Dust Battlefield: More Painted Units, How Long Can This Last?

I have amazed myself, I honestly though this would be ended by now, but the dust painting appears to be holding fast at this point.


I have to admit that the first 2 units are actually alternate weapons options or variants on the original unit.  The first is my Horton Jet which now can be fielded with the heavy tank killing cannon or these nice shiny bombs. Bombs that can be dropped individually, or all at once, allowing me to pick out a range of separate units or just obliterate a single high value target (I am thinking command units:-))


And if my opponent brings their own air units I can now field this light walker, which was originally armed with a heavy laser cannon, with a set of flexible quad heavy MGs. This makes it an effective little anti air (or anti infantry) unit.


For even more anti air (or infantry) capability, these Heavy Flack Grenadiers are a damage resilient squad that also completes my first platoon structure.  If I field all my heavy grenadiers (with Lara as their command unit) I get a boost to her command orders making them more likely to be successful. Always a benefit…


Last, but far from least, is this medium walker: a Lothar.  This is the artillery walker variant for the Axis in Dust.  Instead of just painting the weapons, which would have allowed me to switch them out with the Ludwig’s original anti tank guns. I have decided that painting up a whole new chassis would be a better idea.  This allows me to field 2 medium walkers (a 3rd would allow me to create an armoured platoon) and, if I get a few new weapons painted, some more options to field.

Still on the painting table are a pair of artillery spotters who will allow the Lothar to fire from behind cover without the need for a line of sight.

All this and I have no new game planned as yet…

Dust Battlefield: Next Game, Next Miniatures.

The Dust bug is still with me. Also, the plan to paint units before playing with them is still working at this time.


My latest force was changed to take out some close combat units (all the Zombies) and to put in more firepower.  Firepower doesn’t come much graceful and effective than in the smooth lines of a jet fighter…


The working shots show my progress up to the day before our planned game and I paused as I was unsure as to what to do with any weathering on this little lass.


I have weathered all my other walkers and tried to make them look battle worn (see my Ludwig below).  Again, the night before our game, this little walker (a Herman light scout walker with oversized Laser Cannon) was finished awaiting a wash of inks and rust.


I found some stencils for kill markings and added a dash of colour to contrast with the grey scale of the main body.


The resulting force was far more balanced than last game. The plan was for my jet to go zipping about the table, engaging my opponents SSU walkers on their own table edge, while the main force slowly advanced across the table.


The figures were painted and ready as planned for our game, so the resolution appears to be working at this point…


The table was set and the Axis troops began their invasion of yet another town.


The game played to a draw in the end as attrition was a telling factor in this game. My jet was a great benefit and gave me an edge in the first half of the game. The SSU, with their 2 officer units, were able to call in twice the number of reinforcements that I could with my singe hero.

Next game I think I may try to add in a new heavy infantry unit. This will allow me to make use of the platoon rules for them. I still think I need to add some more regular infantry to the force too. An extra command unit will be essential as well. If our games continue to rely on officer commands as much as they have done, I cannot afford not to add a second hero or command squad.

What do I take out though, what can I lose to make room for these new units? Can I really play a game without my Apes???

Dust Battlefield: First Full Painted Force And A New Plan.

I have always been one to flit between projects.  This blog is proof of that I guess.  So I have decided to try to change one thing this year. Call it a new years resolution if you will.  I have decided to only play Dust with painted models from now on…


This blog has documented that I have quite a large mountain of plastic that is Dust related…   It also shows that I have painted some of these figures but the ratio of unpainted to painted remains quite embarrassing really.  I plan to set this right…


To start the ball rolling I have worked tirelessly (well, I’ve spent the odd evening at it), to produce a force that equals the 125 points needed for a full game of Dust Battlefield (the table top version of Dust Tactics).  This went fairly well as I already had all the Zombies and Apes done as well as a unit of Laser Grenadiers.  To finish this little force off, I painted up a couple of walkers and a unit of heavy infantry. A hero to act as an officer completed the force and I was set.


My Ludwig medium walker lends its heavy guns to the force fulfilling a long ranged antitank role.


The Panzers, with their officer Lara, are a heavy infantry unit armed with their very effective twin MGs. Each man (or woman) rolling a good sized handful of dice against infantry of all classes and laying down some serious suppressive fire.


Little Hans is a light scout walker, and likely to become my favourite unit, even with his very short ranged capabilities. If he does get into range he can do some serious damage. The grenade style weapons he carries can take out both infantry and other walkers with ease.

So far the force is a bit uneven (make that VERY uneven) with over half the force only capable of attacking in close combat (the Zombies and Apes). The majority of the remaining units also have a very short range.  This is something I will need to rectify before the next game I play.

That is the plan though…  As I want to play a new unit I HAVE to paint it first.  It’s worked so far so. If I switch out 1-2 units each game to try new units I will get a new force and learn some new rules and tactics.  It also makes the painting more achievable (unlike staring at the plastic mountain and aiming to paint it all).

I have yet to have enough units of any one type to allow me to play with the platoon rules so that may be my next step.  So, what to play/paint next..?

Ashes To Ashes, Dust To Dust. The First Of The Dust Deadmen, And The Last Of The War Apes Are Done.

It is a seemingly unending task. With so many pieces to paint in my Dust Tactics collection, both figures and vehicles,  I have let it sit idle again for quite a while.  As these are not going to paint themselves, I decided to gather up some more of the blighters and daub some paint on them before the urge left me again.

I really do need to paint things as I buy them. The thought of painting so many figures, especially all in one go, does not appeal to me at all.

The good thing about these guys is their unit sizes are an achievable 3-5men.  How hard could it be to get a couple more units done in an evening or two?


Not too hard it would seem.

These guys are not the master paintjobs that you may see on other, skilled painters, websites or blogs. However, as they are ‘dead’ they probably don’t take too much care over their appearance…


Teamed up with the already completed Grenadier X they don’t look too shabby. With the help of his abilities, they can happily stumble across a table and into combat with the best of them.


The specialist assault apes are finished too. The painting bug held out just long enough to finish off these three as well as the last few normal apes.

Even though these guys came with 2 alternate heads each, I couldn’t decide which faces to use.  In the end I went with the ‘get out the pliers’ approach and ripped of the heads from the normal apes. By swapping them out I eventually got the effect I wanted. I do think that the heads from the original apes look better on these guys…


The remaining assault ape heads went back on the last 3 normal apes (as the leather goggles fit their poses better in my opinion), and voila, apes done!


Apes in all their glory with Markus their hero.


So far 6 units and 3 heroes done. A nice little set, but only the tip of an iceberg that daunts me every time I look in that box… 


Blowing The Dust Off Dust

My friend is again showing me up by displaying his Dust Allies on his blog and reminding me I was supposed to be keeping up with his painting frenzy with my Axis…

In past posts I have shown off the collection of dust models I have and they have seen maybe 2 games since then.  Well past time I ‘Dusted’ them off again.

Coronasan’s Allies are looking great and will be almost all completed soon (until he buys even more of them).

My Axis, at the start of this week, was one unit and one hero painted and… Lets just say all the rest (100+ models) unpainted.

This week all that changed… well, a little bit.

IMG_1917  IMG_1914 IMG_1915 IMG_1916

The first unit of Axis Gorillas is done, along with Markus the Gorilla hero. 4 down lets not say how many to go…

I have however started the remainder of the Gorillas including their heavy assault option the Blutkreuz Pioneer Squad “Sturmaffe”. I have also started the central Axis hero of the Dust world, Sigrid Von Thaler. A lady of obvious talents and steely resolve. Also quite nicely psychotic it seems too.


To make sure that the apes are all individual I performed head transplants (never let it be said that my medical talents are lacking) to mix things up a bit.

We have a Dust game planned so I will be trying to get more models done for that over the next few days…  Zombies next I think!

A Dusty Old World

I have been a little lax in keeping up with the initial flurry of posting that I kicked off this blog with.  It would seem that it is easy to start these things and much harder to maintain them. The initial urgency to tell my story has not faded but has been tempered over these last few weeks by the realisation that I must pace myself so as not to dry up completely…  I am coming to the end of my historical retelling of the last 2 years. That means all the easy stories have been written and then all the new posts will need to be based on what I am up to these days.


What am I up to these days?  With work and family commitments at the moment, not a lot…  But that’s ok, as I still have things to show you.


Dust was where we left of and where we return to…  These buildings (I know I get very boring when I go on and on about houses…) These buildings are the Original Dust Tactics builds released by Fantasy Flight Games. Available for purchase individually as a two storey block, or as a single storey build included in the Zverograd expansion pack.  One quick roof later and a base coat of light sandstone and away we go.  Roof top scenic bits are from the very good resin range by Ainsty Castings, their Streetwise flatroof selection if memory serves me..


The Dust builds are quite large and imposing and easily fit models inside for ease of use. However, my table usually falls back to the 4’x4′ standard of Post Office, Pub, General Store and Terraced Houses by Warbases.  Their range appeals to me in its simplicity and its versatility. I have played games like victorian sci-fi, steampunk and gothic horror in its cramped streets. World war 2 games (weird and normal) often find tanks roaming its roadways.  It never fails to please.  Recently new walled gardens, pathways and pillars have been added and don’t get me started on making chimneys…


A town sign has been seen by the duck pond (Hmmn, must get some ducks sorted out…) and park benches are popping up in its quiet corners.  When I get around to it, public telephones and post boxes are waiting in the bits box, ready for some bright red paint. The age old questions also plagues my sleep; can you ever have enough lamp posts?


Plague…  That leads me nicely into the first of the final two projects that have been seen in the shed. These last projects have taken me away from my well loved town and into the depths of space.  Sci-fi returned in two very differing guises both trying to corrupt me again…

After that I will have to find something up to date to tell you.

World War Walkers

The Infantry, although great, and definitely interesting with their Apes and Zombies, is only part of the ever expanding Dust package.

The most iconic part of Dust, and most likely the biggest draw for many players, are the walkers…



From the fast, light walkers.


To the multi role, medium walkers.

These two chassis types alone can provide all the support roles that your infantry would need.  Anti air, anti tank, anti infantry, close combat and engineering roles are all fulfilled.


For more specific roles there are the specialist walkers. The medium chassis can provide a great, mobile, artillery platform.


There is even a command/ troop transport option to ferry your troops about in safety, if not in comfort.


But it is when you get to the big boys that the game really excels itself.  The heavy chassis can provide a superb level of anti air that will also make mincemeat of any light vehicles and troops.


It can also be fielded as a super-heavy, anti tank monster…  No other model in my collection comes close to the size of this beast…


And its not all about ground warfare.  Flyers are also part of this ever expanding game and provide a very different challenge to me as a player and to any opponent I face.

In short, the game offers a great range of options for play.  Tactics gives the board gamer a way into table top wargaming, and Warfare expands on the basics to add a level of complexity that only improves the game and promises more with each expansion.

With the game now in the hands of Battlefront Miniatures (makers of Flames of War) it should be safe to expect a continued commitment to new expansions.  However, as I write, a third variant, placed between Tactics and Warfare, is being planned for release.  Dust Battlefield looks to be the next change in direction for Dust and offers players the chance to play Dust Tactics on an open table…  Will this replace Dust Warfare?  Only time will tell…

World War 2.1

I’ve broken my own rules in the end.  I said I would not take new photos to tell old stories… I lied! (Well I had to if you were ever going to see what I was about to talk about…)

I don’t know why but I have only two photos to show what happened when we were expanding out from our World War II games.  That expansion started with our 15mm tank battle, and then went a little wild, with a return to 28mm (1/48 scale really) and the help of a fantastic range of miniatures from Dust Studios.

Stop the press…  Dust Warfare had come to town.


We had played Dust Tactics a lot about a year earlier, and we were really into collecting the releases as soon as they came out.  That slowed down as the cost crept up.  What that period of time left us with, however, was almost enough miniatures to play Dust Warfare as soon as the rulebook hit the shelves.


Dust is set in an alternate universe created by Paolo Parente. Its much like our world but with a twist. Alien tech has been captured but the Germans and used to affect the outcome of WWII.  Tanks have been replaced with walking guns and a new breed of science and technology has resulted in all manner of armoured soldiers and advanced weaponry.

The WWII setting attracted us initially, as we were coming out of a lot of Bolt Action games, and the alternate reality appealed to our Sci-Fi tastes.  The final push for me (as if I needed one) was the Germans flair for the dramatic and the fact they fielded BOTH Zombies and Intelligent War Apes.  That almost eclipsed the fact they had Laser guns and Walking tanks too…


As I said, we had lots to play with from our Dust Tactics collections. The Dust Studio Miniatures are usable in both the Tactics and Warfare games. 2 for 1 is always better…


Tactics focuses on a more free form army building style, while Warfare is probably a more sensible system with a strong focus on plenty of infantry backed up by a few key support vehicles and walkers.  This meant that I would have to get to know my infantry’s strengths and weaknesses and not rely on heavy walkers to win the day. Something I still haven’t perfected…


As Dust Tactics is basically a board game I had the excuse not to paint the miniatures because, as a friend pointed out, “they are only playing pieces”.  In Dust Warfare they are an army, so deserve to be painted.  One extra special bonus with Dust Studio miniatures is that they come primed and base coated already in the colour of your force.  They are therefore really easy to finish with a few colours and a decent ink wash.


Grenadier X here is a great example of what can be done. Zombies armed with Pizza Cutters anyone?


A friend, and fellow blogger, Coronasan, has recorded all his Dust painting exploits on his Loft Full Of Lead blog.  My painting so far only equals one squad of 5 laser grenadiers and 1 zombie…  His command Squad is shown here being evicted from the sweetshop that they so liked to hide in in many of our games.

Next up (and likely to be as slow to appear as this post). The Axis continues to muster its forces…

A hunting we will go…

The Zendarians allowed me to get into the game swiftly and provided a good starting force. I had thought about starting a second faction but fancied a different style of play for my next force. I was also in a phase of painting again, with the troopers for the Zendarians coming out so well that I was confident that I could run up a new force in no time.

Where to start then? I knew I wanted a force that did not rely so heavily on its ranged combat this time. Our scenery was becoming more cramped and line of sight was not so easy to gain as our games progressed. A normal gentleman’s club was to similar to the Zendarians and vampires are not altogether my thing. It came down to a choice between Werewolves and Wulfen Jaeger (Werewolf hunters). My sensible head won over with my choice being made with versatility in mind. Werewolves can only be used as Werewolves but a small force of hunters could be used in a number of other games with just a little imagination.


Hunting dogs feature strongly in the Wulfen Jaeger so were a must for me. A strong set of heroes and a small number of close range blunderbuss wielding troopers would soon follow.


I actually enjoyed painting these more than any figures I can recall in the last few years. The sculpting is clean and the detail is clear enough for even my unsubtle, block painting, style. It did, however, leave me feeling that you can never have enough brown tones in any paint collection you own.


After a game of two I needed to add in an new dog and it’s handler. West Wind only have two sculpts for hunting dogs so I decided on another chap and his faithful companion. Not quite in the same style as before. All went well until my matt varnish again dried to a dusty frosted look. As the figure in question is an older fellow, this was not a total disaster as the dusty look just made him look even more characterful.


Our scenery was again progressing well with the newest buildings being a couple of large blocks from the weird world war II game, Dust Tactics. We had played about with this particular game in the year before the shed was built, and as the newest expansion of the game would allow me to use these buildings in this, and a number of other games, they were a must have for me. Dust Tactics (and soon afterwards, Dust Warfare) would make a reappearance on the gaming table in the next year but that is a story for later…


With all the buildings available to us, the gaming table gave us the cramped alley strewn look I wanted, but the differing building styles were not quite how I wanted the look to go! It would be time to invest in a look that would see me through the next phase of this game and on to the next game too.

Another faction beckoned but it would come from a new source, and this one would take longer to mature than even I expected. The age of the Kickstarter was about to begin.

To be continued…