Monday, 29 October 2012
A while ago I was browsing forums and stumbled upon instructions for a kit-bashed Thunderhawk Gunship that had been conceived by the team at Games Workshop Nuneaton. The model is made out of a pair of Stormraven gunships and a Vindicator and comes out looking like a Thunderhawk that's been avoiding carbohydrates. It's not as wide as the Tartarus pattern and lacks the front sponson heavy bolters but it's undoubtedly a Thunderhawk, we might even go so far as to call it a Nuneaton pattern Thunderhawk.
Since even I draw the line at spending £400 on one model (my first car cost less) this would seem to be a far cheeper alternative - with the three kits coming in at £135 from GW and about £115 from independents, and a really challenging project to boot.
Having talked it over with the manager of my local Hobby store I've decided to make this my Christmas holiday project which means I've got about 8 weeks to get the rest of my Ultramarines up to standard before getting stuck into this - it also gives me the opportunity to set some cash from two paycheques to one side.
It also allows me plenty of time to think about how I'm going to build the beast. Whilst I like the Nuneaton pattern, it doesn't have all of the weapons that are included in the rules on it, these being:
4x twin-linked heavy bolters
Turbo laser destroyer/Demolisher cannon.
The problem is the twin-linked heavy bolters as the kits don't really come with them.
The way I see it is that there are two solutions to this problem, you can either adopt a 'works like' policy ("Yeah I know technically they're hurricane bolters but on this model they're not.") or you can do it properly. At the moment I'm undecided.
The front two sets are easily solved. The Stormraven already has the option for hull mounted heavy bolters and I have some spares from a Baal predator that can be fitted onto the servitor turret. But it's the sets on the wings that I'm struggling with. The best I've come up with so far is to use the Forge World Razorback upgrade kit. With a quick switch around the central unit and weapons could be inverted so that they would be suspended the right way up from the underside of the wings, if that made sense...however at £13 each the costs of this project could start to mount here.
The other problem is the Turbo laser. Whilst the demolisher cannon is fine in game terms, the profile of the Thunderhawk just looks a bit emasculated without a massive cannon attached to it.
I've seen a few options here, mostly involving either a plasti-card tube (boring) or the Shadowsword cannon barrel (£70...) I like the Shadowsword idea but I'm not paying that much for one component and although there are scavenging sites out there It's still pricey. I had a brainwave in the store the other day which has drawn me to a potential solution to my cannon-barrel-based-conundrum but for the moment I'm going to keep that close to the chest.
There is also a slight aesthetic issue with the stabilising fins not being on the front of the hull. This could be remedied with a Storm Eagle kit or more realistically some thick plasti-card.
For the moment though the members of the Adeptus Mechanicus are tinkering away in their spare time at mental blue-prints for what will hopefully turn out to be the Epsom pattern Thunderhawk.
If they make any progress (or find any money) I will keep you posted.
Here is a picture of the Nuneaton pattern Thunderhawk