Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Plan 2018 or "Where do we go from here?"

In the early 1990s, then Intel CEO Andy Grove borrowed a mathematical concept and coined the term strategic inflection point to refer to those points in time where businesses must make a critical change to their normal operating process or face a period of declining revenue, or even the failure of the company itself. In some ways 2017 represents an "inflection point" in my hobbies both in terms of capabilities and interests. Therefore, in 2018 my plan it to try and exercise some of those new capabilities and (hopefully) get more done in less time...  Stop laughing!  No REALLY!

In case you missed my most recent Volksarmee progress update, my wonderful wife got me a spray booth (it's even portable!) for Christmas. I am only beginning to understand what opportunities this opens up, but in short, it's "a lot." Not only does this allow me to have a semi-permanent base for my airbrushing, but it allows the use of lacquer paint inside the house (watch this space). Because I'm not relegated to a cold garage or utility room, my paints will consistently be at a better operating temperature as well getting me better results. I also don't have the overhead of having to set up the whole assembly any time I want to pull out the airbrush - which is a major game changer!

In terms of projects for 2018, the list is, as always, longer than I'll have time for, but here goes anyway!

  1. Finish Team Yankee East Germans
  2. Build and Paint Team Yankee American force (largely for my son to play, but I could call it into service in a pinch)
  3. Build and Paint Fate of a Nation Israelis
  4. Secret Warhammer 40K project to be detailed later
  5. At least one 1/35th scale tank kit (Stug III is in progress)
  6. Fallout miniatures
  7. TBD
  8. TBD
  9. TBD
  10. TBD (yeah right!)

At the top of the list is finishing my East Germans for Team Yankee. I still have a way to go on these, but I'm making steady progress. At this point the infantry is painted and based, though some ground work needs to be finished up. The T-72s have all of their base coats down and I'm working on tracks and other details along with final weathering. The BMP-1s have the green down, but still need the dark and light grays added. I then have all of the ancillary units (T-55s, etc.) to paint up using the same method. I've run into some issues with the Battlefront decals, so I'm looking for alternate sources for markings. If I can make it work, I'll post more details here

For my Americans, I'm a little torn on which way to go, and ultimately I may end up going in multiple directions. I generally prefer the older MASSTER camouflage schemes to the MERDC schemes, and I may do up my M113 and M60 based forces using that paint scheme. However, that leaves me in a bit of a quandary with the Abrams tanks - especially any IPM1 that make it into the force. I'm likely to have a mix of Army and Marine troops, so I'll post more as I start getting the force together.

Per Amazon, the release date for the new Fate of a Nation update is June 19, 2018, and I hope to get the jump on that date and finally get my Israelis together and painted. I'll likely need to pick up a few more miniatures to round out the force, but ever since my visit to the Latrun armor museum, this project has been high on my list.

Warhammer 40K has entered its eighth edition (grognard alert, I still have my original Rogue Trader rulebook and beakies painted in 1989-90), and appears to be surging in popularity. My son has had a passing interest, and I'm working on a real "opposing force" to run against his Ultramarines (though I'll still finish up my Space Wolves one of these days - I think the Airbrush is going to see use)! I'm not ready to fully let the cat out of the bag on this one, but it is a project where I can exercise some brand new painting and weathering techniques. A lot of it is built, but it is very bare in terms of painting as despite the spray booth, priming remains a potential issue!

I haven't completed a 1/35th scale tank since... well, I think before the turn of the millennia, which is a tough admission from a guy who used to compete in IPMS Nationals. I have a very late Stug III on the table, and my goal is to get it done before autumn as there is allegedly a model show every year at the Evergreen Air and Space Museum.

My son is very excited about the upcoming Fallout miniatures game, so I've pre-ordered a few miniatures and will get them painted up when they arrive. Hopefully the game will be pretty decent.

If I'm actually able to get "all of the above" done, it honestly will have been a fairly successful year. That being said, I have a lot of "TBD" in the list above for other projects that could creep their way into the production line. I still have Japanese and my 761st Tank Battlaion miniatures for Flames of War I could paint up, but I'm sort of waiting for the dust to settle there. I have some Bolt Action miniatures I could work on as well, but I'm having trouble finding local games - which makes it hard to prioritize painting. As mentioned before, my Space Wolves are still howling for some paint. I'm also collecting miniatures for additional Team Yankee forces including Soviets, Poles, and West Germans. That being said, now that it looks like the French are coming out... decisions... decisions...

White Christmas at the house...

So as of January 2, 2018, that's where "the plan" stands. It's far more concrete than "the plan" was this time last year because we were desperately trying to finish up the new house and get moved in. Now we're fairly settled and I'm starting to be able to take advantage of my new studio - wish me luck! Happy New Year everyone!

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