Shattered Skies, Part 1
I haven’t been in the hobby long enough to have played the original version of Aeronautica Imperialis, so when I saw the first teasers I was intrigued. At least a few dozen hours of my childhood were spent poring over books on combat aircraft of the past and I especially liked the sections on WW2 combat aircraft. Fast forward a few months and here I am with the Wings of Vengeance starter set added to my collection and my first aircraft, a Thunderbolt heavy fighter, painted!
Informally known within the squadron as “Old Codger” this aircraft is operated by Pilot Officer (PO) Alyssa Gundenberg and is the standard Thunderbolt variant armed with two nose-mounted lascannons, two nose-mounted twin autocannons, and four wing-mounted Skystrike missiles. Its role therefore is air superiority and its task to keep the skies clear for the heavier Marauder Bombers and Destroyers to fulfil their respective missions.
This side shot shows how to identify the aircraft’s unit:
- the tail “X” indicates its squadron, the 10th, also known as “Buzzard” Squadron;
- the light blue stripe indicates its flight, the 4th in this squadron;
- the number superimposed on the coloured stripe indicates the aircraft’s number within the flight, in this case it is the third fighter.
“Buzzard” Squadron is part of the 1985th Fighter Wing of the Imperial Navy, a part of Battlefleet Morxephon which is posted out on the Eastern Fringe.
Since this aircraft, and by extension squadron, is tasked with escorting bombers to their target and then (hopefully) back to base, they will be flying at relatively low altitudes. With that in mind I decided to give the plane both ground (when viewed from above) and aerial camo (when viewed from below). I was inspired by the scheme that @brush_and_sword used on their Marauder Bomber; I can now confirm the scheme also looks good on smaller aircraft and am very pleased with the result!
The bases are quite detailed, so I decided to paint mine instead of leaving them blank. Again, I was inspired by a fellow hobbyist on Instagram going by the handle of @amoebabait. The idea was to go for a radar/scanner theme on the front of the base while the speed and altitude dials on the back were painted in sufficiently bright colours to draw attention to them and allow for an easier time differentiating the two.
Now, before I moved onto painting an Ork aircraft to settle on the scheme, I wanted to give some more thought to how my Imperial Navy squadron and the flights/aircraft within were going to operate and arm themselves. The 10th Squadron will contain both fighters and bombers (with a wing or two of scout aircraft whenever those are released) so I had to keep in mind which role each flight would have within the squadron and each aircraft would have within its flight. I used this handy little chart taken from p.6 of the 7th Edition Warhammer 40’000 Death from the Skies expansion to create my own squadrons.
4th Flight, the one “Old Codger” and PO Gundenberg are assigned to, is made up of four Thunderbolt heavy fighters, one of which is the Fury variant (aircraft #2). Its current role is to keep the skies clear of enemy aircraft and is therefore additionally and exclusively equipped with air-to-air Skystrike missiles.
10th Squadron will be exclusively comprised of Thunderbolts with flights having distinct roles. The other aircraft in my force will be sourced from other units such as 2nd “Krakatoa” Squadron, 358th Bomber Wing for the Marauder Bombers and Destroyers.
Right, now that’s done I can move on to other aircraft! I will most likely start putting paint onto the first of three Ork DakkaJets to settle on the scheme I want for them.
Fly high, brothers and sisters!
Edited by Chaplain Dosjetka, 21 September 2019 - 07:59 AM.