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I am sure I was not the only person to have been excited by Rackham’s release of a range of pre-painted 28mm science fiction figures. Personally I have nothing against GW (WH40k) – their figures are impressive, their range extensive – but the gothic art style is just too juvenile for my tastes. Similarly, while I paint a lot of figures, the easy-in of pre-painted allowed me the option of playing faster while painting other topics at the same time.

AT-43’s Therians work nicely for a Terminator setting. The UNA and Red Blok work well for any Colonial style setting. The UNA Tac armour is the first set of powered-armour I have seen modelled that reflects a more ‘realistic’ approach. The Red Blok Kolossus are the first miniatures that handle a VOTOMs tyle one-man tank idea with any finesse.

The rules were nothing to write home about: just more of the same. But I have never been constrained by a published set of rules.

The problem with the range is the slack way it seems to be have been handled by the parent company. I do not pretend to understand their business constraints – I am sure that there are some very good reasons for the way things have been handled. Perhaps the cost-effectiveness of pre-painted has been too great a burden. All I do know, however, is that the local shop in Melbourne refuses to carry the product for some unknown reason. I know that the Medusa (one of the coolest models I’ve seen) and quite a number of others no longer appear on the Rackham site. And I know that there is piss-all in the way of support material on the web. There are a couple of fan sites, but even they are straining to find anything to say. The AT-43 wiki is a disgrace – and what does that say? It says that there is no groundswell of support of people making things up and ‘living’ in this fantasy world.

And I think that’s a damn shame. Because I like the figures, and I could like the setting if there was anything available that suggested it was a living, growing, setting. But there is not. For all intents and purposes the line appears dead. Perhaps the French have it better and it is alive and well there. I envy them.

My personal goal now is to buy up the figures before they are gone: an event I anticipate may not be so far in the future.

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