Space Marine Stormtalon Gunship Review

space marine stormtalon gunshipWith the recent release of Warhammer 40k 6th Edition and the addition of flyers in the rules, it seems everyone is trying to get their hands on a flying unit for their army. Today’s review takes a look at the flying unit available to Space Marine players, the Stormtalon Gunship, an agile flyer with plenty of fire power. The rules for the Stormtalon can be found in White Dwarf June 2012 (UK #390, USA #389) as it was released after the Space Marine Codex.

The Stormtalon is part of the Warhammer 40k range from Games Workshop. It comes shrink-wrapped in large box covered in eye catching images including a picture of an assembled and painted model. There have been lots of comments about this flyer looking totally unrealistic and front heavy, but being honest it fits in well with the blocky look of the other Space Marine vehicles. The RRP of this plastic kit is £27.50 in the UK and $45.50 in the USA, although in our experience you can often find websites selling Games Workshop kits for 10-15% off RRP.

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The rear of the box contains more pictures of the Stormtalon, including shots of some of the weapon options that come with the kit.

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On opening the box, there is quite a bit inside, but its still only around half full. This kit could have come in a much smaller box, but Games Workshop seem to have several standard sizes of box they stick with, and this one is the same sized box they use for the Space Marine Land Raider.

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The box contents include 2 large plastic sprues which are crammed full of Stormtalon parts, both sprues are perfectly cast, no defects can be seen anywhere.

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The rest of the box contents are shown below and include a large oval base, a transparent flight stand and canopy for the cockpit, a sheet of Space Marine vehicle transfers, and an instruction booklet.

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The 12 page instruction booklet is printed in black and white and contains clear instructions for building the Stormtalon.

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The first of the sprues we picked up contained most hull and larger pieces of the Stormtalon kit. All of the pieces are well detailed and each piece is labeled on the sprue which corresponds with labels in the instruction booklet.

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The second sprue contains many of the smaller and more detailed parts like the engines, weapons, and the Space Marine pilot.

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Following the first steps in the instruction booklet, we assembled the cockpit of our Stormtalon with plastic cement. We decided not to glue the pilot and control panel in place at this point to make painting these areas easier in future.

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The next steps in the instruction booklet lead you through building the main body of the Stormtalon. The previously built cockpit then simply slides in from underneath and can be glued in place. The Stormtalon is a well designed kit, all of these parts fit together very nicely, there was no trimming or clamping needed. The modular design of the cockpit feels like it could possibly be used as part of another kit in future and appear to have a lot of potential for use in conversions.

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The next part to be built is the chin-mounted assault cannon turret. Part of this assembly includes a ring which shouldn’t be glued so that the turret can swivel, plus the assault cannons are designed to tilt up and down slightly.

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The next few pages in the instruction booklet cover the assembly of the VTOL engines which are joined through the hull by a connecting rod. These are designed to be able to tilt approximately 90 degrees and as you move one the other will move due to the connecting rod. Each engine pod is made up of around 7 parts, with some nice details, especially at the rear of the engines.

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As we near completion of this kit, the instructions lead you through building the remaining weapon systems of which there are several choices. The standard weapons are a twin-linked heavy bolter, but this can be upgraded to a twin-linked lascannon, a typhoon missile launcher or a weapon unique to the Stormtalon, the Skyhammer missile launcher. If you look closely at the picture below you will see that we inserted tiny (1x2mm) neodymium magnets into these weapons so that we can switch them around as needed. These weapon systems are made up of 2 pods which attach to the front of the Stormtalon and then various face plates containing the different weapons.

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Once you get the magnets out it’s hard to stop, so we decided to also magnetise the flying stand and oval base. The main benefit of this is that these parts take up a lot less room when separated and so will make the kit much easier to transport. The flying stand has had small holes drilled underneath for magnets and then corresponding magnets have been glued beneath the oval base to hold it all in place.

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As you can see the 3 small magnets are up to the job of keeping the Stormtalon in the air. We have also added the last part at this point, the transparent canopy for the cockpit. This is not glued in place as we don’t want any paint to get on it. When the time does come to glue the canopy in place, a small tip is to use a small amount of PVA glue which dries clear rather than superglue which can sometimes frost up these transparent parts.

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The completed kit looks pretty fearsome, and is ready to lay down some serious firepower.

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Throughout the building process, the design of the Stormtalon has really grown on us. Yes, it has several oddly designed features like landing gear attached to the chin-mounted turret, but it does fit well with the styles of other Space Marine vehicles and there is no disputing it looks pretty threatening with all that weaponry. We’re really looking forward to testing this out in our games where the Warhammer 40k 6th Edition rules mean that this, and all other flyers should be quite durable. Overall we think this is a great kit, its well designed and should be a lot of fun to play with, if you’d like to pick up your own Stormtalon head over to the Games Workshop site or other online retailers who carry Warhammer 40k kits.

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