Under the Brush: Aeronautica Imperialis

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Wow. Was my last Under the Brush post really back in January? Sheesh. Just goes to show what kind of year 2020 has been. Even though I lost my blogging mojo for a while, that doesn’t mean I stopped painting. Well, okay, I did lose my painting mojo for a little while too. I started out great at the beginning of the covid19 lockdown, by getting lots of painting and projects done, then I had a big gap for a while when I wasn’t painting, but now I’m back again. I hope to share my projects with you all in the coming weeks.

I’ll kick things off my with most recent project that I finished (completed yesterday, to be precise!): Aeronautica Imperialis T’au. I was immediately curious about the game when it came out last year, but with the initial starter box of Imperials vs. Orks, I decided to wait for more factions to come out as neither of those two appealed to me much. I was hoping for Eldar or Dark Eldar before jumping in, but I became smitten with the T’au’s sleek planes when the Skies of Fire. A friend of mine bought into the Wings of Vengeance set plus extras and we played a learning game together. This isn’t a review of the game system, but I found it to be quick and fun but with lots of room to discover the strategy of using the different ace maneuvers.

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Drybrush on the left, airbrush on the right.

I decided to follow along with the Firestorm Games tutorial by Pete the Wargamer. For the first Tiger Shark I did, I followed along with the drybrushing technique. While functional and easy, since I have an airbrush I figured it would be faster. While I think both techniques produce great results, I went with the airbrush. If you don’t have one though, drybrushing will look great.

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The second attempt with the airbrush turned out even better.

After painting in the details and adding some transfers, I did an oil wash on the planes. I really like oil washes these days because they really get into the grooves, they dry nice and smooth and add a bit of richness to the model over all. Then I did some more weathering using an enamel streaking grime and the first two were all done!

Now that I had a scheme I liked, now I needed to figure out how I was going to do the bases. The Aeronautica Imperialis bases are hexagons with these dials built in to track altitude and speed. Some canny hobbyists figured you could pry them apart with a screwdriver allowing you to paint them without getting any paint on the dials. I considered a bronze with patina scheme, or even doing texture paint with some Adeptus Titanicus terrain bits, but then I saw another hobbyist in a Facebook group do a hologram looking base. I thought this was very fitting for the high-tech T’au and emulated his scheme.

The rest of course was putting in the time to complete the rest of my fleet, which consists of two Tiger Shark Fighter Bombers, two Tiger Shark AX 1-0 Fighter Bombers and nine Barracudas. The planes with red markings are to represent the ace planes Dawn Sword and Red Horizon. I’ll leave you with some glamour shots of them all.

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