When 8 ½ kits and a bitsbox love each other very much - An adventure in kitbashing

  • Its actually more like... ten or so kits by now. Because I keep bashing more of them into the pile, as you do. Portions of this list were my Druchii army ~15 years ago, but most of the assembly and crosspollination happened over the last few months, inspired by the idea to have a Monster Manual worth of D&D minis painted by the time you can actually play in person again (maybe next year, but I'm a slow painter anyway).

    • Warhammer 6th edition dark elf warriors
    • Warhammer 6th edition cold one knights
    • Warhammer 6th edition dark elf chariot
    • Confrontation lanyfhs of the black forest (plus the two characters)
    • Wargames Atlantic goblins (and the matching spiders)
    • Wargames Atlantic irish warriors
    • RGD Gaming/Wargames Atlantic centaur/faun box
    • Oathmark goblin wolf riders
    • Frostgrave undead encounters (actually just a sprue or two each of Kings of War skeletons, zombies and ghouls)
    • Conquest Games norman infantry (bought second hand, somebody already built a handful into longbows)
    • Wargames Atlantic skeletons
    • Fireforge living dead knights
    • Perry european mercenaries
    • Perry men at arms

    And a box of bits that I simply "acquired", without actually getting the full kit:

    • Warhammer 5th edition elf horse tails
    • Warhammer 6th edition dwarf warrior shields
    • Warhammer 6th edition wood elf glade guard swords
    • Warhammer 6th edition gor and ungor shields
    • Warhammer 6th edition chaos marauders on foot heads, arms and banners
    • Warhammer 7th edition chaos warrior arms
    • Warhammer 40k avatar of khaine sword
    • Warhammer 40k tyranid... something

    Lastly, a bunch of separate pieces and some trash:

    • Scibor Egyptian decorated plates
    • TinsBits skulls
    • Some PET lid (covered in some textured foil on one side, and doesn't take butyl acetate)
    • The heroes of kitbashing: Paperclips.


    Starting with my old RXB:

    I built all 16 of these as simple crossbowmen back in the day, with no command options (at least in terms of parts consumed). That left me with oodles of shields, glaives, banner stuff, and more. So while the RXB's weren't kitbashed at all, they are involved in many of the other kits to come.


    Knights on derpy lizards! The unit as a whole is running around with these really nice warrior shields. The default ones are... IDK, not my thing. At least one of them will show up again at a later date though.

    I don't really like the dragon pet, and I especially don't want it on a rank-and-file model. Turns out you can, by nearly destroying your fingers, get rid of the thing without losing the arm... but a shieldarm, that is not. I'll have to clip it off from inside of the italian sleeve and stick on one of the warrior shieldarms.

    The basic unit champion has half a spearhead (banner pole from the dark elf warriors again) stuck to the lancehead, just to make him stick out a little, because the usual sword thing I used for the noble/highborn dude. Well, "usual". There's an ungor skull on the base, starting a bit of a theme.

    The hero's sword is from an avatar of khaine, a large-sized robot thingy... and it is roughly bastard sword sized on that dude. He's also got two chained skulls from the warrior banner and the chaos marauders hanging from the saddle, and the cold one has some tyranid faceplate.

    We've run over some kinda chaos unit it seems, but I have no idea where this thing is from. Shaft is dark elf warriors (no idea which piece), and the splintered bottom sadly doesn't really come across at this angle.

    Unarmed standard bearers bother me, so he has a warrior bannershaft spearhead on the botton. And because that clipped with the mount, I had to extend his arm with greenstuff. Wish me luck freehanding a bloody hydra icon on this thing by the while...


    Next up: Centaurs and Fauns. This kit is... weird. For 18 creatures, it offers a total of TWO shieldarms and a total of TWO bows. It is hinting at female centaurs, but there are no female heads without horns & goat ears and only two different male centaur heads. It has fauns, but no bloody pan flute, so I had to make one myself (cross straps are slices from the mentioned PET lid). Most arms are specifically "female strength levels" or "male strength levels", and the only "centaur strength level" arms are a weird setup that holds a polearm (with head options, but no solid way to attach them) with both hands at the center. The centaurs are absolutely tiny too, with even realistic scale human heads looking almost oversized.

    WGA goblins give me a third bow (might go back in and fix the hand alignment), Oathmark wolf riders the third quiver. The ubiquitous lefthanded axe arm was turned into additional shieldarms (one of the original ones holds the flute)

    Female head options are limited, as mentioned. WGA irish helmet/bronze shield/oval shield, WGA goblin greek shield, Conquest Games norman spear (fingers carved off and hand drilled through), gladeguard sword.

    Carved the hands off of a falx (grips seem to be made of goat's feet), and stuck one of the shieldarm-donating-axes into the quiver. I really like giving my archers some form of backup weapon.

    Planned casters. May get Oathmark wizards for some staff tops and other bits, or make a wineskin from scratch. Another irish head here.


    Something that may not technically be kitbashing, because it is really just painted cardboard:


    Hobbos! As in, they are too tall for D&D or Warhammer goblins, so I'll be painting them yellow as hobgoblins.

    They have a seer. The seer has a cloak. The cloak cost me something like 1.5 hours to carve enough material away for it to fit, because they are a little more hunched over than the Irish. Just a little. Beyond that: dark elf warrior thingy as the staff top, his own spearhead as dagger blade, Tinsbits skull as dagger pommel.

    The standard bearer on foot was another crafting nightmare. Those knots just couldn't stop flicking loops past the end of the crossbar. Skulls are Tinsbits again, and the axe is from the goblin kit itself (though with the hand carved off, and stuck to the end of that leather baldric he has across his chest).

    Chaos warrior sword, hand carved off and grip cradled in a bow-drawing hand. Gor shield, and a Mantic ghoul's hand collection. Dark elf warrior glaive, and a base made from trash because he couldn't stand with just the puddle. Why would anybody ever make a mini that doesn't go on a separate 20mm square? Irish shield with spare javelins. Irish axe moved to the left hand, and a norman sword hand. Norman dane axe, and I'm not really satisfied with the pose.

    Aaaaaaand spooder rooders. So far they are just loosely pinned, with the pins glued to the bases and saddles. Might end up magnetizing the base connections. Mantic skeleton spiky mace, spiky goblin helmet and shield, and goblin spear and arrow heads for the armor spikes (there might be some arms with unusual poses somewhere, those are the ones that lost the axes/spears/arrows). Dark elf warrior captain's arm, cold one knight shield. Irish knife on the legstraps, because backup weapons.

    Spider riders with sticks: dark elf warrior standard bearer arm & pole, chaos marauder skull thingy (with the crossbars removed), horse tail. Norman longspear, and norman plank shield. Those integral arms are a pain to remove.

    More potential riders, but none of them are drilled for mounting. Norman kite shield, Irish buckler, ungor shield. Dark elf warrior spear scrap, with the rivet ring serving as macehead. Irish axe, clipped instead of carved this time because it is just a backup weapon (on a dex build, no less) and only counts as a handaxe.


    Didn't really do a significant amount of bashing on the Conquest Games norman infantry. They are kinda limited in some ways, mainly the arm poses: They all have short sleeves on the torsos, and then separate lower arms... and all but two dudes in the box have the upper arms coming down for some rather non-dynamic activities.

    Arm twisted around, to rest on a WGA irish shield (the original shields in this kit are either too small or too tall to do this). RGD Gaming satyr axe, and a 6th (?) edition warhammer dwarf shield insignia. And another twisted arm... officially these are supposed to hold up the dane axes.

    Some WGA irish heads to mix it up, and a raised arm to make a javelin thrower. Same torso in unmolested form for comparison.

    It appears I don't have an image of the finished javelineer, but this guy got a 6th edition wood elf glade guard sword and a WGA irish cloak.


    Most of the Gamezone harpies are carrying gory bodyparts, as if they are tearing their victims limb of limb. So here's another glade guard sword, with a WGA goblin headdress bone and some greenstuff mince, decorating the counterweight stone. She's still not really playably stable though, and the other poses don't rank up at all, so I'll need some more harpies.


    Gotta do something useful with that WGA goblin shield with the weird hole and the dark elf warrior banners... not sure if this counts as useful. Nobody's using that shield yet.


    Finally got the Perry box with the dreaded halberds. Tried using the langets (hey, works at full scale, why not at 1:64), but this is gonna look awful when painted.


    Speaking of halberds, I may not be the greatest sculptor ever. Turning a 6th edition warhammer chariot crew's spear-glaive-thing into a halberd seems to be beyond me.

    His driver was more difficult, but turned out a lot better. She found a new calling in life after I got that kit without a chariot chassis, and became a drow cleric. Reins carved and filed away, hand rotated, Scibor "egyptian decorated plates" and paperclips as shield.


    The Wargames Atlantic skeletons are a joy to build in comparison. Most of the mold lines are so sneaky you only notice them after piling on the glue, and the shoulder joints allow for loads of fun poses. The separate legs have rather relaxed ankles though, so using them as walkers instead of casualties is a bit of a stretch.

    Oathmark "goblin" quiver just to mix it up. WGA goblin quiver, and a pose change most kits just have a little too much flesh to do. Oathmark goblin arrow (held in hand, hand carved away), and thin bendy skeleton fingers. Last one's just out of the box parts.

    Fireforge living dead knights for the standard, drum and drummer's mallet, Conquest Games norman shield. The knights have thick sleeved/armored arms and a socket joint at the elbow, which leads to a bit of a tolerance stack. The drum I could glue to the chest, so that was stable enough...

    But the standard held aloft required some rigging. Whatever would I do without danish buttercookies?

    By Khaine and all he wants me to murder, I will have an affordable regiment of unbreakable troops. If I have to cut wedges out of human spines to give them an orcy hump, and stick WGA/Oathmark goblin weapons and shields as well as TinsBits orc skulls on them, then so be it! Got some Blighthaven skeletons (15mm humans, aka 28mm halflings), Standard bearer and musician are done too, WGA greeks and Mantic skellies to fill it out... still need dwarves, lizards, elves and a nice Kreugar.


    So it turns out these 15mm orcs from Alternate Armies are indeed small enough to be 28mm gobbos... but they still have orc faces. Luckily, there is this one obscure company with a head fetish. Shown here on 20mm bases, and yes one of them is upside down.


    Trying my hand at magnetizing command arms again, after the Fireforge living dead knights with their bone arms didn't give me enough space for anything but a 1mm magnet. Perry M@A, with a cold one knight musician's hand. Prolly gonna sculpt some thick textile ridge into the body-to-sleeve seam to cover that gap. Generally a lot of small cracks to fill all across this team, and I'll need some shields for them before I can stick on the swords.


    Cameras are fun. Don't ask me why this thing focused on the weave in the background instead of the thing I selected... Anyway, WGA skelly with Fireforge head and Perry crossbow. Kinda proud of the carving job on this crossbow, removing the goat's foot reloading tool (there are way too few shooting poses in this kit, so this is one of the two I left behind), but I should have done more to the hands.


    The quest for a rock-solid dark elf unit continues. These guys were kinda expensive at >3€ per dude, being ancient OOP metal and all, but cheaper second hand than GW's current production plastic kit. Wat. Sold in randomized blisters of three back then, this lot has a few too many of the halberd-to-the-left poses you can only really put into your leftmost column, so I'm tweaking the pose a little bit on some of them. Dark elf warrior gesturing/crossbow-holding hand here, ancient dark eldar hands on the other ones.


    Snatched some 6th edition dryads recently, as well as a bunch of AoS ghosty boys a while before that. The dryad hands, being inspired by the horror trope of vegetation clawing into your clothes, lend themselves kinda neatly to being actual vegetation; and the kit has tons of fun little decorative pieces you can turn into separate creatures. On the 32mm base Age of Shitmar "easy to build" nonsense, you have a bit less freedom, but when you wanna put the ghost himself on a 20mm square anyway leaving an unused ETB slot on the base isn't an issue. Zombie crow mini: gotten.

    10mm bases manually cut from plasticard because thats the footprint of a tiny creature in a 20mm grid D&D setup.


    And a trash build that amused me greatly. Cereal cardboard, sprue scraps, PVA. Also built a coffin from with a toothpick frame from the same cardboard, complete with a WGA skelly inhabitant (putting the casualty pose option to proper use).


    For D&D play on Roll20, I've been using a female human (edited to remove one of the scimitars) as a janni token. And now that they summoned her a few times to get an NPC's opinion on dungeon puzzles, its been pretty much established that you get a female one most of the time, and I had to get myself appropriate minis. Reaper's "Mi-Sher" in bones works pretty well, but has two scimitars instead of the default janni's longsword & longbow combo. Sliced off the hand (under the bracer's back-of-the-hand protectors), carved away the dagger on her butt, stuck on a WGA goblin bow hand and an Oathmark goblin (wolf rider) quiver... still gotta build her a flying base, but I think I'm gonna paint her first.

    Also, this material creates suction between the cheeks. And I can't quite shake the feeling that it'd be more economical for them to do stuff in proper polystyrene.


    My Empire army is starting to take shape, with the cannon crew pretty much finished. Perry wars of the roses mercenaries for bodies, heads, arms (including a crossbow-cranking arm to sass out on that sassy hip, and a musician's drumstick arm for the fuse stick) and pike shafts. WGA sprue drilled out for the shovel, greenstuff and determination for the other tools. Black Scorpion for a cheap cannon without crew (also available with crew, but its two 32mm pirates).

    One of the units (maybe free company?) will have a very loud drummer. I've got ten xbows from the Perry kit and another ten 5th edition monopose dudes, so the WGA conquistador hand holding a loose xbow quiver was expendable and could be turned into an empty right hand.


    In case anybody was wondering, the WGA morions and WGA (greek) skeleton skulls don't really fit well.


    Both starter kits for the relevant Warhammer editions had greenskins, and it seems both had the same monopose choppaboy orcs. But very few people went and bought the actual kit to build shieldboys or spearboys, so there are next to none of those on the second hand market. Luckily, I can fix that. Behold, the Eisstielbande:

    Kind of a proof of concept for now, but yes these are literally scrapbuilt from popsicle sticks. Came out nice and orcy I think, though that folder pinner thingy metal strip is a little too wide. Maybe I'll use leftovers from the upcoming unit tray ferro foil adventure.

    There are some other shield designs in the mix as well, such as sprue injection spots. Just blutack'd on here.

    And they got spears, and a glaive, and a crossbow, and a javelin... and a massive twohanded sword. I uh... was amused. The metal spear is 6th edition boar boys, the sword simply plasticard. Glaive and javelin are 2mm and relative unmolested, the other shafts are 3mm carved into various wood optics. Those three boys on the left are from the unit they'll have to rank up with eventually.

    Men for size hilarity. WGA conquistadors, Warlord landsknechte, 7th edition state troops, Perry m@a and merc infantry bits, and a WGA Irish hand.


    It has come to my attention that I've never posted my witches here. Though the standard bearer is still not quite done, as she'll get some trophies from low armor, high toughness enemies stuck to the base eventually. These are "lanyfhs" from Rackham's Confrontation, almost-naked evil celt warrior chicks. Champion is the one character model (normally holding a whip and a sharpened stick), standard bearer is the other one (with some strange double bone scythe-pick thing), musician is a regular trooper. 6th edition chaos marauder banner for the rag, 6th edition dark elf warriors for the crossbar, 6th edition dark elf chariot pennant thing for the banner top. RGD Gaming/WGA female fauns for the arms, tooting horn and primary sword (carved to a pointy tip), the same kit's centaur frame for the scythe blade in the offhand sword.


    Speaking of centaurs, I got around to making a wineskin. He'll also get the wooden burl from the bottom of his spear on a thread as a stopper, but I might delay that until after spraywork. Head is WGA Irish, because there are still not enough heads in the centaur kit. Which is why the javelineer is still headless, like some others. Both weapon arms on the new guys are sleeveless WGA Irish, which fit decently well with the twohand weapon centaur arm.


    Sadly, I don't have enough shields for my spears. This guy is substituting the champion sword, glued to a shield arm. The champion has a spear (because he has a spear by the rules, and minis should reflect that!) build from a 7th edition CoK lance, and the standard bearer has a standard thing from the same kit. Which just barely ranks up with the Privateer Press skorne praetorian I'm using as a BSB on foot. Don't worry, he can breathe, the greenstuff nose has nostrils.

    Oh and I do have 24 of these dudes, plus the BSB and a silly spear teepee unit filler so I can play them as 25 in either case.


    The big empire bash is starting. That halberdier wrist is... something else. We'll see, I might use the Perry dudes primarily as pikemen.

    This one's technically still a kitbash! The helmet on both is from the mounted M@A kit, even on the foot version (for after he gets the griffon shot out from under him). They'll both get GW shields, I think from the 7th edition state troops kit.


    Last one for this time, some planning for my dear D&D cleric. Jeanne from Wargamer's hot & dangerous line, Reaper Bones deva, RAFM "winged reaper", Reaper Bones griffon as wings backup, Perry M@A and Fireforge living dead knights maces, Frostgrave wizards and crewmen for the spell component pouches. Prolly gonna build pollaxe heads from scratch, as per Geoff's suggestions. And I'll have to figure out a place for her to carry a shield with the wings magnetized...


    Been sticking some dark elf heroes together. In retrospect, it is at least a little bit strange that back when I started playing Warhammer there were exactly zero models for generic nobles and highborns in the GW catalogue (there was a sorc on foot, one on a cold one, an assassin, the beastmaster on manticore, and a bunch of nameds). 8th edition chariot crew bodies, sisters of slaughter whip, 6th edition CoKs shield, 8th edition black guard/exec champion's axe, Warmahordes skorne praetorian standard bearer and champion, 8th edition warrior sword, 7th edition corsair dagger, Mirliton "estern" [sic] dark elf spearman (shield carved and filed away), bracers from the praetorian champion, 6th edition dark rider "standard" halberd, dark eldar warrior body, 8th edition warrior crossbow and head, upper arm from the praetorian's corsair dagger, unbashed Reaper Warlord minis.

    I'll have to stick a shield on the BSB eventually, but Ellithin Graysteel might actually be my "handweapon, no shield" dude. Probably with armor of darkness.


    Speaking of that sorceress on foot (also known as the 5th edition Morathi on foot), I got three of them. Thats as good a reason as any to convert them to create some variety, but the option to add a flaming sword of rhuin marker and increase the value of it as a gaming token really takes the cake here.

    And while we're on sorceresses, how about one who can fly?

    Bit of a WIP, as is the selection of a rider. I do want one that has a clear equivalent on foot for when the peggy inevitably gets blasted by a cannon, but I haven't decided what I want to do about that. Body is a simple 5th edition elven steed, and two of the segments already have some rudimentary greenstuff.


    And another sorceress: 8th edition generic plastic chick, who was missing the right arm and the fingers on the left hand. Replaced those with an RGD Gaming faun/centaur spear, a 7th edition CoK helmet decoration, and a 7th edition empire archer hand. Not sure if the rig was necessary, but I didn't wanna take any risks.


    Kreugar's is finally going somewhere, though I still need more (and more variety). The elves are Willy Miniatures alternative models for Bloodbowl with GW plastic pieces (and an Oathmark elf light infantry shield by now), dwarf and Kreugar are Reaper (somebody called "Iks" from Warlord), halflings are Blighthaven 15mm humans, the gor had his foot bones replaced with forearm bones and greenstuff hooves.


    Some ranged support for the Eisstielbande. Crew and levers are original, strings are actually under just a little bit of tension.

  • I have debated getting some of the fauns for a white. But if they are that small maybe its good I havent. 

  • @William Redford oh no, the fauns are fine. Its just the centaurs that are undersized.

    Confrontation human, RGD faun, dark elf RBT crew, RGD faun, dark elf RXB, WGA Irish, GW numenorian, Mantic skeleton, GW LotR wood elf. Watch the base height.


    The same RBT crewman, Gamezone dark elf "dark rider musician" (shut up, she's a sorceress on a horse), GW Sulephet. Those are 25x50 bases and a 40x40 base.



    Man, this forum needs a post preview. And some CSS improvements.

  • While I'm dumping images, somebody needs to explain to me why puddle bases exist. Like, this looks garbage (one a little more than the other):

    And you can still kinda see it even after decorating the base, unless you build a ramp of material:

    They are not really stable enough to be played without a proper base either, and they don't rank up if the game demands it:

    And carving them away, while possible, is a shitton of work (and will slightly bend the mini, especially thin ones like our calciumified heroes):

    I really don't get what purpose they are supposed to fulfill. And yet, most manufacturers add them by default (but some kits, like WGA lizards, suddenly don't have them). I don't understand, and I need to understand to function. Halp.

  • Part of me thinks that WA uses them as they dont provide actual bases with the kits. So the minis themselves are not usable out of the box. 

    With the puddle bases they can be used (i am not sure who would just use like that,) but they are usable. 

  • Hmm. IDK. Maybe. Are the lizards stable by virtue of tail?

  • Sadly I cannot recommend the Centaurs and Fauns. I picked up a single sprue because I really wanted them to be be good. Very disappointing. Too small, flimsy and limited options. I would like to see them redone to WA's usual quality. 😏

  • @Blutze If  i`m doing a weapon like that Halbard. I use the waist plastic card bits, filed and  glued on were it fits to the weapons blade. File the edge to the V shape with a micro file, glue with epoxy glue to the weapon  and wet and dry the join.    

  • Too small, flimsy and limited options

    IDK, flimsy to me implies that they don't hold up to use and play, constantly breaking. I can see that on the centaur-specific twohanded weapon system, but the rest is more... to scale within a single creature, such as hand size to head size to torso size, unlike early 2000s GW stuff*. If you wanna criticize the proportions, call it misogynistic, with the thin arms and dainty poses on the females. And yes, in terms of options it is indeed a mess.

    *I got some builds and images waiting in the wings showing the differences in proportions between the dark elf warriors and Confontation lanyfhs. That'll be fun.

    If  i`m doing a weapon like that Halbard. I use the waist plastic card bits, filed and  glued on were it fits to the weapons blade. File the edge to the V shape with a micro file, glue with epoxy glue to the weapon  and wet and dry the join.    

    Huh, that'd be an option. This blade is almost twice as thick as my plasticard (specifically got it for making movement trays from sprues, so .75mm was enough), but I might be able to laminate some. Maybe I should get .5mm stuff though, so the blade edge isn't right on the acetate-weakened layer.


    Also, update on puddle bases: Removed two of the Perry ones in one day. Drew blood on my thumb halfway through the second. Berry nice.

  • @Blutze halp indeed! I too hate integral bases.

    I've gone for the recessed base solution, though resin rather than WA's options as I prefer the Citadel-style tapered edges.


  • as I prefer the Citadel-style tapered edges.

    Cheapest option for a big pile of nonslotta 20mm squares at my local store turned out to be Kromlech MDF, so now my Empire army is gonna be (almost) all on those. The vertical sides are actually kinda powerful:

  • This one's getting kinda bloated. Maybe I should put the Empire stuff into a separate thread. Though they are still heavily involved in this interconnected mess, so they do kinda belong here...

    May or may not have some of it become subject of somebody else's photography hobby too. No idea to what extent, and the logistics of before/after setups are rather up in the air. We'll see.

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