Now that the UK has entered “Lockdown 2: Electric Avenue, the infection rates are higher,” I am sure a lot of hobbyists, old and new, will be continuing to crack on with their fun filled projects! Be it a slimy and rotting Death Guard army for 40K or a proud light bathed Realm Lords force for AoS, there will be a lot of us building and painting units to play across all sorts of games when we can finally see one another safely again.
However, I would like to focus on the building part of the hobby today, a quick look into a slightly controversial subject in the Warhammer community and one I am actually kind of in defense of: ‘Push-Fit’ or ‘Easy to Build’ model kits.
The Easy to Build (ETB) line was first introduced alongside the Dark Imperium set for Warhammer 40K (The kits have come a long way from the push fit kits I remember in the early 1990’s – Matt), introducing ETB kits for Space Marine Aggressors and Redemptor Dreadnoughts; and Death Guard Blight-Haulers and Lord Felthius with this Blightlord Terminators. These kits were a nice set of boosters to the already stacked box of Dark Imperium and they did fairly well, this led on to more kits of the same variety launching shortly after with boxes of reinforcements for Death Guard, Space Marines, Nighthaunt, Stormcast, and even endless spells!
This was a large step forward for Games Workshop, introducing new ETB kits across multiple ranges was cheap, efficient and allowed easy access to the hobby for new players! However as more and more of these kits were pushed out the door and into the stores, hobbyist began to see a few annoying issues with them that causes this little divide in the community today.
These kits, being easy to build, were indeed easy enough to build, all the hobbyist needed to do was snip the parts off the sprue, clean them up a little and ‘push’ them together and pop them on the slotted bases. Now this sounds simple and honestly most of the time there really was not much of an issue, but there were some issue and they still remain to this day. Now instead of me just talking at you more I have divided a pro and con list for us to dive into together, so let’s take a gander:
Push-fit and gaps:
This is one of the largest and most frustrating issues to most hobbyists, ETB kits can leave large or at least noticeable gaps in the models. This is due to how the kits are designed, the reason no glue is needed as the have prongs on one side and small exact sized holes in the other, the goal is to just line these up and apply pressure until they snap in place and hold firm.
However, users have noticed that even with correct pressure, small air pockets can get trapped and will cause the models prong to be unable to complete the full length of the gap designed for it. This then causes gaps in the model that are noticeable and can hinder the hobbyist from painting said unit.
Mistakes can be hard to rectify:
For kits that are supposed to be for newer users they can be quite a pain if a mistake is made. These kits are designed to go in one way and one way only, so they are designed to not come apart once clicked together, this causes some issues when the hobbyist may need to make some adjustments to the model to make it fit better.
If the hobbyist has pushed those parts together a bit too far and notices a gap they would like to fix, its going to be a hell of a task getting those parts to come apart! This can cause damage to the model (trust me I know) and then may even cause the model to not fit back together properly again, they may also be unable to pull the parts apart.
Lack of customization options:
This is the biggest one and the one that a lot of hobbyists go to. Creativity is a big part of Warhammer and having kits that only go together one way can be very off putting to people, the parts are usually modeled to fit that kit and can be incredibly hard to use in conversions or other projects.
The ETB/Push Fit style of kit has been more popular for GW to use as of late and that has concerned some hobbyists, large kits that are ripe for customization such as the newer Slaves to Darkness Start collecting set and the big Indomitus set have been molded as ETB/Push Fit.
Quick assembly means quick play!
So, most of these kits are really quick to put together and most of the issues can be rectified by just snapping the prongs off the kit and going the good ol’ fashion stick with glue tactic! This means if you need to get some reinforcements assembled quickly, these kits will do fantastically!
Cheap and fantastic for new players!
Picking up these kits for new players is really what this range is all about, yes people are worried about ETB and push-fit taking over every range, but I really do not think this is going to happen, some kits will be way too detailed for this transition. These ETB and Push-fit sprues are aimed to help newer users get into the game faster so they seem to be orientated towards big starter kits like Indomitus, Soul Wars, and those reinforcement kits (such as the new Necron and Space Marine kits being ETB/Push-fit.) I feel that this is damn good for new hobbyists as one of the most daunting things for new users is the kit building and I feel this can really help with that.
I also feel it helps that key and useful units like the Blight-Hauler, Heavy Destroyers, Poxwalkers and the Dreadblade Harrows are ETB/Push-fit. This allows for you to pick them up and get them slotted together really quickly for those reinforcements to Soul Wars or Indomitus or even to build Nurgle swarms for your Death Guard.
The kits are just as gorgeous as ever!
Luckily for everyone GW didn’t make these kits any less beautifully crafted! There are plenty of ETB and Push-fit kits out there right now and I really cannot name a single one that looks poorly sculpted, they keep the quality with these kits just like they do the rest.
The kits also don’t look out of place and are not made to look obvious so blend in with armies perfectly!
It really is an even split on pro’s and con’s for me and push-fit/ ETB kits but I still lean more toward liking them, I really feel these are a step in the correct direction for newer players. Yes they can be difficult to work with but snip and sand those prongs off and glue them like normal and that helps!
My main issue really is the lack of customization but with the Indomitus kits giving us multiple gun options and allowing kits like the Skorpekh Destroyers be a bit more poseable, I think GW are heading in the right direction!
Let us know what you think of ETB/ Push-Fit kits! We would love to hear from you!
Keen readers of Jalen’s previous articles may have noticed him mention his desire to own one of the new Sons of Behemat Mega-Gargant. Having seen the model we can see why any keen hobbyist would want to own one, they really are gorgeous!
So, as a massive thank you to Jalen for doing articles for us we’ve sorted him out with one (we’re nice like that!). We’re really looking forward to seeing what he does with it, who know it may even be the subject of a future article.
Again many thanks Jalen, it means a lot to us that you’d use some of your free time to pull some great articles together for us 🙂 – Matt
Jalen Rose has been painting, playing and reading everything Warhammer over the last year. He plays Age of Sigmar with Nurgle and Seraphon and 40K with Necrons and Tyranids / Genestealer Cults.
Jalen loves giant monster units and is incredibly excited to paint the Mega Gargant he will eventually own! (Jalen may now need to update his bio 😉 – Matt)
Follow Jalen on Twitter here: @ChungusisHungus