The Viper Mark VII is the state of the art fighter of the Colonial Fleet. It is sleeker and more modern than the Viper Mark II. The Mk7 is designed for both space and atmospheric environments and is also highly dependent on computer systems for tactical, combat, and navigation.

The Viper Mark VII is an ultra-fast superiority fighter without any equal and runs hotter than any other Viper model!
 
Length: 9.9 meters (32.5 ft.)
Width: 5.6 meters (18.5 ft.)
Height: 3.0 meters (9.8 ft.)

 


The making

In this section you will find documented pictures of the building process. Please note that this kit is NOT the one sold by Starship Modeler (from Black Sun Models).

The scale is 1:72 so the kit is going to measure 13.7 cm (5.4 inches) in length once assembled ...slightly longer than the Viper Mark II.  Before cutting out the first bits of plastic, some good planning was required because of the complex shapes involved. The Viper Mark 7 has a sleek and kind of an "organic" look and therefore presents quite a few challenges to solve.

Like I have done with the Viper Mk2 pattern, the fuselage is sculpted from laminated sheets of styrene. Below, layers of the fuselage and the wings are roughly cut out.

The fuselage takes shape by carefully sanding the laminated assembly. The middle layer (with black dots) is only temporarily attached and will be remove later on (that's part of the initial planning...)

The cockpit is cut out. The parts are compared frequently to CGI images (Orthos) for accuracy.

Below, the belly intake and the front landing gear bay are drilled out.

Some details had been added to the cockpit. The grill intake is glued in place as well as the front landing gear bay. The pilot seat was made out of styrene and used at this stage to test-fit the cockpit and pilot dimensions.

Wings were attached using a template guide to ensure a symmetrical fit.

The work continues on the belly. Next step is to shape the underside of the wings, by carving the edges and filling the voids with epoxy putty.

The wings edges were carved to shape but only the port side (left) was filled and carved using epoxy putty. Click here for a close-up.

Below, about 12 hours of work later, shaping of the underside is completed including the nose intake. The fuselage has been primed to help reveal imperfections. Click here for a close-up.

Next picture shows the scribed lines underneath the fuselage. Details that are still missing on the belly are the RCS thrusters and the guns attachments on each wings. Also visible is one of the rear landing gear panel. Click here for a close-up.

New!
I have wrote a short article on my scribing technique.

The main hexagonal thrusters were added as part of the final details underneath the Mk7. Here's a sneak peek at the sample decals by JBOT (final version will be different...)

A lot of work has been done on top of the fuselage since last update. The most noticeable on the picture below are the intakes on each wings and behind the cockpit. This is a test shot with the canopy and the pilot seat in place. Click here for a closer look from another angle.

The cockpit was detailed with photo-etched parts and automotive tape. Also visible is the partial scribing that has been started (mainly on the front section of the fuselage). The cockpit on the Mk7 is much tighter than on the Mk2...
 

I was unsatisfied with how the rear section turned out so I have re-carved it using epoxy putty to get a more "bulbous" look. Next picture also shows the guns inserts on each wings. The whole assembly was then lightly primed before putting on the final details. Click here for a closer look.
 

Another small setback; I was also unsatisfied with the scribed lines and RCS thrusters on the nose so I have filled everything using Mr Surfacer 500 and started over again ...and it looks much better now. The fuselage is now completed to my satisfaction. Below are two of the first castings (uncleaned) to come out of the moulds. Click here for a close-up.

A quick comparison between the castings and the CGI references (reduced to 1:72) confirms that the accuracy is excellent ...which remind me how much of a challenge it was to built this fuselage.

Here's some exclusive shots at the pilot pattern made by the very talented Bobby Wong. Accuracy and details are just amazing for the scale and as you can see below it sits in the cockpit (of a casting) perfectly. Click here for a closer look at "Little Lee".

The pilot should come with two helmets to choose from; Closed and opened visor. Below is a comparison between my Viper Mark II pilot (left) and Bobby's pattern for my Viper Mark VII (right). By the way, this new pilot will also fit in my Mark II. Here's another shot at Little Lee with his friends...

Tail fin and gun barrel are almost completed ...they still need some minor touch-ups.

Below are the unfinished engine patterns with their first coat of primer. There is still more work to be done including scribed lines (lots of them!) Also visible is the pattern for the wings tips (antennas).

The pattern is now completed! Below is the first casting cleaned up. The kit will consist of 21 resin parts. Click here for a closer look.

A rapid test fit of the main parts reveals how great this model will be once built!

Production decals designed and produced by JBOT for this kit.

Below is the test kit assembled by Darren Bertrand. More pictures on page 2.

More pictures on page 2
 


The kit

Please see my trading page to order. Don't miss Darren Bertrand's review and Adam Catt's review on Starship Modeler!

- 21 detailed resin parts
- 1:72 scale (13.7 cm / 5.4 inches)
- Clear canopy
- Detailed cockpit and pilot
- Color decals
- Detailed assembly instructions


I would like to thank the following people for their precious help in this project:

Alan Sinclair
Bobby Wong
Coby Lorang
Darren Bertrand
Douglas B.
Jeremy J.
Jim Botaitis
Tracy Brownfield