Sunday, February 13, 2011

ADMG Part 2 - The Alligator Head Section of the Moebius Galactica

Here's part 2 of detailing and accurizing your Moebius Galactica, emphasizing on the "Alligator Head" section. The "Alligator Head" is just a rough terminology given to the head section of the New Galactica due to its resemblance to an alligator, or probably because of the way it snaps at the Cylons. I'm not sure how and when this term was applied to the kit, but for easier reference, I'll just stick to that term.

OK, first of all, take out the Head pieces of the Moebius kit and compare them to the Zoic Images below.

You will notice that there are quite a bit of differences on the plastic kit compared to these images. You'll have to remember that when Moebius produced this kit, they were doing their best to keep the cost low so that this kit remains affordable to all scale modelers. Hence they were not able to provide a very accurate and detailed version lest the cost increases, and having to rely on a cost efficient method of production, some discrepancy and missing parts were bound to happen. Now look closely at the completed CGI images of the Galactica

By comparison, some of the details will look soft, while others are totally missing. Here are the list of some discrepancies found on the alligator head:

1. Head Blokish Armour Sections.

The side armour panels where it ends midway on the head of both the left and right top side were joined together like they were a "block". This is incorrect as the armour section must be seen as though it is "hanging out". Remember, they're the armour pieces that are resting on the ribs.

There are a few ways to counter this. I had opted on using a 0.04 sheet styrene, cutting strips off and laying over their edges to give that armour edge hanging out effect. Unfortunately, when these strips were cut, they tend to curl up, making it more difficult to position them for gluing, let alone getting them to stay in place.

Marko went with my last resort, which was to drill out the excess plastic holding these armours like blocks. Its tedious but the end result looks fantastic. I should have gone that way ... Aiiks!!!

The holes can be covered back by placing styrene sheets in their under sides and with some putty, the head armour will look fantastic.

2. Head Protruding Side Armours

These are the small side armour panels on your kit is protruding outward on its side, both at the left and right section of the head. They're not suppose to be protruding out at all. Those side panels are suppose to look like metal sheets placed over the ribs, giving the side a smooth contour.

What Marko did was he literally took out those entire protruding parts and replaced it with plastic strips (I think) to achieve that effect. I tried to remove those parts using my motor tool with a grinder head piece, and I was able to remove most of the protruding section out. Before I decided to remove that entire section, I actually discovered that the remnant took up the correct shape for the armour section there. Guess its not necessary to remove that section entirely, using a sharp hobby knife, I scrape off the excess materials to maintain straight edges, thus giving her the armour look. Only need to re-scribe the panel lines later.

This is how that section would look during grinding. Of course Marko's method is more comprehensive and ensures an armoured placement look.

3. Missing Antennas

A lot of the antennas are missing, as well as the main antenna. Over here, you can see Marko actually scratch build the main antenna on the top left.

To determine where these antennas goes, check out the Zoic image again. There are numerous miniature antennas to duplicate and most of them need to be scratch build. I haven't reached this stage yet, so I'll leave this section open to edit for when I discover how to do this.

Marko did an excellent job with his though. You can see him using scratch build materials to mimic those antennas.

4. Misaligned Head to Body Fit

Here's something you definitely need to correct. If you were to stick your Moebius Galactica Kit together out of the box, the head section is going to tilt upward and the body will have a misaligned gap cutting from the neck area.

Thanks to Falcon Design as he illustrate the discrepancy here through these images.

Notice the gap at the bottom of the midsection? This will happen if you were to connect that section to the top headpiece first, then connecting her to the body. According to Falcon Design, the upper walls tops of part #9 need to be shaved by half, all the way around the box.The upper hull wall points(two) need trimming about 1/8 inch,and the lower plate also trimmed 1/8 inch.The back wall of the head,the side detail panels need to be shaved on the inside curves so the head fits flush to the body. Marko further adds that the locater pin needs to be trimmed by 0.5mm as the pins are too high and will prevent the bottom section from sitting flush with the rest of the parts (see issue # 5)

Marko also did the head-neck-joint that needed A LOT of work. The head needed to ...

- be in-line with the neck - 2 mm lowered
- have parallel ribs with the neck's ribs
- fit to the previously attached lower part of the alligator-head

Contrary to the instructions, Marko glued the bottom head piece first to the fuselage before attaching the rest of the Alligator head pieces

The edges are then sanded smoothly

5. Over sized Mid Head Body Section

Back to the mid head section of the Alligator Head, the mid head section is shortened and lenght and reduced in height. This is to allow the bottom piece to sit flush with the the rest of the body later on. The piece behind the front modified piece is the original unmodified version.

Re-detailing done on the lower piece with the smaller antennas to be added in later.

6. Correct Window formation on the Mid Body Section

In terms of lighting the port windows on the mid head section, please note that the new Galactica at 1/4105 scale presents a very challenging problem. At that scale, the windows are too small to be drilled by conventional hobby drills.

You will notice that the windows between the ribs are actually located as though there are two floors in between the ribs as there are lights at the top and bottom row in the same panel. Most lighted kit I have seen will have the holes drilled as though the window panels are in one row per panel.

The problem is again with the size. I have tried using the smallest drill bit (which requires a hand vice) but after the third hole, the bit broke - too fragile. I tried drilling the holes using a smaller drill bit and filled it with putty but unfortunately it still didn't work.

From my discussion with Mr. Engineer and Captain Kirk, my scale modeling buddies here in Malaysia, it would seem another method is needed. So far we came up with two possibilities:

1. Have those window section done up via photo etch (PE), drill out square section in between the ribs and put in the PE piece

2. Re-cast the mid section in clear resin, paint over and scratch off the windows with a sharp hobby knife.

So far we haven't had a chance to try any of these methods yet, and for option 1, we can't find anyone here in Malaysia that can do the PE at a reasonable price. I'm not sure if Paragrafix is willing as he had already told me the second set only had the garage set to keep the cost low.

As a result, this section is still open for discussion (polite way of saying we haven't found a good solution yet)

More on Accurizing and Detailing your Moebius Galactica at

ADMG Part 1 - Intro to Accurizing and Detailing your Moebius Galactica
ADMG Part 2 - Accurizing/Detailing the Alligator Head Section
ADMG Part 3 - Accurizing/Detailing the Flight Pods
ADMG Part 4 - Accurizing/Detailing the Garage/Recess Section
ADMG Part 5 - Accurizing/Detailing the Main Hull
ADMG Part 6 - Lighting up the Moebius Galactica
ADMG Part 7 - Painting your Moebius Galactica

1 comment:

  1. Die Bilder sind leider alle weg. Und kann man Part 6 und 7 noch nachreichen? Danke