See Part 1 for this kit's introduction, and aftermarket parts
Part 2 highlights works on the engine section
Part 3 highlights scribing the panel lines and the cockpit
The function of the front nozzle of the Mark I Viper is rather sketchy at best, since nothing official was ever mentioned for its purpose. We can only assume the design was done that way for autistic reasons. This has caused much debate on the net but many believes it houses the radar for its Dradis system. The Mark II however had something that looked like a "radiator" and again nothing official was mentioned for its function.
Whether its functional or not, its on the studio model, hence we'll try to emulate this simple part to fit what was seen on TV.
If you were to compare the actual studio model above, and the parts on the spruce below, first thing you'll notice is that there are panel lines at the bottom section, and the nose cone is smooth and thin.
By comparison, the 1:1 mock up model has a smooth undercarriage at the bottom tip. Confusing huh. So technically there is no wrong or right way of doing it. Its entirely up to you how you want your kit to look like.
That piece on the spruce however is a little rough at the edges and Trastoman did the right thing. He corrected his by filing the inner surface and sanding down the oval shape's inner cone to achieve a smoother look.
Bottom view already reveals .... you need to scratchbuild some of the panels. That circular hole at the bottom mid section is to hold the pole that balances the model for filming
Over here, you can see Trastoman's effort in emulating the studio model, as well as incorporating those thrusters (you see those cute little holes at the forward bottom tip?). All these can be achieved with pieces of styrene sheets cut to size, and a motor drill with a round head. The raised lines are sanded off, and new panel lines are scribed in. Even without primer or paint, his kit is already loooking very good there.
A scene from the TV series revealing the need to add a strip of styrene at the mid top section of the fuselage
Don't feel overwhelmed with all the detailed parts. Not everything cab be emulated correctly. The idea is to get as close to the filming model as possible if that is your goal. Just go with what makes you feel good. Here's what others had done on their kits, and despite the many differences, they are all superbly build.
Yours could even end up in someone's gallery one day, an achievement worth savoring since no one wants to be associated with a badly done up kit. But to get there, you need to just get started with yours first.
Coming up - Part 5. How to correct the laser canons and modifying the engine thrusters.