Those of you familiar with my main painting log know that the vast majority of my models is over 15 year old. While I have plenty of models for most purposes, it does mean that for everything except new units, I tend to hit ebay instead of GW, since I like to keep a consistent look.

One of the biggest changes is probably the 'new' Rhino chassis. I didn't have a lot of tanks: one Land Raider, a couple of Whirlwinds for cityfight games and a pair of unassembled Razorbacks. So when I wanted to expand my armoury, I faced a choice: Get the new tanks, and have different models in my army, or pay ebay prices for the older models. I did have a look at the Forgeworld Deimos models, but since they use the new chassis as a base, the size difference would still be significant (not to mention that the costs would be astronomical)

In the end, two things clinched it for me:

First: I donít really like the variants of the new chassis. The Predatorís side sponsons look too fragile on the normal one, and too old-fashioned on the Deimos model. I donít like the new turret-style either (the angular thing for the Predators and the sentry-style for the Razorback).

Second: I really admire the old Rhino chassis. Itís simple to the extreme, but still looks pretty good, and despite being the first tank kit GW made, it served well for nearly 15 years, and like the STC it represents, it was flexible enough to be the basis for 11 alternative kits: 4 different Predator types, 2 Razorback kits, the Whirlwind, the Vindicator, the Immolator and the Chaos Rhino and Predator. Even after the new Rhino chassis was released, the old one was still available for a few years simply because of all the kits that used it.

So I decided to hit ebay. I wanted quite a few vehicles, so getting decent kits and models would be prohibitively expensive. In-box kits tend to go for twice the price of a new model, and well-painted/assembled ones aren't much cheaper. Luckily, there's a lot of gunk floating around, and sellers tend to toss these together in larger lots, costing about 10 bucks a tank. I got a few of these, and within a few weeks I had this lot lying around:

The two models back left are the original bases for my Whirlwinds. I replaced those with the chassis from the Razorback kits I mentioned earlier, since the dozer blades and extra armour are pretty pointless on an artillery tank. For the rest, you can see quality is all over the place. Some models seem to be assembled with wood-glue. One has soap-shavings covering it as some sort of flock. Most of 'em are falling apart (which is good for me). Paint-thickness is measured in milimeters in many cases, and is definitely not all GW paint (I'm pretty sure there's car-laquer on at least two of them). But then you pick up a Vindicator, and see freehand like this:

Counting the bits, I should have at least enough for 6 Predators, 3 Vindicators, 2 Razorbacks and enough Rhinos for my entire fourth company.

But that's still a long way off. My plan is to disassemble and strip everything as much as possible. I'll then draw up a spreadsheet to determine the parts I have and the (vital) parts I'm missing. I'll have to replace those through green stuff, plasticard or Ebay. Final step will be assembly and painting. On the way, i'll have to figure out what to do about vehicle upgrades.

First step was easiest: The metal bits. I took these all off and put them in acetone. A week later I had this:

Next step: stripping and cleaning the plastic. The first batch is in the Dettol now, and I'm hoping most of the previous owners used superglue instead of plastic cement.