Musings of a Hobby Hipster; 2021: Omne trium perfectum

Everything that comes in threes is perfect*

*AKA three is a magic number

As I sit here pondering the year that wasn’t it is important to look back at what was accomplished in 2020 but also to plan and set some goals for 2021; that is what I’m going to look at here with my 3 projects to target for 2021. 

As this article is going to be all about goals I think that providing some context might be useful, as setting unattainable goals has a negative, rather than positive, effect or whatever you are trying to achieve.

  1. Set goals that motivate you. There is absolutely no point taking on a project that is uninspiring at the offset; it will be a chore and a drag and you will end up resenting it. 
  2. Use SMART goals. SMART stands for:
    > Specific
    > Measurable
    > Attainable
    > Relevant
    > Timed 
    All of these elements will help you to focus in on creating a meaningful objective. 
  3. Write them down. Make it real – write it down and be positive about committing to that goal. You should also document your progress and success.
    [Well thanks for giving me PTSD to my annual work appraisal, Duncan – Lee]

#1 – Team Yankee Iranians

I think that this force will be on the painting list for a while to come yet just due to its volume but looking at what I set out above that is not useful – I need to be more specific. So in 2021, I will paint up these Iranians: 

  • T-62 Company – 10 x T-62s 
  • Chieftain Company – 10 x Cheiftains 
  • Finish my Mech Infantry Company – 2 x M150 TOWs, 3 x M113 M125 Mortars, 3 x M60, my 3rd Mechanised Platoon and 5 x M113.
  • A full company of Basij to allow me to field a Battalion
  • 8 x Cobra gunships
  • 3 x M109 self-propelled artillery. 

That still leaves me plenty to expand upon if I get through all of that and gives me around 100 points of new Team Yankee forces to get on the table. 

#2 – Flames of War British 

I’ve never played a game with a Late War British list – the only army I ever had was painted and sold before hitting the tabletop. The homage to Keith Flint is sat in boxes and it needs to see the (fire)light of day. Whilst the Iranians, strangely, focussed a bit more on the armour this D-Day British force is very much a gun team and infantry first force. 

This army was born out of three things: You and Whose Army section on the podcast, the idea of taking on the horrid PAK Front and the Battlefront 3 for 2 sales. This triumvirate of circumstances means I can now field troops for Operation Goodwood – and with the helpful 3D printing of Karol over at 3D Printing Valley I can also now bring the defrocked priests that the division used during Operation Totalise to the tabletop. 

The challenge with this force is I’m going to try and make it look more like a force that is fighting over a small town or village. I was deeply inspired by Soren’s article Bases before Faces that I knew I wanted to make this humble infantry thematically stronger. 

Now, I know my limitations but if you never push them you never get any better so I’m going to combine the urban rubble bases that Battlefront produces and combine those with my own larger bases customised with greenstuff to make everything marry together. 

That is going to be a nice challenge, and I’ve not seen any urban, street fighting-esque themed British (queue deluge of pictures) so I’m quite looking forward to getting my teeth into this early on in the year. 

So that means painting up and committing to: 

  • 4 x 17pdr gun
  • 4 x 25pdr gun
  • 2 x 2-inch mortar team
  • 4 x 6pdr gun
  • 3 x Bofors 40mm AA gun
  • 12 x Bren Gun & SMLE rifle team
  • 3 x Crocodile (75mm & Flame-thrower)
  • 4 x MMG Carrier (Vickers)
  • 2 x PIAT anti-tank team
  • 2 x Sten SMG team
  • 6 x Universal Carrier (MG)
  • 6 x Wasp (Flame-thrower)

#3 – Winterised Soviets

I’ve talked about this long enough – I think I need to commit to trying to do more than just talking about it. I have some options with what to do with the winter-themed Soviets in terms of core formation:

  • (Mid War) Red Banner – Lend-lease Churchills 
  • (Late War) Fortress Europe – Lend-lease Churchills 
  • (Late War) Bagration – IS-2
  • (Late War) Bagration – ISU-122

So. Many. Options. This is part of the stumbling block I think – I’m fixating too much on painting a force rather than painting what I want to and trying out some options. This army is,  in many ways, the antithesis of the Late War British. There I have a clear idea of what I want to do, how I want it to look and how it will function on the tabletop whereas with this force I’ve got as far as: “I’ve never painted a winter, whitewash army…”. 

Because of this inertia, various items have gone into, and come out of,  my mental shopping cart. Do I go SU-76s for support? Where can I find winter SMG armed troops? How should I paint my white tanks? Are IS-2 tanks too expensive in points for the main formation? What units used IS-2 tanks? and so on and so on and so on. 

To counter this inactivity I think I will just commit to getting what I actually own at this moment in time painted. Experiment with white and the mud texture paint I have unopened and see where I get to. To use a sporting analogy: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” but in this, our, instance it makes more sense to give it some context and say: “You can’t play games with 100% of the troops you have still in boxes and on sprues.” 

  • 15 x Lend-lease Churchills
  • 10 x IS-2 
  • 4 x SU-122 
  • 3 x KV-1 (I think I might do there as KV-8… I know, I know…)
  • 3 x T-34/85
  • 4 x 76mm guns
  • 4 x 45mm guns

Now that is not an army – that is… just …a… list of stuff. But, I think that just getting it painted, getting it playable and playing around with a new painting technique will be the kick-start crystalising what I want this winter-themed Soviet force to be. 

Well, that is my perfect three projects for 2021, we’ll see where I get to this time next year  – I’ll be back soon with a cup of single-origin, cold brew flat white artisan coffee with more thoughts from the hipster’s beard.
– Dunc

Category: BritishFlames of WarHobby HipsterLate WarNew Year ResolutionsOil WarRamblingSovietsTeam YankeeV4

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Article by: Duncan Gosling