|Flight of Imperial Thunderbolts for "Aeronautica Imperialis".|
I've been dabbling in "Aeronautica Imperialis", GW's air-combat game set in the Warhammer 40k universe. I finished some Ork Dakka Jets back in the summer, and some Ork Fighta Bommerz in November - but to play the game, they would need some opponents! So here is a group of Imperial Thunderbolt Fighters, ready to protect The Emperor's skies and keep them clear of evil xenos...
|I used the decals from the box set - basic, but they get the job done!|
These are multi-part plastic kits from GW. Again, these are really, really well done - just be cautious with assembly, as there are some truly small and fiddly bits on these sprues that will disappear into a carpet and never be seen again if you drop them...
|A standard Thunderbolt - quad autocannons and a pair of lascannons.|
You have some options in terms of assembly - there is the standard Thunderbolt fighter, which is armed with quad autocannons and a pair of lascannons. But you can also build the "Thunderbolt Fury" variant, which sports avenger cannons in place of the autocannons. The avenger cannons hit a little harder (and a funny aside here - the description in the rules implies the avenger cannons run out of ammunition sooner, but then the actual stats show them with unlimited ammo, same as the autocannons - one of many odd contradictions in these rules - it's almost like GW subcontracted the rulebook production out to Warlord Games, but I digress).
|The "Fury" variant - rocking the avenger autocannons on the nose. This is the flight leader - I figured he would take the plane with the cooler weapons...|
|Assortment of missiles to augment the fighting abilities of the Thunderbolt.|
Just as the Ork planes in the game can get added weapons in the forms of rockets, bombs and "custom shootas", so the Thunderbolts can also be armed with air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, bombs or a mix, to complete various missions. Overall, these are great models, lots of fun to paint up.
|A Thunderbolt closes with an Ork Fighta Bommer in "Aeronautica Imperialis" action.|
Because the game is hex-based, we were able to give it a try over Zoom a few weeks ago - it was just a small game, two opposing patrols encountering each other, but after just one run-through, I can say the game looks to be a lot of fun. With the larger scale of aircraft, there will be some limits to the size of the game you can stage (although I believe it is possible to purchase larger game mats with hexes on them, which could open things up), but "Aeronautica" is a good bit of fun!
|An Ork Dakka Jet makes a point-blank pass at an Imperial Thunderbolt...this is basically the way the Orks need to succeed in the game...|
That's all for now - I hope to share another couple of add-ons to this fun game before long. And, of course, with winter nearly here in the formal sense, a number of us will be preparing for the start of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge - I hope you will enjoy our efforts!
Thanks for reading - hope you are staying safe and staying sane!