the best as far as geek cred goes: they’ve produced models from Irwin Allen’s Lost in Space and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea TV shows, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (they have the first ever kit of the spacecraft Discovery from 2001 coming out before the end of the year), Fantastic Voyage and a broad line of models from both the original 1978 Battlestar Galactica and the updated show from 2004. So far Moebius has released kits of the original and the 2004 Vipers, and the sleeker Viper Mk.VI, as well as the original Cylon Raider (a HUGE model) and the creepy, drone-like 2004 version. Almost all of Moebius’ vehicle kits are in 1/32 scale meaning pilot figures stand about 2 1/4” tall so the kits themselves are sizeable (the original Cylon Raider kit is over a foot and a half wide).
Moebius has had a version of the Raptor, the utilitarian transport, halfway between a shuttlecraft and a helicopter gunship, for several years now (licensing negotiations dragged out the time between announcement and availability), and it finally hit shelves in August. The kit consists of about 97 parts and includes a detailed cockpit and rear compartment filled with computer work stations that can be revealed by a fuselage door (if you choose to build it with the door open). Landing gear, pilot figures, beefy rocket engines and other details are included, and the assembled model is around a foot long.
But wait, there’s more! The basic Raptor model builds into the standard transport version with minimal armament, but if you want to trick out your Raptor with a wealth of Cylon-toasting weaponry, there’s add-on Armament Set available separately. The Armament Set consists of 60 parts including numerous rocket launchers and mounting brackets to attach them to your Raptor (but you have to build it in tandem with the Raptor kit because you’ll need to open up mounting holes in the Raptor hull to receive the weaponry brackets, something that can’t be easily done after you’ve built the Raptor kit). Decals for the interior instrument displays and exterior markings are also included as well as a retro display stand, and if you’re really sneaky, you can find aftermarket brass photoetch sets and additional decals to add even more detail to the project.
Sound daunting? Sure it does—no pain, no gain, kids! But once you have your Raptor kit assembled and painted, your children’s beaming expressions will wash all that agony away!
Images: Jeff Bond, Moebius Models