I received the new Galactica in the mail last week and this is the biggest departure from the old Diamond Select models. Previously, the Viper and Cylon Raider were about the same scale as the DS versions, but here the Eaglemoss ship is much smaller and lighter. The Diamond Select Galactica is resin, and came with a set of launch pontoons that could be configured to be out for operations, or retracted for FTL jump. The new Galactica is molded in plastic — a departure from the usual metal diecast with plastic of the rest of the series. The other major difference is the superb base for the DS version, which sports the BSG-75 emblem on a stand shaped like the dress gray uniform device.

IMG_0548

Despite the size, the detailing and coloration on the new Eaglemoss is light years better than the old model. Here’s an example of the nose section, Eaglemoss on the left.

And as usual, Eaglemoss bothered to do the underside, as well…

IMG_0552

As with the Viper, the only flaw that is obvious if you are looing for it is the seam between the upper and lower hull. they smartly have it tucked in the space behind the launch pylons, but it’s pretty obvious. That said, I’m really happy with this model of the Bucket, and I’m hoping they do a Pegasus — preferably to scale with this Galactica.

IMG_0549

It comes with a 14-page booklet, as with the rest of the series.

IMG_0553

So is it worth the $55? Yes.

Advertisements

The second ship from the Battlestar Galactica series arrived from Eaglemoss and I continue to be impressed with how well they do packing these models in smaller boxes and with no excess packing, when compared to the massive Diamond Select boxes for their BSG models.

As with the Viper Mk II, the new Cylon Raider is a diecast top piece, and plastic bottom piece. It’s heavy, on par with the resin DS version. The joins on this are much less obvious than they were on the Viper, and similarly, it’s not as dark a piece. The weathering and other details are better, although the DS version has more organic looking coloring. As with the Viper, the undercarriage detailing is better; the DS versions skimped on that.

IMG_0546

Scale is the same between the two, whereas the Viper from Eaglemoss was just a touch smaller than the old DS version. The base for this one is a bit awkward and doesn’t quite fit the nose section as well as the Viper base did (It’s very good and holds the model securely), and require a bit of adjustment to get the Raider to sit well.

As with the Viper, the Raider comes with a 14-page booklet detailing the vessel, talking about the design evolution, and ending with an interview with Ronald Moore.

IMG_0547

So how is it? Again, Eaglemoss’ use of the shooting CGI models makes for a more accurate  model. There is more surface detailing in the Eaglemoss version, although, in this case, I suspect the Eaglemoss version is from later in the show when the Cylons loose a bit of the organic look from the early seasons, which the DS model captures well. Is it worth the $55? If you’re a BSG fan, yes.

I saw a few ads popping up on Facebook a few months ago for a new line of science fiction spacecraft models from Eaglemoss, the guys famous for the small Star Trek ships.  (I’ve got one of their Akira class and it’s lovely.) This new addition to their Hero Collection would be a twelve ship set from Battlestar Galactica — both old and new shows. I’m a reboot Battlestar Galactica fan, as any long-time reader of the blog will know, and I have the four limited edition ships from Diamond Select’s run from back when the show was still airing. So, of course, I signed onto their subscription. You get a ship every other month for the Galactica collection. The first one was the Viper MK II.

IMG_0541

The original Diamond Select Viper is an excellent bit of modeling, done in resin and nicely detailed. The specific ship is Viper 2220NC, Apollo’s (and originally Commander Adama’s) ride in the early portion of the show. It’s well done, with a fair bit of accuracy to the markings and the weathering. The canopy comes off (even when you don’t want it to) to expose a detailed cockpit. the stand has the 3rd Squadron (Vigilantes) symbol on it, although the nose markings for the Viper are 1st Squadron (Primus.)

IMG_0540

The scale puts the Viper at about 11″ long, and the Eaglemoss Viper is almost the same scale. (It’s a touch smaller.) The packaging for the Eaglemoss Viper is much more compact and less wasteful. Inside, there’s a simple oval stand with clear arm to hold the model. The model was surprisingly hefty and weighs about the same as the resin DS model. The main hull is diecast metal, with wings and engines and lower hull assembly done in plastic. The seam lines on the Eaglemoss model are more pronounced where the undercarriage meets the rest of the nose, and around the engine assemblies, but it’s nothing tragic. Looking at the screen models online, the detailing of the Eaglemoss bird is much better, with some of the warning on the hull scaled more correctly. The weathering is not as extreme as the Diamond Select version and she is sporting the 8757NC markings for Starbuck’s Viper. The canopy is darkened plastic and there is no cockpit detailing visible.

IMG_0542

The first model is $20 on the subscription, then they are $55 after that. The first models are the Viper MkII, the new Cylon Raider, the new Galactica, and it looks like the next one up is the Viper MkI from the original show, followed by the new and old basestars. If you’re not interested in the old stuff, you can cancel at any time (and I’m assuming join back up for the ones you want.) This accounts for half of the twelve ships supposedly in the queue, so I think we can assume there will be an original Galactica and Cylon Raider, a Viper MK VI, a Raptor, leaving two others. I’m hoping for a Pegasus from the new show, and I suspect Colonial One will be the last in the group. (I’d much rather have a Zephyr…)

As with the Star Trek models, each ship comes with a 14-page booklet on the vessel and some background on its design for the show, and an interview — in this case — with Ronald Moore.

VIPERMAG2

So how is it? The build quality is better on the old Diamond Select, just because of the use of resin molding. For accuracy of markings, weathering, and overall appearance I’d go with the Eaglemoss. Is it worth the $20 for signing up? Yes. It would be worth the $55 for the main subscription fee, in my opinion.

I’ll follow this up with a review of the Cylon Raider and Galactica soon.

There have been a lot of good to great sessions over the last year of play, so it’s hard to choose a “best session” out of what has been an exemplary year of gaming. For me, the best session came in April, with the successful conclusion of our long-running Battlestar Galactica campaign.

The campaign was started back in 2011, after the collapse of the long-standing game group prior to that. That group had been, in various configurations, going since 2003, and after losing two of the core players, the rest of us cobbled the group back together for a phenomenal run of Hollow Earth Expedition and the start of BSG. It had begun as a “redo” — taking elements from the old game and improving on it. Over the next almost five years, we lost half of the group to Texas and other life changes, leaving me and one of the players from the original group to soldier on for a few months before we finally picked up the third regular member. Others came and went, but the trio of players — all really into the game — remained the new core.

The small number of players made scheduling easier and kept the game focused and on track. We increasingly diverged from the reimagined show, with more sci-fi elements in which the Lords of Kobol eventually played a much larger role in the story, and the motifs of cyclical time, recurring themes of self-destruction, loomed large. I had to tweak and twist, and roll with the players’ decisions, but in the end, the story ended very closely to what I had hoped for.

How often does that happen?

The story ended with the characters finding Earth, populated by the 13th Tribe. Happy ending…and we could have left it there, but I had always envisioned a coda to the game, that last episode that would put a bow on it. In that coda, we picked up 20 years later, at a Settlement Day celebration for the arrival of the rag-tag fleet and the creation of the Earth Allied Government. The players got to see their players, older, well-established in the politics of the new Earth, and the interstellar politics with the Lord of Kobol they had found, the survivors on the Twelve Colonies, and another group of colonies out by the Pleiades. It was a nice send-off for the players that had the same vibe as Babylon 5‘s “Sleeping in the Light” episode. (Exactly whatIi was hoping for…) After that, we had a short act where, 500 years later, the Pleiades Colonies were attacked by the machine soldiers of the “Olympians” (the descendants of the Lords of Kobol), who were looking to support the recently disgraced “Leader Baltar” starting the whole story over again.

To have a long-running campaign come in 1) completed (ho often does that happen!?!), and 2) finish the story fairly closely to what you intended is nearly unheard of. I had finished a less ambitious Babylon 5 game in 1999 that had been running for two years, but that had been much tighter to canon of the show, playing around the edges of the main story, rather than just striking out from the base conceit to do our own thing entirely.

For those reasons, that sessions was probably the best session of my entire gaming life.

Glen A Larson died at UCLA Medical Center of esophageal cancer this weekend. Without this producer, we wouldn’t have had the Star Wars knockoff that would be the inspiration for one of the best science fiction shows in TV history.

Since that reimagined show, and the RPG tied to it, is a (if not, the) major draw of visitors to this site, I thought it would be appropriate to mention him.

774481_494201923957113_35410183_o

I’ll have comment on this, once I have a moment to really look at it. (20 month old girls never stop!) The following was cribbed from the Blood & Chrome page on Facebook (no infringement intended, copyright trolls!):

 

The Battlestar Task Group – Early Production Notes by Doug Dexler, the CG  supervisor

(Subject to change)

The Colonial Defense Force forms carrier battle groups on an as-needed basis and assigns ships to the group based on the mission. Therefore, no two Battlestar Task Groups are the same. However, a typical Battlestar Task Groups consists of the following ships:

Guided-missile cruisers (2)
These are offensive ships loaded with cruise missiles to strike planet based targets

Modern Colonial DFF guided missile cruisers perform primarily in a Battle Force role. These ships are multi-mission [Air Warfare (AW), Surface Warfare (SW), Fleet Surface Fire Support (FSFS) and Surface Warfare (SUW)] and capable of supporting Battlestar Task Groups (BTG), amphibious forces, or of operating independently and as flagships of surface action groups. Cruisers are equipped with cruise missiles giving them additional long range Strike Warfare (STRW) capability

Support Destroyers (2)
Defensive ships. They can defend against attacks by Base Stars and Raiders Destroyers.Equipped with the ability to launch missiles and lay down flak umbrellas.

CDG 51 and CDG 1000 destroyers are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. Destroyers can operate independently or as part of Battlestar strike groups, surface action groups, amphibious ready groups, and underway replenishment groups.

One stealth frigate (1) (The Reliant is a stealth Frigate)
Offensive\defensive ship. The frigate is a guided missile cruiser with a limited flight deck facility.

Can take Vipers and other attack planes into areas where a Battlestar would stick out like a sore thumb. They are shiny black

Stealth destroyers (2)
Offensive\defensive ships – The equivalent of a light cruiser.

Carries the latest in dradis bending technologies. They are shiny black

Dradis Picket Ships (6)
The fleets first line of defense. Our long range eyes in space

On the outer perimeters and often heavily attacked by Cylon Raiders. It’s the most dangerous job in the Battlestar Task Group.

Amphibious Attack Ship (2)
For putting boots on the ground. Modern Colonial Amphibious Assault Ships project power and maintain presence by serving as the cornerstone of the Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) / Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG). Carries a combination of aircraft and landing craft.

Amphibious warships are designed to support Colonial Marine Corps tenets of Operational Maneuver From the Space (OMFTS) and Ship to Objective Maneuver (STOM). They must be able to sail in harm’s way and provide a rapid buildup of combat power ashore in the face of opposition. Because of their inherent capabilities, these ships have been and will continue to be called upon to also support humanitarian and other contingency missions on short notice.

Colonial Sealift Command (CSC)
Six Types Of Ships

Fast Combat Support Ships (FCS) – An ever shifting armada that keeps the Battlestar Task Group supplied.

Fleet Replenishment Tyliers (4)
The largest subset of Colonial Fleet Auxiliary Force ships, provide fuel to deployed Fleet ships underway, as well as to their assigned aircraft. Tyliers and the ships they refuel sail side by side as fuel hoses are extended across guide wires. Underway replenishment of fuel dramatically extends the time a Navy battle group can remain at sea.

Fast Combat Support Ships (2)
CSC’s four fast combat support ships provide one-stop shopping to the fleet for fuel, ammunition, food and other cargo. These ships are especially valuable because of their speed and ability to carry all the essentials to replenish Colonial DFF ships underway.

Dry Cargo/Ammunition Ships (4)
Four ammunition ships supply ordnance to Colonial combatants at sea, providing service through a combination of alongside transfers and replenishment lifts via Freight Trains. These ships are able to deliver ammunition, provisions, stores, spare parts, potable water and petroleum products to Battlestar Task Groups. Designed to operate for extended periods at sea.

Fleet Space Tugs (6)
These ships provide the Battlestar Task Groups (BTG), with towing service and can tow vessels as large as Light Cruisers. When augmented by divers, fleet tugs assist in the recovery of downed ships and aircraft.

Rescue and Salvage Ships (2)
CSC’s four rescue and salvage ships recover objects and stranded vessels and provide firefighting assistance. Like fleet space tugs, they are able to move objects like downed ships and aircraft. The key advantage of these ships is their ability to rapidly deploy divers to conduct rescue and salvage operations.

Hospital Ships (1)
Contains 24 operating rooms and up to 1,000 beds, including a medical staff of up to 1,200 military medical personnel.