I like 40k’s modelling aspect. There’s something incredibly rewarding about putting together an amazing looking tanks or commander. On the flip side, it’s expensive. The current going rate for a Force Commander is $20, while the price of a Space Marine Tactical Squad is $37.25. Multiply the squad’s price by two and factor in taxes and possibly shipping, and you’ve spent $100 on just the core army. And that doesn’t include the cost of tools, paint and the codex.
Needless to say, these costs can be restrictive for some younger players who want to break in but are slowed down by waiting on their allowance. But do not fear, for here’s are five ideas to help you save some money in building your army, as well as links to guides to help you out if you don’t know how.
1. Use eBay
Buying from hobby stores is not the cheapest option. Very often, I’ve found that I could buy troop sets for well near $10 less on eBay. Shop around, check back regularly. If you find a seller you trust, look them up regularly. Don’t be afraid to ‘buy now’ if you see a bargain.
It’s also cheaper to buy just the part than a whole new model just to get that one option you want. Say you want to create a Space Marine Sergeant with a power sword and have most of the parts except the sword itself. Well, if someone has assembled a Force Commander and didn’t need the Power sword, putting it on sale on eBay can make both people happier.
A word of caution though. Think twice before buying any already painted models, because they’re either over priced, aren’t the army you want or can be poor quality.
2. Save your Bitz
Usually by the time you finish building a basic troop choice, you have tons of left over weapons and arms and maybe some heads. Believe it or not, some sellers on eBay sell only the missing parts. Bases, bodies and legs (and possibly backpacks) would be all you need to use up your bitz and bolster your army’s numbers or give you special weapon options. As of this writing, I see 10 Space Marine torsos (both front and back) on sale for $1.
It also pays to keep bitz around for repairs to existing models, or for making special models that may would as stand-ins for other models. For example, the Imperial Guard Basilisk and Leman Russ both come with components to assemble a makeshift Master of Ordinance character if you can get a spare base. Or whatever else your imagination allows for.
3. Use Spray Cans
When assembling a massive army you can either painstakingly slather Chaos Black paint all over each individual model for its base coat. And you do that while telling yourself that it is worth the lost time and several pots of paint. Or, you could use some Chaos Black Spray.
The price is currently $15.75 but shop around and you could probably find it cheaper. But the real joy is that hours that would otherwise be lost putting a thick coat of paint on dozens (if not hundreds) models are reduced to about 15 minutes and a nice, incredibly thin coat that preserves details. And this may save on buying several pots of Chaos Black, usually leaving you with plenty to use again later.
4. Buddy up with your Hobby Store
I stopped going to my first hobby store after I got tired of the poor manners of the staff. Not long after I find out about a new hobby store, one that was way better and the staff were nice guys. One day, I walk in and I get frustrated I can’t seem to find much 40k stuff there. “Hey,” I ask the manager I sometimes chat it up with, “What happened to the Chaos Marine stuff?”
“Oh,” he says, looking a bit guilty, “You missed the spring sale. Guys were lining up out the door to buy 40k stuff.”
Yes, my friends. Hobby stores indeed do sales. Keep your ear to the ground and find out when they occur. And then stock up a bit. It’s not like models decay with time or anything.
5. Buy your own Tools
Oh sure, I’m certain that the Games Workshop paint brush set and tools are fine quality. But then again, it’s just a paint brush. Let’s face it. For the same price as buying a single brush, you could probably get five at a local hobby store. Games Workshop does not have a monopoly on the high quality paint brush business, either.
So keep on modelling guys. And uh, I don’t mean the Zoolander kind of modelling…