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18Sep/190

Aeronautica Imperialis – Marauder Destroyers

Among the fine new kits available for Aeronautica Imperialis is a second variant of the Marauder, that isn't part of the Wings of Vengeance starter kit. Reason enough to take a look on the Marauder Destroyers boxed set.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer

The Marauder is the standard heavy bomber of the Imperial Navy and due to its heavy armoured superstructure a reliable work horse of the imperial forces. As such it is mainly used as the Marauder Bomber, with a payload of to 6,000 pounds of explosives. It can carry up to twelve bombs or six heavy bombs, while four slots are available beneath each of the wings for additional bombs. There are variants of the Marauder, which put the capacity for bombs to use with different gear and refit the remaining armament, depending on its purpose. The most known variant beside the Marauder Bomber is the Marauder Destroyer, a dedicated ground-attack aircraft, which saw action first in the Second war for Armageddon. The bomb bay was halfed, using the space for ammunition for the new armament in nose and rear.

The regular issued Marauder Bomber has two nose turret mounted Lascannons, two rear turret mounted Heavy Bolters and a Dorsal turret with twin-linked mounted Heavy Bolters. In case of the Marauder Destroyer the nose turret is replaced with three twin-linked Autocannons and the rear turret refitted with Assault Cannons. A Marauder is usually crewed by a Pilot, a Navigator, a Bombardier, and three gunners (Nose, Tail and Turret). Beside the Bomber and Destroyer are two further variants known, the Colossus (a variant of the Bomber to drop a single 10t colossus bomb instead of the regular bomb load) and the recon variant of the Marauder, the Vigillus, with heavy surveillance equipment in its bomb bay.

The Marauder was first introduced around 1997 / 1998 with the Epic release as part of the flyers. You can see the old model and its part from a scan of the old Citadel Catalogue (courtesy of SoLegends). The new model was introduced by Forge World in the mid to late 2000's and is highly influenced in design by the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer

The Marauder Destroyer comes as a double pack, as we know from several Adeptus Titanicus releases. Two of the heavy flyers are set at a price tag of 32,50 EUR and cover a medium and a small sized sprue, two Aeronautica flying bases incl. ball-pin rod and a decal sheet. A brief comparison of the individual sheet to the ones included with Wings of Vengeance. The white decals are so light, that they barely have a contrast to the light blue, so not really viewable on the picture.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer

The Destroyer shares the main hull with the Bomber, so they have the same medium sized sprue to begin with. All the parts needed to specify the Destroyer as such are included in an individual smaller sprue. If you paid close attention to the nomination of these sprues, there is the main sprue (frame A), the bomber sprue (frame B) and the destroyer sprue (frame D). So what's with frame C? Will we see a new variant or the other two (Vigillus or Colossus)?

Casting is very crisp, with a lot of fine details. The sprues are used to the maximum amount and beside some finer mould lines, absolutely top notch.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance  Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer

Instructions are well made and clear, and for the first steps identical with the Marauder Bomber. The build begins with the long fuselage and the air intakes on the sides, along with the cockpit top and lower body with the socket.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

You have to pay attention to the detail, as the engine covers fit on both sides, just the orientation of the fan is different. Very well fit and easy to assemble.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance Aeronautica Imperialis - Wings of Vengeance

Nose and tail of the Destroyer are different, so these sections differ from the regular Bomber. For the nose, there are three twin-linked Autocannons. The tail is prolonged compared to the regular fuselage and armed with moveable assault cannons. The twin-linked heavy bolters in the middle top part of the fuselage are the same.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer

The prolonged tail is noticeable and comes with a wider wing tips for the elevator and horizontal stabiliser. Fit is proper and stable.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer

Now just add the wings to the fuselage and you are done. Note the slots for additional bombs and / or missiles are the same as with the regular Marauder Bomber kit.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer

Unfortunately there are no bombs or missiles included in this kit. The Bomber already was missing the Skystrike missiles in the sprue, but has them as an option. The Destroyer has access to the same in his stats, but the sprue / kit doesn't cover any of them. Something I don't really understand. I am aware that there was no more space in the sprue, but why go for the smallest sprue possible? As the Thunderbolts have a lot of bombs and missiles as spares, I used the left-overs from the starter kit to add them to the two. But just to make it clear, these are NOT part of the kit!

Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer

And the final Marauders on the Aeronautica flying bases, including the added missiles and bombs.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer

I mentioned above, the Destroyer is longer and has a different tail compared to the Bomber. For a side-by-side comparison I added this picture.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer

And of course, no review is finished without the showcase shots from different angles.

Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer Aeronautica Imperialis - Marauder Destroyer

Conclusion
From the way it is designed and manufactured, this is a superb kit. In the same way, as the other Imperial Navy and Ork aircrafts were from the Wings of Vengeance starter kit. They are fun to build, have a great fit and assemble quite fast. Even the prices are quite reasonable, as you would probably have enough for a squadron simply by going with one of the Marauder boxes and a box of Thunderbolts.

But there are a couple of things, that I don't understand. The shop entry at the Games Workshop website says: "You will need a copy of the Aeronautica lmperialis: Wings of Vengeance boxed game or the Rynn's World Air War Campaign Book to use these miniatures." That is not correct, there are no rules for the Destroyer variant in the basic rule book of the Wings of Vengeance boxed game. I honestly don't understand why, as it forces you to buy the campaign book if you want to use them or to buy all the items individually and not to get the boxed game in the first place.

And from a production point of view, I do not understand, why they didn't went for a regular two sprue kit that covers both variants in the first place (and squeeze in the filler for the Vigillus along with a big bomb for the Colossus). I assume that has something to do with the mysterious sprue C, but to be honest in a "dog fight" game like Aeronautica I don't see the purpose of the Colossus or Vigillus. Unless your plan is to tie those in with Adeptus Titanicus in the long game. In fact, both variants are currently not even offered by Forge World. Still, no missiles or bombs in this kit, which is unsatisfying and leaves an unnecessary bad taste to an otherwise very well done kit.

Beyond that, well made, reasonably priced. If you already have the Wings of Vengeance starter kit, I suggest this kit (and maybe half a box of Thunderbolts) even if it just for completeness, as it is a nice build and doesn't cause a punch to your budget.

Warhammer 40,000 and Aeronautica Imperialis are brands by Games Workshop.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

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