DeSanto/Singer: The Cylon Raider

Knowing that plans were in place to change and update the Cylon Centurion, the DeSanto/Singer project opted to base the updated Cylon Raider on the classic design.  They feared that too radical a departure, coupled with the changes to the Cylons, might alienate the strong fanbase Battlestar Galactica had enjoyed for more than 20 years.  These rough sketches were done by Guy Hendrix Dyas to illustrate the basic concept Tom DeSanto had for the new ship. 

Guy Hendrix Dyas Concept Drawing

In Feb 2004, Russell Sanders took the Guy Dyas drawing and converted it into a computerized model.  Using Guy’s concept as a guide, and following the detailing themes established in the original 1978 series and the Revell model productions, Sanders created this rendition showing how the DeSanto raider would likely have looked had the production been allowed to continue.

Advanced Cylon Raider

This raider design is very sleek.  The extended wings, angled slightly downward, make it look more like a bat than a saucer.  This coincided with an idea Tom Desanto had in which he wanted hundreds of the Cylon fighters to suddenly poor out from the basestar.  He gained this idea while watching bats emerge from under a highway underpass one evening and wanted to see it brought to life on the screen.  The new raider was designed to help accommodate that vision.

Advance Cylon Raider

Some of the details are specifically altered to provide an updated look.  The cockpit canopy is enhanced from the 1978 raider to demonstrate a more sophisticated control center.  Although originally flat, Sanders added pressure release values for the engines shown at the top of the fighter.  (He hated the flat look of the panels and had to detail them).

Advance Cylon Raider

The underside of the raider was a total unknown.  Sanders attempted to coordinate with Guy Dyas but unfortunately couldn’t connect with him, so he modeled the underside and rear of the fighter after details appearing on the studio scale Cylon raider and the paneling detail from the Revell model.  In some cases, detailing was shifted to better fit the new design.  The “bat-like” aspect of the fighter is most apparent from its undercut central section, which forced certain detailing changes that prevented a direct transfer of design from the 1978 raider to the new one.

Advanced Cylon Raider

Another significant change planned for the DeSanto/Singer raider concerned the cockpit set.  The original set was sparse, with very little in the way of instrumentation.  The DeSanto/Singer Raider cockpit was going to be much more detailed.

Advance Cylon Raider Cockpit Concept Drawings

– written by Russell Sanders