Warhammer 40,000 (commonly known as 40K) is one of the most enduring tabletop war-games in the world, each player must be the commander of an army and plan attacks, strategy and defence in order to lead his miniature side to victory.
With detailed rules, backstories and factions, Warhammer can be a daunting place to begin collecting. With the help of this guide you will be able to identify the items right for you on eBay, the perfect place to start your Warhammer 40000 collection with its extensive range of figurines available at all price ranges.
Why Collect Warhammer Figurines?
In the world of tabletop games, Warhammer is particularly notable for its scope, setting and design, with the game figurines being a particularly notable part of its appeal. The figurines are collected by both Warhammer enthusiasts and model aficionados, with some out-of-production or limited edition figurines becoming very valuable in their own right.
How to Begin Collecting
When looking to begin, the buyer must consider why they are considering collecting the figurines. A buyer who wishes to collect figurines to begin playing Warhammer will have different requirements from a buyer collecting figurines for their speculation value.
In either case, eBay is an excellent place to buy figurines, with figurines for either type of collector available at affordable rates. Many would-be Warhammer enthusiasts avoid collecting because of the initial start-up cost, with a set of figurines, a rulebook and some optional scenery quickly running to quite a large total. And as tabletop gaming is something of a niche market there are no generic alternatives.
If collecting figurines for their value, the important aspects to focus on will be:
- Check for original, unopened packaging –the picture provided by the seller should show this, but if not ask for confirmation.
- Keep the item inside the box, as value decreases once opened.
- Rare figurines are more valuable and sought-after. These figurines are frequently from special runs and promotion events, the best place to check a figurines value would be on Warhammer 40K forums, or on the manufacturer’s website.
Collecting Figurines to Play Warhammer 40K
To those wishing to play Warhammer, even beginning to collect can be a very complicated issue. With the various ‘factions’ of the game, backstories and different rules for each deciding where to begin can be tricky without guidance. Buying figurines on eBay is an ideal and affordable way to start, with figurines and accompanying items available at far more reasonable prices than in brick and mortar stores.
Space Marines – Superhuman warriors, they rely on strength in small numbers.
- Advantages: An easy army to learn to play on, and more affordable than other armies.
- Disadvantages: A small army, and not as powerful in-game as others.
Imperial Guard – A huge organisation of soldiers and tanks defending mankind.
- Advantages: Powerful.
- Disadvantages: A large army (and therefore the price of buying figurines can add up).
Eldar – Relying on speed and superior technology, they fight mercilessly quick battles.
- Advantages: With varied models and intricate designs, these figurines are good for painters.
- Disadvantages: The army can be expensive, as there are some metal figurines. Also difficult for beginners to play.
Orks – Brutal and legion, a war of attrition is a frequent tactic among players.
- Advantages: This army is easy to learn to play, as they are forgiving tactically.
- Disadvantages: An expensive army to build, as a large army needed to play.
Tau Empire – Technologically sophisticated, they prefer to fight from afar.
- Advantages: An easy army for beginners to learn, and moderately priced.
- Disadvantages: Poor in close combat, and can be tricky for a beginner to learn to play.
Tyranids – Monstrous alien horrors, they have quickly varied tactics and attacks to overwhelm opponents.
- Advantages: Powerful and easy to vary tactics.
- Disadvantages: This army can be expensive because of the way they are packaged.
Necrons – Relentless and unstoppable, their ability to return from the dead makes them dangerous opponents.
- Advantages: This army is simple to learn and inexpensive to buy.
- Disadvantages: It is a small army, so tactics are an important part of play.
Dark Eldar – Corrupted Eldar, a quick army with high initiative.
- Advantages: A powerful army, favoured by experienced players.
- Disadvantages: A difficult army to learn to play, disadvantage low armour.
Chaos Space Marines – Once great defenders of mankind, they are now intent of destruction.
- Advantages: Very flexible and cheaper than other armies, and easy to learn on.
- Disadvantages: Not as powerful as some of the more advanced armies.
Daemonhunters – Knights and inquisitors fighting the endless battle against demons.
- Advantages: Very powerful, with a huge range of abilities.
- Disadvantages: Hard for a beginner to learn on and the army can be expensive due to metal figurines.
Witch Hunters – With unflinching loyalty they combat heresy and corruption.
- Advantages: Powerful at close range, and with a diverse range of skills.
- Disadvantages: An expensive army due to the metal models and difficult to learn.
Which army would be ideal is purely up to the buyer, and the manufacturer recommends choosing an army based on what visually appeals. Pictures provided with descriptions on eBay should help the buyers make a decision, however it is always a good idea to look on manufacturer’s sites and forums for ideas.
Making Warhammer 40K Figurines
If the buyer would prefer a brand new set to begin with, models come unpainted on sprues. These unused models will be more expensive than a used model but they allow for self-customisation as the buyer wishes. Models can be painted as the buyer requires and this aspect is part of the huge appeal of Warhammer 40K, with armies being identifiable by their colour scheme.
Used figurines will likely be painted and may have parts missing and slightly damaged but they will be inexpensive compared to new sets on sprues. This is possibly an ideal way to learn to play Warhammer 40K, as more affordable figurines can be used as a learning tool while the buyer decides what army would suit them best.
Warhammer 40K Figurines come in two main types:
- Snap-Fit – the figurines can be clipped together, glue optional.
- Glue – each part of the figurine must be glued.
Snap-Fit figurines are easier to put together than figurines that require glue, though which is preferable depends upon the buyer.
Buyers should consider whether they are collecting figurines for gaming or painting when they are looking at items, as what might appeal to them as painters may not be the ideal army for them as gamers.
Warhammer 40K Sets
A Warhammer 40K set is an easy way to get started with a beginner collection, as they generally include 1 or 2 small armies, a rule book, a guide and sometimes glue and paint. Whether collection for figurines or to begin play, the sets include a little bit of everything to start out with.
They are available at a much more affordable price on eBay compared to brick and mortar stores.
Accompanying Items for Warhammer 40K
Apart from the army figurines, there are a huge amount of accompanying items for Warhammer 40K, some that are necessary for play and some that are purely for aesthetic purposes. These include:
- Warhammer 40K rulebook – included in all beginner sets, and available at an affordable price on eBay, this book is necessary to play a game of Warhammer.
- Scenery – available individually on in big sets, scenery helps to set the ‘mood’ of the game.
- Getting started guide – available as part of a beginner set, this guide is not necessary to play but describes the world of Warhammer 40K, as well as how to set up and play a game.
- Paints – the figurines is nearly all cases come unpainted, allowing for the buyer to customise their army.
- Glue – necessary for many of the figurines, unless they are snap-fit.
When looking at items on eBay the buyer should consider:
- How much am I willing to spend?
- Which models do I like.
- Do I want Used or New figurines?
- Do I need accompanying items?
Deciding the more important questions – e.g. price – will decide which figurines to buy and in which price range they will come.
Buying Warhammer 40K Figurines on eBay
eBay has a wide range of Warhammer 40K merchandise at a far more competitive price than brick and mortar stores, and with a variety of new, used, unpainted and on sprues figurines available it is a great place to start off a Warhammer 40K Collection.
Figurines can be found in a variety of ways, and eBay offers very specific options to help buyers with their search. If the buyer has chosen an army they want to collect already, preferences can be narrowed by:
- Type (e.g. figurines, paint, glue, etc).
When looking at items, it is best to check:
- What is being offered – as many sellers may be selling figurines on sprues, but will use pictures of completed figurines to show what is being sold.
- If a set or bundle is being sold, check that all items are accounted for.
- Feel free to check the price against that of the manufacturer, to ensure a fair deal.
- Review the seller and their rating, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Many sellers are knowledgeable about their subject, and will be happy to help a new collector with questions.
- Look for local sellers – Warhammer 40K is a global franchise, and finding a local seller will keep costs low, and shipping quicker.
- Warhammer 40K is a great environment to collect figurines in, whether the buyer is drawn by the figurines themselves or the world the game is set in. Choosing the right figurines means deciding on a budget, the condition and state of figurines wanted, whether wanting collect completed figurines or build and paint them from the start.
- With this guide the buyer will be able to identify what they are looking for in Warhammer 40K, and start off their collection without breaking the bank.
- Finding figurines from any army is easy on eBay, where the sellers will be happy to help with any queries and sell at competitive rates. When using eBay, be aware of security benefits of paying with PayPal (including eBay Buyer Protection) and remember not to be afraid to ask the sellers questions.