Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A Galaxy in Flames Tutorial: How to Magnetise Models

Gday Guys,

This post will be the first in our "How To" series discussing various techniques we use for our hobby. We will be getting into magnetising this week - a very useful skill that not only lets you have multiple weapons options for one model, but also saves you having to paint 3 or 4 models just to get the right weapons options available to remain competitive during gaming.

Magnetising is something that is really easy to do but is seldom used by the majority of gamers mainly from a lack of knowledge or skill, but as we will discuss this can be really easy to do and once you do it a few times you can master this really quickly, particularly with resin.

Tools and items you will need are:

  • A sharp hobby knife;
  • 3mm x 1.5mm rare earth magnets (or best size for your job);
  • 3mm, 2.5mm, 2mm and .75mm drill bits (or equivalent);
  • Super glue; and
  • Your model

To start, identify what parts you wish to magnetise and mark the centre of where you want your hole with the tip of the hobby knife. Not only does this give you a reference point for drilling, but it also guides the tip of the drill bit and stops it from slipping out of position. Then drill out your hole to a rough depth (not really critical at this stage) like so:

This serves as a pilot hole to guide the larger drill bits through. On resin, you can go straight to your needed size for magnets - plastic on the other hand is not as brittle and will grip and tear the model. Use your drill bits in ascending size to slowly drill out the hole bigger and bigger.

Once this has been done, grab your model's arms and gently remove any knobs or posts that may be there. Then use the same technique as above to drill out the hole for your magnet.

This is where you will have to check depth on both your holes. If you stick your magnet in now, odds are it will get stuck and you will have to damage parts of the model to get it out. You can do a quick depth gauge check by either putting the magnets next to the whole and estimating the depth, or you can get your drill bit and mark how deep it is with a fine tip permanent marker.

Don't forget to allow for the tip of the drill as that will sink deeper than the magnet will go. If your doing alot of magnets you can mark out your final drill bit with the appropriate depth so you don't have to check every time.

Give both the holes a quick clean up to remove excess flash with your hobby knife to allow a smooth fit of the magnet.

Holes drilled: Check!

Place the magnet on the end of your largest drill bit. Run a small bead of super glue around the rim of the magnet and a small dab on the top. Then slowly press the magnet into the first hole. Once you have gone part of the way in, offset your drill bit slightly so if the hole is too deep, the magnet will not go miles into the model - it will stop at the drill bit.

One magnet done!

This is where we check the polarity of the opposing magnet to make sure it will attract to the model instead of repel. Take your next magnet and place it on top of your largest drill bit just like before. Make sure it REPELS. You read right, repels. If it attracts then flip it over on the drill bit and try it again. Once you have it repelling, leave it on the drill bit and run a thin bead of glue around the edge of the magnet, and place it into the arm using the same method as before.

The reason why you make sure the magnets oppose is because the opposite side will attract, and that is the side that is on your drill bit. The drill bit mounts the magnet repelling side down, leaving the attracting side exposed.

You should now have a fully magnetised side to your model. Go ahead, try it!

Once you have done one side, you can do the other. If you are like me, keep the polarity the same for both arms on the model. You can now mount the shoulder pads of the model once you have the pose and position of the arm right. This will be particularly import with Cataphractii Terminator armour.

You can then go onto the rest of your models you want multiple weapons options for. Make sure you use the same polarity for all the models, that way you can use arms for any model you want, not just the one they were made for. This will have some limitations with Cataphractii armour due to the shoulder pad placements, but it is always nice to leave yourself multiple weapons options for all your minis.

Well I hope you enjoyed this first post in the "How To" series. Did you find it useful? Or was it confusing and I have now trashed your army? Please let me know in the comments!



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