It seems like, in the two weeks since the new Space Marine Stormtalon has come out, everybody’s got a conversion; whether that be an attack helicoptor, mechanised walker, or just a kitbash to make it look slightly less goofy.
After recently finishing the Forge World Stormeagle, which is in and of itself a phenomenal kit, I found myself in possession of a whole box worth of leftover Stormraven bits with which to repurpose the Stormtalon.
It didn’t take long to realize that the single biggest problem was the overall length, or lack thereof, of the Stormtalon’s fuselage. The tail boom was far too short and wound up giving the box-standard build a very compressed, almost cartoonish appearance.
I can only imagine that this was as a result of aesthetic limitations, rather than technical ones, since both the Ork Bommer and Necron Doomscythe are satisfyingly massive. Matters weren’t helped by the conspicuously underslung assault cannon turret and the weapon pods to either side. It would require a trip to the drawing board, for sure!
The first order of business was to tighten up the profile. Although the overall appearance is of a gunship, the Stormtalon is indisputably written as a dogfighter and it desperately needed to look more agile. This was accomplished by cutting down the turret and slinging the assault cannons directly under the chin, whilst simultaneously swapping the position of the wings, now canards, and missile pods.
In retrospect, I don’t think that swapping those components was strictly necessary, but it I’m satisfied with the outcome. If I had it to do over again, I may have tried to omit the wings, entirely, but the molded-on hardpoints on either side of the cockpit would then need to be cut down and smoothed over, instead.
The biggest change is to the tail boom, which was cut down at the panel line and removed, entirely. In its place is almost the entire tail from the aforementioned, orphan Stormraven, with some slight modifications to fit. The shape of the tail isn’t an exact match and, unfortunately, does give the appearance of having come from a significantly larger aircraft – but, on the whole, I’d say that it gives the Stormtalon just the right amount of displacement. If I had it to do over again, I’d probably spend more time trying to tie it more cleanly into the fuselage.
Also worth pointing out are the landing gear, originally integrated into the turret housing, now give the appearance of extending directly from the fuselage. I think this tends to be a bit more believable, since from an engineering perspective you’d want them tied in directly to the airframe. Having them come off the turret just seems silly, since it would effectively be supporting the weight of the entire aircraft when it’s on the ground – and, for that matter, how would it land after suffering a Weapon Destroyed result?
It’s fair to say that it’s the weakest of all three new flyers, this month, but that being said, I’m pretty pleased with the Stormtalon. Aesthetic considerations aside, t’s a well-engineered kit that fits together well out of the box. The studio has clearly learned a number of valuable lessons from its predecessors, the Valkyrie, Stormraven and Razorwing and has incorporated these lessons into the sprue.