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Battlestar Galactica originals go to auction: Starbuck Viper and Cylon Raider

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November 14, 2005

November 15, 2005 As unabashed fans of applied technology, Gizmag’s 80,000 daily readers number among them many sience fiction fans and many who would have first fueled their sci-fi imagination with Battlestar Galactica (ABC-TV, 1978-79). Accordingly, we feel it is our duty to inform you that two of the ORIGINAL filming miniatures from the classic science-fiction series of the late 1970s are due to fall under the auctioneers hammer on eBay on December 16 and the pair are expected to fetch more than US$50,000. The craft in question are the Starbuck Viper and Cylon Raider, each representing the apex of technology as realized by the Colonials and their arch-enemies, the Cylons. Both of these filming miniatures were created by John Dykstra and the crew of Apogee Effects.

The first is a Colonial Viper, which can be screen-identified as Starbuck's Viper in the episode 'The Young Lords'. It is during this episode that Starbuck is fired upon by the Cylons, and his Viper struck underneath causing him to crash-land on the Cylon-controlled world of Attila. While still in flight, Boomer flies underneath to inspect the damage and discovers that Starbuck's 'Anti-Burn Baffles' are gone! This filming miniature is constructed of self-skinning foam, and measures 15 1/2 in. in length with studio-weathering and burn damage on the underside, which has been impregnated with metal shavings for realism. The figure in the cockpit represents Starbuck. This is one of only six miniature Vipers ever created, and prior to the damage incurred during this episode (during its pristine state), it was filmed for stock footage used throughout the series run. Of the six original Viper miniatures, this is the only one that can be specifically identified on-screen, due to the damage.

The companion piece offered here is an original Cylon Raider filming miniature, one of only four created for the series. Like the Viper, it is made of self-skinning foam, and measures 17 in. diameter at its widest point. The miniature features airbrushed detailing, such as black/grey shading on the upper surfaces to resemble carbon or other exhaust residue from flight, and two green pentagram symbols on the outer edge of each wing. Other than a single runner missing on the outside edge of the cockpit, it remains in near-pristine condition. This miniature was used throughout the series.

This is the first time that either a Viper or Cylon Raider miniature has ever been offered at public auction, and may be the only opportunity a collector might ever have to acquire one of these rare filming miniatures.

The auction details can be found here.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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