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Aliya Dune Buggy in 15mm

Aliya Class Dune Buggy w/Cannon
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28 December 2001page first published

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Brigade Models recently sent another of their new 15mm scale line of science-fiction vehicles: the Aliya Dune Buggy. A dune buggy is a light vehicle with large studded tires, able to traverse sandy terrain. The manufacturer makes three variants of the Aliya, differing by turret - my sample has the Cannon turret. (The same vehicle is also available in 1/300 scale.)

model parts

The model comes packaged in a ziplog bag, and consists of:

  • body
  • 4 wheels (on two sprues) and 1 spare tire
  • turret
Tires after cut from sprue

The wheels come cast in two sections, and will need to be cut apart. Four wheels support the vehicle, while the fifth (the spare tire the hollow center) fits over a peg on the rear.

spare tire fits over peg on the back of the dune buggy

The four wheels need to be attached to the body. Locator pegs on the car bottom show where the tires should go. Each tire has a half-cylindrical peg that fits flush against the bottom. Assembly is as easy as gluing them down.

tires glued in place

Ordinarily, the turret just pops into place on top of the vehicle. You can glue it down, or leave it loose so that you can pose the turret while gaming.

My sample had a casting flaw. Normally, the turret peg fits into a hole in the car body. My car body's hole was blocked by a big "bubble" of metal. This was easily fixed by drilling out the hole with a power tool. (Funny how hot a mini gets when you're reaming it with a drill...)

side view of assembled Aliya

When assembling this model, most gamers will want to spend some time filing down the seam that goes around the car body. The good news is that the seam mostly runs over a smooth surface and the metal is soft, making this a fairly easy job. The exception is the rear of the vehicle where the seam crosses a pair of doors, but more good news is that the spare tire will hide some of this from view eventually anyway.


The wheels suffer from some seam and sprue attachment problems, and purists may want to fix these up. From a practical viewpoint, however, most gamers will paint the tires black or dark grey, and imperfections here will be difficult to spot on the gaming table.

Aliya posed with Force XXI infantry to show size

The model also has some "dust mote" type flaws (as seen in the wheels and spare tire photos above). These are usually easy to clean up. Sometimes just a nudge will "roll" them off; alternately, cut "under" them with a sharp hobby knife and they often "pop" off.

Aliya as painted by Brigade Models

If you're gaming in 15mm scale and tired of infantry and tanks, perhaps you should consider Brigade's fleet of dune buggies. Fast and lightly armored, they'll definitely add a new tactical wrinkle to your gaming sessions.

Dimensions: 35mm long, 22mm wide, and 19mm tall.