Back when the show was new, I got hooked
on the Babylon-5 series. I even had every episode on video tape. When
they became available, I upgraded to the DVD versions. I was not alone
in liking the show. Many members of the model club to which I belong
were also really into it. After Revell released the Starfury models, the
club held a contest amongst ourselves to build the kit and see who could
do the best Starfury model. My models did not win, but I still had a
blast building them.
I purchased a couple of these kits when
they first hit the market. With the exception of drilling out the laser
cannon barrels, they are built right out of the box.
I read the "building a better Starfury"
review on the Starship Modeler web site and just did not feel the work
was worth it. My real love is aircraft, not sci-fi or spacecraft, and I
wanted the builds to be quick and easy.
the major color patterns on the ship are masked and painted using an air
brush and Model Master enamel paints.
The lightning bolts were particularly challenging because I wanted to
maintain the white border around them. The main gray overall is Dark
Ghost Gray (F.S.36320) with a few odd panels painted in Light Ghost Gray
(F.S.36375). I liked these colors better than the gray that the
instructions called for.
The decals from the kit were ... well ... poor. Like all the reviews I
have read, my example did not react well to setting solutions, not even
the powerful solutions like Champ. I ended up thinning down some clear
lacquer and applying so it would run under the decals and minimize the
silvering. This was only a marginal improvement, though.
I had very little trouble constructing and painting the kit. The poor
decals presented the most trouble of the whole project. The real
challenge was in figuring out how to handle the model once all the big
"paddles" were in place. And then, how to keep it mounted on the cheesy
display stands that came in the kit (the members of my model club were
more interested in how I got the stand to work than the actual models).
The markings of this ship are not from
any Babylon 5 episode. I wanted to go out and create something unique,
so I designed my own markings. I came up with a story for it that goes
something like this:
The ship is "Blue 3" of the 15th Deep Space Recon Squadron (DSRS)
assigned to the "Olympia", one of the large galactic rim exploration
ships. After nearly losing a ship near a strong gravi-magnetic field,
the unit's commander decided it was time to make it so the ships showed
up better on visual scans. He sponsored a competition within the unit to
come up with better high-visibility markings for the ships.
The competition was fierce, but the victor was this set of markings,
inspired by the tail markings on the RF-101C Voodoo aircraft of the 15th
TRS / 18th TFW in the early 1960's from which the 15th DSRS draws its
lineage. The ship's pilot, Lt. John Ramous, is the creator of the
markings and is a descendant of a pilot that flew in those ancient
Voodoo aircraft. Lt. Ramous could not resist also adding some spice to
the markings in the form of a pinup picture and his girlfriend's name on
the right side of the craft.
The black and yellow markings dramatically improved the effectiveness of
picking out the ships with visual scans and have on two occasions been
instrumental at recovering lost ships. The markings are so successful
that the 15th DSRS has petitioned Earth-Dome to officially adopt the
black and yellow markings for all Deep Spaces Recon Squadrons.
Earth-Dome has taken the matter under advisement, pending further