Aeronautica Imperialis Thunderbolt Fighters

The Thunderbolt is the mainstay weapon system of Imperial Navy fighter wings and is a rugged, well-armed and armoured heavy fighter with all-around capabilities, a good maximum speed and above-average maneuverability, powerful nose-mounted weapons and hard points located on the wings for missile or bomb load-outs. The Thunderbolt’s primary combat role is as an air superiority fighter. It seeks out and engages enemy aircraft in dogfights or hunts enemy bombers to establish air superiority.

There are two of these in the Wings of Vengeance boxed set. This is the painted version on the GW website.

Here is the sprue for the models. As you can see both Thunderbolts are on the same sprue.

These models, like other Aeronatical Imperialis models, have a fair few parts, but they are easily constructed. I like the fact that the wings are one piece, rather that sticking two pieces, the top and bottom together (as you would normally do with an Airfix style kit). It does show how far plastic kits have come in the last few decades, but also from a design perspective, realising (especially with SF models that they don’t necessarily need to reflect an actual prototype).

One of the challenging aspects of this kit is the engine cowlings and exhausts, but once you have done a dry run, they are relatively simple to put into place.

The next stage was a white undercoat.

I armed both my Thunderbolts with Skystrike missiles.

I did start to think about what paint scheme I should use for my Thunderbolt fighters. I wanted a dark top, and a light underneath. I did really want a light blue underside and a dark blue topside.

I had a Humbrol grey spray can so I gave the models’ underneath a spray of grey.

It was probably a little too dark compared to what I wanted, but decided to leave it as it was.

As you can see there was a little overspray on the topside.

I started the basecoat with Thunderhawk Blue.

I was slightly disappointed by the coverage of the paint, it will need a second coat.

So once the first coat had dried, I gave the model a second coat, just on the wing to check what it would look like.

That was starting to look a lot better. So I decided to paint both models and then give them a second coat. This has resulted in a darker look, but I am quite happy with the result.

I painted the engines with Leadbelcher paint.

Also using Leadbelcher I painted the forward weaponry of the Thunderbolt.

I painted the engine inlets with Abaddon Black.

I painted the engine exhausts with Leadbelcher before painting the ordnance with Citadel Base Mechanicus Standard Grey.

I gave the model a wash of Drakenhof Nightshade Shade.

I am not entirely pleased with the result, so I am hoping  that when I drybrush the model that will improve the finish.

The next stage was a drybrush of Chronus Blue Citadel Dry Paint. I also used Lothern Blue for the cockpit glass.

I think I might use some Nuln Oil shade to emphasise certain aspects of the plane, such as the engines and the panels.

I did brighten up the engines with a light drybrush of Ironbreaker.