Category Archives: Modeling

So Beautiful, So Dangerous…

A month without posting. Time has gotten away from me, but I’ve been busy in the meantime. If the picture isn’t obvious (or isn’t visible, depending on how you’re reading this), I picked up one of the new Imperial Knight kits, and I now have it assembled, magnetized, and primed. Out of all the kits I’ve assembled in the past seven years, this has been the best one, without question. The instructions are thorough, the parts are well-crafted and clearly labeled, everything goes together like a charm, and it’s wonderfully adjustable and poseable. True, the legs don’t bend much, but from the hip up it’s very flexible.

Magnetizing the kit was also very, very easy. Someone had already done the work and put together a tutorial, but the work itself is very simple. There’s one piece that requires any drilling, and beyond that it’s pretty much just a matter of gluing magnets onto or into pieces, or onto a piece of sprue that you put into another piece. The way the kit is constructed, I’d swear that Games Workshop designed the kit with magnetization in mind. The arms themselves actually rotate in and off the torso, although with the pauldrons in place they’d be much harder to remove. Regardless, I can switch mine back and forth between a Knight Paladin and a Knight Errant with no problem whatsoever. I look forward to bringing it along with my Black Templars and wrecking a bit of face.

I haven’t ignored my Nurgle Marines, either, because now my Daemon Prince has wings!

nurgle_daemon_prince_wingsThe stinger salvo bits from the Tyrannofex make for a properly insectoid-looking pair of wings. Since this picture was taken, I’ve smoothed the joints with green stuff and primed it, so it’s ready to go as well. Once I finish up the last models from my Black Templars – and my Imperial Knight – my Nurgle Marines will all be ready to be made green and nasty.


My First Forge World Foray…

Work on my Nurgle marines continues, and this time I had an opportunity to do something I’d never done before – work with Forge World bits. I managed to snag a set of Death Guard conversion bits off of eBay a couple of weeks ago, and this past week I set forth on getting them put into use. Fortunately, I already had a spare Chaos Marine box sitting around, and my bits box was populated with plenty of unused arms and bolters, so I had everything I needed to get the job done.

I gave the bits a nice couple of hours soaking in dish soap and water, and then gave them a nice going-over with a brass brush. Hopefully, that got all the mold release agent off; if not, I’ll find out when I prime them. Then, it was time to de-sprue the bits, and this is where it got interesting. I’m glad that these are Nurgle bits, and thus fine if some of the parts are a little trimmed off and uneven in spots, because getting shoulder pads off the blocks of resin was a challenge. There’s one pad (which shows up twice) featuring a horn coming up near the top of the pad, and in both cases there was a solid piece of flash connecting the horn to the base block. Careful negotiating with a hobby knife and a pair of clippers did the work well enough, but it’s going to take some finer control if I ever decide to do non-Nurgle bits.

Fortunately, that was the last hard portion. Gluing and assembly was simple. I’ve heard stories that certain super glues work better than others with Forge World resin (and of course, plastic glues don’t work at all), but my glue of choice had no issues. For the record, Loctite Professional is one of the greatest super glues ever, and I’d never go back to Zap-a-Gap after working with it.

A couple of hours later (spent simultaneously assembling Plague Marines and watching The Avengers), and I had 10 hybrid plastic/resin bits of Chaos nastiness staring back at me from the table. That gets me up to 17; I’ll probably see if I can kitbash 3 more from additional spare parts for a nice even 20. Right now, I’ve got two with plasma guns, so maybe a couple of flamers would be nice as well. I could do meltaguns, but big teardrops of toxic death seem more appropriate.

Progress With Papa Nurgle

Two weeks since my last post. So much for my goal of posting once every calendar week. Still, I actually have hobby progress for the first time in a long while, so I’ll go with it.

This week, I’ve managed to start work on my Nurgle Chaos Marines, getting the Plague Marines, the Daemon Prince, and a Sorcerer assembled. All were Finecast, and happily without any noticeable flaws beyond a small gap on the Daemon Prince (which could have easily existed in the metal version), and for the most part they went pretty quickly.  The arms on a couple of the Plague Marines were a bit fiddly, but otherwise they were about as simple to assemble as it comes. I touched up their backpacks with a bit of Liquid Green Stuff to make them a bit less pristine. I hope the effect works when I get around to painting them.

One thing that surprised me about the Daemon Prince is how small he is. I mean, sure, he’s big compared to a marine, but I had this image in my mind of a much more hulking model. My kitbashed Slaanesh Daemon Prince is taller, although definitely thinner. Still, he’s about the size of a Dreadnought, so he’s not tiny, and he’s still beastly in combat. He had Bendy Sword Syndrome, but a hit with a hair dryer and a quick dunk in cold water fixed that right up. The gap in his model is right behind his head, and you can see where I’ve tried fixing it with more Liquid Green Stuff. Not as successful here, but I have time to give it another go.

Who are you calling small, man?
Who are you calling small, man?

You might notice that I haven’t attached his smokestacks/bone tubes/whichever yet. That’s because I haven’t decided on if I’m giving him wings or not. Technically, I should, since he’s more awesome with wings, but I also haven’t decided on a solution. One possibility is to give him the fly wings off of the Plague Drone kit. I’ve seen a couple of examples of this, and it looks about the right size, wouldn’t be too unwieldy, and would be thematically appropriate. The other is going Mantis-Style, like this conversion on BoLS. I even have a friend who has a pair of hive arms I can use. I’m undecided, though, especially after seeing how small the model is. Of course, the plastic Daemon Prince might not be that much bigger; I haven’t seen one up close. Still, I think I like the insect wings… or I might just keep him stock. I’m still undecided.

The Sorcerer was a last-minute purchase, and the easiest build; I just did a head-swap for the Nurgle Aspiring Champ head from the standard CSM box. Looking him over, the rest of him is easily Nurgle-able with the right paintjob.

This week, I should be getting some Forge World Plague Marine bits I procured off of eBay (from a US vendor, and they’re still in the clamshell, so they look to be legit), and that’ll give me a good 17 Plague Marines to play around with. I’ve got extra Chaos Marine bodies as well, so I can probably Nurgle up another 3 and make it an even 20. Between that and the 20+ Cultists I’m going to devote to the cause (if not more), I should be good on Troops. Also, I broke down and grabbed the WHFB Nurgle Lord (the mini is too good to pass up) to get 40K-ified. Between that and everything else I have, I think I’m good to go on this project (for now, anyway).

Tau: More Adventures in Magnetizing

broadside_magnet_01After magnetizing my Riptide more-or-less successfully, it was time to try another model – one of the new Broadsides. I love the look of the new Broadside, and the idea of magnetizing it so I can swap between the two primary weapon loadouts was very appealing. In practice, though… it’s a pain in the ass, much moreso than the Riptide. There are two major reasons for this. The first is that the arms are heavy as far as plastic goes, so if you just try to magnetize them at the ball joints with the magnets pointing directly out to the sides, they’ll pivot down as they lose the fight against gravity. Fortunately, there is a relatively simple solution: mount the magnets on the tops of the ball joints:


broadside_magnet_02This leads to the second issue, though: the two sets of arms do not sit at the same angle on the joint. The High-Yield Missile Pod arms sit independently and swing a bit outward, while the Railgun arms join together and angle inward and a bit downward. This leads to some interesting magnet positions inside the sockets, and is really, really easy to mess up. This is one case where I wish I had a larger hand drill, rather than just my cordless Dremel; trying to get fine control with a high-speed drill is not a skill I’ve mastered. In the end, I had to cut one of the missile arms apart just above the elbow and re-point it because the magnet had it swinging too far inside. The railgun arms had their own issues. For ease of attachment, I had the two separate, with another pair of magnets joining them at the gun – but some excess glue that I thought had already dried stuck the two magnets together permanently, leaving me with glued-together arms. Not unworkable, but not what I wanted. In all honesty, though, the final results, while a bit chewed by the Dremel, aren’t horrible:


broadside_magnet_03_railgunsI also managed to magnetize the back equipment hookups so that I can change up the weapons and wargear as needed. Getting these magnets placed was a bit difficult because of the small area and the necessity of getting them flush. I had to pull out and redo one of the magnets just to get it to sit right. Since I didn’t have smaller magnets for the gear, I used my finishing nail trick to put small pieces of metal into their bases. It doesn’t “click” as solidly as another magnet, but it works. The Dremel was a big aid here, as I could switch to a sanding bit and grind down the excess nail and get it flush with the plastic.

broadside_magnet_04They’re a little wobbly, but overall they look fine.

The question I was left with last night was, “Would I do this again?” The answer right now is, “I don’t know”. Magnetizing this suit was harder with the equipment I had, and the results weren’t what I’d originally pictured in my mind. The time spent in trying to get magnet angles just right and trying to clean up the resulting damage to the plastic, such as filling in the sockets with material to keep the arms from swinging wildly (yes, the top-mounted magnets only worked somewhat) made me doubt that magnetizing the arms was a good idea. If they were a bit easier to do, then sure, but I don’t know if I’d want to do it again as they are. The secondary weapons and gear, I might do again with smaller magnets and my pin vice. Still, there comes a point where the time spent outweighs the money saved. I might just make my next 2 Broadsides static.

Without smaller magnets, though, I am not touching any more Crisis Suits. I’m really feeling the limitations of 1/8″ magnets, and as much as I love my Dremel, I need the finer control of my pin vice for that task.

Tau: Adventures in Magnetizing

magnetized_riptideWith the Riptide kit being $85, I’m not really willing to buy multiples just to have multiple configurations available. Now, in the past, I’ve been wary of magnetizing things because I have two small kids and no dedicated workspace, so the risk of tiny rare earth magnets getting lost and eaten, with horrible consequences, made it a non-starter for a long time. Now, though, I have a dedicated workspace separate from the rest of the house and a place to keep the magnets far from tiny hands, so this was the time to embark on the adventure that is magnetizing my Tau minis.

I picked up a set of 100 1/8″ by 1/16″ magnets on Amazon. In retrospect, these are probably a bit large for Crisis Suits, but for a Riptide they’re great. I mounted them in the tops of the jetpacks and above and below the gun arm. I don’t have a hand drill for a 1/8″ bit, but I do have a cordless Dremel:

dremelThis made quick work of inserting the magnets into the Riptide, as well as the large guns. On the other accessories, it was a bit trickier. My first attempt, a bit that was once a multi-tracker and is now a velocity tracker, got its base absolutely chewed up by the Dremel, and I had to resculpt the magnet housing with green stuff. The next attempt, a twin-linked fusion blaster, went a bit better, but the 1/8″ bit was just a bit large for that kind of delicate work. For the smaller weapon and system bits, I decided to forgo adding magnets, and went with pieces of metal instead – in this case, pieces of finishing nails.

bit_attachment_stylesFrom left to right, you can see three different styles of making the bits magnet friendly. First, the twin-linked fusion blaster has a magnet mounted in the base. The magnet is a bit large, and there’s also the issue of making sure your polarities line up. In the middle, the twin-linked smart missile system. It’s hard to see, but in the center there’s a piece of finishing nail shank embedded in. I drilled the hole with my pin vice and carefully squeezed the piece in with needle-nose pliers on top and bottom. It doesn’t click as strongly as having two magnets, but it’s much kinder to the plastic bit and still holds well enough. Last, there’s a burst cannon from a Crisis Suit. That one has the nail’s head and part of the shank. Here, I used the Dremel to make a countersink for the nail’s head, used the pin vice to drill an additional hole for the shank, and pushed the metal in place. This one holds a bit better than the SMS because there’s a bit more surface area. With a combination of these techniques, I was able to get all the gear for my Riptide ready.

riptide_attachmentsThe only thing I haven’t put on is the little pipe that connects the big gun to the gun arm. I haven’t decided if that should be magnetized, or only applied to one gun, or unused completely.

Since the Riptide went well, I decided to try my hand at a Crisis Suit. Eventually, I might try to retro-magnetize my existing painted suits, but for now I had a spare unfinished suit that I could work with.

magnetized_crisisThe actual magnetization didn’t go too badly, although I think the 1/8″ magnets are a bit too large; they destroy the recesses in the original Crisis Suit design. That’s not necessarily the end of the world. One interesting bit of difficulty I found was putting in the shoulder magnets after the arm magnets; because the field is so strong, the shoulder magnets wanted to align themselves parallel to the arm magnets. This led to shoulder magnets that were nearly standing on their sides when first dropped into their receptacles. Fortunately, I was able to hold each of them in place with a toothpick while the glue set to get them oriented how I wanted. I’m thinking smaller magnets will be the way to go; maybe a 1/16″ magnet will be a better choice. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I’ll go ahead and magnetize a set of weapons for this one and see how it goes.