I watched Battlestar Galactica every Sunday night when it originally aired in 1978 and
loved those Vipers! Those were some cool space ships. The funny thing is I don't remember
building Lego as a child, but I've certainly become interested as an adult. When I
came across this excellent-looking MOC (My Own Creation) by David Duperron I just had to
build it. Fortunately the designer has offered the construction plans for sale along
with designs for stickers to really set off this build.
Here's how my build turned out. If you have an eagle eye you'll notice a couple changes
I made. I had the person who makes the stickers print up a custom UCS build plate that I
created instead of using the smaller build plate. I also added an additional yellow and
black striped plate where the smaller plate would mount on the stand. On the tail I
swapped out the standard black plate and used dark red and white in its place. I also
replaced the 2x1 dark red tile with a 1x1, and a white 1x1 at the very top so that the
red didn't stray out of its area. Missing from all my photos is the other grayish stripe
on the cockpit. I only realized after taking the photos that I forgot to add it on both
Check out the Brick Vault review on this MOC.
You can go to Rebrickable
to see the project page. There are also comments, a parts list (which is exportable to
sites like Brick Owl and BrickLink to make purchasing easy), and a link to building
instructions and photos submitted by others who have built this kit.
To purchase the instructions you'll be directed to
The plans are $24.99. It will also come with a parts list and Adobe Illustrator files
to print a sticker sheet to identify this as either William Adama's "Husker" or Kara
Thrace's "Starbuck" craft. The photos directly below are from the Brick Vault product
page and are not mine.
Gathering all the parts
If you've never built something like this where you have to source the parts yourself
you should create an account over at Bricklink
or at Brick Owl. Some words of
I wouldn't purchase this set off of Ali Express or from any knock off Lego company.
I've read too many complaints about the color variations in the bricks within the set.
Plus the price they charge just isn't worth it. Better to purchase used Lego bricks.
Purchasing new Lego parts will elevate the cost of this significantly. You could
expect to pay $400 or more depending on market prices. If you purchase used pieces you
could cut that amount in half. I did.
Comparison shop. Some sellers have astronomical prices for no reason other than they
can. I've run across a seller or two where every part they have is $1 regardless of the
part! Most pieces should be around 10-30 cents, less if they're used, more if they're a
rare part and/or in a rare color. Sellers may have minimum average lot or price purchase
points that you have to meet as well. You'll come across some great sellers who are very
accommodating in their business practices and some who aren't. Try to place the biggest
parts orders whenever you can.
Pay attention to where your sellers are located. As this is a global market place you
could be purchasing parts from outside your country and shipping times and cost may become
a factor. I had one order from Slovenia that took over a month to arrive.
I'm in the United States and some parts/colors just aren't easy to locate here. I
have a mix of new and used (mainly used) parts in this build.
I find that half the time sellers miscount or send you an incorrect part or two or
in the wrong color. You'll have to go back and forth with them to fix this. Stand your
ground and make them send you what you paid for. A good business should own their
mistakes and not request you to order more parts from them. I've also found sellers who
drag their feet sending out your order and a week after you place it then they tell you,
sorry one of the parts (in my case it was 25 of the same part) you ordered isn't in
If you order used parts they may arrive dirty and/or beat up. I wound up putting my
parts in a pillow case (which I used rubber bands to seal up) and then ran them through
the washing machine on a delicate cycle in cold water with detergent. I then put them
through the dryer on a cool air setting. I didn't put any piece larger than a 2x6 plate
through this process. Anything that size or larger was hand-washed with dish washing
liquid and a tooth brush. The parts all came out great.
Next step is sorting the parts. I've got just the table for this big job and it still
leaves me some space to build in the corner. Many people like using solo cups or dixie
cups to sort, or even ziploc bags would work if you've got limited space.
You should build the display stand before getting to the point where you build the wings.
My build is made up of a lot of used pieces. Probably 60 percent or so. Maybe this is
what I feel contributes to the cradle portion of the stand feeling a bit weak? Any time
the Viper slid backwards when I was putting a part on it, invariably the cradle broke and
the Viper fell over necessitating a rebuild of the cradle. I'm seriously considering just
re-designing the cradle as this must bear the weight of the Viper forever. The Viper
is roughly the size of the Lego UCS X-Wing, but a lot heavier. Handle it by the nose and
under the cockpit area. I dread every time I pick this up as some part comes off the
underside around the aft landing gear doors.
Here are the issues I came across during construction.
In the instructions file on page 11 step 25 there's a part missing from the
instructions which is depcited in the assmebly diagram. It appears that the "Minifigure,
Weapon Lightsaber Hilt Angled" piece, with chrome finish part number x156 (42114) is
needed to go between the "Pneumatic T Piece Second Version (T Bar with Ball in Center)"
(4697b) and the "Slope 30 1x1 x 2/3" (54200).
On page 41 step 73 there is an orange 2x4 plate used. If you're detail-oriented
like me you'll want to switch this out for a white plate because at step 83 when you build
up around this part with white slopes and tiles, you'll see a sliver of orange showing
On page 153 step 14, you'll attach the engine mount assembly to the fuselage. To do
this you have to slide over the four red technic axles to secure it in place. There's a
note in the instructions saying it's not easy to do this. I just used a long thin screw
driver to slide them into place. There was no resistance at all. A lot of my parts are
used so maybe that helped?
On page 155 step 17 I have no idea where those two 2x3 light bluish gray bricks are
supposed to go. The instructions are incomplete at this step.
On page 167 step 30 you'll place three "Plate, Modified 1x2 with Handle on Side -
Closed Ends" (48336), however the way the structure was built there's nothing to affix the
one at the aft end. Fast forward a step and you'll be placing a 2x6 plate which will
attach to it and the other 1x2 plates on that side. Problem solved. Just one of the
numerous inconsistencies in these instructions.
On page 173, step 7 cannot be accomplished. Build this as a separate part that you'll
later conenct with the first half of the assembly in step 13.
Also I found that the "Bar 3L (Bar Arrow)" (87994) needs to be a "Bar 4L (Lightsaber Blade
/ Wand)" (30374) to work. Your mileage may vary.
This is a sloppy sub-assembly. The biggest problems are the two 1x2 bricks with the
studs facing down in steps 3 and 9. They cannot connect to anything to hold the assembly
in place. I wound up attaching them to a 2x4 plate.
The next issue is it's too tight a fit with the outer panels. It needs to be moved aft a
stud so that the canopy can open. This also required me to remove the single stud pieces
with the open claws at the end (which held a support rod in place with greeblies) as they
would easily fall off in the tight confines.
In step 4 and 10 I didn't install the "Plate 2x2 Corner". Skip steps 5, 6, 11,
12 and 14 as well.
I suspect the parts list is off by a part: "Brick, Modified 1x2 with Studs on
1 Side" (11211) in black. Fortunately I had a gray one in my big bag of Lego leftovers
from previous kits.
These instructions have an annoying habit of making it difficult to follow what parts
are being placed where because they'll display the instructions at unhelpful angles.
It's only when you think you're done with the assembly and realize you have a piece or two
left over that you go looking back at the diagrams to figure out what you missed. Page
220 sub-step 4 is a perfect example of this. Of course this has happened several times
throughout the build. This is just the first time I've noted it. That "Plate, Modified
1x2 with Clips Horizontal (thick open O clips)" (60470b) was my left over part.
On page 222 step 13 I was missing the two "Technic, Pin with Friction Ridges
Lengthwise WITH Center Slots". Maybe a miscount in the parts list again?
In the Adobe Illustrator files there are typos and alignment/spacing issues in some
of the designs. If this concerns you (and you have Adobe Illustrator to edit the files)
then zoom way in and take a look at them. If you don't have this program then keep in
mind the stickers are pretty small and the issues may not be noticeable to you.
David sent his graphics to create the stickers to a store called OKBrickWorks who sells these on eBay.
The stickers are printed on vinyl, on a clear backing and are pre-cut. You can choose
between "Husker" or "Starbuck" to customize your Viper. These are excellent quality and
very easy to install. I wouldn't bother with the Adobe Illustrator file, finding the
correct font and then printing it yourself on the right kind of sticker paper or finding
someone else to print it. There are a couple typos on the stickers but they are the
smaller ones which aren't easy to read anyway. Here's what they look like. Keep in mind
the backing material is white. My only critique on the stickers is the stripes for the
cockpit doesn't match the color of the gray tiles.
Since I have several UCS Lego sets I wanted the larger sized build plate so I made my
own in Photoshop. For a few dollars more I had this made.
I'm making it available for download here.
The one below is much smaller.
Here are some photos of my build.
This is a good-sized space ship on par with the Lego UCS X-Wing, but much heavier. This
looks great on display. The sticker sheet I purchased from eBay is the icing on the cake
with this build.
Like all MOCs I've constructed, this one also suffers from sections where it gets
finnicky with how some pieces fit together. What's very typical is putting together a
few pieces at one stage leading to several others falling off somewhere else (which were
also precariously put together). Stay away from the underside by the engines where those
white 2x1 sloped pieces are. They always fall off when handling.
Not that I'm concerned about it, but I feel this is not a swooshable space ship. Build it
and leave it alone. Every time I pick this thing up some little piece falls off the
bottom. Also don't plan on opening and closing that cockpit. I found that the pieces on
the back end of the canopy have an extremely tight tolerance for clearing the pilot's
seat. Opening it is easy. It's getting the canopy to fully close that's the issue.
Closing it is usually at the expense of the 1x2 parts that act as the hinge. Something
is just bound to come loose and rattle around inside forcing you to flip the Viper over
until the parts can be retrieved. I'm unable to easily open the doors that store the
landing gear. They are extremely difficult to move. I'm leaving mine on the display