Contact me at

to see how YOU
can advertise here...
Mainly 28s...
The specialist 28mm wargames review site.
 Home  |  Reviews  |  Free Rules  |  "Blog" 



Company Background:Paolo Parente, a very popular fantasy artist (and fashion designer), has been toying around with the alternate WW2 setting of Dust for quite a few years. This particular co-operation of Paolo, mink, a comic company and a Chinese toy company was established in about 2001 (according to an e-mail I received).
Dust is a "What If" world where Nazi Germany, with the aid of alien technology, has prolonged the War into the 1950s. Three spheres of influence - Axis vs Allies vs The Sino-Soviet Collation - battle each other with horrific, walker type war machines. The inspiration for the range is a mixture of late-war WW2, pulp, some erotic art and some sci-fi.
Web site:Paolo Parente's "Dust, the Game"
Range Available:Comics, access to a members-only forum at the website, limited edition 1/6th scale action figures, 1/35thth scale figures and "combat walkers".
Initial Impression:A fascinating mix of historical influences with science fiction/fantasy as well as a great line of comics/graphic novels.
Sold as:Individual comics, individual action figures, packs of figures or single "combat walkers".

I've been eying this for a while, and was very surprised to receive an e-mail asking if I'd like to review the product. After all of about 30 seconds' worth of deliberation, I replied yes. A while later I received a package from Hong Kong. I was surprised by the extensive contents of the parcel- two booklets, a "credit-card" access card to the restricted part of the website, a pack of figures and a walker.

The Collection, as delivered
The Collection, As Delivered

The Books


29-page Sourcebook

Sourcebook, as delivered
"Japanese Sourcebook" As Delivered

Long Review: The 29 page colour sourcebook contains the Dust background story. The remainder of the booklet contains introductions to the The Sino-Soviet Union, The Allies and The Axis as portrayed in this setting. The most important part, though, for many wargamers, would be the descriptions of various Dust characters and warmachines as well as their uniforms and equipment.
There appear to be two different versions of the sourcebook, with differing covers. I received the "Japanese" one. but the content is all in English. It is printed on semi-glossy paper and contains a mix of sketches (rendered on a PC off what I assume are pencil sketches) and full-colour paintings of assorted uniforms in a syle similar to that seen on the boxes of standard 1:35th military models, but adapted to the Dust setting.

Period:       Pulp/Alternate WW2.
Contents:   29-page soft-cover, staple-bound book.
Designer: Paolo Parente.
Sources: Donated by Ellen at Cathay Games.

Alternative cover

English Sourcebook, as delivered
"English Sourcebook", As Delivered


the Graphic Novel/Comic

Koshka No 1

Comic, as delivered
Comic, As Delivered

Long Review: The "comic book" contains a 32-page story (which includes some "erotic art"), some of which is available to view at the website, along with several extra pages. The book apparently introduces new characters, but as I have never seen any before, so they're all new to me. There is also a 12-page section describing major characters in the setting, as well as pages of sketches and pictures of "new Dust items".
From a gaming point of view, the erotic art is a little disconcerting (although very well-sketched), as it is definitely not geared to younger persons- in fact, some may view the art-work as offensive in today's bubble-wrap world.
This book contains, apart from the story, many pages of illustrations of characters in the story, all dressed in the appropriate gear. The entries detailling some of the weird science items are also very detailed- incredible sketches.

Period:       Pulp/Alternate WW2.
Contents:   29-page soft-cover, staple-bound book.
Designer: Paolo Parente.
Sources: Donated by Ellen at Cathay Games.

All in all, these items are really neat- as they are not bound to any traditional background, they are literally almost an "open source" for wargamers to create a background. On the negative side- the books do not contain anything remotely resembling rules or anything potentially useful in that way.
Still, I'd say it's worth every penny of the approximately $10 each book costs.

The Models



Raketentruppen, Package
Raketentruppen, Package

Long Review: OK, now these figures are what brings Dust into the realms of a wargame, even though they are somewhat larger than most wargamers would associate with gaming. These 1/35th figures are moulded in a grey styrene, similar to that used by the main model companies out there (e.g. Dragon, for one).
Three of the figures are simply standard late-war Fallschirmjäger, wearing a standard jumpsuit (admittedly in a new camouflage pattern), although they have new "late war" what-if weapons (most notable is the "Panzerfaust" one man has) and two with winged "rocket-packs". The fourth figure, although superficially much the same, is a female commander wearing a slightly modified version of the FJ uniform- she is very much rooted in Paolo's imagination.
The sculpting in the figures is very fine and neatly done. I would compare the size and quality to Dragon's Generation One figures- a huge bonus as it means that you can supplement the very few Dust figures with extras from the Dragon range by simply "updating" them a little. Judging by the actual design of the parts and the layout of the sprue (you receive two sprues in the box- one the figures, the other with assorted extras and weapons and such), this may be very intentional. The detail on the faces is quite satisfactory, as is the level of detail on the bodies and equipment.
The package is completed with a card insert showing (on one side) some colour paintings of the figures, and, on the other side, a quick description of the colours used and a "history" of the camouflage scheme and the unit depicted.
Commentary: Very nice figures and sculpting- very much in the style of Dragon Generation 1 figures.
Pose Quality: Four Average.
Sculpting: Four Good.
Moulding: Four Good.
Sculptors: Unknown.
Sources: Items Donated by Ellen at Cathay Games.

Assorted additional images of the Raketentruppen

Raketentruppen, as delivered

Raketentruppen, as delivered



Gunther, Package
Gunther, Package

Long Review: Gunther is a war-walker, a two-man walking tank, so very beloved of pulp. The kit is huge (well, it IS 1:35th), and features several cleverly-made moveable joints.
The model consists of 9 hard styrene sprues and one soft vinyl sprue containing the parts to make the moving joints. I have not counted the parts yet, but the dry-fit I have made of several parts shows that the kit should fit together pretty well- on a par with most of the new military models. There is very little flash, and the parts show very few mould markings (none on the visible surfaces, as far as I can tell). The layout of the sprues is quite logical, although sometimes the parts are on different sprues. Parts are usually clearly labelled, and the instruction sheet shows a model being build in photos, as opposed to the fairly standard drawings we normally see.
The instruction booklet is also a very neat product- it is a multi-page booklet printed on glossy paper, and contains, apart from the actual building instructions, several pages of illustrations and colours.
"Technical Data:
Weight (tons).........................28
Length (meters)......................7
Engine....................................Porche VK45
Max Speed.............................30km/h
Armament (this version)......3X MG45 (turret mount) and 2X twin FlaK 50mm (sponsonmount)
Commentary: An interesting design. The somewhat squat appearance makes more sense to me than some of the designs for walkers I have seen made by other companies.
Moulding: Four Average.
Sculptors: Unknown.
Sources: Items Donated by Ellen at Cathay Games.

Assorted additional images of the figures

Gunther, as delivered

Gunther, as delivered

Overall, the quality and depth of thought that has gone into these items is incredible. Would I buy these items? Certainly the paper products. The figures and walker are, unfortunately, not really my cup of tea- I prefer 28mm figures. The walker could pass for a larger machine in 28mm, though... I'm aware of at least one line of miniatures that was directly inspired by Dust, and the lack of 28mm figures for it.
My biggest gripe (which is, strangely at the same time also a positive thing) would be that the sourcebook is not tied to a specific rule set or figure range (other than the rather limited selection here). This means that your opponent would have to have a similar interest in the "period" covered, you'd need a pretty large table and also a number of additional figures for the opposing side.
The overall quality and presentation is very good, and I will certainly be keeping an eye on the site to see what new items pop up.

As an aside- Paolo apparently had some influence on the look and feel of the Rackham game AT-43.

Top of Page