Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Thunderhawk enigma

Hello all. 
I have just taken a break from flogging a dead equestrian, to start a new spate of flogging. 

So. That's the new Thunderhawk Gunship. It's Resin (though a few changes may be made before final release). I personally love it. Absolutely beautiful. A huge improvement in my opinion over the old bird. 

I still believe in the fabled flying unicorn. I won't stop. And this is why:

1) This whole thing just doesn't add up. It was treated with such a "we can't talk about that yet" air, even though they had images of it in their book (Magnus and Sisters of Silence vehicle are present in the book and they were very happy to chat about those parts). Which still leads me to believe there is something fishy. 

2) Let's see what designs FW started off with that Games Workshop took on eventually:
Baneblade, Shadowsword, mK2c Vindicator, Drop Pod, MKIV Dreadnought, Mk2c Whirlwind and I'm sure more). 

3) GW said that they are yet to release their biggest kit yet. So it needs to be a product which will sell (Imperial), it will be bigger than a Baneblade, Stompa, Eldar Knight and probably a Aquila strongpoint then so a Titan or Space Marine vehicle. Both of which we have heard are now possible in Plastic. Now it could be a Plastic Warhound (March of Titans by BL was a good thing to get people going) for this, but it could still be a Thunderhawk. Otherwise they are going to invent something new again!

4) Does that new Thunderhawk look smaller to anyone else?

5) Fins. Look at the fins:
Forge World Fins

Games Workshop Fins


6) Fliers created which have plastic and Resin components:
Storm Eagle and Fire Raptor both use Storm Raven components. Could this new kit (Pre-production model – there may be some slight differences in the final model) have the Plastic base of a GW Thunderhawk (curve ball/deke/smoke bomb!). 

7) FW do release alternatives of models (Land Raider, Rhino, Drop Pods etc). 

8) I won't buy something so heavy to put on a stem!!! 

9) It's not long to Warhammer Fest, but it seems weird that FW drop this soooo far in advance. They could have waited a few more weeks, and shown it off painted. It being Resin nude seems strange still. Almost like a statement. 

Now with all that said. I hope the old design becomes Plastic as I do want a plethora of Thunderhawks. Upgrade kits from Forge World to sexify or do the Transporter option would be epic too. 

Until I see it in a red box I can wish. 

Drake Seta


  1. That's exactly what I'm thinking too. And especially that comment "though a few changes may be made before final release" . I think those changes are pre production resin model to full release plastic kit imo. Well, at least I'm still hoping ...

  2. I really like the new Thunderhawk design. It reminds me a lot of the original metal version by GW. It almost looks like the upper wings on the new Thunderhawk could move and positioned separate from the lower wings.

    The metal Thunderhawk is smaller than the (old) FW one, right? It makes sense that this new Thunderhawk would be smaller so that the Stormbird looks bigger.

    I hope you are right that someday soon GW releases a plastic Thunderhawk. I will likely pick up this new Thunderhawk. I don't have one, and new FW kits are a whole lot easier to build then older ones.

    1. Lock S-Foils in attack position!
      Yeah I loved it too.

  3. I guess the (old) FW Thunderhawk can position its upper wings higher too. I just never seen anyone build it that way. Whereas I've seen pics of the metal Thunderhawk with its upper wings up, maybe even in a now vintage White Dwarf issue.

  4. It does look a little smaller, but without a comparison it's hard to be certain, mostly in the turret looks lower. But personally I think that makes it look a little better. Personally my main point of interest is, will it be as much of a pain to build. For the amount of effort my Black Templar one took, well, only one game really proved it's value against specific opponents, but that could just be the old codex. I still refuse to play that army since they lost their own codex

  5. It looks smaller, but it's because of the angled corners of the less squared fuselage. It's extreme and binding dimensions appear to be the same.

    In the lore "Thunderhawks" are a category of astartes aircraft based on how it's used, but can vary quite a bit from pattern to pattern. For example in the lore there is a chapter that uses a pattern of Thunderhawk that can hold 50 marines. Similarly there are smaller patterns of Thunderhawks, like the old metal one. This is just to say there is room for a plastic Thunderhawk that's largely different from the FW one.

    1. Completely agree. Just like the Rhino and Land Raider variants.

  6. @Drake Seta 3d SLA printer and HD DLP printer use resin to print objects, So yes the prototype is in resin, like the first blood bowl teams we saw, out of the print resin prototype, not resin casted.
    Maybe it's a way to show the model without admitting it's gona go full plastic...

  7. GW's fiscal year ends in June, right? They definitely have something big prepared for May to help meet their goals. Whether that is the legenday plastic T or something else is to be seen

  8. Plastic Thunderhawk = must buy
    Resin Thunderhawk = ain't bought one yet...

  9. They made the Stormbird (larger then the Thunderhawk) & the older Thunderhawk in resin, the new vehicle in resin is not out of the question. Given the pricing structure of GW / Forge in the recent years, with a re-release comes a new price point!!! Since a Stormbird hits you at £750 and the old Thunderhawk was £435. Expect the new Thunderhawk to be around £500 or more!

  10. White Dwarf anniversary next month? Would be a good excuse for releasing a big kit. Saying that it, doesn't necessarily mean it would be plastic to celebrate. Might just be the Death guard release.

  11. I want to believe and still trust them that when they said that they have the last resin thunderhawk from FW available at HH throne of skulls they meant it. Would be nice if they would keep their word.

    Despite the material it is a really nice model, still needs some improvments, but it ties nicely to the stormbird :)
    But well I wont buy it because 1. i can't afford it if it stays in the 400-500 range, 2. Not sticking to their words and telling bad jokes is not the way you treat your customer.

    Fingers crossed we will get something in plastic as exciting as this in the near future :) #i_want_to_believe

  12. Yeah. It realy looks like another pattern. Very weird thing.

  13. I believe we will get a plastic warhound before we ever get a plastic thunderhawk. It has a bigger potential buyer base as it can be used by any imperial army and a could have upgrade kit from FW to another pattern or chaos titan. It seems more likely to me.

  14. In all fairness, I don't think we've yet hit the upper limit of what the newer cross-bar flyer stems can hold, weight-wise. Is the Sokar compatible with them?

    1. I think a bigger stem is needed for bigger fliers. The little one makes bombers etc look strange.

    2. Having seen the stormbird in the flesh - I very much doubt those flying bases would take it unless you got it right in the center of gravity of the thing.

  15. http://atomicwarlords.blogspot.com/2013/12/thunderhawk-flight-stand.html?m=1

  16. Or games workshop was trolling ya'll, into believing in talking unicorns

  17. I don't think that we'll see a plastic Thunderhawk any time soon. Forge World have a lot more political clout within the overall GW structure than they used to have thanks to how much the 30k/HH line has grown and no company or subsidiary likes to hand over an iconic product to their parent company as it directly impacts their bottom line unless there is a benefit production-wise to do so.

    This is why GW almost never pinch FW products to put in plastic anymore, when did we see this happening, historically? The Flying Tyrant & Trygon got ported to plastic (and into a codex) along with those listed in #2 above are all old models now, the only things that GW have snaffled recently (in the last 5+ years) that I can recall are the Hydra (initially it was open topped vs enclosed but the FW variant/original has gone now) and most notably the Mk3 & 4 basic armour patterns for 30k.

    The Mk3 & 4 I believe got ported to plastic because it makes financial sense to do so vs the massive expense of tooling up a metal mould for plastic sprues, plus it frees up FW's production capacity to focus on their larger, expensive specialist items. Once a product's demand has grown due to it's modular nature, small size & affordability it's sensible to move from resin where the softer moulds wear out in far, far less time (very bad) than metal tooling to create plastic where the item can be produced in far greater numbers more quickly over a longer period. Infantry is the perfect candidate for this: 10-20% of the price of larger FW products, modular and highly compatible with existing 40k items allowing customers to field a mix of products in all games of any size.

    IMO Thunderhawks and Titans aren't prime for plastic-ing up. Forge World are iconic globally for producing exactly those models as flagship items and to give them over to GW proper is to lose that prestige. Strike one. The price financially of such large products (even the Warhound as the smallest) suppresses demand, making it more financially sensible for FW to continue making low numbers of them in resin over much higher numbers in plastic. Strike two. And finally the fundamental design of the large products (and the game itself) means that even if the financial cost did drop to a level acceptable for most players to comfortably afford they still wouldn't be able to use such units more frequently than not in games, and certainly not multiples of anything that frequently meaning that most customers would only buy such plastic kits once or twice each, so sales would be comparatively low for such a hefty investment by GW. Strike three. :(

    TL;DR: That's my take on things and why people shouldn't really get expectations falsely inflated when waiting for large models to be released as plastic kits. Super-heavies to the scale of a Warhound, Thunderhawk and larger don't have the advantage of being like terrain that every player can use in every game - and gaming clubs can stockpile for their members' use - regardless of Factions involved and those are somewhat comparable in size/complexity to some of FW's smaller super-heavies. They don't have the benefit of infantry's affordability in both cash and points. They don't have the flexibility to be able to be used in many games. And FW have done stellar work over a long period of time to get to where they are now, I don't see them handing over any of the jewels in their crown to their parent company to benefit from at their (financial) expense. I know the money fundamentally ends up in the same place (GW's coffers) but how it gets there justifies the means; if FW don't turn a good profit then their reason to exist erodes gradually with it along with their freedom within the very-strict corporate structure of GW.

    Unfortunately. :/

    1. To put a bit of perspective onto this I checked the certificate that I got with my Warhound two weeks ago.

      It's #4925. From a product that was created ~2003, I believe. Just under 5,000 sold in ~14 years. Nowhere near enough :(