This beautifully painted T’au Barracuda AX-5-2 was on display at Warhammer World.
To combat the ever-increasing diversity of enemies faced by the expanding T’au Empire, the AX-5-2 Barracuda was developed as a multi-role fighter by the Earth Caste of the Vash’ya Sept. This new pattern maintained the unmatched agility and manoeuvrability of its forebears, but benefitted from an improved power grid and enhanced combat avionics systems, as well as a variable weapons fit so that it could be rearmed swiftly between missions.
When I went to Warhammer World in January of this year (well that was a different time back then) this was the first time I had actually seen the Aeronautica Imperialis models in the flesh. It gave me a real idea of the size of the models. When the Aeronautica Imperialis game had come out, it was apparent from White Dwarf that the models were the same (new) scale as Adeptus Titanicus and were bigger than the models which were released for Epic back in the day and the original version of Aeronautica Imperialis. The bigger size makes for a more visually appealing game and the models can be more detailed (and a little easier to paint).
This is the Imperial Navy Marauder Destroyer.
Sacrificing a portion of its bomb payload in favour of nose-mounted autocannon and an increased complement of Hellstrike Missiles, the Marauder Destroyer specialises in low-level assaults on ground targets.
This is one of the small Ork Dakkajets.
Among the smallest and most numerous of Ork aircraft, the Dakkajet is built for speed and firepower, capable of unleashing devastating hails of buffets from its arsenal of quad big shootas.
A bigger Ork plane, the Grot Bommer.
The diminutive Gretchin have long been enthusiastic supporters of Ork aviation, whether gleefully pushing bombs out of open bays, crawling into tight spots to fix engines, or acting as spotters and even gunners on ork planes. It doesn’t take long before they become obsessed with flying just like their bigger kin, begging for their own turn on the control stick. Some enterprising Ork meks decided this arrangement could be mutually beneficial, and created guided missiles that could be flown like a tiny, gretchin-sized airplane. Fitted with a short-burn rocket engine and stuffed with unstable explosives, some rabid grots are happy to climb aboard just for the (short-lived) thrill of speed and freedom. They’re loaded into the wings of specially-fitted Grot Bommers, and launched in support of the Air Waaagh!
Towering over its foes, the Wraith lord is controlled by the essence of one of the craftworld’s mightiest warriors. Able to be equipped with a wide variety of Heavy Weapons, Assault Weapons and even a close combat weapon the Wraithlord is an extremely versatile component in the Eldar battleplan.
Chaos Knights in the Assault on Zybos diorama at Warhammer World.
The industrial world of Zybos has fallen to the Black Legion. Now it’s massive foundries produce countless foul Daemon Engines.
This diorama was originally built for the Warhammer 40000 Apocalypse Book and featured Ultramarines. When it was moved to Warhammer World, it was extended by the team and the Ultramarines replaced by the Imperial Fists.
T’au Supremacy armour is larger than any other current class of battlesuit. It is intended to meet a threat that the T’au Empire has not yet prepared for; the defence of worlds within their growing domain from the counter-expansion forces of other races. Lacking the manoeuvrability of other battlesuits, the KX139 Ta’unar Supremacy Armour was designed for static defence, carrying massively destructive, long range weapons.
The T’au Heavy Rail Cannon Array is the most powerful armament yet developed to be mounted on the KX139 Ta’unar Supremacy Armour without structural damage being incurred from its use. It was created to eliminate the toughest enemy targets at extreme range.
The industrial world of Zybos has fallen to the Black Legion. Now it’s massive foundries produce countless foul Daemon Engines. The Imperial Fists have declared that they will purge this corrupted world and destroy all traces of these hideous creations.
The Astraeus is a super-heavy tank, similar in form to the smaller Repulsor transport in use by the newly created Primaris Space Marines. It mounts a formidable array of weapons, designed around a pair of immense macro-accelerator cannon. Providing a stable firing platform for these temperamental weapons are banks of enhanced repulsor plates, allowing the inexorable advance of the Astraeus to continue unhindered by hostile terrain or the vain defiance of the foe, while its layered void shields can shrug off even the most devastating weapon strikes.
Unlike the lumpen and unlovely battle tanks of other races, the Fire Prism is graceful and swift. Despite its aesthetic qualities, the Fire Prism sacrifices none of the killing power associated with heavy armour, and its prism cannon is the bane of the heavy battle tanks of the crude races.
The main armament of the Fire Prism is an extremely unusual device that uses a two-stage firing process. A medium-magnitude laser is discharged into a massive crystal prism that greatly amplifies the potency of the shot in a fraction of a second. This energy can be discharged in a focused beam capable of blasting through the thickest armour. Or, it can be dispersed to slay entire squads of enemy infantry. Most unusual of all, sophisticated tracking arrays allow this technological wonder to channel its firepower through the prismatic lens of another prism cannon, forming one all-powerful laser blast that can obliterate any target.
At Warhammer World there were lots of fantastic Tau models in the display cabinets.
The Tau (or T’au) are a young, humanoid and technologically-advanced intelligent race native to the Eastern Fringes of the Milky Way Galaxy who are fighting to expand their interstellar empire and extend a philosophical concept they call the “Greater Good”.
The Manta, more formally known as the Manta Missile Destroyer, is a super-heavy Tau spacecraft that is also the Tau Empire’s closest equivalent to the Imperium of Man’s Titans and Ork Gargants. It is well-armoured for use in frontline combat and can deliver massive amounts of firepower to the battlefield to help support Tau ground forces during a frontal assault against entrenched enemy positions.
A TX4 Piranha is a type of lightly armoured combat scout skimmer used by the Tau Fire Caste – a mobile weapons platform that is capable of great speed and manoeuvrability. Using its jet-thrusters and anti-gravitic engine, a Piranha is a fast moving craft that is extremely hard for a foe to hit, its twin crew well able to hug the terrain and make the best use of any cover. Furthermore, a Piranha’s weaponry allows it to punch well above its own weight, either using its Burst Cannon to slaughter enemy infantry, or using a Fusion Blaster to blow apart battle tanks many times its own size. Along with a nose-mounted main armament, a Piranha carries two Gun Drones — either retained on the vehicle to add firepower, or detached into AI (Artificial Intelligence) mode to perform some other mission. When operating as lone hunters, Piranhas are dangerous enough, but it is when they are fielded in teams that they become truly lethal.
The T’au XV104 Riptide is the pinnacle of the Earth caste’s battlesuit development. It stands twice as tall as the XV8 Crisis suit, but its movements are more like those of its smaller cousins than the mechanical stiffness displayed by Imperial walkers with their crude servo-motors.
The Sky Ray Missile Defence Gunship is a specialised variant of the Hammerhead that replaces its turret gun with an array of deadly seeker missiles.