Saturday, June 7, 2014

Colonial Viper

Here are some images of Moebius Models 1/32 scale Colonial Viper from the original Battlestar Galactica TV series of the 70's.
Is it just me or is the nose longer on this kit than it was on the TV show?
You'll note that I decided to put green lights into this, just to see what it would look like.
I also used a slightly darker grey, just to see what it would look like.
Another thing I did was place the Galactica name on the craft. I placed it in proximately the same area as one would see it on American navy jet fighters denoting the carrier they came from.

From Wikipedia"
The Colonial Viper is a fictional spacecraft in the Battlestar Galactica science-fiction franchise. It is the primary fighter spacecraft type used by the human protagonists in this fictional universe. Appearing in both the 1978 original series and the 2003 reimagined series, as well as various derivative works, the single-pilot spacecraft are carried aboard Battlestar Galactica and are the humans' main tools of defense against the fictional universe's antagonists - the cybernetic Cylon race.
The popularity of the original Battlestar Galactica series resulted in United States Air Force pilots nicknaming F-16 Fighting Falcons "Vipers". When the reimagined series was created, the Viper was one of the elements that the designers wanted to carry through with minimal alteration.
Colonial viper original-series.JPG
Original-series Vipers in flight.

In the original run of Battlestar Galactica, the Colonial Viper is the only known fighter flown by Colonial Pilots, referred to as "Colonial Warriors". There is only one known model of Viper seen in the series. Some materials list the Viper as a "Starhound Viper" or "Starhound Class" fighter, based on information in the novelization of "Saga of a Star World". The Vipers are launched from a long tube in one of a Battlestar's landing bays, assisted by a powered catapult mechanism. It appears that a Battlestar can launch at least three Vipers from each bay at once. Vipers are loaded into the launch tubes atop rails which engage recesses in the bottom of the fuselage between the lower wings. The rail system ensures that the Viper remains on the centerline of the launch tube.
Vipers typically use all three of their engines for powered flight, and can use a "Turbo" boost for greater speed, analogous to a modern fighter plane's afterburner. A pilot can turn on or off each engine by a push button, as seen in the startup sequence anytime a Viper is preparing to take off. Vipers can also reverse thrust for rapid deceleration, a useful tactic when being pursued by enemy ships that would then tend to overshoot the Viper, placing them in a vulnerable position. Vipers are capable of atmospheric as well as space flight, and can land and take off from a planetary surface. Viper engines are designed to collect commonly occurring gases in planetary atmospheres and in space to power the ship's fusion reactor. Vipers are also capable of supporting the pilot for up to two weeks in a form of "suspended animation" for extremely long missions.
The main flight control of a Viper is a three buttoned joystick, similar to a jet fighter. The three buttons are labeled FIRE, TURBO and IM, with the fire button being red. The IM button is the reverse thruster. Notably in "Saga of a Star World" and "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero (Pt. 2)" some Vipers have STORES on the joystick instead of FIRE.
Armament consist of two directed energy weapons (referred to as "lasers" and "laser torpedoes" at separate points in the series, "The Long Patrol" and "Saga of a Star World" respectively) that are linked together to fire simultaneously. They can also be modified to carry fire suppression equipment, as shown in the "Fire In Space" episode where they are used to battle a fire on the Galactica after the Cylons crash explosives-laden fighters into the launch bays. Vipers' computer systems include not only a targeting system for the craft's firepower, but also includes a military database called "Warbook," that assists warriors in identifying various spacecraft.
In the event of a crash landing, a Viper's cockpit can also be used as an escape pod, separating from the ship and parachuting to the ground. This system does not provide a soft landing—in fact, it can knock the pilot unconscious—but it is effective. A G-suit is worn under the pilot's uniform for protection against gravitational forces, as seen in "Lost Planet of the Gods, Part I". The flight helmet worn by the Warrior pilots resembles an ancient Egyptian headdress and has no faceplate. Viper pilots from each Battlestar have differing forehead ornamentation on their helmets: Pegasus pilot helmets feature a flying horse, while Galactica pilot helmets have a bird design. According to some sources, the Universal wardrobe department came up with designs for other helmets if they had ever been needed-pilots from battlestar Cerberus would have had a three-headed dog on their helmets, pilots from the Prometheus would have had a hand holding a flaming torch, and those from the Solaria would have featured a burning sun.

Each Viper contains spacesuits for its pilot(s). While not normally worn, they can be brought out and donned if an EVA is necessary (e.g. for emergency repairs). Vipers also contain emergency survival kits, which include a backpack with rations and a reflective blanket, a parka, and (following the capture and reverse-engineering of Cylon Centurions) a manual with schematics of Cylon circuitry

A "Recon Version" was piloted by Starbuck in "The Long Patrol". It possessed "nearly double the speed of a regular fighter", along with improved maneuverability, but lacked any armament due to the removal of the laser pumps. It also possessed C.O.R.A. (Computer, Oral Response Activated), a sultry female-voiced, voice-activated computer which doubled as an autopilot.
In the Galactica 1980 series, Vipers are shown to be newly capable of invisibility, which is explained in the episode "Galactica Discovers Earth". Other 1980 episodes indicate that a Colonial Warrior's uniform is meant to protect against the crushing effects of gravity, similar to an inertial damper. All Vipers also appear to be able to accommodate a passenger in the Galactica 1980 series, as hinted at in the first episode of the TV series. This is seen with Jamie Hamilton swapping between Troy and Dillon's Vipers throughout the series, and with Xavier tricking Troy & Dillon to fly his (sabotaged) Viper in "Spaceball". Vipers also appear to have largish cargo bays for their size as each one carries the Colonial equivalent of a motorcycle.
The 1988 film Space Mutiny, which used special effects shots from the original Battlestar Galactica, referred to the ships as "Stingray Vipers".
More advanced, upgraded versions, the Azure class and Scarlet class, appear in Richard Hatch's re-launch novel series and in his attempted revival trailer "Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming". The Scarlet class features swept forward wings much like the X-29 experimental fighter plane.
In the 2003 Reimagining of the series, an Original Series Viper can be seen in the starboard flight pod "museum".
 While Vipers can operate from land and (according to the novel) have some refueling bases, they are mostly deployed from Battlestars. Each Battlestar is known to carry 75 Vipers. In the immediate aftermath of the cylon attack Galactica recovered 67 Vipers of which 25 belonged to its pre-attack squadrons, after this the Galactica hosted four squadrons named Blue, Red, Green and Yellow. Members of Silver Spar squadron later joined from the Pegasus after the Battle of Gamoray and the apparent destruction of that Battlesta

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The screen shot of the Viper isn't in full profile (the craft is banked towards the viewer), so the nose section appears wider than in direct profile shots of the model. Or that's what it looks like to me.
BTW, I remember Dykstra saying smaller screens of TV demanded "pointier" craft so that direction of action was easier for viewers to follow.