Battlestar Galactica originally aired in 1979, and with its million-dollar-an- episode price tag, there was tremendous pressure to perform. Fans (like myself!) couldn't keep the show viable, and it was recast into a ridiculous Earth based series before being put out of our misery. The new series on Sci-Fi seems to be loved or hated exclusively; I love it. No compromises: people die, and there is no joy in fleeing psychopathic machines. Either way you feel, interest is resurgng in the original.
Unlike Star Wars/Trek, BSG was very dark in concept--humanity was chased into space and nearly exterminated by the robotic Cylons. The Cylons were in many ways identical to the Terminator--unfeeling machines that would not stop until humanity was dead.
The Raider is a great design. Considering it came out in the same era as Buck Rogers & Star Wars, it is still a classic bad guy. Primarily a "heavy fighter", it was not nimble or zippy; as a dogfighter 1v1 with the Colonial Viper it was outclassed. But it has big guns--big enough in numbers to take out a Battlestar without a fighter screen, or to quickly blow away the civilian ships in the fleet. And in swarms, using 3-ship cells as the tactical unit, the Raiders could give the Vipers trouble...
The pictures here are of an original issue Monogram kit I built in 1992 or so—not the 1997 Revell/Monogram re-issue. At the time, BSG was in reruns, and I was able to use tapes of the show for reference. This was built from the box with the cheesy rubber band missile shooters built in. I eventually covered over the missile ports with spare tank parts. The rubber bands are probably rotted by now...
I'm most pleased with the weathering, which to my eye captures the look of the raider.
All pictures were taken with natural lighting and no flash. Though there are some shadows, the color captured is closest to the kit’s natural appearance.
The original kit had the green pentagon marking inboard of the black stripe. Since the kit stripes were too short when moved to their proper location, I painted them on (both top and bottom black stripes).
Like the studio original, the trenches on the left and right side behind the cannons are not the same. The 2005 Joyride replica of the Raider clearly uses this model as the master for the toy.
This picture is the one where the color is off from the model—it is too warm in tone.
The little pegs sticking up are the “missile” releases; the circular objects seen in the black area are the covers I put over the cheesy missile shooter ports.
The underside black stripes were not included, IIRC, in the kit at all.