Monday, 4 May 2009

Magnetic Blood Bowl Bases

On Saturday I took a trip up to Exeter to attend the Legionary wargames show. It was quite a small show, but there were plenty of traders and some nice games on show. I kept true to my frugal mission and resisted buying too much, just the new Imperial Guard Codex for 40k.

My main reason for going was to attend the Bring and Buy, I didn’t manage to sell many of my goods, though I did pick up some badly painted plastic Orcs for Blood Bowl, which means I now have two teams ready to go. On the subject of Blood Bowl, when I got my Dwarf team a few weeks back I decided to put magnets under the bases and a magnet in the ball to make the ball stick to the base of whichever figure had it as they moved. I’d got the idea off the internet, but for the life of me I couldn’t find the article again, so I thought I’d write my own...

Making the base
The key to making magnetic bases is good magnets. Don’t be tempted to buy some old fridge magnets or cheap magnetic sheet, rare earth magnets are the ones to use. I bought mine from ebay; getting 100 3mm x 1.5mm magnets for £5. More than enough for my needs.

The first step is to clean your figure and attach to it it’s base as normal, here’s a slayer that I’ve got all ready, next to the magnet to show how small they are:

To help you stick the magnet, take another magnet and place it on top of the base where you want the ball to go and hold it in place with a little blu-tac. If you’re going to use a magnet within the ball as well, make sure that the polarities of the magnets will match up, you don’t want the ball flying off everytime you want to put it down! I’d recommend making your magnetic ball first and using this to hold the other magnets in place, see the method later in this post.
If you turn the figure upside down, you’ll see two spaces in the slottabase, make sure you know which one is the front of the model, generally the largest. Place a small dab of superglue where you want the magnet to go and then pop it gently into place with some tweezers, plastic are best as the magnet won’t stick to them. As you put the magnet in place, the magnet on the other side of the base will move it to the correct position and hold it in place while the glue sets.

After 10-15 minutes, gently remove the magnet from the top of the base and your magnet should be set in place. You can now attach and detach the ball from the player with ease as he moves around the pitch. To add a little more durability to the magnet, I spread a small amount of milliput around the magnet to stop it being accidently knocked off during rough games.

Making the ball
You can buy balls that are made from ferrous metal so that they will stick to magnets, and these will stick onto your bases with ease. You can also make your own magnetic balls by adding a magnet into a metal or plastic ball.

This can be quite a tricky process, as the balls are pretty small, so should only be undertaken with great care. Hold the ball tightly in a vice, surrounding it with paper first to prevent it being damaged. Drill a small hole in the base of ball, your aim here is to create a hole just large enough for the magnet. For the magnets I’m using this means holes 3mm wide and 1.5mm deep. I did this by drilling a thin pilot hole, and then widening it with larger and larger drill bits.

When you have this hole ready, test to make sure that the magnet fits before adding superglue to the hole and popping the magnet in. This is a fun step, as you’ll find the magnet keeps flying out of your tweezers and sticks to the metal of the vice! If you’ve already made your bases, you’ll have to make sure that the polarity of the magnet is correct, or it won’t stick to the bases.

When the glue has set, your ball is ready to be painted, as are your players, then they’ll be ready to hit the pitch. Or be stuck to the fridge, yes those magnets are pretty strong...

Good News!

Before starting this post this morning, I checked the Site Meter stats and found that this blog has had 10,000 visits since I started posting in December, thanks to everyone for supporting the site!


eriochrome said...

Those are some old orks. They were probably made 20 years ago now.

Dave said...

Yeah, they're red plastic, the green and white are the only colours painted on!

Phillip said...

Now that is frugal - leaving the red plastic bare and merely painting over it!

Dave said...

He he, saving money on paint may be a bit extreme!