Powered Armoured Mobile Infantry

  • So.......

    We have the Spiders, bugs are apparently a possibilty and the Ooh Rah's will make good movie light mobile infantry but what are the possibilities of getting the heavy option. Be it the powersuit or the heavy powered armour?



    We of course have Valkir coming who may fit the power suit role more than the powered armour. Although they would probably need a head swap to link them more to the Ooh Rah's  as mobile infantry.

    Edit: I'd probably nominate Japan to serve as the national source of these type of troops.




  • Going back to the source.  Mobile Infantry is all power armored.  Heavily armored and heavily armed it's the built in jet pack that provide the "Mobile" and lets them be "On the bounce!"  

    It's been a few years since I read it, but the suit is described as looking like an macrocephalic gorilla.  They have flamers and tac nukes among other weapons.

    This is the best cover art.  Although no "Starship Troopers" cover art ever really captured the mobile suits well.

  • A few jears ago there was "mongoose-games"... they had a miniatur game about starship troopers...

    Klick me

    Great Minis... bugs were great...


  • @JTam Its probably what many people would now call power armour (myself often included), the book is still the primary source for me (i've a old copy around here somewhere), but there is also the movies, the defunct game  and the animations (films and tv series) which were variable in quality.

    Of course to play as in the book your going to need at most 15mm mobile infantry spread around a large table tossing nukes around.

  • @Frank Reischmann Yeah, mainly based on the tv series I believe. Very hard to find at anything other than crazy pricing at this point. Also shows the problem of having a miniature line tied to someone elses IP.


  • @John Wilson 

    I had 2 boxes from the M I... but after lying 20 jears unopend in my basement I sold it to a frind... 

    As MI you can use Iron-Core-Troopers I think... just for movie-M I or Valkyrs for book-MI...

    2 more pictures found on my disk:

    A guy has build the movie-MI...


    And bugs... would be great to have then in Death Fields...








  • @Frank Reischmann That may work out...

    My rough plan would be Ooh Rah for the movie light mobile infantry, Eisenkern with Cannon Fodder spacesuit helmets as tv series suited mobile infantry and Valkir as heavies.

    I'd still like a true book style heavy powered armour, not least as a replacement for heavy weapon teams which would be very vulnerable to being outflanked and overrun.


  • @John Wilson Said of the Valkir many a time if the flank support was gone,or overrun with low ammo, you were in a world of hurt. We used to sell the complete Mongouse Range, sold all my collection last year including Dropship, 2 Fighters and 2 Medical shutles. Agonized for awhile before letting them go, still miss them. Was broken for Mongouse when they lost the licence ,the money they put in. every item saw manufacture. and good quallity. 

  • @Geoff Maybury  Valkir wise, I plan to distribute a couple to each stormtrooper squad. Although it going to depend on the loadout that comes in the box really.


  • The Martian Power Armor in The Expanse was pretty good. As is the power armor in Fallout 4. 

    Not really what I think of as power armor... but the big suits in Avatar are pretty cool too.

    I dislike some of the aesthetics of the live action movies of Starship Troopers. The MI look ok in general, although nothing like the what I thought from reading the book. And the officers are dressed in clearly fascist parody costumes. The space ships are cool but the drop ships terrible. If you want a cool dropship, Colonial Marines win again. The Morita rifles are too big, they look like Nerf guns. The animated tv shows are more to my taste but even those, I am of mixed opinion on the bugs. The regular warrior bugs are alright but I am not that keen on the rest. I think the animated series got the look of the Skinnies down pretty good.

    My favorite Starship Troopers cover art is this one but as@JTam  has said it does not perfectly reflect what is described in the book. 

  • @Grumpy Gnome I did like the change of the Fallout power armour in to a piloted exo-skeleton rather than a suit. 

    I just watched Invasion and I'm going to watch traitor of mars since I never actually watched the animated movies up to now, just seen lots of clips.

  • @John Wilson I thought the animated movies were better than the live action movies but that the animated tV show “Roughnecks” was better than the animated movies. All of these being far inferior to the original book, which is one of my favorite books of all time. In fact it may actually be my favorite book of all time considering the influence it has had on my life.

  • The Eisenkern look heavy enough to use for both, but I don't own a kit so don't know.

  • @Estoc The Eisenkern are wearing pretty much Star Wars style stormtrooper/clonetrooper style armour. It could also be armour like in the Roughnecks tv series. I'd usually not class it as powered armour, but I've seen it used in the role.


  • @John Wilson They appear (kind of hard to tell without comparision shots) to be taller than average, which I interpreted as power armor, but maybe not.

  • https://secureservercdn.net/ Slightly taller than the Death Field Raumjagers and Grognards. The difference between these and Valkir (powered armoured Eisenkerns) will make it more obvious.  That said, I've seen them being used as power armour.



  • I don't think the Eisenkern sets currently available from Wargames Atlantic are very much taller than the Cannon Fodder - I've mixed-and-matched pieces between these sets with no trouble at all, and the figures look fine mixed together. 

    As @John Wilson said, the Eisenkern kits are great for "light" Star Wars Stormtrooper style sci-fi combat armor, at least, and could probably pass for lighter Iron Man style power armor as well.

    Iron Man:  Sure, the helmet and other details are different, but I think you get what I mean:  this power armor isn't very bulky at all....

    Bubblegum Crisis:  Japan was mad about the power armor trope, too.  The Eisenkern figures would work fine for this sort of light, form-fitted power armor (high-heeled iron boots and swords not included.)


    Robocop:  Technically a cyborg, but he falls pretty closely into the power armor trope as well, and Eisenkern figures could probably substitute for this sort of character concept as well.


    I think the Iron Core Valkir look like they'd definitely work in my book as heavier power armor.

    Valkir:  A bit more like the heavy power armor I imagine first.  They remind me of 40K and Starcraft style space marines, which I think would count as well, really.

    G.I.Joe "S.N.A.K.E." Combat Armor:  A bit stiff and boxy, but quite a bit more like heavy power armor as I imagine it, and it definitely fits the heavy power armor mold in my book.


    Reaper Miniatures IMEF Bulldog:  Another heavy power armor concept that hits pretty close to what I imagine.  The "head" of the vehicle is a hatch that can be posed closed, or (as in this illustration) open to reveal the pilot's head.  It should make for a pretty substantial power armor suit, more so than might be practical or desirable for a hard plastic kit, as you're really approaching something more like a vehicle, or something that might be suited to a single figure per sprue, including arm options and other optional bits.


    Shogun Warriors:  At the more extreme end of the Japanese power armor craze of the '80s, you started crossing over into giant "robot" territory - all the better to battle giant kaiju monsters with!  Prepare your kung-fu moves, Grab your Garmin, and save the day!  (Plucky but psychologically damaged Japanese school-kid pilots not included.)

    When I was a youngster back in the '80s, there used to be Japanese hard plastic model kits for "Mobile Suit Gundam" figures in that anime style available in your friendly local model-building shops, but I've never seen one in person to guess at how well they'd work for 28mm gaming, and I don't know if they're still around.  They were apparently 1/100 scale, but might still look impressive enough alongside 28mm figures to work, if you can still find them.

    Mobile Suit Gundam:  Most figures looked more like "Shogun Warriors" or Neon Genesis "EVA" suits, but this model is very close to what I had always pictured the MI power armor from Starship Troopers looking like, but again, your mileage may vary.  If there's a low-cost stash of these still out there, and they look credible alongside 28mm minis, I'd grab and build a couple, then try to find some excuse to use them!


    Star Wars AT-ST:  Also on the more extreme end of the power suit spectrum would be the "Battle Mech" concepts like this (relatively) small one.  I'm pretty sure a couple companies, including GW, make this sort of vehicle kit in 28mm scale, and these mechs look great to me on a sci-fi battlefield, even if they are a bit impractical for 28mm scale wargaming!  (I really don't feel like vehicle combat is a good subject per se for 28mm miniature wargaming - these larger vehicles might work best on the tabletop as scenery or objectives, rather than mobile vehicles, due to the limited space on the typical game table....)


    Reaper Miniatures Blackstar Corsair:  Your mileage may vary, but for me, this is a heavy power armor concept that pretty much hits a "sweet spot" for me between the extremes of the lighter Eisenkern figures on one hand, and the IMEF Bulldog and giant robot stuff above, especially on a budget, and it's what I'll probably go to first for most general-purpose tabletop power armor purposes, unless WGA does something even more perfect for me.

    The Valkir look like they'll be a great power-armor set as well, and I might grab a box of those when they're available, since the mix really well with the versatile Eisenkern figures I'm already using for various sci-fi gaming purposes.


    A blurry early picture of one of my Eisenkern kitbashes - a couple of the figures in the back have been mixed with Cannon Fodder bodies; foreshortening from the camera perspective aside, most of these figures are pretty much the same height.  Everyone seems comfortable holding AK type weapons.  The running figure in the front is a female Eisenkern figure.  A Blackstar Corsair power armor suit is included as well, which might help with a size comparison:  a typical 28mm sci-fi figure is just about shoulder-height to the Corsair, making it about 7 feet tall, assuming ~6-foot tall Cannon Fodder and Eisenkerns:  tall and bulky enough to stand out on a gaming table, while still being compact enough to plausibly squeeze/duck through residential door frames, walk through starship or building corridors, and into/out of roomy APCs and dropships.


    Anyway, the Valkir look like they'll make fine medium-light power armor, and Reaper has an option or two for something a little heavier, but I think a Wargames Atlantic power armor set would be great, and would absolutely make a fine Death Fields Japanese faction, given the long power armor tradition in Japanese sci-fi!

    Or Russian.

    "Yes, we will use the latest technical devices. Already now they are being stationed, for example, in the southern parts of our country."
    - Vladimir Putin, 2006, when asked whether Russia planned to use gigantic, humanoid war robots.

    "These are unmanned aerial vehicles. And maybe the time will come for gigantic robots. However, so far we have put our main hope on people, namely border guards." - Vladimir Putin, 2006, clarifying his statement.

    "I view such mysterious forces with suspicion... there is something more behind such questions, and I advise people who take this seriously to read a holy book." - Vladimir Putin, 2006, on a follow-up question about whether the stars were right for Great Cthulhu to rise from its watery slumber and walk free upon the earth.  (Read a holy book, and, no doubt, prepare the gigantic war robots and plucky Japanese school-kid pilots!)



  • I've never read the books, but from the sound of it The Ajax Mech from Anvil's Digital Forge might hit the spot. Not to sure about the jump part tho. They are only in STL for now, but there is a good chance most of their Afterlife stuff will at least end up in resin.

  • Ajax Commander with battle damage.

    Maybe somthing more like this?

    I believe that Anvil is porting over to MyMiniFactory, which I think will let people order print on demand(I double checked it doesn't, that is cults3d I'm thinking of). Afterlife would be a cool setting for WA to partner up to put in plastic.

  • I wonder if anyone else here is a veteran of this thread: 


  • @Stephen Sutton I was on that forum a lot before things went sour and I was also active on the Defiance games forum until the guy running it (having been forced out of Wargames Factory) turned out to be a disreputable character.  I didn't know that the forum was still active, I haven't been on it since 2013 (I think).


  • I wouldn't call them active, exactly, but for some reason they still exist. It's crazy to think it has been 13 years since that thread started and there's still nothing on the market that really fits the bill.

  • @Estoc @Estoc @John Wilson @Stephen Sutton Oh the mess the old farts get into on this web site, Estoc, the Eisenkern male and female. have been converted and used for Hellgate London, to great effect, they make grand Modern Templer Knights. John, Steven, Eileen, myself,, and JTam, were on that site, we were Airborne, and Gingernut, He cost us dear with the egg powersuit, and the Jeep type vehicle, which I still rate as one of the best 4x4 listed and made. Wish I knew who had the molds.  

  • @Geoff Maybury I really loved that power armour design, I remember it was based of someones art work.





  • Mantic enforcers are another reference point for power armor.

  • @John Wilson 

    That looks really good.

  • Cover Art for Game Box

    I had the game before I read the book. This version will always inform my headcanon.

    The book description is this:

    "Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla, armed with gorilla-sized weapons. The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin. The secret lies in negative feedback and amplification."

  • @Andrew Stoeckle Those Mantic ones match Heinlein's text description pretty well, actually. 

  • I favour the Eisenkern suits as armoured (as opposed to powered) spacesuits (i.e. Star Wars trooper armour, or Combat Armour in Traveller RPG terms). The Cannon Fodder suit helmets are a godsend for that look, or general spacesuits.

  • when it comes to Starship Tropers depictions, the version i prefer that actually depicted something akin to the book's suits is the anime, Uchū no Senshi.  its one of the few attempts to depict the armored suits used by the mobile infantry in the book. (the anime screwed up practically everything else in the book, from the ethnicities of the characters to the nature of the bugs and their worlds, though. still, it got closer to the book than the Live action franchise ever did.)


    (there were also "command" suits, which had various techie bits replacing some fo the usual guns, which would be good for additional bits ideas)

  • @Yronimos Whateley 

    Mobile Suit Gundam:  Most figures looked more like "Shogun Warriors" or Neon Genesis "EVA" suits, but this model is very close to what I had always pictured the MI power armor from Starship Troopers looking like, but again, your mileage may vary.  If there's a low-cost stash of these still out there, and they look credible alongside 28mm minis, I'd grab and build a couple, then try to find some excuse to use them!

    actually you can get 1/144th scale "gunpla" (gundam plastic model) for $15-30 in a lot of places right now. though availability varies lately due to allthe shipping disruptions. size wise though the 1/144th scale figures tend to end up being more comparable to a 40K Guard Sentinel or an Eldar walker.. they tend to be about 4-6 inches tall. the aquatic ones like the Z'gok there though are a bit more on the stubby side though.

  • Thanks for that, Mithril!  I might check one of those kits out!  sounds like they're bigger than I thought.

    I remember seeing those Gundam kits all the time back in the early '80s, and I was always curious about them:  it was before the anime craze really caught on outside of Star Blazers or Speed Racer, and I never quite knew what to make of it, beyond a vague idea that they were a "Weird Japanese Thing" and they looked cool!  Now, all these years later, I'm bitten by the Nostalgia bug!


    I live all the versions of the Starship Troopers power armor depicted above, but this one for whatever reason is my defininitive version (I don't remember where I would have seen something like it at the time and associated it with the novel - I didn't read the novel until several years ago, but I was familiar witht he basic idea somehow before I saw the movie - which, of course, was only vaguely based on the novel!  I think a friend in college had must have had a book illustrated with something similar?)

    I drew somethig of the sort up for my character in a homebrew Starship Troopers-style RPG at the time, but we never got around to playing the game before that group broke up and went our separate ways.  I don't know what happened to all my old drawings since then....



    That said, I'm also fond of this one, just for its weird "Zee-Rust" retro-scifi aesthetic, reminds me of the old-fashioned robots and so on such as Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still (and anyway i'd guess it's maybe the closest to what Heinlein had in mind!)



  • technically the live action film wasn't based on the book at all.. the film had originally been shot under the name "bug hunt" when one of the assistant directors brought up the heinlein book and claimed there were a lot of similarities. (apparently he is one of those guys who thinks heinlein was advocating fascism with it. ugh) without even reading the book, Verhoeven optioned the rights and did some quick reshoots and redubbing to add a couple heavily altered scenes pulled from the book by the script writer and rename some characters. apparently there was talk of trying to insert some CGI or modelwork power armor into the background of some of the battles but they decided it was too expensive.


    personally i think the roughneck chronicles TV series did a decent job of bridging the gap. having the MI using powered body armor and heavier mecha worked well, and they pretty much dropped Verhoeven's fascism fetish entirely. which seperated them from the film a lot more.


    for Death Fields though i'd love to see a heavy PA closer to the anime, since it is something you don't see often in 28mm. most games go with PA that is basically reskinned 40K Space Marines, or light PA inspired by master chief, iron man, etc. so a good heavy PA that isn't "sopace crusader plate armor" would be nice. (but then, i did love the Tau and their XV-15, XV-25, and XV-8 suits,.. :) which is another market you could tap into, people looking for alternatives to those sorts of bigger suits)

  • The story that was going around back then was that the guy who made the film (I'm never going to remember his name) was supposed to be adapting the Heinlein story, but read one page of it, decided it was too "fascist" to be dignified with a full reading, and so he wrote his own story based on a "Cliff Notes" summary, making everything else up himself.  I'm pretty sure the "Bug Hunt" story is more accurate, though there are just enough similarities between the film that got made and the novel that I have to suspect "Bug Hunt" might have been plagiarized.  I do remember "Starship Troopers" being one of the most egregious examples of an "in name only" film adaptation up to that point - that sort of thing is almost routine today!

    I for sure would love to see something a little different from the usual 40K-derived space marine stuff!  I suspect that 40K-style stuff is probably where the money is and it's hard to justify straying too far from that, but definitely some of the "Starship Troopers" anime-style - and/or other anime-style - power armor to add a little variety would appeal to me more.  Or even some non-anime-style alternative power armor that chooses to do something a littlle different from 40K!  The Aliens power-loader, for example, is basically a very heavy "power armor" suit, without the armor, and looked great - an armored and armed suit loosely inspired by the power-loader would (IMHO) be fantastic....



  • Thanks for sharing this image... it is now one of my favorite visions for Heinlein’s Mobile Infantry. The only thing holding it back from being my very favorite is the bits in the book that I seem to recall about how Rico feels in his drop capsule. I am not sure being in this suit, inside a drop capsule, would feel even more claustrophobic.


    I wanted to like the Mantic Enforcers but once I got some they just did not do it for me. 


  • I believe Defiance Games had licensed that design before they went under, they didn't even have the decency to release the STL they had, to the people who already paid for the physical release. I'm glad I didn't touch them with a bargepole. 


    I know what you mean about Mantic's Enforcers. I like them for what they are, but they don't look like they're using military equipment, more like comic book characters. 

  • @Stephen Sutton They did (probably), but no idea if they still hold the license.


  • @John Wilson I'm pretty sure the company no longer exists, and they only licensed the design, so someone else could probably make one if they paid whoever designed it. 

  • @Stephen Sutton https://www.deviantart.com/flyingdebris/art/Mech-suit-177173677 This guy was the designer. Its also pretty much an update of the Maschinen-Krieger design, so you could probably come up a new version drawing on the same inspiration.


  • Given how much interest this thread has generated in a short amount of time, I think it's worth trying to get a consensus for a specification for this [potential] kit. 

    Size/dimensions: There have been a few mentions of rideable, or driveable PA, but I think most people here will agree that if your arms aren't in the arms of the suit, and likewise for your legs, then it's no longer PA, but a mini-mech suit. At 28mm scale, reading the room, we're looking for something that looks at home on a 32-40mm base, standing probably a head taller than a regular infantryman. Something with enough bulk to look legitimately armoured and powerful in a way that an infantryman could not achieve biologically. Harking back to the WGF thread, I'd say we're looking for something between power-assisted personal armour (form fitting, supports its own weight, but does not confer additional strength on the wearer), and a mini-mech. (limbs controlled from within cockpit allowing it to carry abnormally huge/powerful weapons) Are we mostly on the same page here, or would anyone differ on this point?

    Armaments: I think Heinlein's descriptions from SST are a baseline upon which pretty much everyone should be able to agree, but feel free to suggest the addition of anything from the list that would make the kit more appealing to a wider audience, or removal if anything that you really don't think would see play in any current game systems: 
    Big gorilla sized guns. (large, high-calber rifles, probably manually operated, could stand in for any number of scifi weapons)
    Micro-nukes (back/shoulder mounted)
    Mine-Launchers (back/shoulder mounted)
    Flamethrowers (wrist mounted)
    "Can opener" (I forget if it has a name, but for armour-on-armour combat you need some leverage to get inside the other guy's suit)
    Writing this out, I think I may be forgetting some things. 

    Features: Again, stuff from SST. 
    Better eyes and ears, more intelligence (camera and microphone array, communications device, I'm not 100% sure how this would best be represented in the design, any ideas?)
    Stronger backs (I think it being PA covers this well enough)
    Jump Jets (I'd say this should be a baseline feature, but not stand out too much on the model so that people not interested can pretend it's ventilation or heat-sinks or something else)
    Waldos (it doesn't look like a huge steel gorilla if the forearms aren't extended with mechanical gauntlets, and besides if the suit loses a hand there's no reason the wearer should too)
    "Skis" (something this heavy needs a large surface area on which to stand, to avoid sinking into the ground and provide a lot of traction. They don't need to be gigantic, but should plausibly increase mobility in tight spaces and protect the wearers feet from mines)

    Aesthetic: As above, I think we all agree that the super-advanced "sci-fi" (magic) PA market is well catered, but there's not a lot of models out there which serve up something that looks like military equipment, so I think there should be some angularity to it to suggest to the viewer something about the economy of manufacturing it. I would personally want to avoid anything too retro looking, it's easy to assume that Heinlein envisioned the bastard love-child of a sherman and a diving bell, but this is a scifi product line after all. I would suggest something a little more near-future than far-future looking. (I could definitely go for a medium between Flyingdebris' and the anime designs above) This is where I'm most interested to hear your thoughts, because I think this will be the thing people agree upon the least. 

    The only other thing I can think of, off of the top of my head, is that the suit should be able to approximate a wide enough range of movement that it could credibly right itself after falling over, while still looking like all of the joints are connected by machinery outside of the wearers body. The one thing that bothers me about a lot of PA designs is that they either look too rigid to be practical outside of a parade-ground, or that it looks like the lion's share of the suit's strength is provided by the man inside. That's the one thing I would really, really, really, want to see done right if WGA makes a PA sprue. 

  • Fallout 4's version of power armour would be the same in that its essentially a vehicle operated by the trooper rather than an armoured suit.


  • @John Wilson I'm not sure that I would agree that it falls into the vehicle category. It is a single object that closes around the wearer, but I don't think that disqualifies it from the category of "suit". It's more or less how I imagine PA would work IRL, being fully enclosed, but easy enough to get out of, and I think it exemplifies quite well the kind of grey-area between personal armour and single pilot vehicle that PA occupies.

  • I agree with@Stephen Sutton. Put a jump pack and shoulder mounted weapon systems on that as well as a wrist flamethrower and I think I have my favorite image so far of Heinlein’s MI power armor.

    In Fallout 4 I logged over 1,000 hours game time, much of it in power armor. It does blur the line between vehicle and suit but I think that is the point. It is big and chunky but feels Mobile when you are in it. Your limbs go into the arms and legs of the suit so it feels less like a mech.

  • @Grumpy Gnome Probably the best thing that Fallout 4 brought to the series, I spent most of my playthroughs in the power armour but you always had the option to dismount when stealth was needed.

    Entering the power armour below for those who haven't seen the animation.



  • Weapon wise, I'd be looking at four weapon hardpoints. Usually pods on each shoulder which could be missiles, nukes or mines, a large calibre weapon and a flamer (arm mounted) for close in work. Maybe some sort of retractable blade like mantic enforcers use for melee.

  • I was watching some of the gameplay for the new starship trooper RTS, seems like they are drawing on all of the movies (not sure about the cartoon).



  • @Yronimos Whateley 

    Actually the SW AT/ST was mostly used as a Warhound proxy back to the Old Days.. 


    Tony Cotrell was quite eager to convert any SW model he could lay hands on.. 

  • I remember seeing this https://youtu.be/i50CX9z51AM on YouTube a while ago, does it count as power armour?

    Probably needs to have legs. But still cool.

  • @William Ings 

    More like an exo-armour.. 😉

  • @William Ings I'd say that strays too far into mini-mech territory, it's very clearly piloted rather than worn. 

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