Borealis vs. Night Whisper

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Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2009
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I'm considering diving into my first really complex FlisKit and I'd like to get an opinion on which of the two kits would provide a better experience for someone with moderate modeling skill. I'm considering between the Borealis and the Night Whisper, both rated Skill 3. I've built several skill 3 models from FlisKits and from other vendors (i.e. my ill fated SR-71), but nothing as exotic as these kits. They're a considerable investment and I wonder which of them has a better track record for durability. I seem to pop fins really frequently, and even though that's an easy repair, the rockets never look quite the same afterward. I'd want to keep these beauties together but not by keeping them on the shelf.
I've built both, though can't really vouch for the durability of the Night Whisper because that wound up being a display model and went back to Jim.

Of the two, the Borealis strikes me as the more complex looking and intimidating to build, but it's really less construction time overall as long as you read the directions carefully along the way.

The Night Whisper is much easier to finish. It's basically just single color (go with Rustoleum metallic black, not the plain/gloss black). Borealis looks best with many contrasting colors and would be a bear to mask, forcing you to either prepaint and assemble or do a bunch of painting by hand.

I've flown the Borealis maybe 6-8 times, no serious wear & tear other than one "Estes dent" on snapback and one toothpick that had to be glued back on when shroud line caught it--definitely go with short delays and deploy nose-up...

One thing I'd do on the Night Whisper if concerned about durability is to go with some fairly thick monofilament fishing line or something for the guns and antennae rather than toothpicks/dowels. That would allow for a little flexibility where it would be prone to breakage.
It depends - would you rather be stomped to death by rampaging elephants or ripped apart by savage lions? :confused2:

Just kidding... :D

If you build like me, you will slow down and take your time. Reread the instructions several dozen times to be sure that you understand the entire assembly process. Carefully think through each step before starting it. Make sure that you have all the supplies that you need, and carefully arrange them on your work table. Make sure that your workshop is dust-free, neat and clean, because you can't possibly do good work in an untidy work space. Then reread the instructions a few more times. Analyze each step and think really seriously about whether that is really the best way to do it. Check to make sure that you have proper lighting. Investigate its white point in order to assure yourself that it is illuminating all colors accurately. Make sure that your glues are all fresh, your knife points are sharp and your mechanical pencil leads are unbroken. If laser-cut fins are included in the kit, carefully measure them several times to determine if they are all, in fact, identical. (They won't be. Trust me...) Make sure that you have several brands of the same color of paint, so that you can compare them under various lighting conditions in order to determine which one is really the best...

OK, on second thought, don't be like me. But do take your time with either build and read all instructions. Good luck and enjoy! I really, really like both designs!