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Odyssey Slipways' Winged Defender Kit Preview

By Garry Stahl - images & text © 2006

Scale: 1/2500
Parts: 7 resin
Instructions: 1 page exploded assembly diagram
Decals: None
Molding Quality: 8 - very good
Detail: 9 - Excellent
Accuracy: 5 - several notable differences, including hull shape, between this and FASA
MSRP: $35.00 USD (~$38.86 CAN/ 27.43 EUR) available from Starship Modeler or Odyssey Slipways
Overall Rating: 9 - Well worth the time and money

^ This is actually the old FASA mini ... but you get the idea...

[Please click to enlarge]

^ What you get

Image: Wings

Image: Bow

Image: Stern

Image: Top of the main hull, with the FASA mini for comparison

Image: Underneath

The old FASA Star Trek game had its points and its fans. Along with an RPG it had a starship combat simulator. Available for that game were a goodly number of lead miniature ships in the 1/3900 scale, or there about. Federation, Klingon, Gorn, and Romulan ships were represented. This article is a look at one of the Romulans.

Within the last couple of years fans of those old wargaming minis have been working to resurrect the favorites in 1/2500 scale. Ships of the FASA lineage have come from the Starship Modeler Kit Factory, RBM, and Odyssey Slipways. I am going to discuss the latest issue from Odyssey Slipways, the Romulan "Winged Defender".

The model itself is seven parts cast in a a cream resin. It is smooth and glossy without any stickiness or odor. The Winged Defender is bending over backwards to look like a bird. The ship has the main hull, the two wings sporting the feather patterns, the warp nacelles and the two heavy weapons that are the feet. The model was placed in ziplock bags, shipped in a small cardboard box, inside a larger box, and packed in shredded paper. Nothing was broken.

My kit did not have instructions, although I understand that they will be included in later kits (they are -Ed.). I know how a Winged Defender goes together, but this is not a universal case. It needs instructions, even if a simple exploded diagram, which will be plenty.

Molding quality is up to the Odyssey Slipways' standard. It is relatively flash free. The only flash to speak of is on the tiny weapons that are the feet of the bird. I did count some six bubbles in the resin. None of them are in spots that are going to be easy to fix. Two are in detail on the wings that will be a positive bear. The same place on both wings. I have a feeling it is a mold thing. I know for a fact that my copy is one of the first ten of this model to be cast.

Detail is up to the Odyssey Slipways' standards. The feather patterns on the wings are crisp and straight I love the way the "radiators" in the wing root are made. They look beautiful, and help lock the parts together.

Accuracy is where it falls down a bit. I have an old FASA Winged Defender It is one of a few of my wargaming minis still in one piece. The two differ in several points about the hull. It some respects I consider the new detail an improvement. In others I see no reason to have changed it. I still like it and am certainly not shipping it back. However, accuracy is accuracy. I cannot pull punches on this. If you are looking for a 100% 1/2500 blow-up of the FASA mini, this is not it. But, in my opinion, if you pass on it because of that, you are a fool.

The price of $35.00 is typical of Odyssey Slipways: high enough to make me wince. Not high enough to keep me away. The more I see of his work the less wincing I do.

If you are a fan of the FASA game or their designs this is a must have ship. The Winged Defender is arguably one of the most beautiful of the Romulan ships that FASA chose to produce in lead. It could also be called the most fanciful and least practical. But I am a Winged Defender fan. I love the thing. A chance to own it in 1/2500 without having to do the hard work myself is well worth the price.

Please click here to read the build review.

Many thanks to Garry's wallet for providing the review samples. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 4000+ readers a day? Contact us!

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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This page copyright © 2006 Starship Modeler™. First posted on 24 August 2006. Last updated on 26 March 2007.