In defence of second hand.

So, buying models second hand. I used to be someone who scoffed at second hand models. For me, the part of the hobby I enjoy the most is the creation. I love making the models, painting them, giving them names, etc. It makes it that much more personal, seeing the beloved Captain you spent days building and painting get instagibbed by a tervigon. Gets you right there.

I always thought that if you didn’t build the model yourself, you were somehow cheating. That the models wouldn’t quite turn out how you wanted them too, because you didn’t do all the hard work. And then, of course, I actually bought some second hand models.

For MUCH cheaper than brand new.

In my previous post, I’ve already said exactly how much cheaper, so I won’t go into it in much detail here. This post is about showing you exactly what a second hand model looks like, and comparing them to new models.

Now, I haven’t been doing this blog for very long, so I don’t have any progress pics just yet. I can show you some before and afters though. Below are three pictures of marines. One picture is of models I build from scratch and painted myself, the other is models I bought from the internet, stripped the paint off of and repainted.

This one?
Or these ones?


Which is second hand?

Guessed yet? Oh alright. It’s the apothecary. Could you tell? If so, how? Here’s some more. Remember this picture? Well, I stripped the Terminators in dettol, chopped off their arms, put new ones on, and:

The circled ones.
Good as new!
NOKIA Lumia 800_000254
Everything but the Chaplain here is second hand.
And after

Give it a try. To strip paint from a model,

  1. Buy a bottle of Dettol Disinfectant. It looks like this: 
  2. Pour it into a container of some sort, like a small lunchbox or takeaway tray. I recommend using something with a lid, because this stuff smells pretty bad.
  3. Place your unstripped models in the dettol, making sure they’re entirely submerged.
  4. Leave for a while. Try to leave it for a good 24 hours, though it might be less time.
  5. Using gloves, take out each model once at a time and give it a damn good scrub with an old, clean toothbrush. Make sure the toothbrush is totally dry. Mixing dettol, paint and cold water together creates a horrible gloopy paste thing that is very hard to shift.
  6. Once you’re certain the model is paint-free, rinse it in warm water until all the dettol is off.
  7. Wait for it to dry.
  8. Voila!

Easy as that.



4 thoughts on “In defence of second hand.

  1. I find second hand models can be a lot of fun, and occasionally offer some fun options that might not be otherwise available. Example? Old terminators, because they’re smaller, actually look just fine with new arms that lack the pauldrons (the new shoulders are bulkier, so they scale okay with smaller terminators). I built an entire squad of assault terminators using old termies and the leftover arms from a friend’s set. They only include 1 set of pauldrons, but they’re pretty much unnecessary on the old models.
    Plus, a really beat up model can look really cool, and I find its a lot harder to bring myself to scar a new model than an already thrashed one that cost a fraction of the price. Grin.


  2. I have had a lot of success buying lots of old models. Nearly 80% of my ork army is second hand. A few local gaming stores also host flea markets every few months were guys can bring out there old or unwanted models to sell in the store. I have been able to get some very good deals through these as well. The savings from buying some things second hand has allowed me to buy nicer models to use as center pieces for my armies.
    As a side note, I do not believe Dettol is available here in the United States, so I use simple green cleaner. Takes longer, usually on the order of weeks.


    1. I’ve heard that people stateside use Simple Green. There are probably benefits. Dettol is pretty pungent! My models stank of it for a few months afterwards, and some still do a bit.


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