Introduction: Mini BSG Colonial Viper Mk II Popsicle Stick Model
How about a one-day mini popsicle stick model project?
Only nine (9) major sub-assemblies (including the two tiny rear landing gear housing!) makes up this mini Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper Mk II. This should should be an easy build even for novice hobbyists.
The Viper Mk II was the main fighter spacecraft used by the Colonial Defense Forces against the Cylons in the 2003 remake of Battlestar Galactica. A Mk I from the 1978 series should also make for an interesting one-day build.
The only major challenge in this project was in fabricating the top engine and engine exhaust nozzle. The engine exhaust nozzle should fit snuggly inside the shaped housing at the rear end of the top engine.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Tools used for this project were:
- Dremel MotoTool 3000 and MiniMite with the following attachments:
- 1/2" & 1/4" drum sander with fine/coarse grit
- disc sander with fine/coarse grit
- #100, 125 & 193 high speed cutter
- Regular cut-off wheel
Step 2: Schematics and Images
Although there were numerous posts from the-blueprints.com website of various Colonial Viper versions, I used the schematics from the creative folks at devianart. The URL for the top, bottom, side, front and back view images of the Viper Mk II is:
The images I got from the web (google image search keywords: "colonial viper") shows the top-left and bottom-right views of the spacecraft. The views were useful to estimate the location of the kinetic energy cannons and rear landing gear housings. URLs for the images used in this project are listed below.
Again, my thanks to providers of images and drawings for making this build possible!
Step 3: The Fuselage
Two (2) regular sized popsicle sticks were used for the four (4) layers of the Viper fuselage.
A pattern outline was drawn with a mechanical pencil based on the Step 2 side-view schematics of the Viper fuselage. The excess material was trimmed off using an Olfa cutter. After finishing the four layers for the fuselage, the separate pieces were glued together and clamped to form a single piece.
After allowing the piece to dry, the process of carving and shaping the fuselage was done using various Dremel moto tool attachments. For rough shaping, a 1/2" drum sander with coarse grit was used. For finer, detailed shaping, a disc sander attachment with fine grit was used. References for the shape of the fuselage were the Step 2 top and side view schematics. The huge notch behind the cockpit will mount the Viper's massive top engine in the final step.
Step 4: The Main Wings and Rudder
For the main wings and rudder of the Viper Mk II, a regular popsicle stick was sanded thin using a 1/2" drum sander attachment with a fine grit.
A pattern for the main wing was sketched on the thin popsicle stick based on the Step 2 top-view image of the spacecraft. A rough shape was cut out using a 1/2" drum sander attachment with fine grit on a MiniMite moto tool. The final shape of the wing was finished using a fine disc sander attachment in a MiniMite. The Dremel Minimite's low RPM was the ideal tool for the intricate sanding and finishing of all tiny parts of the spacecraft.
A single toothpick was used for the two (2) kinetic energy cannons. The toothpick was made even thinner using a fine disc attachment in a Minimite moto tool. The shape of each barrel was very carefully carved using a 1/2" drum sander with a fine grit mounted on a MiniMite. The completed cannons were glued near the front end of the main wings.
The rudder was made from a thinly sanded regular popsicle stick and cut into shape with an Olfa cutter based on the side-view image of the schematics (in Step 2).
Step 5: The Engines
The three (3) massive engine housings were made from two (2) thick wooden coffee stirrers and a single thin coffee stirrer sandwiched together. The laminated piece was shaped into a tube using a 1/2" drum sander attachment with coarse/fine grit mounted on a Dremel 3000.
Three pieces of the same length were sliced off the wooden tube for the spacecraft's engine housings. The length of each was determined from the top and side-view schematics (Step 2). For the top engine housing for mounting behind the pilot's cockpit, the front end was beveled slightly using a fine disc sander attachment. The beveled piece was test-fitted at the notch in the fuselage behind the pilot's cockpit. A slot for the engine exhaust nozzle was carved at the rear end of the beveled piece. The rear-end of the top engine housing must conform to the shape as it appears in the side-view image of the schematics.
To carve the engine intakes at the front of the three (3) engine housings, pilot holes were drilled using a #125 high speed cutter attachment mounted on a MiniMite. The intakes were rounded off using a # 100 high speed cutter attachment.
For the three (3) engine exhaust nozzles, two (2) thick wooden coffee stirrers were sandwiched together. The single piece was similarly sanded into a tube-shape using a 1/2" drum sander attachment with coarse/fine grit mounted on a Dremel 3000.
Three (3) pieces of the same length were sliced off for the three (3) engine exhaust nozzles. The length of each nozzle was based on the images of the top and side-view schematics from step 2.
To model the exhaust nozzles, pilot holes were drilled at each end of the three (3) engine exhausts using a #125 high speed cutter attachment mounted on a MiniMite. The exhaust nozzles were finished using a #193 high speed cutter attachment mounted on a Minimite.
Step 6: Completing the Model
The final length of the fuselage was determined after test-fitting the combined engine housing and exhaust at the notch behind the pilot's cockpit. The excess length of the fuselage was trimmed off with a 1/4" drum sander attachment. The same attachment was used to carve the mounting points for the left and right engine housing assemblies.
The top engine housing assembly was glued at the notch behind the cockpit first. The left and right engine housings were glued next. After these have firmly set, the engine nozzles were glued behind each engine housing. The engine nozzle for the center engine required re-grinding with a fine disc sander attachment for a snug fit at the rear end of the engine housing.
The rudder, and wings were glued next. Scrap popsicle sticks were used to prop the left and right wings in place while the white glue dries.
Finally, two (2) tiny beveled pieces for the rear landing gear housings were sliced off a thick coffee stirrer. Each tiny piece was glued between the side engine housing and main wing.
There you have it folks, a ship Starbuck and Apollo would love to fly!!!
So say we all.