Just yesterday I was complaining to Chris that there hadn’t been any really good miniatures games that went with pre-painted figures but were non-collectible, or at least sold on the same a la carte basis as Warmachine and others. I would love to be playing more Warmachine, but I can’t bring myself to play with an unpainted army – and there is no way I can make the time to paint them. I’m a gamer, and that’s my hobby; I’m not looking for games that come with a whole other hobby stapled to them.
So. Minis fans know French publishers Rackham for their beautiful sculpts and solid games such as Confrontation. It would seem that in the latter half of next year, they aim to bring out a sci-fi themed game, with mecha, done to their usual standards, but pre-painted – also to their usual standards. You can see an early (unpainted, plastic) model here. Confirmation is available on their English-language forums here and here.
I have no idea what the economics of this are going to be – plastic models are cheap, but only if you do enough of them, and that kind of scale means a lot of hard painting to be done – but man, am I ever looking forward to finding out.