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Revell Cylon Raider

The Raider is the primary fighter attack craft of the Cylons. Raiders are typically crewed by three centurions. Two centurions sit up front at the controls to pilot the ship, while the third centurion sits on a raised chair behind the others to command and coordinate (The Hand of God).

It is armed with two forward-firing laser cannons and can carry bombs in bays within the wings and on racks mounted beneath the wings (Lost Planet of the Gods, Part II). Oval in shape, the piloted Raider has two sublight engines for propulsion. The vehicle is both space and atmosphere-capable.

The Kit:
With the exception of the new tooling that features clear parts to light up the model, the Cylon Raider from Revell is an old mold that dates back to 1980. So everything about has been said in those 32 years. But what if you built it that long ago or had? One thing is for sure, your model kit building and painting skills have improved a lot ever since.

This model could also be a weekend build if you have the proper tools and techniques.

The top and bottom halves don’t have the best fit together. There will be areas with as much as an 1/8” of an inch overlapping. So leave those Squadron sanding stick for more delicate applications and better wrap a piece of #320 wet/dry sandpaper on a painters wooden pallet (those you get free at the store). if you want to speed up this process.

I took absolute artistic license with this Cylon Raider model in terms of painting and weathering. As you can see, it has been thru some hard times with a Colonial Viper or 2 😉 I used Tamiya XF-19 Sky Gray mixed 2:1 with Tamiya XF-2 Flat White. This produced a lighter shade of gray that would hold all the weathering without getting too dark. For the molten panel produced by blasts, I used a soldering gun.

I wanted to depict a the area with a hint of black and dark brown for which I used striking matches. Yes, you read right, household matches did the trick. Light a match and stick it to the molten are while the head is still in the process of lighting. It will create a nice ‘splattered” brownish smoke effect that one can compliment with Black.

In my case, I used Polly S Grimy Black acrylic paint for the ”Soot”. If you have never tried the matches technique, try on a piece of scrap styrene. The black bands were painted on with Tamiya XF-1 Flat black instead of using the provided decals.

There are 2 battery holders inside to power up 2 LED’s on the back with 4.5V via AA’s batteries. The frontal lights are powered by a 3V battery holder with 2 AAA’s batteries. As you can see on the pictures below, the louvers on the Cylon Raider got a piece of stock styrene which keep the louver in place without being glued.

That’s along with an extra cut on the upper half of the kit (also pictured) provides easy access to the battery holders which are held in place with Velcro.

Editors Note
This was an absolute fun build with my 14 years old son. As soon as the bench is cleared of other model kits in my queue, I will build a second Cylon Raider. I highly recommend this kit, it is definitely a refreshing break from aircraft or armor models, not to mention a nice trip thru the memory lane.

George Collazo
George Collazo

George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.