Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dust Allies progress...quick and easy!

Just a quick update.

Yesterday I noted that the Dust Tactics models are pretty easy to paint because they come undercoated. I started work on a a unit called "The Boss" this evening by adding some basecoats (I had added modeling sand and painted the base before this.)

Before: you can see the green colour in which the unit arrives (there are 5 models in the unit).

After just a couple of layers of GW Snakebite Leather, some Chaos Black (on boots and gloves) and Ironbreaker on the weapon and you have your basic "3 basecoats" approach done. I could probably move onto washes at this point.

I think I will add some brown to the the stocks and handgrips throughout the unit before that though!

The key point is, with another hour, I could have a unit done with washes and a highlight or two. Time is saved by the model being pre-undercoated, all models swiveling at the waist (much easier to paint hard to reach bits!) and the general lack of ornate bits and pieces. In fact, significant time was added by having to do two layers of Snakebite Leather.

Won't have too much time to finish these the next few days, but with another hour or two, this final unit of Allied infantry should be done and my Allied footsloggers will be complete- and then I will give a Walker a try.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Up close with Dust Tactics Walkers!

After finishing my first units of Dust Warfare Axis infantry last week, I have only a few unpainted infantry to go (Lara, and "The Boss") before I turn my attention to what many people seem to consider the best part about the whole Dust universe, the Walkers.

With that in mind, I couldn't help spending a bit of time looking at the Medium walkers that I purchased some time ago to provide support units for both sides (note, I don't know if the current boxed models are exactly the same and come with the same options - it looks as though you may only get ONE walker variant each box. WHAT!) The Dust Tactics core set comes with a light walker for each side, but the Medium units are where it is at! Sure, there are super heavy units, but one step at a time...)

In a few words, straight out of the box, these are very nice models. 

As with all Dust models, both come undercoated in either Axis grey or Allied green, so they are ready to use immediately. In fact, the pre-placed decals that are on the units means that you could probably just get away with basing them and they would still look nice. A minimum paint job would be:
a.) Basing
b.) Base coat only the obvious exposed inner workings with a metallic grey.
c.) Wash

Extras that would be the biz would include.
d.) Secondary camouflage colour.
e.) Highlights and drybrushing.
f.) Weathering (chipping and rust would do the trick)
I honestly think though that d, e and f are just "nice to have" if you have got time.

Axis Medium Walker:
First up, The Axis Medium Panzer Walker, the Pz. Kpfl. II-D "Lothar" variant (each box that I bought a year ago comes with the parts to build any of three variants. That MAY NO LONGER BE THE CASE.) Nebelwerfer missile tubes galore!

Weapons arms are easy to add/ remove and reposition

Whole body can be rotated.

Can't remember the name of this next variant (interestingly, it isn't listed on the website), but as you can see it has a cannon and claw.

Cannon can be repositioned up and down as it is on a ratchet.

Machine gun slots into small hole - easy to break off!

Detail: Even without arms, body is nicely detailed and decals are in place.

Detail: utilitarian detail is great!
 The "Ludwig" carries x2 8.8 cm cannons. Note the decals. This splash of colour really adds to the first impression that you could get this onto a table with painted figures and it wouldn't look too out of place.

Allied Medium Walker:
Now let's take a look at the Medium Allied Walker.
I made an unboxing video ages ago, and here it is again! (Go easy, it was taken on a camera!)

Here are some detailed photos. The first thing you may notice is that colour is a bit more Olive than in the video, but I think that is due to the camera on my phone 

This is the M2-F "Steel Rain". 

Decals are nicely done: spray on military style font!
M2-B "Hotdog" Flamethrower variant.
I've added the searchlight here. This is included in the kit. Be careful, it is easy to snap the pin that holds this in place (nice touch that the glass is made of a separate piece of plastic though - I HATE trying to paint searchlights on 40K vehicles.)

Finally, here is the M2-C "Pounder" with it's cannon.

Barrel is not fixed, so droops unless glued.

See the rounded mount for the machine gun?
That will break right off if you aren't careful when removing the MG (nothing a bit of glue won't fix though)

As you can see, from the modeler's AND gamer's perspectives, the walkers are a big draw. If these "Mediums" are anything to go by, then my wallet had better watch out...there a "Heavies" for each army too...



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dust Warfare: The Axis are coming... least to my collection of Dust warfare models.

I bought the Dust Tactics box set and the Dust Warfare rules a year or so ago (was it that long?) and immediately got into painting the allies. What I had read about the Dust models was true.
Already undercoated.
Easy to paint.
Generally good sculpts.
Sure, there were a few problems, like poorly fitted upper torsos, bendy weapons and so on (I'd heard about these too), but man, those issues couldn't take away from the joy of having some "weird" world war II (the designs are great.)

After finishing some allied infantry (which you can see here and here) I got distracted by other projects, and didn't think about them until last Saturday, when I noticed the Axis troops in my cupboard, still in their original grey. On a whim I grabbed them and set to work, and a few days later, here we are, with a few units of Axis ready for the tabletop.

Here are a few photos:

Heavy Laser Grenadiers
Heavy Flak Grenadiers

Next up?

Light walkers!


Saturday, June 14, 2014

7th Heaven...

So I couldn't resist dropping by the GW main store in Tokyo the other day on the way back from work to pick up Warhammer 40K 7th edition...

Image from 

...and what an edition it is - very different from previous rulebooks!

At first glance, there is a lot to like:
+ The "3 volumes in a slipcase format" works really well, whether you are gamer, collector, or both. 

  • Gamer? "The rules" are a little easier to carry around or use because they don't have everything else packed in too.
  • Collector? The separate "A Galaxy of War" volume, makes for an enjoyable browsing experience with lots of images (although you may not find enough hobby content to satisfy)
  • Fluff fiend/ historian? "Dark Millenium" has the history that you love about the 40K universe.

+ Quality publishing. 
Overall, when you read or pickup these items, they have a "solid" feeling about them that inspires the reader with confidence. This is underlined by the nice "lie flat" way the books are bound, and the design of the pages making the content easy to read.

As you get deeper in though, you may find the following disappointing:

- "A Galaxy of War" probably isn't going to keep you entertained for more than one look-through - unless all you are seeking is pretty photos. 
As others have pointed out, it really is a giant catalogue, rather than a real source of hobby inspiration. One of the things that older gamers will remember is that GW (many years ago) used to have a real commitment to hobby focused articles in their publications and even on their website. 
You won't find any of that here. 

- "Dark Millennium" should actually be called "The Millennium of Man", so strong is the focus on the Empire. 
Of course, from a GW perspective, the imperium of man is the main money-spinner, so it makes sense to focus on Space Marines. However, that makes this a less than stellar experience for anyone (like me) who has a love for Xenos armies (like Tau, Eldar, and so on.)
No doubt it could be argued (effectively) that the appropriate Codex is the place to find detail on each race, but I felt that this is a lost opportunity. Long time fans of the universe may not mind (you know it all already), but for new players, this paucity of information is a bit of a loss.

- A lot of repeat artwork.
It is natural to reuse a lot of art - and some of it is fantastic - but I couldn't shake the feeling that I had seen a lot of this before, and there didn't seem to be anything that really blew me away.

I haven't had time for anything other than a cursory read through, so I don't know what implications these new rules will have for my Tau and Black Templars armies, but I am looking forward to reading more!


BTW, If you want a really nice review of the 7th edition books, you will definitely want to visit the very excellent Pins of War site, starting with this article.

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