Monday, January 17, 2011

Dust Models 1/48 Jagdluther Kit In Box Review

While Fantasy Flight Games handles all of the distribution for the actual Dust Tactics board game.  The original creators of the game (and the entire Dust universe) have created two models in the same scale as the board game models.  They are a German “Jadgluther” and the Russian “Fury of Ivan”.  Both models are offered as both kits and built/painted pieces.

Since these models were released by Dust Studios, FFG has announced that they are not “game legal”.  I decided to order one of the Jagdluther kits anyway simply because it looked like a cool model.  I chose the kit version over the painted version for two reasons.  First, I have a base copy of the game that I intend to paint in my own color scheme.  I want the Jagdluther to match.  Rather than pay the extra money for a paint job I am just going to cover up, I went with the kit.  Second, I like building model kits.  Years before I got into wargaming I spent many hours building and superdetailing WWII armor kits in 1/35 scale.  I feel like this kit will take me back towards my roots.

Before I start building, I thought that it would be helpful to some to give a short review of what you get in the box.  I’ll keep notes and do a separate buildup review after the model is complete.  After going through the contents of the box, here are my impressions:

As this is a special order kit from overseas, I was a little hesitant at first to place the order.  I do a lot of purchasing over the internet, but little overseas.  One thing that was frustrating is that the Dust website does not offer any discount for purchasing additional items.  The shipping cost for the kits was listed at $10.  However that’s $10 for each item.  I was considering purchasing the Fury of Ivan Kit as well, but as there wasn’t any discount on shipping I passed.

Shipping time was a little longer than listed as well.  They quoted two weeks at check out but the kit took about three and a half weeks to arrive.  However, considering the order was placed two weeks before Christmas, holiday volume probably factored into the delay.  I was also frustrated by the packing of the kit.  The kit comes in a cardboard box.  Instead of packing that in a shipping box, they just wrapped a single layer of brown paper around the kit box and shipped it.  When it arrived, the box was somewhat mangled and dented from the trip.  Thankfully nothing inside was damaged, but I think that has as much to do with luck as anything.

As I said, although the box was a little crushed, the contents were in good shape.  Here’s what you get in the box:
Instructions – A one page front and back, full color set of instructions.  There’s a full color picture of the Jagdluther art work on the front and exploded style assembly instructions on the back.  The instructions seem to be based around the digital model of the sculpt which is nice and clear, but I noticed that there are no part numbers listed.  Hopefully this won’t lead to problems finding the right parts.  Also, for some reason I received a second copy in the box.  Odd, but it’s better than getting none I suppose.

Dust Tactics 2010 Catalog – This is a little booklet that seems pretty cool.  It's a color, twelve page fold out booklet with what are hopefully more 1/48 kits that are in the pipeline.  It has info on the Mickey ARV, Axis Captured KV-47, Bergeluther, Jagdluther, Imperial Navy Heavy Robot, Fury of Ivan and the six squad boxes that have already been announced by FFG.  I'm assuming this was put together before Dust made the switch to FFG, but I still hope some of the other models make it into production.

Decal Sheet – This is a nice set of full color, waterslide decals.  They look crisp and well printed.  Also, it looks like this sheet has enough decals to do several different models, including the allies.  This will come in very handy for me as I intend to repaint the models from my base kit and was searching for decals.  These look to be the same as the “Axis/Allies 1/48” decals that have recently been put up for sale on the site.

Plastic Parts – There are three sprues of plastic parts, each sealed in its own bag along with a plastic base that matches the game box models.  One sprue has the parts for the hips and upper body, the other two sprues have the parts for the legs.  Here’s the odd thing.  The two leg sprues are identical and appear to have enough parts to make four legs.  I won’t know for sure until I start building, but I think I may have received an extra leg sprue.  The sprues themselves look good with no visible flash and very few, very small mold lines.  Also, looking at how the parts go together, it looks like all of the leg joints are movable, giving the ability to pose the model how you want versus the same fixed pose that both of the board game models have.

Resin parts – There are 18 resin parts that make up the changes to the type IV hull and the two cannons.  The resin is well cast with small pour plugs and no flash or air bubbles.  There does seem to be some warping to the long barrels of the cannons, but if the resin handles the way it should, I should be able to straighten them out with a little hot water.

It’s hard to judge the kit before I start building, but from what I’ve seen I’m pretty optimistic.  The whole kit seems professionally done with some minor packing inconsistencies.  I can’t wait to get going on the building process.  I'll hopefully start on the legs this week.

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