16 March 2012

Review: Brigade Models Athena VTOL

Here's another one of those models that has been around for quite some time, but doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves.

I picked up a Brigade Models Athena VTOL during their December sale.  It's nice to see this model is available again - it had been unavailable for some time (probably because the thin parts are quite difficult to cast).  But I'm glad Brigade decided to return it to the lineup, because it is my new favorite 15mm dropship/transport craft.  

The main kit consists of 8 parts: the main fuselage, the main wing, two thrusters, tailpiece, rear hatch, and 3x landing struts.  The parts were cast very cleanly.  No air bubbles on anything, just a little bit of mold lines along the edges of the main wing section.  And there was some slight warpage with one of the vertical tail fins, but it easily bent back to shape under hot water.  I also ordered two different weapon kits: the rocket and gun pods. Since I couldn't choose between the two, I decided to add one of each to my Athena.

This is the largest 15mm aerospace vehicle in my collection.  I decided to use the landing gear because, on my 2' x 2' tabletops, the Athena won't be anything more than terrain or an objective.  If this was to be a game piece on a much larger table, I wouldn't use anything outside of a CorSec Engineering Omni-Stand to safely hold it. Even though the big parts are resin, this is still a very heavy model. 

Assembly and painting were a breeze.  Everything went together with superglue, and it took spray primer without any problems.  Then I sprayed the entire ship with Model Master Euro Gray and used the same color in brush-on to touch up a few missed spots.  I painted the engine components and windows with Vallejo Boltgun, then washed with a coat of Secret Weapon Armor Wash and Secret Weapon Blue Wash respectively.  Then I picked out a few other details in Vallejo Heavy Bluegray, painted the weapons with Vallejo Heavy Brown, and finished and sealed the mini with Wonder Wash Black.

The palette is identical to my Rebel Minis Homeguard (including the Rebel HAMR suits I painted to support them), and a close match for my Laserburn Imperial Scouts.  This, of course, was deliberate.  But it also became apparent that this color scheme was nice and generic - it could work alongside any human force in my collection:

So now I have a good transport ship/shuttle to use in all kinds of games.  I tested it out using the USE ME  Terminus: Planetfall scenario on Barking Irons.  I'll post that battle report soon on Dropship Horizon.



  1. Great review Chris, I have quite a few items from Brigade Models and they are all outstanding,
    I've yet to pick this one up but I think I will shortly. Thanks again!


  2. This appears to be a really nice model, Chris. Thanks for the review and drawing my attention to something new (well, to me at least!)