Friday, 1 May 2009

Special Weapon Swaps made Easy with Magnets

If you read my blog last month, you'll already know that I like magnets. If you haven't read about magnetizing Terminator arms, you can find the posts here:
Here's a tutorial on how you can magnetize your special weapons on ordinary Space Marines to make it easy to swap them out between battles!

Stuff you need

You need a couple of small drills, I use a 1.5mm and a 2mm. And of course, you need some magnets.

MagnetThis one is from K&J Magnetics and is 1/16" x 1/32".

Let's go!

First, drill a small guide "pit", using a small drill. The reason I do this is because it is easier to hit the spot you want. I find that I often miss the spot when I go for the bigger drill right away, without the guide.

Magnetizing Special WeaponsNow you expand the pit and make it deeper, using a 2mm drill. Try to fit a magnet in the hole now and then, and just keep expanding the hole until the magnet fits. You want it sunk deep enough to be level with the edge of the hand, you don't want it sticking up. When the hole is big enough, you glue a magnet in place.

Magnetizing Special WeaponsNOTE! You need to watch the polarities of the magnets so they actually attract each other. For the very first magnet you glue in place, this doesn't mean a thing. But after the first, this gets VERY important.

Now we do the same thing with the chosen weapon. Drill a guide...

Magnetizing Special WeaponsAnd expand the hole...

Magnetizing Special WeaponsNow, here's a tip on how to keep the polarities correct. Use a stack of magnets as a sort of handle.

Magnetizing Special WeaponsWhen you glue the magnet in place in the weapon, you'll know that the polarities are correct.

Magnetizing Special WeaponsAfter the glue is dry, you just remove the excess magnets and you're done! The left hand doesn't need a magnet, the weapon will stay in place anyway.

So, you just glue the arms in place on the model as you normally would. But now, with a few more weapons and magnets, you have the option of switching special weapons between games.

Again, remember what I said about polarities, or you may end up with weapons that attach to some figures and not to others. Whenever I glue a magnet into a new arm, I use a weapon as a handle. That way, I know all my weapons will fit all my figures!

Magnetizing Special WeaponsHere are a couple of Veterans from a Command Squad I'm currently working on:

Magnetizing Special Weapons
Magnetizing Special Weapons
Magnetizing Special WeaponsAs you can see, switching special weapons is a piece of cake!

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Even if you didn't, comments are always welcome, so keep 'em coming! :)


Progress Report: DeffCup 2009 1000pt Army

Time for a progress report. The tournament is about six weeks away and I'm a bit nervous! I haven't gotten any painting done in quite a while, but all the models are assembled. Is six weeks going to be enough for me to paint four tanks and 14 infantry? I think so, but I really need to get cracking!

So, here's what my Goal Sheet looks like as of 29 April:

Goal SheetHere are some photos:

3rd Co MasterMaster of the 3rd Company. Ready for primer.

3rd Co Command SquadCommand Squad of the 3rd Company. Ready for primer.

3rd Co 2nd Tactical Squad2nd Tactical Squad of the 3rd Company. Two marines done. One primed, four ready for primer. Three almost done.

Tanks WIPPredator, Command Razorback and two Rhinos. These have all been scavenged from one of my unfinished projects, the DIY Space Marine Chapter the Knights Repentant. They will all be re-primed in black. I have added Hunter Killer Missiles to them all. The one on the Predator is held in place with magnets and the others are pinned, but not glued, in place, so they can all be removed for easy storage without breaking them. You probably can't see it in this picture, but three of the HKM's have custom made mounts, and these will be the topic of one of next month's updates!

Six weeks.... I better get painting!


Tip: Goal Sheets

I'm one of those people that start a hundred projects for every one that I finish. To help me focus on actually finishing a project, I've started using what I call "Goal Sheets".

So, what is a goal sheet?

A goal sheet is a piece of paper that helps you visualize the finished project. Here is my goal sheet for my 1000pt army for the DeffCup, a small tournament coming up in june:

Goal Sheet
Every box represents a model that needs to be assembled and painted. A small box is a single infantry figure, and a big box is a tank. This particular sheet represents my 1000pt army, consisting of a Company Master with a 5-man Command Squad in a Razorback, two 10-man Tactical Squads in Rhinos and a Predator.

When I have assembled (and based) a model, I circle the corresponding box on the goal sheet. When the model is painted, I cross out the box. Here's a close up:

Goal Sheet
As you can see, when this picture was taken on 23 april, the first Tactical Squad is finished, their Rhino assembled but unpainted. The Command Razorback and one of the Veterans in the Commmand Squad is assembled and based.

Here's a work-in-progress shot of the Company Master and the Command Squad:
WIPEven though the Company Master is fully assembled, he's not based yet, so doesn't get a circle on the goal sheet just yet.

Why bother with a Goal Sheet at all?

I find it motivates me to look at the sheet and see what's left to do. It helps me focus on the right things. It's also very satisfying to cross out boxes on the sheet, indicating finished models. It's not always practical to have an entire army standing on display, so the sheet is a handy way to "see" the whole army and especially seeing the progress made after each session.

You'll see more of this particular goal sheet in other updates, as I will post progress reports on the army up until the DeffCup.

I have a bigger goal sheet, which is simply a copy of the Battle Company data sheet from Apocalypse. In a future update, I'll show you this as well.

Hope you find this useful. I'd love to see other people's goal sheets!

See you later!