Dusthammer 40K?

     There’s a line from the movie Time Bandits that my wife loves to hear me say…”I’ve got an idea forming in my head.”  It usually means we’re about to do something cool.  Well, I think I’m about to try something cool.

     I may have mentioned that I sit at a desk all day at work.  Radio reception in our 100 year old building isn’t great so I tend to listen to podcasts all day.  One day last week, I was tuned in to a recent episode (#102) of The D6 Generation, a gaming podcast.  The guys had Romeo Filip of 40K Radio as a guest and gave a detailed review of the game Dust Warfare from Fantasy Flight Games.

     I was aware of Dust Warfare and it’s predecessor Dust Tactics but I hadn’t actually seen any of the products.  I have a bit of a policy that helps me save money (when I follow it).  If I know that something is going to be really cool, and I don’t think I want to drop the cash, I pretend it doesn’t exist.  In other words, I don’t “window shop.”  If I ain’t buying, I don’t want to see it.

     So I knew about Dust but hey, I’ve been busy and figured I’d exercise some self control. After listening to the D6 guys talk about it, I checked out the website and all Fantasy Flight had to do was reel me in.

      To put the concept of Dust Tactics & Warfare in a nutshell, pretend that World War II didn’t end in 1945 and both sides, The Axis & The Allies, obtained advanced technology…lasers, mechs, armor, etc.  Then add cyber-gorillas (with freakin powerfists! & zombies to the German side and you have a concept that just grabbed me by the throat and won’t let go.

     A few days later, courtesy of Amazon Prime, I have the core set and several of the Axis expansion sets. I haven’t had a chance to read over the rules but I did take an extended look at the miniatures and I’m really impressed with only one minor reservation.

     If you’re not familiar with the models in Dust, they come fully assembled, primed, and in many cases contain simple (and well done) decals.  The vehicles (think of a cross between a German Panzer and a Mech) are built from hard styrene (seemingly similar to what Games Workshop uses).  I was worried that “pre-assembled” would mean “slapped together” but I didn’t find that to be the case.  There are a few minor seams that I wouldn’t have left but they’re easily fixable if they bother you.

     Now the figures are a bit of a different story. Now don’t get me wrong–they are brilliant in design and execution. They also come full assembled and primed but are molded in a softer plastic totally unlike what you find in a GW release. The figures are flexible and in some cases, gun barrels and knives are warped way out of shape.  If I had to guess, I’d say Fantasy Flight chose the softer plastic to make the figures more durable and able to withstand drops.  A trip from the table to floor that would normally bust up a hard styrene model probably won’t faze a Dust figure.

     However, if you wish to fully paint the figures, I wonder how well the flexible plastic will hold the new paint.  This was a major concern of Romeo’s in the D6 podcast and I think it’s a valid one.  Of course I haven’t painted them yet so I’ll have to withhold judgement.  At the very least, I think a little extra care in handling them will go a long way towards preventing paint rub off.  I wonder if Fantasy Flight might one day release their kits unassembled which would allow many modification options that the current versions tend to discourage.

     So what’s my idea?  Well, for years, I’ve contemplated putting together an Imperial Guard army for Warhammer 40K.  Since 6th Grade, I’ve been a huge World War II buff and and admirer of the German’s equipment (but not their philosophy and motives).  I’ve always wanted to combine my interest in German equipment with my love for the 40K universe.  Unfortunately, I always felt that no matter what camouflage I gave them or heraldry I applied, they were still basically Cadians.  There’s always the Death Korps of Krieg from Forge World but they strike me as more World War I-ish and are a bit pricey.

     So why not use Dust models for 40K?  Well, so far, the only real issue is size (or scale?)  I haven’t done scientific measurements, but compared to a few 40K figures I have, the Dust models are a bit taller.  But not so much that it creates a problem.  The bases are larger than standard GW bases but I’m probably going to rebase them anyhow.

     Plus, I have very little interest in ever playing in a tournament so I won’t be causing some GW purist an embolism.  And on that topic, let me just say that I loves me some GW product. But I’d be lying if I said I’m a big fan of their prices.  But that’s the topic for another post. I  just hope GW’s lawyers won’t carpet bomb me as I have spent a ton of $ on them in the past and will likely continue to do so in the future.

     Of course because they aren’t intended to be used in 40K, I’ll have to get creative with determining how a Dust model will fit in to an army list.  For example, what function will cybernetically enhanced gorillas with power fists serve in an Imperial Guard regiment?  Ogryns maybe? I’m no 40K expert and since I’ll only be playing this army at home with my son and a friend or two, I might have to homebrew some new IG units. That doesn’t sound like fun at all.

     So my plan as it sits now in its infantile state is to build a nice-sized Imperial Guard army out of Dust models and work on a Tyranid army for them to fight on a new 4’x6′ game table. Max, my 6 year old is ready to play so I’m hoping to get started soon. Incidentally, my Tyranid army is going to be painted in the vein of the H.R. Giger Alien of Alien, etc. fame.  Dark blackish brown with ALOT of gloss and dripping saliva.  Stay tuned for pics and progress reports.

Copyright 2012 It Came From The Nerd Cave