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Dust 1947: Mickey/Steel Rain/Pounder (Light)

Several weeks ago, Lincoln Wright mentioned the Dust 1947 tabletop game in the Paint on Plastic The Group Facebook page. Though I’d never heard of it, my growing interest in tabletop miniatures compelled me to go take a look at the Dust 1947 website. It’s what I have come to learn is part of a genre called “weird war”. A familiar scenario is used as the basis- in this case World War II- and then some unknown element is introduced. It may be aliens, or some new power source, or just simply an alternate timeline. But the familiar is somehow given a spin to produce different scenarios and technologies and equipment. 

So Dust 1947 follows that pattern. The basic premise though is you buy stuff, build it, get together with other people who do the same, roll dice, and say “I got you”, and the other guy says “no you didn’t”. 🙂

Or something like that. Not much different really from the games I played as a kid. Only we went outside and crawled in the dirt and jumped out of trees, and when we got bored we walked over to the blackberry patch and gorged ourselves. 

Those were the days.

Anyway… where was I? Ah yes, made up nonsense.

Back to the game.

So after looking at the Dust 1947 site, I was impressed with the cool little vehicles the game had. All had a familiar look to them, yet most had a scifi twist too. I was immediately drawn to one of the Allied “tanks”, which looked sort of like an M5 hull with an M10 turret, and then some big stompy legs. A walking tank- I can relate to that!

Of course, the name was a bit confusing. The title on the website, the title in the description, and the name on the instructions don’t match. I’m guessing “Mickey” is the overall name, and the “Steel Rain” and “Pounder” bits indicate versions. All I knew was the one with the long honkin’ barrel looked sort of cool. 

So throwing caution to the wind, I ordered. The kit ships from Hong Kong, and tracking showed it arrived in the US in less than a week. Awesome!

Then it sat in customs for 2 weeks. Not awesome.

And not the fault of the manufacturer, either. But it finally arrived.

The kit is a bit of an oddity. The box is a simple brown cardboard box, with a label on the front. Cuts down costs, I guess- who cares about the box, really? Inside is a mix of larger parts already removed from the sprues, and smaller parts still on the sprue. The scale, according to the manufacturer, is 1/48. I didn’t take any measurements, but that sounds about right just eyeballing it. And I counted no less than seven colors of parts!

At first I was a bit puzzled, as the breakdown of the parts in their baggies didn’t make sense in my initial glance. Then I looked at the simple instructions. For the most part, each baggie was a particular step in the instructions. And because the parts are distinctive enough, the lack of a numbering system was not a problem.

The instructions themselves are a bit of a mixed bag. Each step is essentially an exploded diagram for that subassembly, and while most of it is fairly straight forward, a few areas are not very clear. So, as the instructions mention, test fitting is essential. I found that there was a certain logic to where the parts slotted in, so where there was confusion, I would look at all the parts involved in any particular assembly to see where there were attachment points, or simply just the space for something to fit. Discovering that, it pretty much built itself.

I was surprised at how good the fit was. That’s not to say it was great- there was definitely some parts cleanup needed, and a bit of Mr. Surfacer to close up some seams and small gaps. But given the fairly basic moldings, there weren’t really any fit errors. Just degrees of precision.

The casting of the parts was actually pretty good. Nice little details are present throughout the model. Overall, the level of detail is enough to be convincing.

I built it into three main subassemblies- the turret, the hull, and the legs. For these photos, it’s all just loosely assembled. The turret notches into the hull and can be rotated. I think the gun was supposed to be able to elevate, but due to an overzealous use of nippers clipping a part from the sprue, I sliced off one mounting pin- so that was glued in. While the gun mount itself it quite detailed, I did have to carve away a few parts to get it to fit correctly. However, it may have been my own error in assembly that caused the issue.

I gave the interior a bit of white paint and some chipping prior to assembly, and will follow on later with additional weathering. Two crewman are provided, and while nicely sculpted, they feel as if they are more of a vinyl type material than styrene, so I don’t know how well they will hold paint.  And test fitting has shown they don’t seem to fit inside very well, so I may build this sans crew, and just send those along to the (hopefully) eventual buyer. 

I’m certainly not disappointed in the kit, as it does look really cool, and I’m enjoying building it. I’m really looking forward to the painting and weathering. If you’re a Dust 1947 player, you’ll build the kits regardless. If you’re not  gamer (like me), and you see one of the kits you like, I can recommend giving it a try. It will take a little work, but it certainly produces a unique result.

Next steps will be to get this Mickey primed and painted.

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