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Most miniatures games players start collecting when they are young students. One thing that the average student does not have is an unlimited budget. That was my setting of how I got into the Warhammer hobby at least. Anyway, sometimes a player must be creative in the formation of an army because of budget limitations, whatever the cause.
To achieve this it's best to buy a regiment box of basic troops. Quantity is the key here. The more miniatures you have, the more you can use to start converting. (For rookies in the hobby, converting means chopping up an existing miniature and rebuilding it to match its new purpose. It's the advanced version of kitbashing where you combine components of various sprues to build a unique miniature.)
In the past I have dedicated some of my blogposts to "building on a budget". In this blogpost I'll add some examples from my recent Ogre Kingdoms army.
I used the three out of four methods of converting miniatures: kitbash, mix 'n match and convert. The fourth option sculpting is too challenging for me. I'll skip that.
Assets: I have one Ogre Battalion box and one Stonehorn box.
Goal: I also want a Tyrant and Bruiser to lead my army, and I really like the background story of Hunters.
Extra: Some of my Rackham Confrontation miniatures are collecting dust for years. I'd like to give them a purpose in life.
Method 1 - Kitbash:
The Tyrant is the general of the army. So he has to stand out and look special. I took a menacing looking armoured head from the Ironguts sprue and combined it with the large belly armour from the command sprue. The eye-catching bit comes from the Stonehorn sprue in the form of a giant vulture on an arm covered with a pelt. The Tyrant looks more important by placing the miniaiture on an elevated base (made with treebark). Now his left arm was a problem. I wanted to place a giant blade in his hand but I could not find one on the sprues. So I took an armoured left fist from the Bulls sprue and combined it with a blade from one of the right hands.
Army Standard Bearer
I also used the kitbash method to make all Bulls as unique as possible by using heads from all sprues available. For the Bruiser I'll be using the biggest and baddest looking Irongut with an elevated base to indicate importance.
Method 2 - Mix 'n Match:
Butchers are miniatures with a specific look and feel: they're fat, covered in cleavered meat and clad in a butcher's outfit. It would be very hard, almosr impossible to kitbash one. Since I don't dare myself to sculpt a miniature, I find refuge in mixing and matching miniatures from different publishers. I bought several cheap boxes of WOW Burning Crusade at the SPIEL convention in Essen Germany. And there's the perfect miniature to use as a Butcher by simply placing a GW Ogre's head on top.
Method 3 - Converting:
A personal favorite of mine is the Ogre Hunter. The Stonehorn sprue provides various bits that are perfect for a hunting Ogre. I wanted to use the chain as a leash for a Sabretooth or other trained animal. Unfortunatelly I already used my metal Sabretooth miniatures in my High Elf Lions of Thrace regiment. Some spare Fenris Wolves were the next best choice. I had to use two different right arms to achieve the right angle for the chain to fit. The chain had to end at the neck of the Fenris Wolf in order to make it look like a hunfting pet. A simple saw did the trick.
Ogre Hunter WIP
Bonus - all three methods combined:
The Ogre cavalry usually uses Rhinoxes to ride into battle. I'll be using Brontopses as "counts as" miniatures. The Stonehorn box provided Ogre rider legs able to fix my metal beasts. Bits and pieces from various sprues were cut up and glued together to form three badass riders. While two of the metal beasts are exactly the same miniatures, by positioning them at a different angle on their base I was able to hide the fact that they're identical.
The amount of money I actually saved here (diregarding the cavalry) is equivalent to three character models: a Tyrant, a Butcher and a Hunter with two Sabretooths. Actually quite a sum when buying them from GW.