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What is Kitbashing?

What is Kitbashing? 02:06
Kitbashing is associated with model making. It is composed of the words “Kit” and “Bashing”. “Kit” refers to “model kit”. So, when a model maker is “kitbashing”, he blends parts from different model kits. Similar to a collage. The model maker combines several individual models into an entirely new model.
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Model kit of a Boeing 737-800 airplane
Bill Abbott / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0 Model kit of the aircraft “Boeing 737-800”

Kitbashing in Star Wars

The most famous application of kitbashing is found in Star Wars—specifically the first three installments of the movie series—produced in the 70s and 80s. At that time, the use of computers in film production was not as advanced as today. All spaceships were handmade by model makers on the film set. They combined elements from different plastic model kits. Thus, they used the “kitbashing” technique. For that reason, it was possible that the exhaust pipe from a German WWII tank model could be repurposed on the outside of a Star Wars spaceship.

Model spaceship made unisg
Bill Abbott / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0 Model spaceship created with kitbashing

Digital Kitbashing and 3D Printing

With the advent of 3D modeling and 3D printing, kitbashing has experienced a renaissance. Instead of combining plastic model kits to create new models, today, people combine multiple parts of 3D models to create something new. They download various 3D models from the internet, from 3Dmodel databases and combine them to design completely new 3D models. The finished 3D model can then be printed on a 3D printer.

Where Do You Find 3D Models for Digital Kitbashing?

The 3D models for kitbashing can be found in 3D-model databases. There are both fee-based and free model databases.

Free 3D-Model Databases

Paid 3D-Model Databases

Model kit of the Westland Whirwind airplane
David Ackerman / Flickr CC BY 2.0 A model airplane kit of “Westland Whirlwind”

What Software Can Be Used for Digital Kitbashing?

For digital “kitbashing”, it is best to use 3D software to combine multiple 3D models into a new one.
It is often necessary to update the topology of the 3D models, which means updating the geometry of the 3D models by “remeshing”. These two programs are particularly well suited for this:


It is very time-consuming to create an entirely new 3D model from scratch. Therefore, it can be helpful to compile a library of 3D models to create new ones from existing 3D models. This digital “kitbashing” is becoming more and more popular. The finished 3D model can then be 3D printed and painted.

Do you need help creating a 3D model using kitbashing?

Holocreators offers professional 3D-scanning and reverse engineering services. But we also offer 3Dmodeling and CAD design. We are happy to help you with the creation of a 3D model using kitbashing. Feel free to get in touch with us. Give us a call at +49 40 481133 or send an email

Swann has been enthusiastic about everything 3D for many years. His roots lie in analog holography, which brought him to digital 3D-modeling in 2011.

The rapid progress of various 3D-scanning techniques fascinated himso much thathe founded Holocreators together with his brother Miro Rack in 2015.

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