Aeronautica Imperialis: Because Air-power is awesome!

Hey guys! First off, for those who found my content interesting, my apologies for not posting…in, what, 4-5 months? Its been a while. I had some stuff in life that drained my hobby energy while I dealt with it. I’m not sure if I’m fully back to 100% yet but I figured its high time I started blogging again! So with that out of the way….

“Strong men have conquered the land, Bold men have conquered the void, Between land and void lies the sky, and only the Bravest men ever conquer that.” -from the dedication to the Hessenville Aviation Scholam, Phantine.

When I started 40k, and bought my first flyer, it was new; a gimmick, something useful but outside of Forge World and the realm of the casual game, not seen terribly often. Oh, how times have changed. Now, almost every faction has access to some sort of flyer, be it a fighter, bomber, fighter bombers or even the super-heavy titan killers. Forge-World always had the nicest Imperial aircraft however, and for a teenager on a budget, such things were the realm of fantasy. Now, in my late 20s, that has changed. Enter, Ebay.

Slowly, but surely, through ebay purchases and a gift of an Arvus Lighter by a friend, my airpower grew from one Valkyrie to a Vulture, two Thunderbolts, another Valkyrie. Soon, the idea of owning and painting an entire Squadron was no longer a far off dream, but a very achievable reality.

Now, some thought had to be put into painting them, and a good background reference was both real world reference and history books, and Black Library’s admittedly rather limited selection on the Aeronautica Imperialis(Which, by the way, Dan Abnett’s Double Eagle, set in the same area of space as Gaunt’s Ghosts, is a fascinating view of Imperial air combat!). A little more on the Aeronautica; As Guard regiments are not allowed their own air-support, all aircraft are instead an atmospheric part of the Imperial Navy, who jealously guard this niche. As well, Squadrons, like in the real world, do not consist usually of more then one kind of aircraft, both to keep its role focused and to simplify logistics. With this in mind, I started to paint the Thunderbolts as part of the 144th Fighter Wing, a Thunderbolt equipped fighter-bomber squadron tasked with escort duty or ground attack based on the mission profile. The Vulture, subtly different in paint scheme with a slightly more drab look, belongs to the 317th Tactical Air Wing, who operates Valkyrie and Vendetta gunships as well. The Arvus is part of a naval support wing, and shuttles pilots from orbit to aircraft on the ground, as well as basic logistical duties that may come up.

Now this is where the story would end, but as fate would have it, my tax return and a chance eBay find happened within days of each other. After spending most of it on adulting, I then splurged and got something crazy.

The mainstay of the Imperial Navy atmospheric bomber fleet, the Marauder Bomber is a huge chunk of resin, maybe not the biggest ever but by far my heaviest model. Already assembled to a decent standard, it didn’t take long to get the motivation to paint it. Thinking that a bomber would be part of a larger Navy bomber wing, this beast was painted up to be part of the 541st Bomber Wing. An absolute joy to paint.

I decided that the top would be blue, specifically the Fang, as its blueish grey would look realistic while still showing it off as the centerpiece model it is. The bottom was Army Painter’s necrotic flesh, as its nice cream color complemented it nicely. Note, I do not own an airbrush, so the join between the colors was a mix of brush work and rattle-can trickery. While maybe not the best painted bomber ever, I’m still immensely proud of it.

And, its not done! I’ve put the 541st squadron markings on the tail, but I want to get nose art and put it on the front part of the hull. As well, I’m keeping an eye out for a nice large white aquila to put on one of the wings.

All the models I have shown off tonight are being used in a tournament on the 30th of March, held at my “Local” (if one could call an hour and a half drive local) store. While perhaps not as competitive as some other lists, and very easy to table because of boots on the ground, its capacity for high-damage firepower is undeniable. I did actually get a chance to test it against one of my regular opponents.

The flyers did very well, causing massive alpha strike damage, and generally chewing up whatever it was pointed at. While I did lose because of not playing the objective as well as I could have, it was still a good test of the firepower of the Imperial Navy, and I suffered only minor casualties, and didn’t lose a single aircraft.

All in all, this has been a very fun project of mine, and one I don’t see myself ever finishing. Every time I reread Dan Abnett’s Double Eagle, or watch the Battle of Britain or Dunkirk, the need to add to my air-force grows.

maverick

Hopefully you guys enjoyed my little rambling project log, and I hope to see you guys again really soon. Tomorrow, I will be posting some dangerously heretical stuff from Shadowspear. But until then, Ave Imperator!

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