Going grey with the Adeptus Astartes Flyers

As with my Asuryani Flyers the next stage after giving the Adeptus Astartes models for Aeronautica Imperialis a white undercoat was to think about the colour scheme. I have the models from the Wrath of Angels and I now have a Thunderhawk as well. I did think about Ultramarines blue, then Salamanders green, but in the end decided on painting them up as Grey Knights. Forge World had a display of a Grey Knights Thunderhawk at a GamesDay event which is what inspired me.

Grey Knights Thunderhawk
Grey Knights Thunderhawk

I think this could work, however they used a grey colour scheme rather than the metallic finish of the Grey Knights themselves.

So I gave the Storm Eagles a basecoat of Basilicanum Grey contrast paint.

I did the same with the Xiphon Interceptors.

The next stage will be that heavy dry brush and then a lighter dry brush to draw out the highlights and make the models look more like the Forge World Grey Knights.

After that it will be detailing the hull (with red), the engines and weapons.

Sokar pattern Stormbird for Aeronautica Imperialis

Sokar pattern Stormbird.
Sokar pattern Stormbird.

I have in previous blog posts discussed what possible future aircraft we coud see for Aeronautica Imperialis. In the first of the discussion pieces I went through prospective models, and I followed this with an updated version back in May when the Wrath of Angles boxed set was announced.

One model I mentioned was the Stormbird. Having recently constructed the Aeronautica Imperialis Thunderhawk Gunship I was reminded of the Stormbird and did start to think about if we would see an Aeronautica Imperialis model.

Stormbird is a catch-all term that refers to a series of various super-heavy dedicated attack landers that were once used by the Legiones Astartes as their primary means of deploying forces into combat. Stormbirds also served in air support and general planetary transport roles during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras in the late 30th and early 31st Millennia. 

Forge World have released a 40K scale model of the Sokar Pattern Stormbird, which is a huge (expensive) resin kit. I have seen the model at Warhammer World and it is one big model

The Sokar Pattern Stormbird was one of the later patterns of Stormbird developed during the Great Crusade and was used as the design precursor to the smaller, more widely produced Thunderhawk gunship.

Sokar pattern Stormbird
Sokar pattern Stormbird

The Sokar pattern Stormbird is a dedicated attack lander. It has served as a high-durability orbital assault craft, a mobile bastion and firebase which could land a Space Marine strike force and withstand heavy ground fire while its cargo or troops and war machines disembarked to press the attack. 

I could see Forge World making and releasing a Sokar Pattern Stormbird in resin for use in Aeronautica Imperialis, though such a large model may be problematic from a rules perspective. The Thunderhawk Gunship is not as big as the Sokar Pattern Stormbird and even that looks like it might be problematic from a gaming perspective, as it might be too big for the board.

This then got me thinking about other large flyers and that they would have similar issues.

In the olden days I am sure Forge World would have just gone ahead and produced a model, as they did with the Epic scale Thunderhawk Transporter they did for the original release of Aeronautica Imperialis which was shown off at GamesDay 2006.

They (appeared) to be more independent back then, now they seem part of the planned release cycles.

So will be see a Sokar pattern Stormbird for Aeronautica Imperialis from Forge World, I actually don’t think we will.

See the Sokar Pattern Stormbird 40K scale Gallery.


Space Marine Thunderhawk (in plastic)

Well of course I am talking about the new Adeptus Astartes Thunderhawk Gunship for Aeronautica Imperialis. Of course one day we may see a 40K scale version, but not today. I did manage to get a box of the Aeronautica Imperialis Thunderhawk when it was released.

The box comes with two sprues with the parts divided between them.

Construction was actually quite simple and I found the model came together quite easily. It was an interesting build and it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

You can model the landing gear deployed or stowed. I decided that I would have it deployed, maybe I could use the model as scenery (or an objective) in future games of Adeptus Titanicus.

What I was less sure about was the “attack wings” that can be constructed in a manner so they can move, but mine don’t stay in place and just flop down. I think I might keep them loose (for painting) and then take a view.

The model is very large compared to the other Aeronautica Imperialis models I have, the kit comes with an extra part to extend the flying base, so the Thunderhawk can fly higher than the other models.

The next step will be a white undercoat.

Picked up a Thunderhawk

So I kind of dithered slightly, but this morning I changed my mind and picked up an Aeronautica Imperialis Adeptus Astartes Thunderhawk Gunship from my local FLGS.

Designed to operate in both planetary atmosphere and the cold void of space, the Thunderhawk Gunship combines the roles of orbital troop lander, heavy gunship, and bomber into a single, brutally effective aircraft. Sturdy and well-armoured, Thunderhawks deliver their Adeptus Astartes passengers into the very heart of raging battle, and provide fire support with a truly fearsome array of weapons afterwards. These iconic vessels have come to be feared as the harbinger of doom by the enemies of the Imperium of Mankind.

The box contains two sprues to make up the model. There are a fair few parts as one would imagine for a kit of this size (even if it is a tiny plane). The model is very well detailed.  It does make me think that would GW ever decide to re-issue Space Marine or Epic40000 (as in WH40K ground combat) but in the new Adeptus Titanicus scale? Part of me thinks they won’t, it could possibly cannibalise sales of (proper sized) Warhammer 40000.

Another thing is that the pricing of the models would be quite extorinate compared to previous versions of Epic. The original metal 1997 Epic40000 Thunderhawk was £7.00, whereas this plastic kit has a list price of £26 nearly four times as expensive. Yes it has been over twenty years, but even so this means we would be paying £5 for an Ork vehicle and £10 for a Land Raider if GW ever did go down a path of making vehicles and infantry for Adeptus Titanicus.

I will be painting my Adeptus Astartes Thunderhawk Gunship as a Grey Knights Thunderhawk as discussed in this earlier post.


Grey Knights for Aeronautica Imperialis

I have been thinking about is what colour to paint my Adeptus Astartes models for Aeronautica Imperialis.

I have the models from the Wrath of Angels and am seriously considering getting a Thunderhawk as well.

I did think about Ultramarines blue, then Salamanders green, but now thinking about painting them up as Grey Knights.

Forge World had a display of a Grey Knights Thunderhawk at a GamesDay event.

Grey Knights Thunderhawk
Grey Knights Thunderhawk

I think this could work, however they used a grey colour scheme. A lot of Grey Knight vehicles were also painted in this scheme.

Inquisitor Rhino next to Inquisitor Land Raider
Inquisitor Rhino next to Land Raider

When I started thinking about painting my Aeronautica Imperialis models I was thinking painting them the same colour as Grey Knights.

Giving the models a base coat of Leadbelcher and then washes and detailing.

Now reflecting on the excellent Forge World models I am now thinking of following that scheme on the Aeronautica Imperialis models.

It also got me thinking that I could add some Inquisitorial Storm Troopers Valkyrie Transports to the force as well.

A Storm Troopers Valkyrie Transport which is part of Mike Sharpe's superb Space Wolves army, which was on show at GamesDay 2006.
A Storm Troopers Valkyrie Transport which is part of Mike Sharpe’s superb Space Wolves army, which was on show at GamesDay 2006.

Add another boxed set of those to the shopping list.

I will also need to think about rules, either using the vanilla rules, or doing some tweaking.

Aeronautica Imperialis Thunderhawk Gunship coming soon

It was announced yesterday that the Aeronautica Imperialis Thunderhawk Gunship will go on pre-order next Saturday (30th October) for release on the following Saturday (6th November).

The Thunderhawk Gunship fulfils a number of different strategic and tactical roles. Its primary mission is that of a drop ship but its utility does not end with the deployment of its lethal cargo of Space Marines, for it is a formidable heavy weapons platform in its own right. Equipped with a dorsal-mounted turbolaser, the Thunderhawk is able to engage targets as large as a Scout Titan or super-heavy tank as well as enemy fortifications. In addition to its main weaponry, the Thunderhawk mounts numerous heavy bolters with which it can scour a landing zone clear of enemy troops in a storm of mass reactive shells. An additional payload of wing-mounted missiles allows the gunship to operate in direct support of the squads it delivers into battle.

I am looking forward to actually buying this model, I suspect it will be expensive for a single plastic model, but ah well, why not.

Also coming out in the same time frame is the Fire Raptor Squadron.

Fire Raptor Squadron

The Fire Raptor Gunship is a specialised variant of the Storm Eagle known to have its origins in the Imperium’s dim and distant past. The vehicle is configured to maximise ammunition stowage in order to feed the voracious appetite of its numerous weapons and this is achieved by sacrificing the Storm Eagle’s transport capacity.

Nice models and more firepower than the Storm Eagles that come in the Wrath of Angels boxed set.

What I am still thinking about is what colour to paint my Adeptus Astartes models.

I did think about Ultramarines blue, then Salamanders green, but now thinking about painting them up as Grey Knights.




So now what’s next for Aeronautica Imperialis?

Back in July 2020 I wrote a speculative piece about future releases for Aeronautica Imperialis and some personal preferences for models. I had written the post after finishing painting my Valkyrie Assault Carriers which had been released alongside there Skies of Fire boxed set which contained miniatures for the Tau and the Astra Militarum.

I started to think about which models I would get next, and that got me thinking what we have seen that still needs to be released and also what could be released in the future and what I would like to see in the future as well.

Since that article was published we have had some new releases for Aeronautica Imperialis from GW and resin models from Forge World.

Forge World released the Vulture Gunship and the Arvus Lighter in August 2020.

Continue reading “So now what’s next for Aeronautica Imperialis?”

Nice new flyers for Aeronautica Imperialis

Well as part of Warhammer Fest Online we saw the announcement of a new boxed set for Aeronautica Imperialis.

There is a new Aeronautica Imperialis boxed set – Wrath of Angels. After Wings of Vengeance, featuring Orks and the Imperial Navy, and Skies of Fire, which introduced the T’au Air Caste, this set is all about Aeldari Craftworlds versus Space Marines.

So in the boxed set you get three Xiphon Interceptors, two chunky Storm Eagles for the Space Marines, whilst for the Eldar, sorry Aeldari, you get three Nightwings and three Phoenix Bombers.

Quite like the chunky Storm Eagles which look the part.

I am not a real fan of the Xiphon Interceptors. but these are nice models, they seem to work better in the smaller size.

Available separately will be a lovely looking plastic Space Marine Thunderhawk.

Lots of great detail and does make you think could GW move into recreating Epic sized vehicles and infantry for Adeptus Titanicus?

I do like all the Space Marine models and think these will make for interesting games of Aeronautica Imperialis. I also quite like the Aeldari models so I think I might get the boxed set.

What next for Aeronautica Imperialis?

Aeronautica Imperialis Logo

I’ve enjoyed painting my Aeronautica Imperialis models and even I am impressed that I have managed to build, undercoat and paint them in a relatively short timeframe. I did my Valkyrie Assault Carrier in a week! I would usually take a few years to paint them (if at all….).

I started to think about which models I would get next, and that got me thinking what we have seen that still needs to be released and also what could be released in the future and what I would like to see in the future as well.

Some of these are obviously core Games Workshop releases, some could be plastic kits and I think others might be Forge World models or upgrades to plastic kits.

Forge World have released some kits for Adeptus Titanicus, such as weapon upgrades, new titans and scenery. I would like to think that they would do something similar for Aeronautica Imperialis.

What I might get next?

So, there are now quite a few released models for Aeronautica Imperialis, Ork, Imperial and now T’au aircraft. I bought Wings of Vengeance, so I already have Ork Dakkajets, Fighta Bommerz as well as Imperial Thunderbolts and Marauders. I also bought a box of Valkyrie Assault Carriers.  I was lucky enough to find a box of Ground Assets recently, so I have those as well.

The obvious answer for me is a pair of Grot Bommerz. I do like the concept of these, though I am not a big fan of the actual models, but Orks is Orks, so they are next on my shopping list.

Aeronautica Imperialis Ork flyers from Warhammer World

If I get those then I might get the Heavy Ork Bommerz as well. Continue reading “What next for Aeronautica Imperialis?”

The Battle of Signus Prime

The Battle of Signus Prime was a diorama at Warhammer World where the Blood Angels Legion are advancing towards the Cathedral of the Mark across the devastated landscape of Signus Prime.

Mastodon Heavy Assault Transports lead the forces into battle.

The Mastodon was one of the heaviest assault transports in the arsenal of the Legiones Astartes during the Great Crusade, and is still found in the armouries of the Space Marine Chapters of the 41st Millenium. Its cavernous assault bay, capable of housing almost half a Company, is protected both by thick layers of ceramite armour as well as crackling void shields.

Mastodon Heavy Assault Transport

It also mounts a fearsome siege melta array, allowing it to breach even the most formidable defences with ease, as well as an array of secondary weaponry intended to defend the vehicle as it approaches its target. Unleashed only against the most fearsome of enemy redoubts, there are few obstacles that can stay the wrath of this relic of the Imperium’s bloody birth.

Mastodon Heavy Assault Transport

Under the assault of the Chaos gods and their dominion, Signus Prime has been turned into a  field of stinking mud and broken rocks.

Visibility was heavily reduced due to the slow relentless rain of sulphur and brimstone.

You can hear the cries of Daemons, nightmares given a corporeal form. Weapon platforms, such as the Legion Deimos Pattern Whirlwind Scorpius are made ready to launch death and destruction on the chaos forces.

An ancient variant of the more common Whirlwind missile tank, the Scorpius was designed with a single purpose in mind – the destruction of heavily armoured infantry. The Scorpius variant replaces the Whirlwind’s multiple missile launcher system with the intricate drum-fed scorpius launcher, whose implosive warheads are devastating to armoured infantry and light vehicles.

The roar of engines of thousands of vehicles is heavy in the air, the Blood Angels Legion anticipate victory. The skies are filled with the aircraft of the Blood Angels Legion.

Sacred Legion Javelin Attack Speeders are flanking the battlefield to take out the enemy.

Larger and more heavily armoured than the common pattern of Land Speeder, the Javelin Attack Speeder is a nigh-irreplaceable relic of a bygone age of technological mastery. Gravitic nullification plates, the secret of whose production and maintenance have long since been lost, allow the Javelin to mount an array of heavy weaponry more akin to a heavy tank destroyer than a nimble Land Speeder, allowing them to make pinpoint strikes on enemy armour or infantry with devastating lascannon or missile barrage.