Salvaging old minis – Trash into treasure

By: Kitbasha Jay

Two weeks ago on the blog we talked about getting friends into the game. I talked about an old friend of mine that has been a buddy for decades now. Him and I became friends in high school because of our involvement in 40k. We later became great friends and have been friends for the majority of our lives now.

I went to his wedding a couple weeks ago and we got a chance to hang out for quite a while before the wedding. He had mentioned to me how he wanted to get back into the game. Specifically, he wanted to start a Chaos Space Marine army.

Having been out of the game for about a decade now he no longer has any miniatures to get started with. At this point in my hobby career I have so many miniatures it’s ridiculous. I told him I would try and scrounge up an army for him. So I pulled out a bunch of old boxes of stuff I wasn’t using in an attempt to assemble a starter army that could be somewhat competitive in the new rules.

Just to get off on a tangent for a second, I have always been a kitbasher. Hence my nick name. Quite often I see people give up on an army because it was their first army, or they got it second hand and are so disappointed with the paint jobs, so they scrap it. In my opinion no miniature is unsalvageable.

In fact my entire Nurgle Renegades and Heretics army is composed of either miniatures that were “beyond saving” or stuff that I scratch built. It breaks my heart when miniatures get scrapped or go unused for long periods of time. I have always prided myself on being able to take “crap” miniatures that people just don’t want anymore and turn them into something usable.

I have quite a few boxes of miniatures that have been passed through many hands or painted over multiple times and are just so old that they are not ideal for my current armies. But I keep them anyway so that I can either use them for random bits if I need pieces for conversions. Or for instances like this where someone expresses an interest in the game and doesn’t want to spend a lot of money to get started.

Boxes of old crap

It’s amazing sometimes when you pull out a box of “junk” like this and start giving retired miniatures a little TLC. In a manner of a few hours I was able to scrounge up a pretty awesome 1000 point list for my friend. Sometimes we think we can’t use models because of the fact that they are in such bad condition. But I want to reinforce the fact that nothing is useless or unsalvageable. With the help of some random bits and a little cutting and gluing I turned the boxes you see above into the army you see below.

1000 Pts of Black Legion

Just so you know what you’re looking at, this is the list I’ve constructed from the boxes of random junk I had lying around.

Black Legion Army
Power Level: 47
Points Total: 1000

Patrol Detachment – Black Legion Trait

HQ Chaos Lord – Power Maul, Plasma Pistol, Frag and Krak Grenades.
Power Level: 5
Points Cost: 85

TR 10 Chaos Marines – Boltgun, Bolt Pistol, Frag and Krak Grenades. 1 has Plasma Gun, 1 has Lascannon, 1 Icon of Vengeance, Champion has Power Axe.
Power Level: 9
Points Cost: 183

TR 10 Chaos Marines – Boltgun, Bolt Pistol, Frag and Krak Grenades. 1 has Plasma Gun, 1 has Lascannon, 1 Icon of Vengeance, Champion has Power Axe.
Power Level: 9
Points Cost: 183

EL 20 Khorne Berserkers – Chainaxe, Bolt Pistol, Frag and Krak Grenades, 2 have Plasm Pistol, 1 has Icon of Wrath, Champion has Power Axe.
Power Level: 17
Points Cost: 369

HS 5 Havocs – Boltgun, Bolt Pistol, Frag and Krak Grenades, 4 have Missile Launchers, Champion has Combi-plasma.
Power Level: 7
Points Cost: 180

I was actually a little amazed myself that I was able to create such an efficient army out of random stuff that was practically junk. It’s amazing what you can do when you love this game and don’t want to see models go to waste. Once again, these are models I was never probably going to use for anything. Now they will make my friend a great starter army that he can expand on very easily.

I’m interested to hear if anyone out there has acquired used miniatures that with a little love have turned out better than one could hope. I want to hear your stories. Also I’d be interested in hearing some opinions on the list I’ve created with this “junk”.

Leave a comment here on the blog, on the Facebook page or email me at

Until our next Encounter!

One thought on “Salvaging old minis – Trash into treasure

  1. I think used is 100% the way to go for a new player to get the base of their army. 10 tac marines brand new is upwards of $50, but 10 used is only about $10. A little simple green and a brush and you’ve got them basically back to New anyways. 40k is not a cheap hobby, buying most of your infantry used allows you to spend a little more on your tanks, vehicles, etc and deck them out the way you want them. Going back to the tac marines brand new, $50 for those, $20 to get a couple brushes to paint them properly, $20 in paint (on the low end), $10 in glue. You’re $100 to put less than 200 points on the table. Save money where you can, every chance you can. I started the “core” of my army by buying about 2000pts used, and that was less than a couple hundred bucks.

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