Before anything can be said about this build full credit must be given to wintermute and his Viper mkII build. Battlestar Galatica (BSG) has inspired many Lego variations of Vipers, Wintermute's seemed to be a cut above most. Wintermute is a prolific builder and has posted many creations over on brickshelf I highly recommend taking a stroll through his posts.
The build began with the easiest parts to visually see... the wings. Certainly not the most robust constuction but the brick built white stripe adds a certain flare to the creation while not using stickers.
This shot is my favorite. Next, work on the front of the Viper began. A subtle detail in this build is that the nose is three studs wide and the cockpit is 4 studs wide. Although a simpler build might have been achieved by avoiding the "tapering" it seemed important to incorporate this element.
Wintermute appears to achieve this tapering by using some rounds and "pinching" plates on a one stud connection. This build borrows from the official LEGO X-wing build and uses some hinge plates to both retain some rigidity through the "nose" and sturdier connection to the main fuselage. This required several designs and then redesigns (followed by more redesigns) it was important that this build also had working landing gear, which I'm pleased to say is true.
One of the details that made wintermute's Viper stand out was in the angling of the engines. Although more tradition brick built engines could be achieved and look very nice (note: cloaked's build) and would certainly simplify the build considerably, ultimately fall a bit short of the iconic look from BSG. Thus, began another round of head scratching, design, and redesign.
Ultimately some plate "click-style" hinges would allow for the angling achieved on the two side engines. This build in general devaites from wintermutes beautiful creation in the "greebling" and the engines were no exception. Instead a slightly more robust build prevailed and I think its a fair substitute.
This build began as the brain child from my brother who so innocently suggested a "build sesh". Well, after 5 hours of really enjoyable building and a slight sense of delirium we finished this build at 2 AM. I think I'm going to go catch up on my sleep now.