With 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:
This 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.
From 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.
The 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.
The 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.