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There seems to be a growing number of hobbyists out there who are scratch-building the model rockets of yesteryear. Many of the instructions from the original commercial models are available online (copyright champions, look away) and some folks sell nosecones, decal sheets, and other parts for these models. One popular theme is the sci-fi movie and TV rocketships, such as those from Star Trek, Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica.

Hobby rocket couple Verna and Randy scratch-built a fleet of Colonial Vipers from Battlestar Galactica, based on the old Estes kit. A friend of theirs, Jim Neubauer, made the decidedly more imposing 1/15th scale Viper (seen in the last photo).

Verna’s Vipers [via HobbyMedia]

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • RocketGuy

    The X-Wing launched a while ago:

    And here’s the expose:

    What really happened at the X-Wing Launch:

  • matt

    I miss the older Estes models – it seems like they’ve stopped catering to anyone over the age of 14…

  • Thomas

    I’ve been exploring model rocketry recently and pleasantly surprised at the handful of really great sites featuring plans for commercially-produced rocket kits — new and old. It seems that the rocketry community takes more of a share & share alike attitude towards copyright. Very refreshing to see.