Let's begin without preamble... I'm doing AI!
I did have a few models for the original edition, but they are long gone, after all, what were the chances of AI ever coming back?
Well I'm not too disappointed about the decision to sell (other than the original rulebook as that had some decent fluff and pictures). The models for the new edition are many times more detailed showing off all the glory of CAD production. The only thing I preferred about the originals were they came in fewer pieces so were easier to make (resin issues aside).
I swapped Orks for Imperials from the Wings of Vengeance set with another local player so in theory I have 4 Thunderbolts and 4 Marauder Bombers, which is a pretty good wing already. Unfortunately one of the bombers was written off in a, 'refuelling incident' and will not be spoken of again
The wing as it stands has the following squadrons and call-signs planet side, the rest are presumably still aboard the fleet:
Blackheart One - Thunderbolt (Ace Markings)
Blackheart Two - Thunderbolt
Sol Four - Thunderbolt Fury
Sol Nine - Thunderbolt Fury
Danger Five - Marauder Bomber (traditionally Sqn. Leader call sign)
Danger Six - Marauder Bomber
Danger Seven - Marauder Bomber
The call signs just follow the squadron names as I didn't fancy doing pilot or aircraft names. AI seems to be a game of high aircraft losses so it makes more sense that the same aircraft aren't being resurrected every new mission.
The transfers are from the Human and Elf Blood Bowl teams. Blood Bowl does have some great transfers if you don't like the limited out of the box selection for AI. The only issue with BB is that you don't seem to get mirrored transfers, so if it bothers you an animal might be 'looking backwards' maybe steer clear or use symmetrical designs.
Just a little real life background on this, the US air force seems to mirror badges and patches if the symbol would be 'looking' the wrong way, but the RAF often use heraldry which is bad form to mirror, as it could change the meaning, so don't change the way the animal is looking, so really just do what you like.
In this case I decided to use my large (unused!) transfer selection to inspire the names, I thought there wasn't any point coming up with a cool name and then have to buy or print transfers for it. If you know what Danger Five is in reference to, obscure internet cookie for you!
One issue I have found with GW's AI card system is that it's not necessarily straightforward to link each aircraft to it's card without clear numbering.
Luckily Versatile Terrain has a solution!
(Photo from Versatile Terrain FB, still waiting for them!)
These 3D printed nameplates are pretty nifty and affordable for a skirmish type game. You can even get 'Ork' Scrap style ones.
It's not that visible in my pic but Blackheart one has a Spade symbol on the plate to designate him an Ace. I did actually consider making him the Ace of Hearts, but for that to work it would need to be painted red, except he's meant to be Blackheart... You can see why it's taken me so long since release day to get this far. As visual shorthand the Ace of Spades just works better, even if it would also have been nice to have an Ace from each card suite.
I'm 95% ready to get basecoating this week, so hopefully there will be reasonable progress. The scheme will be inspired by the RAF desert pink from operation Granby (Desert Storm).
As for the bases, they will be painted too, but I think they will be more subdued than some of the radar examples I've seen. I want them to be quick and cheerful and not to distract from the aircraft. I'll need to think about painting the nameplates as well.
I have bought a ticket for what may be the first AI event in the UK, hosted by Attrition Gaming in late January, so I'll need 150pts ready for that. At the moment it will be 4 'The Dogfight' missions, so I may get some more T-bolts time permitting and won't need ground defences.
My friend also bet me £10.00 that I wouldn't paint them by Christmas so the pressure is really on...
Edited by Beaky Brigade, 07 December 2019 - 12:09 PM.