Dust Tactics – Final Painting Push. 

The final few troops have now been painted so that they can feature in my next Dust Tactics game.  That game is now 3 weeks behind as work is proving hard to avoid and getting in the way of our planned session.  Missing the game has allowed me to get more done though so I now have no excuse not to field a strong infantry force.

The last full unit I painted are these grim looking Sturmpioniere.  Slightly orange tones to their shoulders and a simple picking out of metal and leather were all they needed as they have no flesh on show with those gas masks.

The last 2 men were conversions, as I needed a couple of men to become observers for my medium artillery walkers. A second set of observers will allow me to target 2 different areas with my artillery instead of deploying them in the wrong place and watching them die as they run to where I really needed them…

I may get some more done in the next few weeks but the next new thing looms over us…

Dust Tactics – Painting Queue Jumpers

The Dust Tactics painting marathon (yes I have bitten off more than I can chew) continues.  As expected, the Axis Rocket Troopers have jumped up the painting queue.  They are the latest purchases for this game, and have managed to get themselves painted before figures I have owned for 2 years…

Simple paint jobs are the best way to paint Dust models I find.  Being sold ‘pre-primed’ in grey, they are ready for paint without any preparation. A few colours (flesh, black, silver and a couple of browns in this case) are all that are needed to get an acceptable table-top finish.  I have seen these painted very well by others. That is something I never seem able to do as well as I would like.

I have also added a MG squad and an anti-tank squad so feel I am doing ok at this point (it helps that our game has been delayed a couple of times due to mine and Coronasan’s work commitments).  Extra painting time always helps.

The anti-tank squad comes with an alternate figure so you can add some firepower at the exclusion of a different figure.

I decided to add a couple of alternate medium walker weapon options to the paint queue.  This would allow me to field 2 artillery walkers in the same game if I felt I needed to.

The heavy walker is a real beast with gun barrels longer than its frame on both of its weapon options.

Part way through the painting process I managed to drop the cab and break off not one, but both, of the hull mounted MG barrels!  2 full minutes of swearing was followed by 20 minutes of very careful drilling and inserting of 1mm steel tube…

While I wait for the game to be rescheduled, I may get a few more infantry done, but even though I am not finished, I feel I have done well.

15 men, a set of artillery tubes for a medium walker and a whole lot of heavy walker…

She’s a pretty fearsome beast.  Lets hope Coronasan sees her as such and overthinks his game as a result!

Dust Tactics – First Game In 6 Months

Because we have spent so much time playing Steam Wars, and probably due to my past boredom with painting grey uniforms, we haven’t played Dust Tactics very much lately.  Before the Steam Wars push, I had a decent run on painting Dust Tactics figures and used the ‘paint it to play it’ method.  This got a good number of my Axis troops and walkers painted.

We decided to pull the figures out again recently and, even though I didn’t get any photos of the actual game taken, I did manage to get a good table set up that made use of the train set I got for Xmas.

By using a few buildings as engine sheds and by using the odd warehouse, we effectively played across a shipping yard and over some railroad tracks.

One outcome of this game (a more pleasant loss than I could have ever hoped for) was the realisation that I had now painted up a good number of my Axis figures.  However, the majority of these were what might be described as specialists or elites.  Lots of lasers, zombies and apes.  This mix is destined to be fun and pleasantly thematic but is ultimately flawed for balanced gameplay.

So, time to paint up some new troops so that something new can be played.  But, what do I need to paint???

Grunts…  My paint table will be full of good, old fashioned, 5 man infantry units.  By next game my plan is to paint up 4 units of Axis Grenadiers or their equivalent.

Oh, and I will be painting some new editions to the collection too…  5 rocket troopers from the new German starter set.  Lovely figures, but only size 1 infantry, so I expect them to die fairly quickly.

To make up for the weaker infantry, and to stop me getting repetitive strain injury from painting all those infantry figures, I will also be trying to finish a huge heavy Axis walker…

A walker and 25 men. All before the next game…  Wish me luck.

My Pause Button Seems To Have Been Broken/ More Age Of Sigmar.

I took a short break from posting updates to the blog just before the summer started (not unusual as my blog posts are often irregularly timed).  The trouble is that my planned, brief pause, has continued for the last 3 months…

I have not been alone in this phenomena. I have continued to enjoy reading posts that other gamers have written over the summer. A few, I notice, have been in the same boat as me and have just begun to resurface now that the summer is over.

Like most people I have not been idle… Not very idle at all…


The shed has seen a good few games and I have been out and about at a couple of shows in the last months.  One small item of note is this chap that I picked up as a thank you for Coronasan. Who, in true addiction facilitator style, managed to source even more Dust models for me on his last trip to the USA.

It should do quite well as a proxy for Markus in his yet to be painted Dust Tactics Axis army.  With everything else he is trying to finish at this point I suspect they will get done sometime next year!


The game of the summer continued to be Age Of Sigmar and my Empire forces continued to be trampled under foot by all comers.  Never let it be said that I am easily beaten but it is likely I will continue to be with this game.  The last 5 years of skirmish games has not helped to develop my large unit tactics.


Veganman’s Ogre horde was a regular opponent as we settled into the rules for this game and learned its basics.  It would seem that he has a serious leaning to small, elite and heavy armies. From fantasy Ogres to Terminators to German Tigers, no matter what he buys into they are always tough, sturdy opponents.


When it comes down to it my massed ranks of feeble humans are in need of some serious support and possibly some better tactics.

… And just as I was complaining that it was my army choice that was holding back my ability to win, he comes over with his Bretonnian army and shows me what feeble humans can do when mounted on big, scary horses…


Again, he turned up with a force that was half the size of my army but more than twice as hard…

Watch this space for the outcome of the next summertime encounter.

Dust Update – Command Units And The Feeling Its Gone On Too Long.

The Dust painting queue has again moved along.  I am now 2 command units better off than last time I posted about Dust.  The last 6 months of Dust painting is now the longest period of work on one project since…  Well, since a long while ago.

So long in fact that I am actually starting to get very bored with this colour mix.  Grey, Black, Grey, Green, Grey, Cream, Grey, Camo, Grey, Silver…  I am sure you can see a theme in there?


That said, I did like the way these guys came out.  Heavy Grenadier Command (Grey Black, Grey, Silver).  Cigar chewing Officer.


Knife wielding Medic.


Rocket launching Mechanic.  What more could you want..?


These 5 guys, in contrast, were a test for a simple way of quickening up the process. The ‘Old Man’ is the regular Grenadier command squad.  I decided to simplify the painting process and use minimal colour options to get them done fast.  Came out ok…  4 colours (Green, Flesh, Black and Silver) and a wash.  What I would call gaming quality.  I can paint better, but I just feel these are starting to become a bit of a task rather than a pleasure.

Some units will get more effort than these but the main bulk of the unpainted force may well get the fast colour treatment. That way I can move on to painting for pleasure again.

Dust Platoons

The Dust painting marathon continues, this time with my efforts focused on rounding out the platoon options for my Axis force.

First up are the Heavy Grenadiers.  Lara and her Panzers, along with the Flak Boys completed this platoon a while back.  Next up for these will be a second command option in the form of the Iron Fist Command Squad.  They are in the painting queue already.

The last medium walker that I painted completed the Panzer Kampfgruppe.  This platoon can be 3 walkers: A Ludwig and 2 other versions of the medium chassis.

Or: it can be the Ludwig, a medium chassis and a Sturmluther transporting a unit of Recon Grenadiers.

Now I have all of these finished I guess I can start thinking about rounding out the platoon options by using the Prinzluther variant of the transport and painting up a command squad (The Old Man).  These should therefore be moved up the painting queue I guess.

The addition of a Death Rays support weapon, always good for tank hunting, finishes of my Blutkreuz Korps Platoon.  This is the newest addition to Sigrid’s personal platoon.

It leaves me able to benefit from her platoons special rules which allows all her Blutkreuz units to ignore suppression.  A key factor in Dust Tactics/ Battlefield.

With that lot done I can build 3 small platoons or focus on 1 or 2 main platoons backed up by a mix of specialist support units.

The photographed units here, and the other stuff so far painted, adds up to about half of the figures I have. What worries me is that I haven’t even thought about starting a regular Grenadier Platoon as yet…

Missing A Game Isn’t All That Bad. 

After what seems like ages we decided to drag out a game that has not been played much in the last months.  We dusted off Dust and set about planning a game one evening recently.  I dug out my painted miniatures again and noticed I had not added anything new to the finished collection from the unpainted half of the collection since the last game.

That made it easier to plan my army but added no new edge to surprise my opponent with this time.

It all went to pot though when work and family caused us to postpone the game for a week.  This left me with time in the shed and no game to play.  Perfect for breaking out a paintbrush and prepping up some new troops…


First up was a sniper unit.  A good easy start as its only 2 men…  A little camouflage and flesh had these done in no time.  The original Axis models come undercoated in grey when bought, so they don’t need a base coat as such, just the details picking out (as long as you want a fairly grey uniform look to the army).

Next was the new Wotan/ FlammLuther walker.  Slightly heavier than the medium walkers and packing an incredibly hard punch with Twin heavy lasers or heavy flamethrowers.

Some silver on the bolt heads, black cables and a few armour plates picked out in a contrasting colour (in this case an olive drab)and she was done.  An ancient set of Airfix decals (so old they were yellow and cracked when I unrolled them) provided some detailing and my secret weapon was ready.

The Axis has all the best toys so more Laser Grenadiers were prepped for duty.  One more unit and I will have enough of these boys to use the platoon rules for these squads.

To complete my medium walker platoon, and to gain the associated special rules for the upcoming game, I decided to run up a 3rd medium walker.  This time I didn’t get to leave it the base grey colour.  A little by accident, I dipped my brush into the wrong pot of my pallet.  The result was meant to be a heavy coating of Army Painter dark tone wash but I ended up with a thick coating of the olive drab colour all over the most riveted side of the body.

Always one to let fate lend a hand, I decided to continue with this colour and found I had to cover most of the model to even out the colour.  It does make my new walker easily recognisable as the leader of my platoon this way though…

All ready for a new game of Dust Battlefield now:-)

Dust Battlefield: How To Lose A Battle In Three Simple Steps

Dust was revisited recently, with a fast and dirty game of Dust Battlefield played on a smaller than normal table. This turned out to be, for me, a lesson in not taking a game for granted.


Lesson one: Don’t get cocky!

With all my new units to choose from I fielded a truly mixed bag of units, as I thought a force of very specialised units would allow me to easily outclass a small force of SSU shock infantry with only 2 walkers on their side.

Specialist units, it turns out, are very mission specific. For example – fast moving units only work if the table is open enough to freely move on, and static kill specialists, once their optimum target is out of sight or eliminated, become almost useless…


Lesson two:  Don’t overreach!

Specialists cost more! This leaves a smaller force. Fast moving troop transports can quickly leave their support behind… When this happens, if they are not fielded in sufficient numbers, they will find it difficult to hold their ground for long. With my force, one transport does not a spearhead make…


Lesson three:  Never underestimate a lady driver!

Koshka… What can I say… One hero. in a medium close assault walker, looks like it should be easy pickings. Easy pickings until I find out that that hero has the ace pilot skill. The chance of a third action every time she activated, along with two goes per turn, provided by a ‘Get Moving You Bunch Of Monkeys’ command action. That lady driver was driving my way from turn one. Before I even had time to blink she was in my flank and causing havoc.


When I finally finished her off I had very little left to contest the game with…


All that was left was a bit of mopping up by the SSU. When the smoke cleared I had to admit that I had lost.


Lesson learned?  Unlikely, as I will probably have to see this happen a couple more times before I finally realise that all those shiny specialists have their limitations.

I still need to get the majority of my basic infantry painted, lord knows I have enough of them, but they are not so much fun to paint as the walkers and heavies tend to be…

Pausing To Post About My Post.

The Dust painting marathon has paused recently with an unfinished medium walker and its weapons sat on my painting table. This is sat beside two cows and a goat that came in the Achilles expansion that supplied my new Sigrid.  Yes, I said two cows and a goat! What other game supplies such varied options of things to paint…

Dust is undergoing some trouble at the moment. I will not try to increase the fog that is covering various social media sites and forums at the moment.  Enough is being said by various people without me adding to the mass of info out there.  I just hope that this can be resolved to the benefit of the current form of the game and to allow the recent Kickstarter backers to get what they are due. I decided not to invest in the Kickstarter but I am keeping my fingers crossed for those who did!

I haven’t been entirely lazy over the last few weeks. I’ve got a game or two in and played with the various newly painted units as planned.  Losing each and every time it would seem.  I may need to paint up more infantry soon to keep my opponents from feeling that they are not being challenged.


The final things that can be blamed for my pause in painting are a couple of items from a Kickstarter that I did invest in. These turned up quite unexpectedly in the post, and surprised me, as I was unaware that these had been sent out.




Not many Kickstarters I have backed have been this close to being on time.  The project was run by Chris Braunston from the XLC.  This, purposefully small kickstarter, raised enough funds to produce a run of this exquisite preprinted lasercut terrain. I think that it worked out so well because they set their goals at an achievable level. So many Kickstarters run on and on and become unmanageable in the end, with stretch goals slowing the original production plans to a grinding halt. I invested to the sum of £45 and was rewarded with a set of workshops and warehouses which came with these nice shipping containers.



Unlike some of the prepainted items I have from other manufacturers, these are pre-printed boards, so have a high definition finish that looks stunning.  I have started putting these together and have the large workshop and container set done so far.



I can’t state clearly enough how good I think these look.  I always look at scenery as playing a key role in games as it sets the scene as well as giving a varied playing surface. These will look so good that they may make my other items look out of place…

When you get them out of the box they look pretty dreadful…


Then when you peel the protective backing film away the finish becomes apparent…


More photos to follow when the other builds are done…  If anyone is interested in the items shown here, or would like to know more, I suggest you visit them at thexlc.co.uk. They have a limited site at the moment but I expect, once the Kickstarter completes, they will have this range available for purchase.

Dust Battlefield: More Walkers And More Men. Yes, I Am As Surprised As You Are.

And the painting continues… Honestly, I think I may be on to something here… Or is it that I am unwell???

As the Lothar was done last time, the spotters were next up.  I think this is my first attempt at painting camouflage.  Looks ok from this distance. It’s unlikely to be an authentic German design but these are not authentic Germans…  My apologies to any button counters out there. I suspect my few followers are as unconcerned as I am over issues of authenticity.


The Lothar itself was given a dark wash to give it some weathering (not something I am skilled at but a good ink wash, like GWs Nuln oil or the army painter range, is useful to hide all the errors I make).


Next up, one I am very pleased with.  Panzer Prinz is an ace tank pilot who looks very good when painted in simple tones.  Again the camo and a wash finish this chap off nicely. The fur lining to his jacket came out better than I expected as well.

The rather large walker behind him is a slightly dirtier paint job than I was planning though. This walker is a Sturmprinz/ Prinzluther.  Its the transport option for the Axis and can be fielded as either a command centre or as an anti air unit.  I’ve painted both turrets so I can play either option depending on what I need in my force.


These guys are known as the Ghosts.  They are a recon squad with MMG and panzerfausts.   The camo continues and the lighter armour plates match the Sturmprinz colour scheme.


Why?  Because the Sturmprinz is their ride.  I hope to get them safely towards my opponents objectives where they can use their mix of weapons to put some pressure on the enemy tanks or infantry.


As I now have 2 medium chassis for the Axis, I thought the addition of their final weapon option would be useful. These are the Claw and Flak cannon for a Luther variant.  They give me more unit options until I get a third chassis painted.


Finally, I have now got my hands on the new Sigrid figure.  She was upgraded to include a sack full of panzerfausts and she certainly looks ready to deal out some damage.


The one issue I have had so far painting these miniatures is the detail on some of the faces is very shallow.  The sculpts are great with dynamic poses and clear easy to paint bodies, but the heads… Most leave something up to the artist to bring out the features.  Me, I have never been very comfortable painting flesh. Faces always remain pink with a wash for definition in my figures.  If there are no deep definitions on a face this method often fails to satisfy.  Well, maybe I should learn to paint before I moan about these things…

Well, next time I will be showing you the monster in the background of this last photo…