Thursday, July 16, 2020

Ork Dakka Jets For The New Aeronautica Imperialis

Ork Dakka Jets from GW's "Aeronautica Imperialis" buzz the countertop in my kitchen.
The summer weather continues to slow my painting, but I'm still messing around with a few small "projects" for the summer - one of these will be "Aeronautica Imperialis", GW's aerial combat game set in their Warhammer 40k universe. These are models of Ork "Dakka Jets", plastic kits from GW that came with the initial (re)release of the game last year, the "Wings of Vengeance" set.

These new models are much larger than the previous versions...but also very, very nice, I have to say.
These models are new to me, but the game itself is not totally new. "Wings of Vengeance" came out last year, but "Aeronautica Imperialis" itself is even older than that. It was originally a set of rules released by Forge World many years ago - Dallas picked up a copy, and the Conscripts have enjoyed many games of Aeronautica over the years.

Overheard view.
The original version of the game was a nice, clean and fun set of rules. It made use of the old Epic range of flyers, models which were subsequently sold through Forge World for a time. Dallas has an excellent collection of the old metal ork and Imperial fighters and bombers from the long-departed Epic game, augmented selectively with a few resin flyers from Forge World. The Forge World collection, back when it existed, was ostensibly the same scale as Epic, although the flyer models were much larger.

Much simpler scheme on this model.
This new version has built on that tradition - indeed, many of the rules will be familiar to anyone who has played the original version of Aeronautica Imperialis. But there are two significant changes. First, the movement and maneuver are now hex-based, instead of using the card template system in the original rules. Personally, I think the card template system is better, as it frees you from needing a hex-marked gaming surface. At the same time, it is easier and easier to get different game mats marked with things like hexes, so that is not such a big deal. Certainly, I think you could play without the hex map, as long as you have some hex-shaped markers to help with the maneuvers.

This one makes me think of the old US P-47 Thunderbolt from WW2 for some reason...
The second big change is found in the models themselves. In a move that will be familiar to fans of "Adeptus Titanicus", GW up-scaled the models when they re-issued Aeronautica (in fact, they are supposedly in a scale to match the new range of Titans). The new models are absolutely gorgeous, but they will not really fit at all with any of the older models...not an issue for me, but this will certainly turn some players off, no doubt. These Dakka Jets are two or three times larger than the old metal Ork fighters from the Epic game, and I suspect they are a health portion larger than the later resin models from Forge World.

Another view of the formation...those fancy flight bases will need to be painted!
The "Wings of Vengeance" box is set amid the campaign around the Ork invasion of Rynn's World. The box comes with a small selection of models for the Orks and Imperial air fleets to get you started. These "Dakka Jets" are the basic fighter/interceptors for the Orks - fast, maneuverable but not very armoured. They can be augmented with bombs and rockets to give some extra punch.

The models are very nice, faithful recreations of the strange look of GW's 40k Orks. So many rivets and random plates, all bolted/slapped together. It's a sort of shabby-clap-trap-but-still-somehow-scary Ork "technology", stuff that seems to work mostly because the Orks believe it will work. I haven't painted much Ork stuff over the years - it was fun to try (and mostly fail) to come up with checkerboard type markings, but on the whole, I'm pleased with how these turned out.

The bases are quite fancy - but a little annoying. They are so prominent that they will need to be painted at some point, I think. But they do not come apart very easily in order to facilitate priming and that will be a tricky business. I think I'll save that step for last.

You can see a couple of bombs peaking out from beneath the wings - giving this Dakka Jet some ability to hit ground targets.
Earlier this year GW released another Aeronautica set, "Skies of Fire", set during the Taros campaign and involving the Tau. While I am much, much keener on the Tau kit than the Ork stuff, but Orks are fun, and I thought they would be fun models to practice on in order to get used to painting these small model aircraft. My goal for the summer is to get through the Ork and Imperial models from the first box set, and we'll see where things go from there.

Thanks very much for reading, hope you are having a great summer!


Neil Scott said...

lovely work on these

Dallas said...

The planes look fantastic. It always makes me sad that GW messes with the scale of its models with each new generation, but I'm keen to try out the rules with these fantastic looking planes!

john de terre neuve said...

Wow they are very nicely done indeed.