Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Magnetizing Bases

While working on my Space hulk Terminators, I'm magnetizing their feet so they can be placed on round bases for use in games of 40K. I touched on this briefly in my post about Brother Noctis, but I figured I'd show the process in more detail.

Since every model's feet are space differently, you'll need to make some adjustments when drilling the holes. Ideally, you want to have the magnets in the base set in two of the existing peg holes. If that's not possible, then use one of the holes and an open area. Check the fit on the bottom of the base to see which holes best match with the model's feet.



The rare earth magnets are 1/8-inch in diameter, so use a similarly sized drill bit to drill out the holes. Start by putting a hole in the model's foot and one in the base, through the peg hole.


To put the magnet into the model's foot, apply a dot of super glue to the top magnet in a stack. Press the magnet into the hole, leaving about 1/16 inch protruding.



Hold the magnet in place until the glue sets, then pull the rest of the magnet stack away. I find this method easier than trying to use tools or my fingers to hold the magnet; fingers are too fumbly and the magnet sticks to metal tools.


Drill out the other hole in the base.


To line up the spot to drill in the other foot, place the model on the base with its magnet in the first hole, and position the second foot over the other hole.


Then drill up into the foot through the bottom of the base. If it's difficult to hold the model steady, add a tiny dab of super glue to the feet. Use just enough to hold it in place and allow you to pop it apart when you are finished.


Now you have two perfectly positioned holes in the base and in the model's feet.


Glue the second magnet into the other foot. Then, add your basing material to the base, taking care to keep the holes clear.


To attach the magnets in the base, put them on the model's feet.



Then, stand the model on the base, with the magnets in the holes. Even with the thickness of the sand, the magnets will be at the proper depth to make contact with the model.  This method also ensures you won't accidentally glue them with the magnetic poles the wrong way around.


Add some super glue from underneath.


Then fill the holes with some ballast (sand) to give the magnets more surface area to adhere to and prevent them from sliding down.


Once the glue holds on the sand and magnets, pop the model free.



And there you have it– perfectly positioned magnets for interchangeable bases.


'Til next time!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Skaven Stormfiends: Armoring Up

My plans for the Stormfiends are progressing nicely. This week I'll show you how I converted the warpstone-laced armor to make four models equipped with the melee options.


First off, I need to cover the patches torn skin and fur that the newest rat ogres all have. A little putty sculpted with fur texture takes care of that.


Last week, I discussed swapping the arms from the rattling-gun pose and the warpfire thrower pose. The bits of arm cut from the latter pose get pinned into the former. I also trim down the weapon mount in the chest so I can sculpt a breastplate over it.


The arms are built up in layers, sculpting muscles to fill out the missing anatomy and smooth over the joins.



After the putty has cured, I glue the regular armor parts in place.


The large shoulder pad from the wind launcher pose will be added to the right shoulder, but first I sculpt a shoulder strap for it to attach to.


I'm a stickler for model accuracy and, because I want this Stormfiend to interchange between the melee option and the rattling gun option, the extra armor parts are magnetized so they can be removed. A 1/8-inch rare earth magnet is added to each piece. I also raise the fuel cell (that sphere on his shoulder) a little to accommodate the shoulder pad.


I sculpt a belt buckle to cover the magnet when the shoulder pad is left off.


Since the body cavity is hollow, I add a styrene tube to hold the magnet recessed in the chest. The breastplate is sculpted over top of the chest and then carefully pried loose (a thin coating of Chapstick helps keep the putty from bonding to the surface).



Two Stormfiend kits contain enough warpstone components to split amongst four models. I only put the warpstone on the armor, and save the blades for converting extra doom-flayer gauntlets. I think this is appropriate because whether the model has doom flayer gauntlets or shock gauntlets, his armor is still laced with warpstone.


The converted armor gets four pieces of warpstone on its removable armor plates.


The standard melee pose gets the rest of it.


Finally, I swap the heads and cut the loin cloths to vary the poses a bit. These two heads, while not designed to be interchangeable, are pretty easily swapped with minimal cutting and a little putty work to cover the back of the neck. (The third head really only fits on its own body.)


Here are the final armored models:



Now to convert extra doom-flayer gauntlets...

'Til next time!