Originally we were not going to cover any Red Blok miniatures because we assumed it would mostly be more of the same as far as AT-43 miniatures went. Once you have seen some of the U.N.A. or Therian models you get the basic idea of the AT-43 line. But after seeing the full Red Blok line of minis for ourselves we had a change of heart.
While the Red Blok figures do not present any revolutionary or quantum shift in AT-43 quality they do present perhaps the first evolution. The Red Blok infantry are of a touch higher quality than the U.N.A or Therian figures. Perhaps it is just the color schemes but they do look better overall. Certainly the Draganov Commandos benefit from the lack of flesh, which has always been the poorest part of AT-43 figure painting. Also, while the Kolossus units are not as impressive, or futuristic, of a design as the U.N.A. TacArms they are impressively well molded models when you see them for yourself. Even the theme, whether you like it or not, is well executed and the models give the proper feel quite well.
Without a doubt the most impressive part of the Red Blok line by far is the striders. The U.N.A. and Therian models are nice but the Red Blok striders present a considerable jump in quality. They really do approach the level of quality that matches what the majority of players could achieve on their own while giving those with true artistic skills an amazing point from which to start. The various striders are all well detailed and have a number of moving (and removable) parts including torsos that turn and cockpits that open. Some, such as the Kossak, even have a nice texture that simulates a cast hull. Of course we have to admit we are a bit biased because we think the Nakolvany is one of the best looking sci-fi minis we have seen in a long time. It has that great aggressive look that reminds us of the old ‘Mechs’ from the Battletech days yet still seems to fit into the Red Block theme perfectly.
Unfortunately, while the latest Urod strider model is as impressive as the other RB striders, the Odin and Manon figures are a bit disappointing. They do have some of the best washing seen to date on an AT-43 mini — It is a nice dark wash that brings out all the fine detail in the figures but does not look overdone. But the faces and flesh color on both figures just looks bad. Certainly this is still the weakest area in the pre-painted concept.
Overall, while the Red Blok figures do not present much of a change over previous AT-43 releases the Red Blok striders certainly begin to show the promise of pre-painted miniatures. If the U.N.A. or Therian armies did not interest you we suggest you take a closer look at the Red Blok releases. You might be pleasantly surprised.
See our Red Blok Army Book review.