3D Kit Bashing – Some Things Never Change

Kit Bashing, the fine art of taking a pile of models or bits from other models to create something other than the designer originally intended. Think that pretty much sums it up neatly. It’s been around for a long time, probably longer than any of us can even imagine as I’m sure it can be applied to more than just models.

So you have a model and want to make it better, let’s say you bought a nice tank model, a Sherman. It’s missing all the bits and bobs like fuel tanks, jerry cans, ruck sacks, soldiers, netting, spare track bits, shovels, etc.. but over at the thrift store you picked up a Bulldog tank that was missing a bunch of parts but it did have several of the things you wanted to add to your Sherman. Same scale, same era, perfect match. That’s kit bashing in the most basic form and also tangible form… let’s take it and turn it virtual.

Recently I had a need for several models for Team Yankee that I just couldn’t find suitable models for. I scoured around and after I came up empty handed I decided to play around in Windows 3D Builder with a couple of vehicles I could find that were the basis for the vehicles I needed.

Vehicle number one was the M109 155mm Self Propelled Howitzer. There are a lot of models out there but they all lacked a lot of things and just didn’t look right. I did however find a really nice model from a fellow on Cults. And I must apologize, at the moment the site is slammed and down or I would add links to the model.

Anyhow, using his model of the M108 he had I simple replaced the main gun with the larger 155mm Howitzer, a quick and easy modification which turned out to work perfectly. The gun came from a free model I was able to find that just wouldn’t work no matter what I did so I had just about given up on it until I was watching some YouTube videos and came across Adam Savage talking about kit bashing in one of them and that led me down the rabbit hole. So here’s a pick of the M109 155mm Self Propelled Howitzer:

Once I get it printed it up and painted I’ll post some finished pics of it. But really right off the bat the only glaring issue is that the mount on the front glacis place that holds the gun while traveling is still sized for the smaller gun that originally came with the model. But at 1:100 scale, who care or will even really notice ??? Well everyone now because I just point it out.

So with that one under my belt I thought about another vehicle I was having problems finding a decent model of. The RCM 748 Tracked Rapier. I was able to find ONE model and it was so low poly and lacked any kind of detail that you might have been better off with legos. So I did some research and learned that the 748 is actually based on an American vehicle, the M548 cargo carrier which the British acquired as part of the lend/lease program we had going on with them at the time.

Now this one took some SERIOUS kit bashing in Windows 3D Builder because all I really needed was the tracks and a small section of the cab. That meant the rest of it had to be made from scratch. I needed to turn the picture on the left into something that looked like the picture on the right ( which was an actual RCM 748 that was auctioned off ):

Yeah, fair bit of work there… luckily I was able to just hack it up, use the primitives that come with Windows 3D Builder and some greeblies I had premade a while back for stuff like this and in the end, with the addition of Surface to Air Missiles…. I had a reasonable representation on an RCM 748.

Again, at 1:100 scale it looks great and the detail is just enough to make it a very plausible proxy until something better comes along or I decide to revamp this. I already had to make one small modification to the housings for the missiles because the bottom edges kept wanting to flare out when they cured, so I simple put another block across the bottom and that did the trick and also made the turret a bit more rugged.

So if you can’t find just what you need on the web, do a bit of research and get to kit bashing in order to make what you need. The cool thing about doing virtual kit bashing is that it’s a lot less messy and the wife doesn’t tend to get pissy about parts scattered all over the living room and stepping on bits of sprue that get shot across the room lol.

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