by Grant Hill
Microworld Games is a manufacturer of 6mm Fantasy and Science Fiction miniatures. The Foundationists are generic sci-fi figures, with a variety of vehicles and two different classes of infantry available. For this review, Microworld Games kindly provided us with one of each vehicle available, and a handful of infantry samples.
Kazak Light Tank
The Kazaks are available as a three pack (platoon) for $6.00 (USD) or twelve identical tanks (company) for $20.00. Each tank is assembled from two pieces: a hull and a turret. There's a cylindrical recess in the hull and a matching shape on the bottom of the turret, meaning assembly is very easy and it's possible to distinguish between tanks by gluing the turret down in different orientations. For a small tank (the hull is 25 mm long) the detail is good, there are plenty of rivet-like shapes and panels on the hull to catch a drybrush, and I can even make out some little lights or sensors at the front. The bottom has six round "engines" that presumably provide the anti-grav propulsion. The turret has two different gun barrels, I get the feeling that one could be anti-tank and the other anti-personnel. Overall a nice design that could find use in a plenty of generic systems.
The mould lines are pretty small and cleverly located around the circular edge of the hull, personally I'd be tempted to just leave them on. The casting is slightly rough such that the hull feels textured, as this is only found on the upper hull I suspect that it has been done on purpose. It would be hard to remove the rough finish without destroying other detail. The minor mould lines and slightly rough finish is common to all of the white metal vehicles.
Kilgore Super Heavy Tanks
There are two different Kilgore tanks (regular and Mk. II) that use the same hull piece but have different turrets. A platoon of three of either model retails for $10.00 and a company of nine for $27.00. The original Kilgore has a long barrel single turret whilst the Mk. II has two much shorter (and thinner) barrels. The hull is 40 mm long and has similar details as the Kazak. There is an extra circular detail at the front of the hull that could be a cockpit, sensor or additional weapon (it has a side to side recess that reminds me of KITT from Knight Rider or a Cylon). The similarity between the design pattern for the Kilgore and Kazak produces a nice cohesive look when you place them side-by-side.
Mobile Command Centre
The MCC is a big piece, with a hull length of 82 mm it's about the same size as a bar of soap. The main hull (again this is a hover/anti-grav vehicle) is made from a black coloured resin, with space for three white metal turrets. While retail packs are supplied with 6 different turrets, the review sample came with three: a missile pod, and two different multi-barrelled turrets. These turrets are the same as those included in other packs and again attach into a recess on the hull. Just like the metal vehicles, the finish on the top side of the hull is slightly rough and there are plenty of nice details such as access hatches and windows. The resin mould lines are a little bigger than on the metal miniatures, but there are no large chunks of excess. The MCC retails for $14.00 and again looks similar in design to the tanks mentioned above.
The Trout tanks are available in both main battle tank (MBT) and missile tank variants. A company of twelve is $24.00 and platoons of three are $6.50. The hull (same for both tanks) is a little bigger than a Kazak at 30 mm long, but has a distinctly different shape. While the Kazak is rounded and perhaps reminiscent of a classic UFO, the Trout is more angular. Once again there are a lot of panels on the hull that should take a drybrush or ink wash nicely.
This infantry fighting vehicle is a similar design to the Trout, although somewhat larger (35 mm) and bulkier so that it can carry troops. The design makes me think of some form of futuristic anti-grav enclosed snow mobile. There are two different turret options (much smaller weapons that the tanks): a large machine gun type weapon (or laser, if you prefer) and a small rocket launcher. Ten pilgrims retail for $23.00 and three are available for $8.00.
There are four different types of support tanks in the range, all available in platoon packs of three. All variants use the same hull, which is 32 mm long and is in a similar style to the Kazak. The "Deluge" AA platoon retails for $8.00 and in addition to the hull, each miniature has a small connector that fits into the hull and also into the bottom of the weapon system. This ensure the weapon clears the crew compartment at the front of the vehicle. Assembly is easy, but it's worth gluing the connector to the hull first, letting it dry, then attaching the weapon. The AA piece has two sets of twin-linked barrels on the turret. The MLRS (multiple rocket launcher) platoon is also $8.00 and has a missile pack that attaches to the connector. The anti-personnel platoon is $8.50 and forgoes the connector piece by having the large double barrelled turret attach directly onto the hull. In a similar vein, the SPG (self-propelled gun) platoon has a very large gun that attaches directly to the hull.
A squadron of three gunships costs $11.00 and does not include flight stands. Having to source flight stands elsewhere may be a bit frustrating, although the 2 mm diameter recess on the bottom of the hull fits a current Games Workshop stand. Each gunship has a hull, wings, chin gun and set of missile pods (two different styles). Assembly of the gunship is more complicated than any of the other kits in this review, but is still very easy. The single-piece wings fit into a recess on top of the hull, the chin gun has a long nub that fits into a recess and the missile pods also have a sizeable recess to attach to. There's plenty of small detail on the hull to the make the miniature interesting and there are anti-grav engines on the bottom of the wings.
The Foundationist Light Infantry sells for $7.00 and contains 40 miniatures with three different poses (six figures were provided for the review). No bases were included, but the figures fit into Games Workshop Epic bases. Whenever I see high quality 6mm infantry I'm always reminded of just how much detail you can squeeze onto a tiny sculpt and the Foundationists are no exception. It's easy to make out individual armour plates, helmet visor, backpack and the scope on the rifles. The detail is well defined and should be relatively easy to paint with some washing. All three poses have the rifle across the front of the chest with variations in the weapon pointing up, down or more centralised. There's a couple of bits of excess venting metal to remove but the mould lines are pretty well hidden.
The Foundationist Power Armour troops are sold in a platoon of twenty for $6.00. One sample of each of the two poses was provided. The Power Armour is pretty big and it's easy to see that one of the Light Infantrymen could easily fit inside this larger suit. The design is pretty bulky at the top with large shoulder pads and large combined helmet/torso armour that looks like it should open out to reveal the soldier inside. The two poses have different weapons, both of which look like they'll provide much more firepower than the light infantry.
The Foundationists are a good range with a variety of vehicles covering most of the classes you'd want to field on table; there's a tank for most purposes and a selection of support weapons. There is a familiar theme running through most of the vehicles that will look cohesive on the tabletop and the Mobile Command Center will make a nice centrepiece. I would perhaps like to see a few more Infantry options with some command and support weapons, as I think they would really round out an impressive force.
- Cohesive look amongst the vehicles.
- Plenty of detail that should be easy to paint.
- High-quality casting means very little preparation work needed.
- The rough hull finish might not be to everyone's taste.
- A few more infantry options wouldn't go a miss.