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Where do you get your bitz?

Where do you get your bitz?

This question occurs on a regular basis in all of my hobby-related groups on Facebook and while I was typing my usual answer for the third time this week, I already had several answers on the previous post asking for specific shop links.

Well, as I am a lazy person, I came up with the idea to just make a bitz source post on my blog and simply paste the link on future occasions.

So, without further ado – let’s get started. 😀

Keep them!

I often see posts in trading groups, where people offer all their bitz despite still playing and building the respective army. Some even trade away all leftovers from a kit as soon as they finish building the unit. Don’t do that! Yes, you can get rid of those three dozen similar Ork Boy axes, but keeping bitz is the base for a good bitz box. And with a well equipped one you won’t need to ask for bitz that often (you just need to find them, but organising your bitz collection is a different topic).

Building a large bitz box might seem as a big space commitment (especially if you organise your bitz properly) and ties up your money to some degree (e.g. with high value parts like grav cannons) – nonetheless you will be rewarded. Not only do you not need to get so many parts elsewhere, you can also draw inspiration from the parts you have lying around. Many of my own conversions use parts, which I have found in my bitz box and fit perfectly. Browsing the web for specific bitz rarely rewards the same serendipity effect for me.


Trade them!

Somewhat contradictory to the first advice, but still a viable source. Most (or at least many) of us are part of some gaming groups with lots of different armies and therefore bitz sources. If you don’t play Space Orks, you may still need one of those Ork Boy axes for an Inq28 mutant or a Mordheim dreg and the Ork player will certainly part with one of his dozen axes. Also it is possible to trade your needed parts for some less valued ones from your own bitz box, helping that Ork player in his own conversion work at the same time. 😉


Buy them!

Now we get to the bitz shops – of course all of them are based in Europe (like me). 😀

Bitsbay is my favourite bitz seller. Based in Italy you won’t get your bitz cheaper anywhere else (especially with their monthly 33% or even 50% sales). Unfortunately the low prices come with two drawbacks: 1. Out of stock: Cheap offers sell out fast, so you often have to wait for new stock before you can get your cheap bitz. 2. Long delivery times: Italian Post isn’t that fast – expect your goods up to three weeks after the shipment notification (based on my experience with shipping to Germany). If you’re on a budget or don’t care to wait, Bitsbay is definitely the place for you.

  • Range: 40k, AoS, Horus Heresy
  • Pros: Low prices, monthly sales
  • Cons: Long delivery times, low stock

Tabletopbitz sells only Warhammer Fantasy / AoS bitz, but has a huge range of parts. They also offer a lot of old stuff like Khemri bitz. Prices are higher than on Bitsbay.it, but still reasonable and shipping is usually fast and secure.

  • Range: AoS, WHFB
  • Pros: Huge WHFB assortment
  • Cons: No in-built English translation

Bitzbox has both a wide range of AoS and 40k bitz as well as an unique ‘patreon’ offer. For $5 a month, you can order as often as you like without paying any additional shipping costs. Additionally they process orders and deliver really fast even to continental Europe. If you need parts on short notice or want to get a bitz flat rate, you will be happy with this seller.

  • Range: 40k, AoS, Horus Heresy
  • Pros: Shipping flat rate, ‘in stock’ e-mail notifications

Bitzarium is a French shop with lots of kits from both 40k and AoS and even sells parts from some of the bigger kits like the CSM Maulerfiend or other vehicles. All of my orders were delivered within one week after payment and the packaging was always more than secure for your precious bitz.

  • Range: 40k, AoS, Horus Heresy
  • Pros: Some big kit bitz in stock

 

Another German shop for 40k and AoS bitz. My only order there was processed all well, but I always wonder how they come up with their prices. Some parts are seriously undercosted, but many small parts like heads or shoulder pads often cost easily five times the price I pay on Bitsbay.it.

  • Range: 40k, AoS, Horus Heresy, Mantic
  • Cons: Weird bitz pricing

Miscellaneous

There are still many bitz shops I haven’t tested yet, but I will still provide some links for you. Maybe you can test them for me, so I can add another review to this list. 😉


Not recommended!

Bitsandkits often lures people with regular 50% sales, thus making cheaper offers than even Bitsbay, but (at least for me) this comes with a price. Whereas many people have had good experiences with this shop, mine were mostly bad. Missing parts, broken parts, wrong parts and no intention to replace the parts. Contacting the owner was difficult and resulted only in an insolent answer from his side. He still owes me money / bitz and therefore I can not only not recommend this shop, but will also actively discourage people from buying there.


These are my thoughts about ‘Bitz and where to find them’. Let me know if you have questions or anything to add like additional reviews or even shops I haven’t heard of yet. 🙂

 
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Posted by on 17. April 2017 in Review, Tutorial

 

Here come the Gretchin!

Here come the Gretchin!

Finally my Grot Rebels are fully painted. 🙂

Despite some small details like eyes still missing (and probably for good regarding my shaking hands^^) I consider the team as finished. Maybe I’ll add some more grots for campaign games in the future, but for now we mostly play individual battles.

Beside the tanks and my Killa Kan the team has these members:

  • Ammo Runts
  • Grot Lootas with skorcha
  • 2x Grot Oilers
  • Squig Rida
  • Mek Gun crew with kannon

Most of the models were built from the basic Gretchin kit mixed with some Gnoblar parts and other bitz. With all the armoured elements the kill team features not that many greenskins, but even if it is easily possible to field more than 60 gretchin in a 250 pts. list, I have no intention to paint all these masses just for a kill team.

There are way too many other project ideas floating around in my head for such a commitment. 😀

 
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Posted by on 29. March 2017 in Heralds of Ruin, Warhammer 40k

 

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Taking souls, eating psykers

Taking souls, eating psykers

Inspired by a post in the Heralds of Ruin Facebook group, I wanted to try an Officio Assassinorum kill team, especially with a Culexus assassin. Lacking a model for the assassin I decided to kitbash my own version and found myself drawn into the Mechanicus part of my bitz collection.

So the choice was an easy one – it had to be a tech-assassin, suitable to be used as a Culexus for HoR & regular 40k as well as making an appearance as a Malagra Magos Prime in 30k or even some other flavour of ‘nasty’ in our Inq28 games. 😀

Mixing Dark Eldar and Cult Mechanicus parts I tried to re-create a classic villain pose (milking the giant cow) for the model which worked really well along with the Talos’ gigantic hands. I most certainly spent more time dry-fitting the various parts including several that weren’t used in the end than with building the actual model.^^

In the end the Talos weapon worked really well with the chain ring to resemble an artificial version of the official assassin’s animus speculum. Also I found a use for at least one the ten built electro priests I got through a trade which just gathered dust ever since. Additionally I had an excuse to use my tube tools again to fill the robes with cables after I had to cut the damaged feet off.

Overall I’m pretty pleased with the finished model and at least could turn my sleepless night (thank you, noisy neighbours…) into something productive. 🙂

 
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Posted by on 23. March 2017 in Dark Mechanicum, Heralds of Ruin, Inq28

 

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Armoured reserves

Armoured reserves

With another cardboard tank sitting on my desk thanks to the tutorial, I decided to still paint it even though it has no place in my 250pts. single game list.

This way I can still use it as a replacement for the duck of doom or expand my kill team during a campaign. Also the unit needs a minimum of three tanks when played in 40k, so my grots are now also playable with GW’s own kill team rules instead of just the Heralds of Ruin variant (which is still way more fun^^).

As the paint job is kind of straightforward (same as the other two tanks you already know), I use this post to show how the tank was painted. Unfortunately I came up with that idea AFTER finishing the model, so there are no step-by-step pictures, just the finished product at the end. 😀

Used colours

  • Citadel Paints
    • Agrax Earthshade
    • Blood Red (Evil Sunz Scarlet)
    • Boltgun Metal (Leadbelcher)
    • Chaos Black primer
    • Codex Grey (Dawnstone)
    • Nuln Oil
    • Rhinox Hide
    • Runefang Steel
    • Snot Green (Warpstone Glow)
  • Vallejo Game Color
    • Brassy Brass
    • Glorious Gold
    • Heavy Blackgreen
    • Scarlett Red
    • White Primer

Basecoating

I used the notorious Chaos Black spray primer to start the tank, because the spray isn’t as moist as using regular paint and a brush (and it’s way faster^^). I haven’t had problems yet, but some cardboard types tend to warp when exposed to even medium amounts of water, so I just stay on the safe side here.

Red armour

  • Base the entire armour plates with several watered-down coats of Scarlett Red until the tank looks fast enough. 😉
  • Use Agrax Earthshade to blackline the armour plates and all the rivets. You may do this twice in the deeper recesses to add even more plasticity to the model.
  • Give the whole armour a heavy drybrush with Blood Red.

Sponge chipping

  • Use a sponge to add splashes of Rhinox Hide to the armour. Both edges and big scarcely detailed plates are your target here.
  • Add splashes of Runefang Steel wherever you applied the Rhinox Hide before to represent chipped paint. This will disguise the missing details compared to a plastic model and adds a lot of character.

Rivets

  • Simply paint them with Boltgun Metal to let them pop out. You can add a wash and a highlight with Runefang Steel, but I found that to be unnecessary to be satisfied. 😀

Metal parts

  • Base all metal parts with Boltgun Metal.
  • Wash them first with Nuln Oil, then with Agrax Earthshade..
  • Drybrush all the parts with Runefang Steel.

Brass parts

  • Pick out some metal parts you want to give more focus and base the with Brassy Brass to break up the rather dull metal colours.
  • Give them a heavy wash with Agrax Earthshade.
  • Drybrush with Glorious Gold.
  • Pick out the edges with Runefang Steel.

Orky glyphs

  • Base all glyphs with Codex Grey.
  • Highlight them with a 1:1 mix of Codex Grey and White Primer.
  • Highlight with White Primer.

Cables & glass

  • Put some Heavy Blackgreen on your wet palette and prime all green parts.
  • Mix a bit of Snot Green into the Blackgreen and highlight the parts.
  • Repeat the last step until you reach pure Snot Green for the last highlight.

The paint job is more quick&dirty than highly sophisticated, but it’s sufficient for a “tabletop standard” model and gritty enough for the grots.

I would love to make a lot more of these tanks just to field a thousand points of them in a regular 40k game and win while my opponent is still laughing. 😀

Unfortunately the cardboard method may be really cheap, but it is also time-consuming as hell. Therefore I will explore the means of making masters for 3 turrets, 3 chassis and 3 kinds of tracks and just cast them in resin. This would allow me up to 27 different tank configurations, save a lot of time and even makes them sellable. If this concept proves efficient enough, expect some scrap tank fleets in the mid future. 🙂

 
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Posted by on 21. March 2017 in Heralds of Ruin, Tutorial, Warhammer 40k

 

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Cardboard tank tutorial

Cardboard tank tutorial

While showing my recent cardboard vehicles in various Facebook groups, I received a lot of requests for a tutorial on how to make these models and here it is. 😀

For this tutorial I created another Grot Tank, based on the Grot Tank Kommanda shown before, but with some differences to avoid ending up with the same model twice.

Preparations

Needed equipment:

  • Cardboard (any cornflakes box will do just fine)
  • Super glue / PVA glue
  • Pins with metal head (you can get them cheap at variety stores)
  • Scissors
  • Crafting knife
  • Tank bitz
  • Templates

Templates:

You can find many good templates on the internet or just make your own. I normally start with scribbling some possible shapes of the vehicle’s sides as these are the most distinct shapes. Once you found a shape you like, transfer it on a sheet of paper or directly onto cardboard and then add the necessary rectangles to get full template out of your side shape. I don’t add tabs to my templates, as you can add them free-handed when transferring the template onto cardboard. Now you should have something like this, the last one was used for the tutorial tank:

The chassis

Cutting out the tank’s template, bending and glueing the tabs gave me a basic shape to work with. The template left the bottom of the tutorial tank open. Sometimes it’s easier to leave gaps or even whole plates aside when assembling the chassis, just cut out a fitting plate and close the opening. 🙂

First armour layer

After the chassis is completed, the first layer of ramshackle armour has to be applied. This adds stability to the currently thin hull, conceals gaps or glueing mistakes and gives you a good base for additional layers. The first layer should match the outlines of the hull, so just place the chassis on some leftover cardboard and trace its outlines.

Tracks

Until now the chassis doesn’t look like that much, but the next step will help much for that – the tracks. I always use original tracks from various sources out of several reasons.

  • Tracks are difficult: They are highly detailed pieces and give not that little trouble to build them.
  • Cardboard limitations: To achieve the above detail, cardboard might not be the best material. You can achieve reasonable results with cardboard and toothpicks, but plasticard and tubes will be much more rewarding to work with.
  • Custom vs. original: A cardboard tank’s final look is strongly connected to the use of original parts. They diverse attention from less detailed areas and let the whole model look better among your grots.

I found some bogey wheels and tracks from old Imperial Guard tanks. After some cutting and a lot of dry-fitting the tutorial tank finally got its tracked propulsion. The tracks add a lot to the model’s bulk as well as enhance its overall look. But see for yourself. 🙂

Additional armour layers

To add more bulk and detail to the hull, just take some of your cardboard leftovers (there should be plenty on your desk by now), cut them into random shapes and glue them all over the chassis. 🙂 Just make sure to either leave enough space in the corners for your rivets, otherwise you will run into problems when drilling the rivet holes (which you can already see on these pictures). I also attached the turret’s mounting (25mm base with 3mm neodym magnet) to the chassis.

Engine

Every tank needs some kind of engine, for which I used leftovers from the Tank Kommanda’s cannons and added an exhaust pipe made out of brass and aluminium pipes. Use anything from your bitzbox that looks remotely like an engine block or even some kind of energy cells (in case your grots scavanged some Tesla cars for their tank project).

Turret

For turrets there are several approaches. You could use a template and build it from scratch, use pre-shaped things like bottle / paint pot caps or (if the tank will be bigger) even original turrets from GW. I chose the template approach and drew a turret based on the killa kan’s body. Unfortunately I didn’t compensate for the cardboard’s thickness (always advised for smaller parts like turrets), ending up with a slightly warped turret base. However, after adding some additional armour plates, the shape got better. Finally I threw a bunch of bitz and superglue at the turret to finish it. 😀

I used a Defiler flamer, a CSM turret hatch, CSM & Imperial Guard searchlight parts, half a CSM smoke launcher, Sentinel heavy flamer fuel tank and an antenna from the Icarus lascannon.

Rivets & glyphs

After drilling all these rivet holes, it’s now time to add a whole bunch of pin needles to the chassis. In some cases, you can easily stick the whole needle into the tank, for smaller parts you’ll have to trim them down a bit. This might take some time (the tutorial tank has 114 rivets…), but is worth the effort. Sometimes it’s necessary to attach some rivets earlier, if your additional parts (like the engine) would get in the way. To complete the tank cut out some orky glyphs out of your cardboard leftovers and distribute them over the hull.

Finished Tank

After a fine amount of time, the tutorial tank is finally finished and ready to get painted. It’s more compact than the Duck of Doom and way smaller than the Grot Tank Kommanda. Indeed, the skorcha turret is exchangeable with the the duck’s grotzooka turret thanks to the magnets. I hope this tutorial gave you some insight in my building process and may even inspire cardboard conversion of your own (and make sure to show some pictures, if you do so^^). The tutorial will probably receive some fine tuning in the future, if you have questions or miss something in it, just tell me in the comments. 🙂

 

 

 
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Posted by on 19. January 2017 in Heralds of Ruin, Tutorial, Warhammer 40k

 

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The Duck of Doom

The Duck of Doom

To distract me from the diminishing time to this semester’s exams, I have painted my duck-looking Grot Tank tonight. The colour scheme is identical to the other two vehicles for my Grot Rebels kill team, but I’m still amazed by how the paint job totally covers up the models cardboard origins. 🙂

Now all my team’s vehicles are ready for the gaming table, but I’m nonetheless going to build another Grot Tank based on the kommanda’s template (although less oversized this time).

The third tank allows me to field a whole Grot Tank Squadron in regular 40k and I have been asked to make a tutorial for the kommanda, which will be fine content for the blog.^^

 
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Posted by on 9. January 2017 in Heralds of Ruin, Warhammer 40k

 

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Pretty fly for an unpainted guy?

Pretty fly for an unpainted guy?

While working on my low-budget 1850 pts. Chaos Space Marine army (one big Favoured of Chaos formation + two Cyclopia Cabal formations) I needed a Daemon Prince of Nurgle – but it had to be both cheap and of course not looking cheap. My bitzbox was extremely helpful (as always) and provided a head + wings from my Plague Drone conversions as well as leftover Helbrute legs from my Dark Castellax. Arms and torso front were acquired during a 50% bitzsale nearly for free.

The groin had to be removed in order to get the Helbrute legs closer together and then all plastic parts except the wings were glued together to get the pose and general shape right. Afterwards I closed the back with some cardboard and started to sculpt the back with milliput, dry-fitting the wings several times during the process. Now the model only needs some boils and minor details / cleanup with green stuff before it gets its shoulder pads.

Working time aside, the Daemon Prince came at price of 2,50€ for the parts from bitsbay.it and about 7,50€ for parts from earlier projects. And 10€ for a nice and individual Daemon Prince definitely fits into “low-budget”. 😀

 
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Posted by on 30. December 2016 in Warhammer 40k

 

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