Federation Light Survey Cruiser (CLS)
U.S.S. Viking, NCC-962

1:3125 Scale Mongoose Publishing Gaming Miniature

2012 Jim Lewis/GunTruck Studios
All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Finishing materials and sequence can be found here on this page.

Awards & Honors

Right out of the gate, I must admit that the old Texas-Class Light Cruiser was not one of my favorite Star Fleet Battles designs. It always struck me as odd and out of place, a horse of a different breed in the same stable of the more familiar designs. Up until purchasing this Starline 2500 miniature, I didn't even have one in my gaming collection. Just as the other resin miniatures in my Squadron Box, this one called for a bit of extra work before assembly and finishing, but in that time I began to have some fun with it and the design grew on me.

This vessel type has a long history in the Star Fleet Universe, having served Star Fleet for over one hundred years. The hulls have been refitted and some even torn down and rebuilt with the latest technology, keeping pace with more modern vessels. Two of these were converted into Survey Cruisers, and though I've never seen one drawn or in miniature, I wanted to make my own.

USS Viking, NCC-962 was converted from USS Sinai, NCC-912 and her sister USS Voyager, NCC-974 was converted from USS Alaska, NCC-924. Inspiration to model the Survey Cruiser conversion came from the damage my Mongoose Publishing miniature had when I received it. One of the weapons spires at the front of the ship was broken - it had been cast with an air bubble right in the middle of the resin. It had been damaged during shipment and could not be reattached to the ship. So, I decided to chop off the other one, and install Sensor Dishes instead. The sharp markings for USS Viking are custom works created by Tenneshington Decals. They topped off my Light Survey Cruiser miniature, and I now want to order a set of decals to do the sister vessel USS Voyager in compliment.

With the damaged weapons spire removed, and the opposite side trimmed back to match, I installed two new Sensor Dishes made from Grandt Line Bolt and Rivet details. Their small size worked perfectly with the details already present on the gaming miniature. I also would replace the cast-in Phaser Mounts all around with Grandt Line Rivets too.

The most challenging areas of this miniature to prep for painting and finishing were the sides of the Engineering Hull. My example suffered from both mold shift and short-shots. Again, Squadron Green Putty came to the rescue, though it called for a few applications to make sure all of the problem areas were filled. The Grill details in the cutout area behind the head were too badly marred to recover, so I filled them smooth and then inserted a panel over them. I also made an attempt to fill the grooves from the master with putty - but didn't try to totally obliterate them, just to soften them up a bit.

The aft end of my Mongoose Publishing miniature called for a lot of filling too. Both Impulse Engine cavities had bubbles in them that created voids through the hull and exited out the bottom of the hull. Below, the Warp Nacelles were straight and the resin had completely cured, but were marred both on the rear upper and lower areas.

All content Copyright 1998 - 2019 Jim Lewis, guntruck.com, guntruck.us, guntruck.org, guntruck.net and GunTruck Studios.
All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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