Kickbutt Kitbashing

Kicker brings us his very cool conversions and how he made them!

So a bit of an introduction.

I am a huge fan of miniature games, but really got into GW games (specifically 40K) when I discovered just how flexible the minis were and leant themselves to total customization! I am the kind of guy who just has to always be a special snowflake and have everything unique and personalized…. this extends way beyond the plastic crack that we call our “hobby”: my gym shoes were embroidered with my own little motivational saying, my 4×4 van is sporting a unique wrap and decals, and I designed my own house out of 7 shipping containers stacked three stories tall complete with a dedicated 40 ft container that is my hobby space overlooking the Mississippi River. Hell, I would bejewel my 10 pound pup if that was possible! So when it comes to 40K I sort of have some unexplainable compulsion to make sure each army is as uniquely mine as possible.

While I have not gotten much better at the tactical side of the game over the years of being a 40K fanboy (I will leave the tactics articles up to Reece and the other masterminds at FLG), I have picked up more and more hobby hacks that make kitbashing and army customization not only possibly, but faster and way better looking…with minimal effort*. 

Lets jump right in.

First, we need to define our term: Kitbashing. According to the Oxford English Dictionary**, Kitbashing is described as taking two or more sets of miniature models and combining them into a single new miniature model for matched and/or narrative play.  This definition leads us into the first conundrum…Kitbashing can be costly. Taking two models and turning them into one will often times double the $$$ amount spent on that single unit/model***. Of course you may have leftover bits from one set to use on another, but often times for the perfect kitbash to be pulled off as you imagined, you are forced to use bits that you simply don’t have any extras of lying around. We all know of the severe lack of special weapons on any given spruce or how just few Beakie SM helmets come with a tac squad.  

So my first trick is to constantly make a mental note of any truly valuable  bits that I did not use on the model they were originally intended for. Most likely you forgot about that awesome medic backpack on the Cadian Command Squad sprue, or how that unused Big Choppa from the Nobz spruce would work great for a Khorn Character! It sounds obvious, but few people put aside (either physically or mentally) those prime bits that are just waiting to be bashed.

So following along with the above, we then get to a real kickass kitbashing hack: finding models that are 99% ready to be entirely repurposed. Everyone is likely guilty of having at least a model or two that has been totally neglected once that box set you paid a pretty penny for was first opened. Despite being super stoked when I first purchased it, I still have half the Black Stone Fortress minis totally untouched. And then there are kits that literally come with “bonus” minis! For example, much of the AoS box sets have rider options for the larger war beasts that can be swapped out, leaving you with an entirely unused and super characterful mini that can be based and turned into an ideal HQ option. There are crewmen from tanks and aircraft that never see the light of day, yet can look amazing on the table next to regular infantry. And plenty of xenos sets have all the pieces to make entirely new models minus a single head or weapon options. Then by using these, you are suddenly not spending $35-$40 for a new base-model to kitbash on.

Even if the base mode is not from your original army, it still can find use  by the imaginative kitbasher. In fact, taking something totally from another army of even game system (AoS to 40K), can lerad to the best results and truly make your army special. Many models are just lying in wait, and can easily be added to your army and with a few minor bits bolted on and possibly a creative backstory. Not only is this cheap…but damn they can add crazy amounts of personality to your special-snow-flake of an army. 

What have you kitbashed? Do you have any tips/tricks or kickass kitbashed projects  you want to share? If so email: XYZ

*Because I am a lazy sack of poop and less effort is always the best effort

**Ok the OED does not yet have an official listing for “Kitbashing” but I assure you I am already diligently contacting Management to ensure this is corrected immediately. 

***Math: 2 units to make one unit means twice as much of your hobby dollars spent on a single unit, meaning your hobby might soon require a mortgage to be taken out. 

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

10 Responses to “Kickbutt Kitbashing”

  1. WestRider November 7, 2019 6:35 am #

    Kitbashing is one of my fave aspects of the hobby as well. I would also add to be on the lookout for opportunities to mash two different kits together in such a way that you still get the same number of total Models out. For instance, I took a set of 5 AoS Blightkings and a set of 5 Blightlord Terminators, and ended up with 10 unique and pretty awesome Nurgle Terminators.

    Other options to keep in mind are swapping bits with other hobbyists, picking up 3rd party bits, used Models that can be stripped and/or broken down from second-hand sellers (whether individuals on eBay or Bartertown or whatever, or businesses like Frontline that also sell secondhand), and scoping out eBay for people selling leftover bits, again either as individuals or businesses.

    • Kicker November 11, 2019 7:00 am #

      Hey WestRider- yes!!! totally true. If you can combine kits without losing any of the total model count, then you have a legit golden opportunity! Your Nurgle Terminators sound badass!

      And Frontline Second Hand shop, eBay, etc can be a great source of finding key bits at a great price, but I have to say having a soldi gaming group where people share their leftover bits with each other is an ideal situation. I am pretty fortunate that I have a bunch of buddies (all playing various factions) who are all willing to swap or simply give any spare bits. I just scored a bunch of cool shotguns from my friends GSC army in exchange for a pile of spare Cadian heads I had lying around.

  2. Casey H November 7, 2019 7:28 pm #

    I have those marines, still the bone color, too. I’m reluctant to give them paint. Nevermind that ‘baby-marines’ are no longer cool/playable according to the current meta, I have not *ever* seen anyone else’s on the table, since I started playing in 4e. I think I fielded mine once or twice back in 5e.

    I won’t count the Space Hulk games when G.H.W. Bush was in office.

    Casey H
    Team BeerHammer

    • Kicker November 11, 2019 7:02 am #

      Hi Casey (awesome team name by the way). YES. Those bone color marines are awesome. There is totally bragging right due to anyone who can bust out old school models and play a game of 40k with them!

  3. Sean L November 11, 2019 7:02 am #

    Those conversions look great! I’m just dipping my toes into kitbashing (historically more of a painter and gamer), and really appreciated the tips. Do you have any suggestions for tackling armies that have a distinct aesthetic and little crossover such as the Nids, Necrons, or Beastclaw Raiders?

    • Kicker November 11, 2019 7:45 am #

      Hi Sean! Thanks for the positive mojo!
      With me I was the opposite. Starting off with conversions and kitbashing and only now am I getting halfway decent at painting and more and more into the tourney scene.

      For sure certain armies are harder to kit bash with others…unless you stay within kits from their faction. I have had some success taking Eldar kits and combining them (heads from Scourge onto bodies of other Eldar). But you, if you want to dedicate a theme to an army you can go all out by merging two distinct looking armies into one cohesive looking force if you really commit to it. I LOVE the AoS Lizardmen atheistic and kept trying to find a way to merge it into 40K. I found success in creating both a “reptilian” themed GSC army and a feral/Snakebite Ork army by really making sure each and every model in the army had elements from both atheistic. Nids though…and Necrons could totally be difficult because they are so distinct. However Beatclaw raiders could for sure be merged with other AoS things. I can envision a “noble” clan of Beast Claw Raiders using the various Storm Cast animals/mounts or even combining a lot of the Free Guild kits to make a more “civilized” Beast Claw clan complete with some of the Free Guild weapons/artillery. Good Luck!!!

  4. Michael Corr November 12, 2019 12:24 am #

    Love that dino-fighter conversion. A whole army of these would look awesome.

    • Kicker November 12, 2019 7:02 pm #

      Thanks Michael! Yea I love this Dino assassin guy! I do have a pretty extensive range of Lizardmen kiitbashed into a GSC army- hope to share them on another FLG post!

  5. Schuyler Quinn November 12, 2019 5:33 am #

    Very nice. Would like to see some step by step pics of how you bring different bits together for the dino.

    • Kicker November 12, 2019 7:06 pm #

      Schuyler, I will have to write another article that breaks down this kit bash into details. It was a pretty simple kitbash, and the final result looks pretty streamlined! The problem was getting a few of the key bits for this- the clawed hand only comes in the Carnosaur kit!

Leave a Reply