The third round of AT-43 releases is available. This includes a number of new models for both the Therians and the UNA.
The Therians finally get some new striders. First is a new Golgoth, the Wraith Golgoth 03, which is also known as the ‘red Wraith’. The model is identical to the 02 model and the one from the OD set. What makes it different is that it has deep red spray on the top, slightly different markings, and also comes with a second medium sonic cannon for the right side. I am not sure if the weapon selection is random or not (there is a card for an ‘Incubus Golgoth’ with dual medium nucleus cannons). The other slight difference from the previous Golgoths is that this one has the front legs mounted closer in. Personally I do not think this looks as good but you could easily snip them off the base and reposition them because the legs move freely within their main body mount. Also slightly different with this entire set of Therian releases is that the ‘faces’ are now painted white instead of the cream color of previous releases. I think this looks less creepy. Lastly the model also comes with a dark gray storage container and four unit cards.
The Therians also receive an entirely new strider, the Hekat Goloth. The Hekat is just slightly larger than the UNA Firetoad and is on the same 65mm base. It is painted in a dark gray with an orange wash and silver blades. The Hekat elevates and depresses slightly by a rear pivot point so you can change its pose slightly. It also comes with three concrete wall sections identical to those in the OD set and two unit cards. There is something unimpressive with this model that I can not put my finger on but that is of course just my personal take.
More Golems are available as well. First is the Storm Golems Attachment Box. This set contains six Golems including two with sonic guns, two with flamers, one regular Golem, and one Overseer with nanoblaster and reaper blades. The Overseer is an especially impressive figure; It is well detailed and about 20% taller than a regular Golem. The painting overall is identical to the second round releases (first batch after the OD set). They have an orange wash with a heavy white or light gray drybrush and silver blades. Again the faces are white not cream. Also included are eight cards with five just for Overseer variants. This is a good set but I would have preferred an additional flamer armed Golem rather than the single regular Golem.
Lastly is the Unit Box: Assault Golems. This box is comprised of six figures; four with reaper blades and a nucleus rifle, one leader with reaper blades and a nucleus rifle, and finally one Golem with a nucleus gun. Also included are three unit cards. The figures are painted identically to the previous Golems. The reaper blades are very soft and bendy compared to the plastic used on the other parts of the figure. This actually works surprisingly well as they do not look soft yet are more resilient and none were misshapen despite their softness.
Overall this is a very nice batch of Therian units. Both close combat and longer ranged armor-piecing weapons are included. While I did not like the heavy drybrush effect with the first follow-on releases it has grown on me and I think these all look very good, and I see no need to touch them up at all. The two exceptions are the white faces and the Hekat. As I mentioned, I just like the cream faces better but that is a minor point. The Hekat is not a bad unit at all but something about it just does not impress. But the bottom line is that Therian players should be very happy.
Unfortunately all is not so rosy with the new UNA releases. The UNA get some new White Star units with the Attachment Box: Steel trooper. This box has six figures including an officer with laser rifle and Combat Knife, a Missile Launcher bearer, a Laser Gun bearer, a Volcano MG bearer, a medic, and finally a mechanic. Six option heads with triple-lens helmet and eight unit cards are also included. Interestingly five of the cards are leader variants and the medic and mechanic do not get a special card of their own. The figures are all very similar to the previous Steel Trooper releases. The upper bodies in this set all have some variation — The MG bearer has a large pack, the mechanic is carrying a wrench, and the medic has some additional kit.
The UNA also get some new troops with two new boxes of Star Troopers, the Unit Box: Star troopers and Attachment Box: Star troopers. The Star Trooper unit box includes eight figures with six armed with assault rifles, one with Volcano MG, and finally a sergeant with Combat Knife and Laser Rifle. There seems to be some confusion over whether there is an error with the sergeant because he has a Laser Rifle and not an Assault Rifle. The unit card and picture on Rackham’s Website clearly show the sergeant with an Assault Rifle, but the picture on the box shows him with the included Laser Rifle. So it is hard say if this is a mistake or Rackham made a last minute change. This may bother some players but really does not affect play. Players should probably agree before each game what the sergeant has for a weapon. [Note: Rackham stated in the AT-43 forums that the Sgt. should have an Assault Rifle.] Eight option heads with triple-lens helmet and three unit cards round out the box. The figures themselves are very similar to Steel Trooper figures except they have the Assault Rifle and slightly different pack arrangements. The rifles are soft and somewhat bendy and a number of mine arrived bent out of shape (see How to Straighten Out Your Figures).
The Star Troopers also receive their own reinforcements with the Attachment Box. This set has six figures including an officer, a missile launcher bearer, a flamer bearer, a Volcano MG bearer, a medic, and a combat engineer. Again, eight option heads with triple-lens helmet and eight unit cards, including five leader cards, complete the box. Interestingly the leader figure in this set does have the Assault Rifle and not the Laser Rifle. The Missile Launcher bearer is slightly different from the Steel Trooper version with a different pose and no combat knife. The other figures have interesting details to make them stand out a bit from the normal troopers.
Painting on both the new Steel Troopers and Star Troopers is similar to that in the previous expansion sets but the gray seems a bit darker, the brown is slightly different, and the finish is glossier overall. Again there is a wide variation in quality but there does seem to be less white overspray with these latest figures. Faces are very much mixed — Some are quite good and others simply terrible. If you intend to use the option helmets this is not an issue but otherwise many players may wish to touch-up the faces if nothing else. The biggest disappointment with this batch of UNA figures is the casting quality. The figures are all slightly less crisply cast than the earlier figures. It is a subtle but noticeable difference. In addition, a number of weapons were bent including many Assault Rifles and even the Volcano MGs. The casting quality combined with the glossier finish and poor faces make these UNA troops look the least impressive of any of the AT-43 units to date in my opinion. This is obviously a very subjective judgment and you may think they are just fine. As always, if you are buying these in a store, look through all available boxes to pick the ones you like the most. But overall I hope things improve with the UNA figures in the future.