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.
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.