At the Hobbytown store in Wilsonville, OR, I ended up buying four boxes of AT-43 figures. While I like pre-painted miniatures, I felt the Rackham products were a bit too pricey. "Were" being the operative word, because the company went into liquidation a couple of years ago. (I guess other gamers thought their figures were too pricey too).
This was, however, unfortunate because they made excellent quality figures. They're now offered discount prices from sites like The Miniature Market and on the discount shelves in some retail stores, like Hobbytown.
I didn't snatch-up the packages right away, but spent over an hour pondering whether or not to buy them. This was not because the figures were lacking in quality. On the contrary, they're awesome looking.
My major concern was whether or not I could integrate these with my 25 millimeter (mm) Star Wars Miniatures. The Hobbytown staff, while helpful, weren't sure if the AT-43 figures were 25, 28, or even 30 mm.
I didn't have access to the internet, nor did I bring any of my Star Wars figures for a comparison. With the "clock ticking" (I had to pick up my girlfriend from work), I decided to buy four of the box sets, all from the "U.N.A." (United Nations of Ava).
So, without further ado, here's my latest sci-fi figure purchase:
The first set I decided on was the U.N.A. Star Trooper Squad.
This consists of 6 x troopers with assault rifles, 1 x trooper with a "Volcano Machine Gun," and a Star Trooper leader.
Rifle squads often need additional fire support, so I selected the U.N.A Star Trooper Attachment Set.
Some, (or maybe all?) of the troops, bearing the following weapons can be added to the basic squad: Missile launcher and flame thrower, along with another Volcano Machine Gun. A medic and/or engineer can also augment the squad, along with another officer/NCO.
All these figures have detachable heads that can be swapped out with triple-lens helmeted ones.
Troops wielding heavy weapons is one thing, but they're still foot-bound infantry.
What about mobile firepower?
As with Star Wars, the AT-43 universe seems fixated on "mechs" or "walkers." The only two I found at Hobbytown were two "Fire Toads," Mark 02 and Mark 03.
At 50% off I couldn't pass these two up. Now that my troops have mech support it was time to answer the big question: Are these figures compatible with my 25mm Star Wars Miniatures?
These U.N.A. troops bear a passing resemblance to Rebel Hoth troopers, so when I got home and conducted my photo-shoot, I dug out the appropriate Star Wars Miniatures for a direct comparison...
..."Dang!" The AT-43 figures are visibly larger than the Star Wars ones, even when looking at them from a distance. By the time I was taking these pictures I had access to the internet and confirmed the AT-43 figures are, in fact, 28mm.
But then I started thinking: Maybe the mech/walkers can be integrated with the Star Wars figures?
Before answering this question, I placed a U.N.A. soldier and a Fire Toad side-by-side, for an initial comparison:
Then I placed a Hoth Trooper next to the Fire Toad:
Hmmm. Not bad. In fact, I think the size ratio seen in the above photo is more appropriate.
I mean, mechs SUPPOSE to be BIG, right?
So this purchase wasn't a total bust.
I may buy a squad of "Red Block" infantry as opponents to the U.N.A. which will give me a couple of small forces for 28mm-scale games. More importantly, I'm seriously considering obtaining more AT-43 vehicles for my sci-fi collection--especially if they're offered at discount prices.
After some more internet snooping I came across pictures of "O.N.I" vehicles and figures (some are conversions):
They appear to be more suited for police/security/riot control than heavy combat. However, they have that Aliens look that sci-fi gamers love--which is why these vehicles are almost impossible to find.
Just what I need--another quest for out-of-production game material.
I guess I'll be watching eBay more closely.