Friday, November 12, 2010
The Low Price of High Armor
If you couldn't already tell, I enjoy converting models. While I often praise Games Workshop products, I cannot help but be drawn to the individuality offered by modifying and re-building their already interesting designs. The Leman Russ Battle Tank conversion I used in the picture above will be a suitable candidate for dissection. It incorporates a variety of bits, and achieves a unique look. Is it truly an expensive build?
By checking eBay, I have found a "buy it now" auction for a Leman Russ Battle Tank hull, for $5.99. I was also able to find a "buy it now" auction for Leman Russ Battle Tank sides, for $10.99. Lastly, the hull mounted weapons can be found here for $5.22.
Let's take a look at the turret. Here is a defiler turret for $3.80. The last piece needed, the defiler battle cannon, can be purchased from The War Store's "battlewagon bits" store, for $4.99.
For a total parts cost of $30.99, you can see that we have GW beat. Now of course, my multiple orders all involve shipping. Let's add that to the mix... for a shipping total of $14. That shipping total, is assuming the ebay sellers did not combine shipping, which many of the ebay shops do. Now, it is also worth mentioning that these "buy it now" options are truly only for the impatient. The items listed above can be found for standard auction, at around $2 or $3 each, provided you can snipe the auction, so with a bit of luck and perseverance, this conversion could cost you a substantially smaller amount of money. Regardless, we are going to base this build on the worst case scenario of "buy it now" and "non-combined shipping" settings.
This brings our grand total of the converted Leman Russ up to $44.99, compared to the GW new boxed price of $49.95, and that does not include GW's nefariously calculated shipping and tax rates.
Now granted, our ramshackle conversion does not come with all the bells and whistles: No transfer sheet, no sponson kits, no alternate weapons, no driver and also no instructions. However, I am sure most of us can live without the transfers and instructions. On top of that, in our case described here we already know exactly what model we are building, so the extra bits and optional weapons are not needed.
Now, correct me if I am wrong, but did I just make a fancy-pants conversion for less than the MSRP of the Games Workshop "official" product?
Yes, I hear you yelling already... "But I can get the GW official product from a discount online retailer like The War Store for ~ $45 with shipping!" Yes, you are correct. However, which one of these models has the "wow" factor, and what was the total price cost?
Not saying you guys all need to build this model. All I ask is that you keep this idea in mind the next time you want to work outside the box, or just want to make something that doesn't look like a joke. I am also not saying these retail options are the best possible solutions, either. I am just trying to show that creative freedom, really is free.
Which reminds me: Happy belated Veteran's Day, and to all who serve and have served in the past, thank you.