Saturday, February 19, 2011

Magnetizing a Dreadnought to a Stormraven Part 1

Last time I did an introductory article on how to magnetize your models aptly called Magnetizing 101. If you don't have any experience with this sort of thing or if you need to know where to buy the materials I'm using, I'd advise you to read that post first.

Today, we're going to start working on magnetizing a Dreadnought so that he can be properly transported into battle on the back of a Stormraven. To the right is what the final product looks like. Sorry for the poor pics with the glare, I'll do higher res proper photos once this is all done.

To do this conversion, you'll need the below materials.

  • Stormraven
  • Dreadnought
  • Pin Vise
  • 1/8" Drill Bit
  • 3/16" Drill Bit
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Super glue (I use Zap-A-Gap)
  • 1/8" dia. x 1/32" thick magnets
  • 3/16" dia. x 1/16" thick magnets

  • Super glue accelerator (I use Parts Express Insta-Set)
  • 60mm Round Base (I'm not a fan of the sculpted Dreadnought bases)
  • Epoxy Ribbon (I use ProCreate Putty as I think it's 100 times better than Green Stuff) 
  • Sharpie marker

Now that I have all of my materials, I just want to double check everything and make sure I have a plan. Even the most careful plans can go awry and I want to make I don't do something where I end up ruining one of my models.

The biggest problem I see with people who are in the 40K hobby is a lack of planning and patience with what they are doing. I don't know how many Stormravens I've seen already with badly painted pilots because the person that put it together couldn't wait or the rear tail or landing gear are glued on backwards. The devil in in the details Battle Brothers! Take your time to do a good job and make your Primarch proud! Now that I'm off my soap box, let's get started.

Step 1: I didn't want my Dreadnought hanging from the back of the Stormraven attached to a base as I think that'll look stupid and defeat the whole purpose of this conversion. So we are going to magnetize him to a base. First thing you want to do is drill a hole in the bottom of each of his feet with the 1/8" drill bit. You are not going to be able to make the hole deep enough so that the magnet is flush to the bottom of the foot because of the way they legs connect. Look at the picture of the left foot below and you see I started drilling into the ball joint from the leg. This is okay because we want the magnets to slightly stick out. Once the holes are drilled, clean the edges with your x-acto blade (see below pic on left).

Step 2: Take some super glue and put the magnets in place. For polarity, I make sure everything in my entire army is the same. I always use a black marker and mark the side that is getting glued. You don't need to this, but I would strongly suggest it as I have messed up many times trying to skip this step. If you don't have a marker, just scratch an end of the magnet with your x-acto blade. When you are done, it should look like the bottom pic and the magnets should slightly protrude.

Step 3:  In this step we are going to set magnets into the Dreadnought's base. I put the legs right on the base and put the 3/16" dia. x 1/16" thick magnets on the bottom and adjusted everything until I had the legs where I wanted them. I marked the bottom of the base where the magnets were and drilled holes with the 3/16" drill bit right through the base. When doing this step, it's easier to drill straight through the base with a smaller drill bit first and then wide the hole with the bigger bit.

Step 4: Set the magnets in the holes and make sure you have the polarity right. The hole will be snug enough to hold the magnets in place. Push the Dreadnought down to account for the extra space that the magnets are protruding on the feet. Put a generous amount of super glue on the bottom of the magnets. I used super glue accelerator to speed up the drying process which is why the bottom of the base looks the way it does. Remove the Dreadnought and add a bit of super glue to the tops of the magnets.

Step 5: Super glue is probably sturdy enough to keep the magnets in place for a long time, but to be on the safe side I mixed up some epoxy ribbon and placed it over the magnets on the bottom. You'll see I also carved an arrow in the bottom of the base because the depth on the magnets is slightly different for each foot and this way I know which way the model should face.

Next time we'll put a magnet on the head of the Dreadnought and tackle the actual grapple itself so we can get him attached to the Stormraven. We'll also discuss a few pitfalls I encountered along the way despite all my careful planning.

Till then,
–The Harrower


  1. Looks like a great start! I'll be interested to see what pitfalls you encountered, since I'll be trying this shortly.

    I noticed that you didn't mount the pulley cable kit on to the Dread. Any reason why you decided to leave that off? It seams a little redundant to have them on both I suppose.

  2. You mean the magna-grapple? There isn't a good place to put the magnet if you glue it on and it isn't an upgrade I'll always use. This way if I take the grapple, I can just put it on after I remove the Dreadnaught from the Stormraven. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it!

  3. Yep, the magna-crapple. I don't have a copy of the blood angels codex, and based on what I saw in the latest white dwarf I thought you needed the magna-crapple to attach to the back of a stormraven. Now, I realize that a dread can use it to bring an enemy vehicle closer.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  4. Have you seen this pic? I'm not sure what this is supposed to accomplish.

  5. Yeah, I think I saw that on Bolter and Chainsword. Not sure what the point of that is. I guess the guy that made it would rather have clamps on there as opposed to the tiny grapple. It looks okay, but I Dreadnaught would never fit on there now.