Monday, February 3, 2014

In the Mouth of Magnets

Yuuup. All options magnetized.
Today's guest article comes from Matt on the joy of magnetic force. 

Greetings to you who peruse this blog.

I have come to this place to share my madness. I first delved into the 40k universe with the Blood Angels. One of my first purchases was a Predator tank and I wasn't content with either-or set up of the kit. I didn't want to have to choose between a lascannon or an autocannon. I wanted to be able to switch up as circumstances dictated. So, with the proper application of some extra plastic, a metal washer, and a rare earth magnet, I built a turret that could be opened up so that the cannon could swapped out. This magnet based project worked out so well in fact that you might say that I was instantly. . . attracted to the concept. My apologies, I won't do that again. 

Now then, over the years I have magnetized a fair number of things. Predators, Dreadnoughts, my Stormraven (removable wings for storage is extremely helpful), but because of the recent Tyranid release, today we will be focusing on the humble Carnifex. 

First a word on magnets. I use 3/16 inch neodymium disc magnets that have about 2 pounds of pull force. You can get a lot of them pretty cheaply online and they'll have more then enough power for this kind of thing. Once you've got your magnets, you'll need to find a drill bit that is as close to the diameter of the magnet as possible if not slightly larger (you want it to be snug). Most of the time the plastic will be so thin that you'll punch through with the drill bit, so the better the fit, the better the magnet will hold after its glued in place.  Also, establish a "master magnet". What I mean by this is take one magnet and mark one side with a marker or some paint. This will be the "connecting side", the side that you'll use to orient all other magnets to. That way you won't have a rouge arm that refuses to connect to its socket. Finally, you're going to want get a positioning tool of some kind. The back of a smaller drill bit works well for this. Stick your magnet to it in order to simplify the application of glue and the placement.

On to the main body. Assemble the torso section of the body and the heads and allow the glue ample time to cure. The parts need to be good and secure for the next step. Bore out the arm and head sockets with the drill bit. I do it by hand because drills can be too aggressive and can get away from you quickly causing undo damage and possible injury. Be sure to test fit the magnets before gluing them in place. Apply glue to the sockets and using the positioning tool, apply some glue to the magnet as well. Now place the magnet into the hole that you've made. This is where is becomes an exercise in patience since you need to hold the magnet there until the glue sets long enough for it to hold on its on and you can slip the positioning tool off without pulling the magnet right back out of the torso.

A similar process is used for magnetizing the heads, but you will want to clip of the little plastic peg on the back of the head before drilling out the hole.

As for the back plate (I'm working from memory here so bear with me), there should be a little indentation on the inside of the piece, it should be thick enough there for a magnet without having to bore all the way through. Positioning the magnet on the torso above the head socket takes a little estimation. If you cheat it slightly low that should help hold the back plate down tight against the torso.

The arms are where things get really tricky. Each of the arms has a ball joint that needs to be shaved down a little for the magnet to stick properly. Preposition each arm to find the pose that you like and to determine how to trim the joint so that the arm holds that position after the magnet has been affixed. Since the cannon arms join together you need to set them so that they want to connect to one another. On mine, I also pinned the connection between the arms and bonded them together with green stuff for a stronger joint. If done properly, the cannon arms can attach and detach from the torso as one piece.

And there you have it. With a little extra effort and about thirty magnets, you too can have a highly mutable Carnifex. Now take the lessons that you've learned today, get out there, and start gluing stuff together.

Matt has a full brood of three Carnifexes completely magnetized. The flexibility it gives him is amazing. For his next magnet project we will have pics as the build progresses. Probably.

The Hive Mind Adapts
The better to eat you with


  1. I just had to comment becuase I got that 90's movie reference... :)

  2. Oh, and let me just say, "Holy crap, nice work!" on the magnet mania!

  3. What, only one picture?!

    Also, is a rouge arm a reddish-pink one that stands out from the other white talons and claws...?

    (yes, I'm being that guy)