One thing I found very early on when I started to hobby was that you fill up a bits box very fast and usually with the things that you do not need! I have bags of spare heads, powerfists and plasma pistols, but never enough legs or backpacks or shoulder pads. Or rather, I have tons of shoulder pads that I can’t use for my army because they are for Ragnar Blackmane’s Great Company or have the pack markings already moulded in place. A while back I found the old Grey Hunters kit for sale in a local shop so I invested in one. It’s basically a Tac Marine set with an added upgrade frame, but it’s given me a few more bits to use. You can still get the accessories sprue from Games Workshop and while the sculpting is a little bit cruder than in the new Space Wolves Pack kit, it does contain some nice bits, in particular, a different Space Wolf backpack and a nice variety of chestplates.
Of course there are other Space Wolves kits. The Space Wolf Terminator kit contains far more bits than you can use, and I have frequently used bits from that elsewhere. I have to admit that I’ve not looked closely at Thunderwolf Cavalry. The kit looks lovely but I find the whole idea of Space Marines riding giant wolves a little bit silly.
The Space Wolf kits are woefully undersupplied when it comes to pouches and holstered weapons (and meltaguns and flamers). Now I like pouches and things on my guys, so this is where other marine kits such as the Devastator and Tactical Squad kits come in really handy. One of my favourite finds though is the Ravenwing Bikers Kit as, not only is it the cheapest way to get bikes, it also contains two sprues of upgrades, some of which can happily be appropriated for Space Wolves.
Another kit that I’ve used is the Iron Hands upgrade kit. I’ve had a bit of a love-hate relationship with this kit as the first one was so terribly cast that it had to go back to the shop and the second one is still a bit bubbly in places. However, the details on the kit itself are really good and the undercuts, something which can’t seem to be done on the plastic kits, are great. I’d be tempted to use a Forgeworld kit in future for bionic limbs though.
So, here are some examples of a few kitbashes using parts from the kits above. With the exception of a green stuff strap on the meltagun, these three guys are pure kitbashes. I’m aiming for a bit of a chewed up look with these guys (the back-story is that they’ve met one Tyranid too many) and I wanted to use helmets on the models while keeping each guy unique.
The guy on the left has legs from the Iron Hands kit, chestpiece and bolter from the Space Wolves Pack kit, backpack from the Space Wolves accessories sprue and a helmet from the Ravenwing Bikers kit (with the Dark Angels insignia removed). I really liked the Ravenwing helmet and I really wanted to use it on a model.
The other two guys are less obviously kitbashed. The middle guy has a Tactical Marine chestpiece and a meltagun from the accessories sprue, while the third model has a helmet from the Devastator Squad kit, a Tactical Marine backpack and a knife from the accessories sprue.
Hopefully these examples show how a kitbash can be everything from adding a knife or a pouch to give a finishing touch to a model, or a complete mash-up of bits from the box.
I’m going to move on to looking at the how of kitbashing rather than the why in the rest of this series but I hope that this inspires you to dig through your bits box and start kitbashing.