What are Warhammer conversions! This post covers a bit about model and miniature conversions and what constitutes as a conversion or a kitbash! Both in Warhammer and as a general term used in model making.
Conversions and kitbashing or Kit-Bashing ( model bashing ) are common practices in the wargames industry, especially Warhammer.
If you want to jump to certain questions, feel free!
To convert something is to ‘change’ something from its original, state into something else. In the instance of converting Warhammer models. You are taking a Warhammer model and changing it from its original intended design.
In order to qualify as a ‘conversion’, it could be as simple as modifying a backpack on a W40K Space Marine. Changing a helmet, or sticking a cloak onto a model.
Converting models is not exclusive to Warhammer. You can ‘convert’ – change – any of your models or miniatures to constitute as a conversion.
What are Warhammer conversions?
If you were to search Google or CMON, you are likely to come across a range of inspiring conversions. Space Marines with cloaks look great. Chaos Space Maries with spikes are a staple and Pox Walkers offer a great opportunity for conversions too!
But what is a Warhammer conversion specifically?
A Warhammer conversion is this:
Take a pre-existing Warhammer model. You then change or modify that model in some way to become a unique miniature.
That is ultimately a ‘Warhammer conversion’, you take a pre-existing Warhammer miniature and change the model through sculpting, tweaking, swapping body parts etc into something else.
Could I illustrate what a Warhammer conversion might be?
With some of the job lots of Warhammer I have purchased on eBay – some of what comes through is pure gold! ( not literal gold ) One model that turned up in a batch came with a forehead gun! Shoulder pad gun! Guns strapped to each shin!
This dude meant business!
How he managed to aim with his shin cannon is a testament to this guys skills! We all need shin guns!
( If this conversion existed. The world – no, the W40K universe! Would be a richer place. )
It should be noted that Warhammer conversions require some basic rules if you intend to use them for games or competitions.
Miniature conversions are not exclusive to Warhammer or Games Workshop
It would be hard to deny that some of the best and most novel conversions come from Warhammer collectors. But the term ‘conversions’ is not exclusive to just W40K. Any game or miniature model kit that you purchase can technically become a conversion.
If I were to ask ‘what is a miniature conversion’ or model conversion the answer would be similar to that of ‘what is a Warhammer conversion’.
What is a ‘miniature’ conversion?
A miniature conversion is a model or a miniature that has been changed or modified from its original form. In the instance of an unarmed zombie, It could originally come with no weapons and one head.
In its converted or modified form, it could be equipped with a scythe and now have 2 heads. If you were to convert a battleship or a vehicle you could stick additional cannons or chimneys onto it and label that conversion too.
There are so many possibilities and ideas for miniature conversions. A good place to look for ideas would be Pinterest.
What does ‘Kitbashing’ or ‘kit bash’ mean? ( model making )
This is a term that is often used in Warhammer or Wargaming that is referring to the mixing and matching of bits and pieces from existing model kits to create an altogether unique model or to change the appearance of an existing model. You ‘bash kits’ ( put together ) a medley of pieces to make something else.
You will often see such examples of Space Marines being bashed together with different heads, shoulder pads and arms.
Kitbashing can add spice and diversity to your miniatures.
Warhammer kitbashing ( kit-bashing ) is a case of taking Warhammer model kit parts and mixing them with another model kit or kits parts to make an alternative miniature.
What are the differences between kitbashing and conversions?
The differences between a kitbash and miniature conversion can be marginal. In model making, kitbashing tends to be a case or swapping pre-existing components with alternative pre-existing components from different model kits.
With a miniature conversion, this tends to be a bit more focused a deliberate redesign or modification. Such as sculpting bespoke parts or adding removing parts to alter the appearance or function of the miniature.
As an example of a kitbash, this can be a case of swapping arms, torsos and legs with similar-sized arms, torso and legs from another similar sized kit.
- “Kit” = an informal way of referring to a model kit or set.
- “bash” = bashed or put together. Kit – Bash.
You take one item from model kit. And you swap it for another item in another model kit. Such as an arm for an arm!
A miniature conversion can refer to a miniature that has been deliberately altered, sculpted or changed to amend or create an altogether new design.
The person working on a miniature conversion may craft new limbs from scratch or create an altogether new model with green stuff.
There’s many possibilities and too numerous to list.
The blurred line of difference tends to be that kitbash ‘only’ involves swapping model components. A conversion, on the other hand, can involve kitbashing and more.
Such as sculpting or crafting new pieces from scratch. AFTER you have swapped a few bits and pieces – kitbashed!
Example of a miniature conversion
I would regard this as a miniature conversion myself, although some may say otherwise! ( thanks 😉 )
With this model, I used a few bits and pieces from my little bits box! After a short rummage, I pulled out some Space Marine legs. A random arm, a cleaver, a head and a breastplate.
The rest – the green stuff, was scratch built.
I wanted to create a Space Marine that had succumbed to the melee death from Pox Walkers. The body, back and arm were put together with a combination of green stuff, wires and small ball bearings. The 2 mm ball bearing were great for creating lumps and bumps in the flesh.
Approximately 40% / 50% of its mass was put together with greenstuff. Some of which had already gone hard and was used for bulking the body.
Sculpting miniatures is an art form in itself! This was my first attempt at trying my hand at Green Stuff to show!.
To see what some people can really do with GreenSstuff, You should take a look at how Burrows and Badgers sculpt their miniatures!
Miniature and model conversion inspiration
Armed with the knowledge of what a kitbash is vs a conversion some of the best ways of educating yourself is by seeing and doing!
Search the internet for some examples.
There is a wealth of excellent miniature modifications out there. From reformed Pox Walkers to Space Marines with a cloak!
There is a lot to choose from.
Some places where to take a look:
- Convert or Die
- Google Images
Conclusion | What are Warhammer conversions?
As the final and conclusive answer to what a Warhammer conversion is. A Warhammer conversion is when you take a Warhammer model and change or modify it from its original design. This could be by sculpting green stuff onto the body, removing parts, adding parts and much more.
This has already been covered but that is the takeaway!
Kitbashing Warhammer miniatures specifically is mix and matching different kits to create a different or a unique model. E.g swapping limbs or helmets for example.
There is a wealth of conversions out there today that is enough to inspire any Warhammer or miniature collector.
After feeling motivated by what I have seen online. I tried my hand a bit of miniature sculpting and model conversion.
But more on that later!
Why convert your miniatures?
There are many reasons as to why you would want to convert or change your miniatures, be it Warhammer or any other Wargaming Table Top Game.
As hobbyists, crafters and artists, we generally look for ways of putting our own stamps on things. And that can also include your miniatures too. There is a sense of satisfaction in knowing that your Space Marine is just a tiny bit more different to your friend’s army.
It also encourages some of our own creativity and can be a way into teaching yourself how to use Green Stuff and sculpting tools.
A great example of some miniatures you may wish to convert is Pox Walkers. If you have dozens of these you may grow pretty tired of painting these by number 20!
So one not change them up!
It’s down to you.
Why convert miniatures?
Because the craft is part of the hobby, and that includes making your own unique miniatures too.
Helpful topics around miniature conversions and kitbashing
- Where to get Warhammer job lots ( for kitbashing )
- How do you strip paint from plastic miniatures? ( UK )
- How to make a fan game a bit like Hero Quest
- Example of miniature scales in HeroQuest
- Miniature Scales in Space Crusade
- Is recasting miniatures illegal in the UK?
- How to get your miniatures mass-produced?
Thank you for reading what are Warhammer conversions. Dragon Bone Games