Howdy everyone! Severus here and today I want to talk about magnets! I love them and use them on everything. Infantry, monstrous creatures, vehicles, flyers, bikes, you name it, I can magnetize it (and probably have). I use them for all kinds of purposes, but the most common is to allow a particular model the option to switch armament. Today I wanted to give you guys a tutorial on the common techniques I use when magnetizing models.
In my experience, the easiest thing to magnetize is a vehicle. Of those the landraider is a great example. It can have 3 different weapon options and uses several different methods to get all those parts on there. I just so happen to have picked up a use redeemer/crusaider this weekend and thought it would be a great chance to make a demo of it.
In terms of supplies, this is what you will probably need on hand. Obviously magnets, I used 1/8th inch diameter disc magnets. You can get them online pretty cheap. I usually have a hand drill with a small drill bit to make pilot holes and a large drill bit that is the size of the magnet (in this case 1/8th inch). For this particular project, I like to use picture hangers to make braces (you only need 4) as well as some side cutters to work them. I also use a hobby knife to help clean up holes and place magnets (I use a scaple). Super glue is great for fixing things in place, I also use an accelerator (zip kicker).
In terms of a drill, a lot of guys like dremel’s. I am a bit more utilitarian, so I use my trusty power drill. If you go that route, I have a tip for you. Hold the drill still on a table and manipulate the piece you are drilling with the other hand. Just be careful that you don’t drill your own fingers. Plus large drills like this can have a lot of power, be careful!
In terms of the landraider, assemble it into the above components. Iron Hand doors are optional. We are going to magnetize the weapon options to be interchangeable on the sponson and the sponson to the chassis. I like the have the sponson removable for 2 reasons. First, because my KR foam is designed for landrainders without sponsons. The second is when a weapon is destroyed, I can remove it from the model. Helps me remember.
These pieces hold a magnet nicely! Now we just need to mount them in the landraider.
I leaved a magnet on the metal piece and place it in the landraider (just place the magnets on the metal parts, don’t glue them, they are only space holders). I then dry fit the sponson on to make sure the metal piece is at the right depth. You can mark the edge with a marker to so you know where to glue it.
I then put a drop of glue in each hole. I use the hobby knife to slide the magnets into the hole. Polarity of the magnets is not important, they will be sticking to the metal brackets, not other magnets. Then I use some accelerator to fix them in place.
Drill a small pilot hole with the hand drill. It doesn’t have to be all the way through. Just enough to guide the 1/8th drill bit as it gets started. The 1/8th inch hole goes completely through the support as shown above.
Next up, drill all the components. This is an easy step, most of the parts already have a whole that is close to the right size for our magnets. Use the 1/8th inch drill bit to widen them enough to fit a magnet.
Organize the components into right and left sponsons. This is the point where we need to make sure we get the polarity correct. I put a small stack of magnets on each side of the center support. It is important to get outside magnets on outside parts and inside on inside. Mess this part up and it is a lot of work to get fixed.
That about wraps up this tutorial. Like I said before, vehicles are great things to start working with. Large models mean larger magnets. Larger magnets mean larger tools, so the job is a bit easier. Infantry and monstrous creatures can be a bit trickier. Regardless, if you take your time and put in the effort, you can really get some cool things done. Until next time, this is Severus saying have a good one and take it easy!