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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-20-10, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Default 40K on a Budget

We all know Warhammer 40k can be an expensive hobby. Certainly, if you buy your entire army at Games-Workshop’s prices, you will be out several hundred of your local currency for even a small army (tens of thousands for our friends in the land of the rising sun.) This thread is my collected wisdom for how to acquire 40k models on the cheap, and hopefully others will add their collective wisdom as well so that we have a good go-to resource for buying.

First, most important thing, Games Workshop is a great place to browse, but buying direct from them is the most expensive route there is. I do not buy anything I can find anywhere else from GW.

My go-to place for buying 40k models is Ebay. There are many well-established sellers with great reputations (you can see the feedback they’ve gotten, buying from sellers with a poor feedback history or not much feedback history is much more of a risk) and I have had nothing but good experiences with this route. There are also normal users that sell their armies through Ebay. These sellers are a little more of a risk to buy from and the quality is frequently not as good, but I have personally had good experiences with these sellers as well.

There are some good online retailers as well who typically sell at a discount from GW’s price. I put the country they’re located in as well though most if not all of these ship internationally hassle-free.

Bits and Kits (UK)(varying deep discounts, but typically only carry bits, rarely full kits) http://www.bitsandkits.co.uk/

Wayland Games (UK)(10-20% discount) http://www.waylandgames.co.uk/games-...40k/cat_4.html

The War Store (US)(20% discount) http://www.thewarstore.com/warhammer40k.html

Triple Helix Games (UK)(10-20% discount) http://www.triplehelixwargames.co.uk...ts.php?subId=3

I haven’t personally used any of these retailers except Bits and Kits, with whom I have had several excellent experiences.

You can also get a 40k army on the cheap by converting inexpensive models like the ones that come in the assault on black reach box (orks and space marines) or other sources. These models are in abundant supply and are plastic, so can be found on Ebay or other people locally might be willing to trade them cheaply, and then can be converted to what you need by buying ‘bits’, either through people you know, at conventions where bits boxes are usually set up by army, online auctions, and through online retailers such as Bits and Kits.

Both as the writer of this article and a 40k player I’m interested in hearing what ways other people have found to save money as well, so please share!

Last edited by Culler; 01-01-11 at 03:54 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-01-11, 12:54 PM
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In addition, there are several companies that make cheap conversion bits for that GW either doesn't make or charges exhorbitant amounts for --things like thunderhammers and stormshields, wings, shotguns, head swaps, etc.

Maxmini (LOTS of bits, including thinly disguised copies of forgeworld stuff. I've ordered from them, their stuff is resin so needs cleaning and fixing up but I've never had problems as bad as forgeworld's stuff..)

Chapterhouse Studios (went a little too far and might get closed down though..)

Mantic Games (not bits, but whole minis for dirt cheap, mainly for fantasy. "Generic" elves, dwarfs, undead, and 'khaos dwarfs' that could easily fit in a GW army for friendly games. look like nice quality)

Ultraforge Miniatures (relatively cheap greater daemons and some other stuff too now)

Pig Iron Productions (nice Kasrkin and DKoK lookalikes, and head swaps galore. A LOT of guard players use their gas mask heads.)
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-01-11, 03:36 PM
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thanks for the mention, but we dont actually sell full kits like the others on the list though we do sell things like cheap squads from Assault on black reach and Island of blood and the odd cheap rhino and bike kit and the starter rules sets for both 40k and fantasy.

But if you want any info about what we do feel free to PM me via this forum i have just cleared some space in my in box.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-01-11, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bitsandkits View Post
thanks for the mention, but we dont actually sell full kits like the others on the list though we do sell things like cheap squads from Assault on black reach and Island of blood and the odd cheap rhino and bike kit and the starter rules sets for both 40k and fantasy.
Whoops, had that in mind when writing it but forgot to clarify. I've never bought a kit from you but I have bought bits several times.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-11, 11:56 AM
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I've had much the same experience you've had
Ebay is great to catch angry wives selling their hubby's army lol. I've gotten great deals and a lot of the armies I've seen come with a $50 or $100 case too. Great way to get a diverse range of pieces, if you don't mind repainting. But lets face it, for $150 I bought a small GW army case and easily $450+ retail in pieces. It needed repair and stripped/repainted, but even that was fun.

The only thing I didn't see, that I have to add is the almighty Green Stuff.
I'm very inexperienced at conversions and modeling but I'll tell you it is awesome. Maybe read a tutorial, get a couple tools to carve with, a little bowl of water, an open bits box, and you're good to go.
I took the AoBR box and learned to love the green stuff. I spit the cost with a buddy, took the marines and let him have the rest. Another friend gave me $10 for the dread (i'm not a fan of the chaos dreads, but hell some are) and I converted the SM to Plagues and the with the terms I'm working toward 9 oblitz for a fraction of the price, and I have to say that I like mine better than the GW release. I've seen a hell of a lot of conversions that are nicer than mine, however for $75 for GS and models I ended up with 20 plagues and 9 obliterators. Not only that, but now I'm excited about what else I can build for next to nothing.
The kicker is, my models are at minimum table worthy. I suck at modelling and I'm not that strong of a painter either but with a little bit of trial and error I have some pieces that I am very proud to say that I did. Does your GW Obliterator model have pretty tzeentch pink nipples and a bloody blade for a cock? I think not.

I believe you can get the same type of clay at your local craft store for half the price but I don't personally have any experience with it.

"Bah, Buzz, if it means less paperwork I'll take Chaos"
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-11, 12:24 PM
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I first started ordering from GW but the prices were killing me so I found a FLGS that was willing to order for you but not stock anything and that worked out with a few discounts. Did the Ebay route for a bit but it really can be hit or miss.

The best deals right now are from another FLGS that is stocking and ordering models from his distributer. Since we have been bringing them 80% of their business we get some deep discounts, anywhere from 20% on up. It all depends on what resources you have available. If I didn't have my FLGS I would probably still be doing GW or Ebay.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-11, 01:22 PM
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I don't know if you guys in the US have such a thing, but in the UK we have Car boot sales (second hand market in a huge field) where people just sell all their old stuff.

Managed to pick this lot up in a couple of toolboxes, themselves worth more than I paid for the whole lot. :

12 Khrone berserkers
33 chaos space marines
4 chaos space marine bikes
1 demon prince
5 metal chaos space marine terminators
5 plastic chaos space marine terminators
1 abbadon the despoiler

13 plastic space marines
5 metal black templar sword brethren
1 metal black templar chapter master
1 metal apothecary
1 metal banner barer
1 random metal space marine with bolter and auspex
2x metal techmarines (one with full servo harness)
3x metal neophytes/scouts
2x plastic dreadnought
1x forgeworld black templar dreadnought
1x drill combat arm for dreadnought (forgeworld)
1x Mk1 whirlwind

1x necron codex
1x necron monolith
10x necron warriors
3x scarab swarms
4x flayed ones
1x res orb lord (from huge boxset from ages ago)
1x wraith

All in all worth over 600, awesome deal. (I payed 20)

Last edited by Brother Azurea; 01-03-11 at 01:31 PM.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-11, 01:43 PM
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in the US those are Flea Markets. But, the best bet is a FLGS, after all, if you don't buy from them, they close. And then where do you game?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-11, 01:57 PM
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I've had mixed success with eBay, but overall it's been good.

I have bought from B&K a couple times, always been perfectly happy wit the transaction.

I also have bought from Gifts for Geeks several times, though their delivery times aren't the best...apparently due to stocking issues every time I buy stuff. Cheaper than GW though, so...
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-06-11, 04:00 AM
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my advice is: NEVER buy stuff direct from GW.

Heres gifts for geeks site:

This thread = win.
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