Thursday, 27 May 2010

At-43: ONI


Unfortunately, not much in the way of hobby progress due to a number of home improvement issues. Not really a bad thing as it means I now have a very comfy couch and a new table to do my painting on and most importantly 4 new glass cabinets for my collections! I had been straining my back while working on the Blight Drone/Project Death Guard which was causing me to lose motivation to paint entirely.On the bright side, a number of interesting items arrived in the post this week, such as my new AT-43 army. 




AT-43 is a sci-fi war game released by what was Rackham (now Rackham Entertainment) who use to specialise in high quality metal fantasy figures. AT-43 was the shift in business perspective and models where all existing metal figures were removed from their web store and replaced with plastic pre-painted figures. Rackham had been associated over the years not only with top sculpts but also some of the best miniature artists of the time, so the shift to pre-painted plastics caused a major outburst in the gaming community. It must be said, that the quality of pre-paint is well under what the company used to be associated with, however if you look beyond this you will find lots of artistic potential and from I have read/been told an amazing war game.




I got my full set of ONI figures this week, they are the latest faction for AT-43 whose basic premise is Corporate Zombies...on a literate level. They are a mercenary corporation who specialise in nano zombie technology to reanimate fallen allies or enemies, it is a rather novel idea but the figures actually provide some very nice alternatives for Mechanicus or in my case traitor Imperial Guard armies. From a packaging perspective, there is very much a toy/Hero-clix feel to AT-43 but looking past this, you will find some scenery, a fold out battle mat, rules and a template. So essentially it's the game with everything you need to play out of the box and a 2000 point army to boot, not a bad deal at all. There are also four sets of literature in various European languages as well as the English translation, the rule book itself is more a comic book which indicates a very simplistic game play or perhaps very streamlined literature to allow beginners to just throw dice on the table as quickly as possible.



Byron Samedi is a hero for the ONI army and a very good example of the overall theme, you can also see the style of vehicle used for this army, which is actually a major deviation from the other factions;previously bipedal or grav units. The vehicle (Saturday Night Special) paint quality is actually quite high and this is one thing that immediately surprised me on inspection. Samedi is a very unique sculpt and will look fantastic once repainted.


John Priest is a very good example of why previous Rackham fans were turned off by AT-43 pre-paints. Again he is actually a good sculpt, but the addition of silver coloured hair, and no paint shading means he comes across very much like a Hero-Clix figure. Once again the vehicle (Priest's Limo) provided is very nicely done with traces of weathering going a long way in removing the toy feel.



The Light Enforce and Virus zombies are the staple figures/units in the ONI army, the basic concept being they charge at the enemy, grab and explode. As with Priest's Limo and Samedi's Saturday Night Special, the vehicle looks nice but on reflection I will will probably have to pry off the see through plastic when repainting. The Virus Zombies are just great, a few washes and some glow effects will go along way into making this figures look awesome.


The Oni TacArms are what pretty much sold the ONI army to me, everything I had seen previously was great but I did lament the lack of walkers that the other factions had. However after seeing this guys I was sold. The design and sculpts are very nicely done and the paint jobs seem to be above average when compared to the existing army (and even compared to some of the characters). A decent paint job will definitely bring this figures to (un)life. Gaming wise, these guys have a zombie cannon which can turn enemy units into more Virus Zombies!

Like many I had written off Rackham after the move to pre-paint announcement.What I did not realise at the time was that I had been given options, not denied any. Being pre-painted does not immediately remove these figures from the war gaming/model making genre but in fact adds another layer of gaming flexibility. I would happily game with these out of box in the short term, but as a long term project I would be more than happy to clean off the mould lines and re-paint like any other war games miniature. The sculpts are very good and a re-paint will go a long way to removing the stigma of Hero-Clix from this range. I am very excited to get started on these figures and will be sharing photos of the stock units versus my painted collection. Perhaps fellow collectors/war gamers will see a new side to the AT-43 product.

To buy AT-43 figures check out:
Wayland Games - Discount Wargames

Thanks for reading
DiStudios
14th Legion

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