Sunday, February 27, 2011

Magnetizing a Dreadnought to a Stormraven Part 2

Image by Terra Luna
In Part 1 of this series, we added magnets to the feet of our Dreadnought so that he can be removed from his base. This time we are going to add a magnet to the top of the Dreadnought so we can attach him to the Stormraven. We'll also magnetize the Stormraven itself so that the Dreadnought can be brought forth to wreak devastation on the battlefield.

If you have never magnetized a miniature before, read my introductory post Magnetizing 101. If you need a list of materials that I used for this, I would advise you to check out my last post. We are actually going to add 2 materials this week to fill some gaps around the magnet on top of the Dreadnought.

Additional Materials:

  • Glazing and Spot Putty aka Bondo (I use 3M and bought mine at Walmart)
  • Premium Automotive Sandpaper 320 (Again, 3M bought at Walmart)

Step 1: Use your 3/16" drill bit and drill a hole in the top of the Dreadnought. You want to try to center this as much as possible. My pin vise isn't big enough to take a 3/16" bit so I was a bit off, but that's okay. This magnet we want to sit flush with the top of the Dreadnought as I want to be able to put the magna-grapple on later. Be careful and don't drill too deep as you don't have a lot of room to work with here. I included a picture which shows the inside on the Dreadnought and we almost drilled clear through. We'll fix that up in the next step.

Note: The reason why I didn't glue the magna-grapple down is because it isn't an option I'll always be using. Plus, there isn't an easy place to put a magnet on the magna-grapple and I don't want to ruin the nicely sculpted Blood Angels icon on top. Also, if I inset the magnet inside of the Dreadnought, it wouldn't be strong enough to hold. In game I can easily take it off for weapon destroyed so that'll work fine.

Step 2: Glue the magnet into the top of the Dreadnought. Also, put a bit of super glue into the indentation on the inside of the Dreadnought to add some strength. To see where I mean, look at the picture in Step 1. You'll want to make sure that the super glue is completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Here, we want to make sure the top of the Dreadnought is flat and the magnet is hidden. I sanded smooth the four bolts in each of the corners to make this easier and added a bit of glazing and spot putty. This stuff smells nasty. Makes sure you read all the warnings on the packaging so you don't get brain damage or anything else unsightly. Allow the Bondo to dry fully before moving on. You'll see the color will lighten when it's dry.

Note: I got this idea from Tommygun over on Warseer. According to him, Bondo is great for filling gaps as it sands easily (unlike epoxy putty) and dries relatively quickly. If you are into scratch building at all, I would check out Tommygun's Backwater Forgeworld post as there is some amazing stuff in there.

Step 4: Use a piece of sandpaper and sand the Bondo smooth. If I could do this step over again, I would have probably used a finer grit sandpaper (like 400 or 800) and actually wet sanded this. Here's a video on YouTube that explains wet sanding. I have some slight grooves on here which are difficult to see and the magnet is protruding slightly, but for a first attempt I'm happy with this.

Step 5: Now that our Dreadnought is all done, we need to put a magnet on the Stormraven. Here I actually used a thicker magnet to compensate for height of the Dreadnought. I used a 3/16" diameter by 1/8" thick. I mentioned in previous posts that I hate when people just glue the magnet right on and make no attempt to hide or camouflage it. Since this piece is upside down and basically not visible, I glued it directly on. Once this is done, glue the entire piece to the bottom of the Stormraven. Once that dries you are pretty much done!

Hindsight: As they always say, hindsight is 20/20. This is a new section I'll be adding to my tutorials which explains what what wrong and what I would change the next time around. I'm pretty happy with how this turned out, but I did make one mistake. When I dry fitted the Dreadnought to the back of my Stormraven, I didn't have the engine with the mufflers on the back. This caused some issues as there isn't enough room for the magnet to sit flush and this causes the Dreadnought to be more swept back.

It's not a huge deal, but it does kinda bug me. Also, despite saying that I was okay with just gluing the magnet directly on the bottom, I'm still not happy with how it looks.

Next time I do this conversion, I'll buy an extra magna-grapple bit from the Furioso Dreadnought Kit over at TheWarStore and use one the magna-grapples to fashion a piece that hangs down enough so that the mufflers don't get in the way.

Here's a couple final pics. I'll take some better shots once I get the models all painted up.

The rest of the guys from our Gaming Club, DED 'ARD, are coming over today to play some 40K. If I don't get too excited playing and I actually remember this time, I'll take some pictures and post them in my next update.

Also, I just primed my entire army and I'm finally getting ready to paint everything up. I'll have some tutorials on painting red and black in the next few weeks.

Till next time, "For the glory of the Emperor and Sanguinius!"
-The Harrower 


  1. Great job on the tuturial!

    That is too bad about the mufflers conflicting with the back of the stormraven. Would it have made a difference had you put a plastic card spacer in between the magna crapple and the fuselage? Or could you have just moved it back a little bit toward the rudder?

  2. Thanks! The space is almost a 1/4" so the plastic card wouldn't have worked. That's why I think the hanging down magna-grapple would work the best.

    I couldn't have moved it back far enough to make much of a difference. There still needs to be something between the Dreadnaught and the Stormraven.

    Really, it isn't much of a difference. I'm just really anal.