Friday, September 18, 2009

Magnetizing Weapons Options

Hi guys,

I've had a few friends ask me about how I magnetize my mini's and where I get the magnets from, so I thought I'd write up a summary of the way I've done it for my Word Bearers, this technique can be applied to any form of adding magnets to miniatures.

I get my Rare Earth Magnets from an ebay store: Frenergy Magnets. In the Store Category section, select the Discs option. They have various bundles with lots of different sizes. The ones I've used for this project are the 2mm(Width) x 1mm(Height/Depth). I find these to be the perfect size and strength for holding special weapons. For my Word Bearer Terminators I used 3mm x 2mm and I have some 5mm x 2mm I intend to use for vehicles and dreadnoughts.

Tools needed;
Hobby Knife, Pin Vice Drill, 1mm, 1.5mm and 2mm Drill bits, Super Glue, Marker pen and Magnets.

1; Mark on the mini where you want the magnet to go with your marker pen. I usually do this on the hand of the mini first, so I then know where I'll need the magnet on the weapon.

2; I then use the hobby knife to pre drill slightly the plastic where I've marked with the pen. I've found that if I don't do this my drill bit will slip slightyly from the intended place. In the pics you'll be able to spot the pre drilled with hobby knife and the one that wasn't.

3; I then drill with my pin vice a 1mm, then 1.5mm and finally 2mm holes. Again I've found that if I jump straight to 2mm I get tearing of the plastic. Even from 1mm to 2mm I get tearing so I include the 1.5mm into the process. It doesn't add too much extra time to the process and I like the results better because you get a nice clean hole and not a torn one.

4; I then mark the magnet, so i know what side is going into the hole. This helps to make sure the polarity of the magnets is correct for each weapon. Basically it means I can use any Special Weapon in any squad becasue all the magnet sides are aligned correctly for the whole army.

5; Apply the super glue to the hole. Now to get that little magnet into that little hole I attach the magnet to my hobby knife and because I've marked the magnet I know it's going in correctly. See pics below. Once the magnet is in the hole, I then slide the hobby knife away from the model so the magnet detaches itself nicely from the hobby knife and still stays in the hole. The other great reason for doing it this way is that the magnet sits flush with the top of the hole. I then quickly use a tissue to clean up any excess super glue.

Here's some pics of the process...

This isn't terribly hard to do, but it's great when it's done as it give you a huge amount of versatillity when it comes to weapon options. But I will stress that you need to double check that the magnet positioning is correct, because once they're in place with super glue, there's no way of getting them out again without destroying something, and it wont be the magnet that gets destroyed...

I've used this method to successfully magnetize an Imperial Fists Sergeant's weapons options too. So it can work on a variety of mini's

Please give this a go and let me if you've had success or any tips you've found to make this process better!!


  1. cool man.
    i was just pondering if i should start magnetising stuff like guns or vehicles (cause Oni had a good few articles also)

    also it would make painting marines much easier :)

    you need to make your pictures pop up in another window when you click on them as i wanted to get a closer view of the last pict!!

    i guess ill have to pick up some mini magnets!

  2. Thanks DJ!! The magnets are pretty affordable too. Regarding the pics the only option I've changed was in uploading them in medium size and not large, maybe that's the problem...

  3. hey man
    in the options for your blog there is one that says something like open your picture in a page of its own.... i'll check when im home as currently on my iphone atm... i think the size is just how big it displays on the blog

    so do you magnetise everyone or just the special weapons?
    what about vehicles?

  4. I've been magnetizing special weapons on my Word Bearers, for the planned Imp Fists I will also be magnetizing Sergeants weapon options also. I haven't tried magnetizing any vehicles yet, but I plan to for my Land raider Redeemer/Crusader. I've also been thinking about magnetizing the Scout arms too...

  5. So you can swap between boltguns and shotguns??

  6. Yeah the idea will be able to swap between, bolters, shotguns and bolt pistol close combat weapons... Cheeky I know but I believe in bang for $$!!

  7. Wow nice man!!
    have you done this yet?? can we see?
    wondering how it would work...

  8. Hi DJ, I haven't built the Scouts yet, been build a tact sqd and rhino and vindicator for the Imp Fists.
    Be assured as soon as I've built the Scouts I'll post some pics of in progress and finished mini's!!