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So the black guard models are kinda pricy. Does anyone use other models in place of them? If you do, can you post some pics?
I use the BG models myself, but I play with people who use the 5th edition Execs as their BG. Can usually find good deals on them since they are outdated,
I dont know how good it will look, but you could use Spearmen, and buy the Warriors of chaos Halberd bitz from the website. it may involve some conversion on the hands but you get 10 Halberds for £7, and then 16 Spearmen for £18.
For £25 you will end up with 10 BG (12 if you have musician and Banner who dont need Halberds if you dont want them to) and the left over 6 models you can always make into crossbowmen.
Black guard really aren't that pricey for metal, try getting some official dark riders... 5 will set you back 60 US. Or some harpies, a unit of 6 costs 60 as well. Since most of the time you probably shouldn't go over 15 models (I usually use just 14) 1 command box and 2 regular boxes should be enough to get your unit. Sure it sets you back 70 bucks, but if you wanted a cheap army to play, DE isn't it with most of the units being metal.
If that isn't an option, I guess you can try using the empire halberds, on warrior bodies. Don't know how you can get some of them cheaply, and I'm not sure how well it would work either.
I have a friend who never pays retail for any GW stuff. He spends a lot of time scouring Ebay, Kijijii...and various other sites with local classified adds. It's not the best way to get stuff, but it really works for him. Another idea is to just go look around various hobby stores in your area. I know that my local store had like 3 of the old Black guard blisters....they used to come in packs of 3 for 15 dollars...and they are the exact same models, so if you're lucky enough to find a store with some older products it's worth it. Last weekend i ended up getting 6 witch elves for 20 bucks. I found an old blister pack with 3 for 12 dollars...and the shop owner had 3 more used models for sale...all i have to do is strip the paint off the old models and I'm good to go.