Dust Tactics for a lot of folks is all about the models many player spend more time building and painting than playing. But even if your not an expert modeler, you can still add some variety to your models with some simple beginner techniques.
We’re going to be mostly looking at the Allied walkers today, as there are a lot of simple ways to make some neat variations on the Mickey theme; sometimes even without the use of tools. (In the background below you can see the Recon Mickey and Mickey ARV, both are great kits available from Dust Studio.)
First is the simplest, and that’s a turret swap, it requires no skill and little explanation. Want a Cobra that’s standing still, just move the turret to a different hull. A variation on this is the .50 Cal. Machinegun swap. The newer gun pintles easily accommodate the dual 50s found on larger walkers, but who says a medium walker can’t have one. This is another simple no tool, no glue change, that anyone can do.
More on gun swaps…
There are of course a variety of .50s available from both Dust Studio and found in various Dust Tactics packs. Aside from the dual .50s there are ones with tombstone ammo boxes, drum mags and standard square ammo boxes. The tombstones are the standard for today, but the Allied crew pack includes both a tombstone and a rarer drum style.
For those with a little skill, Dust Studio sells a variety of crew and other add-on bits to dress up your walkers. Below is a fully kit built Mickey turret, with crew available from Dust Studio. It also features a relocated “forward mounted” machinegun on a pintle from Dust Studio. This is a simple build and glue kit, and the gun mount only requires a small drill to make a little hole for the pintle pin.
Another great source of crew figures is the Heavy Support Walker pack which includes seven crew member in various poses. I decided it might be neat that instead of mounting them on the vehicle itself, I’d put them on bases. This allows for more dynamic displays, for filming and pictures. The bases are available from Dust Studio, and come in various styles. One other thing is you could use them as a health indicator for the vehicle, removing them as the vehicle takes damage (although that was not my primary goal).
But of course mods are not limited to Dust Studio products. Tamiya makes a lot of great accessory kits, and while most are in 1:35 scale, that doesn’t always mean you can’t use them. The jerry cans on the side of the Mickey style turrets, for instance, are actually 1:35 scale. Tamiya makes a great set of these that are not identical ot the Dust style, but look pretty good.
You can use them a lot of different ways, from dressing up vehicles, to making dioramic bases. One option I found was to add one to a figure; I used a hobby knife and trimmed off one of the magazines the ammo humper from the Support Walker was carrying, and gave him a gas can. (I actually needed the mag to fix a broken .50.)
Another example of a great use for Tamiya accessories, is using the Dust Studio plain figure sized bases, I made some neat objective markers. With the Axis style cans.
Of course simple tool free weapon swaps are not limited to the Allies, here is a quickly built Flamm-Ludwig, made with a standard Ludwig hull, and the Flamm-Luther’s weapon system.
As a special bonus here are our stats for the Flamm-Ludwig. We’ll have something for those Mickeys with dual .50s later next week.
I hope you’ve found some inspiration here, and if you’ve never done any modeling remember it doesn’t have to hard, simple kits, and a little glue can go a long way to add uniqueness to your army.