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NotBatman

Magnets: How They Work (for X-Wing Miniatures)

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Recently I went through all my X-wing minis and attached magnets to their bases. I've seen it done a few times, I just finally went ahead and did it myself based on a thread I found somewhere on the FFG boards.

 

There are a couple of reasons for doing this: 

1. It solves virtually all issues with loose/broken/misaligned pegs.

2. It allows me to mount pretty well ANYTHING on an X-wing flight stand, so long as I can fix a magnet to it.

3. Swanky banking action.

 

My Shopping List:

I used Gorilla Glue to put these on all of my small ships: 


 

These on a bunch of small pegs: (I have a ton of ships, so I only did 25 or so pegs - I mostly play at home with my son so I need to be able to field two lists at once and they often clock in at well over 100 points per side, so I erred on the side of extra.)


 

These on all the big ships:


(Note: The Firespray required a bit of drilling to fit it in properly - detailed below)

 

And these on a few big pegs: (Again, ton of ships, so I only did six large bases)


 

The work was quick and easy - I did it all assembly-line style over two sittings of maybe an hour or two each to do around 60 small and eight large-based ships. I did get a bunch of glue on my hands, though. :)

 

I went all in and broke off the existing pegs on all of my ships to replace them with the ring magnets. (Except the 2400, the geometry on the bottom was such that it made more sense to just glue the magnet to the end of the peg.) I clipped off the connector at the end of the flight stand sticks and glued the appropriate sized steel ball to the ends.

 

I had to drill a hole in the Firespray to get the magnet to sit nicely in where the peg was. Once the magnet was crammed in, MOST of the damage is covered, but if you really look, you can tell. A little paint should fix it right up, and when it's mounted on the stand, the inner section where it got drilled isn't what I'm looking at, so it totally works out.

 

It might not be a solution for everyone, but I couldn't be happier with the results and now I don't have any issues with broken/warped/misaligned pegs. Plus, it helped re-invigorate my son's interest now that the ships are a little more dynamic, so we got to play a little more. Hooray! 

 

Incidentally, in the aforementioned FFG thread,someone else had confirmed with FFG that replacing the pegs with magnets would NOT affect their tournament legality. I suppose it's possible that might change, but it seems like it would take a very special kind of jackass to kick a person out of a tournament because they didn't know how magnets work.

 

Buncha Pics: They're not all as good as I wish they were, but I don't really have any more time to spend on them at the moment, so this is as good as it gets.

 

Rebels:

Rebels01.jpg

 

B-wing Detail:

Rebels02.jpg

As you can see, so long as there's just a little overhang on the steel ball, the B-wing will mount nicely. I was pretty lazy, so I just glued the ring magnets over the engines. Another option would be to glue the magnet to the end of the bent peg that used to stick out the back. I'm pretty happy with it as they are, though.

 

Small Rebel Mounts:

Rebels03.jpg

For the rest of the small Rebel craft, the magnets go pretty much right where you expect them to. The X-wing magnets are on a slope, but once it gets mounted on the steel ball, it works perfectly. I put the magnet for the HWK a little closer to it's natural center of gravity.

 

Large Base Rebels:

Rebels04.jpg

So yeah, I'll cover a B-wing's engines and not think twice about it. But do you know what's ALWAYS bugged me? The quads on the underside of the Falcon being mounted backwards. If they were just POINTED backwards, that would have been fine, but since the gunner is supposed to be sitting in the window, aiming more or less straight down the barrels, I always hated how they had to be mounted to accommodate the factory peg. So with a little careful prying and cutting and gluing, I reattached the lower quads the right way and I'm MUCH happier with it. :)

 

Imperial Ships:

Empire01.jpg

 

Small Imperial Mounts:

Empire03.jpg

Like their Rebel counterparts, the magnets get mounted pretty much right where you'd expect. It's a little tricky to get them just exactly right on the TIE balls, that's where I got the most glue on my hands, but it all worked out pretty well.

 

Large Imperial Mounts:

Empire02.jpg

The Firespray required a little extra work (described below) but the others were pretty straight-forward.

 

Magnetizing the Firespray:

Firespray.jpg

I took a series of in-progress shots with my phone and put them together as a picturegraphical thinger to show my process. I can go into more detail if anyone needs, but it really is pretty straight-forward. Start slow with the drill, because MOST of what you end up drilling out is really the boarding ramp section and whatever it is that's "above" that. A firm grip, start slowly, and you'll be fine. I'm not sure how hollow the Firespray is - I stopped drilling pretty much where the magnet would sit flush where the peg used to be, but it occurs to me that you MIGHT be able to sink it in a little deeper and hide the magnet a little more, if you're into that sort of thing. (No promises, though, I didn't go in at all, really.)

 

Side Benefits:

Other.jpg

So another neat thing about buying a bunch of magnets and making magnet-able stands is that you can now drop any old thing you want into a flight stand and use that for your game. So far I've only done this Senator's Shuttle sort of thinger, but I do plan to make 3D asteroids and use them on flight stands for missions where we want the asteroids to move around. Point the base in a semi-random direction and let them move 1 straight per turn, or somesuch.

 

Afterthoughts:

 

Am I pleased with the results? Yes, yes I am. The one thing that needs mentioning, though, is storage. I have all my ships lumped together by type in compartments of a Plano box. If you can separate everything into it's own bin, you will have no trouble at all. The magnets interact a little, but not enough to cause any problems. Mine get lumped together, though, and some of the Rebel ships, especially, get a little intimate. 

 

Y-wings and A-wings will join together nicely, if the polarity of the magnets will accommodate, but they're sturdy enough to be just fine. Everyone else is a little awkward, but I'm not worried about most of them.

 

I have to admit, that I am a LITTLE worried about the X-wings and their delicate cannons. So far it hasn't been an issue, but if you're planning on magnetizing your collection this way AND travelling with them, you might want to make sure that your X-wings are each in their own compartment.

 

Other than that, I have no reservations at all. 

 

If anyone has any questions or would like me to clarify something, please let me know.

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Very cool. I have used magnets on my 40k models extensivly and have been thinking of something like this for xwing. I really love the ball joints, thats a very cool idea, I think im gonna have to try that.

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53225274.jpg

 

Sorry, couldn't resist. ;)

 

Thank you for the tutorial! I've been dying to try re-fitting some of my ships with magnets, this will help tremendously.

(Once I finish some of my repaints.)

 

It's all good, that's what I was going for. :)

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You call that magnetising models, son? Here's how you magnetise a model!

 

Actually it's just a set of pictures to illustrate what can be done with magnets. It's one of my 40k models that has been magnetised to the extent that I can change it from skimmer to aircraft. A total 30 magnets keep this bad boy together and not one of them can be seen when the model is assembled. As NotBatman describes above, magnets are not hard to use and I really recommend putting them on models. Done right, they can give unparalleled flexibility and often also really helps with transporting models.

 

DSC00223.jpg

 

DSC00219.jpg

 

DSC00216.jpg

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Puts me in mind of the Micronauts, and Shogun Warriors.

:D

I still have the two on the right. They stand on my shelf with all my X-wing minis between them.

 

shogun_warriors1.jpg

 

 

I had the two on the left, and a friend down the street had Guy King (the yellow guy), and Godzilla!

 

I had the smaller six inch (even cooler) sets too, and that scales version of Godzilla.

:)

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Puts me in mind of the Micronauts, and Shogun Warriors.

:D

I still have the two on the right. They stand on my shelf with all my X-wing minis between them.

 

shogun_warriors1.jpg

 

 

I had the two on the left, and a friend down the street had Guy King (the yellow guy), and Godzilla!

 

I had the smaller six inch (even cooler) sets too, and that scales version of Godzilla.

:)

 

This is the best worst toy commercial ever. It's just a guy in a grey room, shouting in japanese, probably about how cool Raideen is.

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Sorry for necro, but wanted to tell thanks to OP, for inspiring me to also magnetize mine. :)

Also, for bigger exposure, how easy this is.

 

I live in Europe, so KJ Magnetics was no-go for me. (200$ for shipping 10$ worth of stuff).

 

I did however switch what I have magnetized.

From Ali express ordered 5mm neodymium balls. (Cost ~6 euros)

 

And from local building shop field tested size M3 washers, which had the best attraction.

 

Cutting/gluing was very easy, compared to time it took me, to find magnets and washers. 

 

Horizontal B-Wings look so good, can't describe. :D

 

tu33e9l.jpg

q3Yxm8I.jpg

Edited by asmeus

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Sorry for necro, but wanted to tell thanks to OP, for inspiring me to also magnetize mine. :)

Also, for bigger exposure, how easy this is.

 

I live in Europe, so KJ Magnetics was no-go for me. (200$ for shipping 10$ worth of stuff).

 

I did however switch what I have magnetized.

From Ali express ordered 5mm neodymium balls. (Cost ~6 euros)

 

And from local building shop field tested size M3 washers, which had the best attraction.

 

Cutting/gluing was very easy, compared to time it took me, to find magnets and washers. 

 

Horizontal B-Wings look so good, can't describe. :D

 

tu33e9l.jpg

q3Yxm8I.jpg

 

 

 

Lots of fun...

:D

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Since I had the same problems of acquiring all those parts you posted in Europa (Germany here), I also switched to magnetic balls and non-magnetic washers.

It is **** hard to found anything countersunk here. My small ships work perfectly fine with normal, flat/plane washers, but I'm a bit afraid to try it on the big ships. From what I see you have double-sized balls and washers on your big ships, about 1 cm instead of 5 mm? 

Maybe I'll give it a try soon :)

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I've noticed that most of your ships are at an angle - is that just for cool effect? Or does the weight of the ship actually pull them that way? Can you attach them straight up if you like? 

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Alright, so I've been wanting to do this for awhile now, but I don't like how they can rotate left/right as well as up/down and tilt.  So I'm trying to figure out to do it such that they can only tilt.  It seems to me that two magnets in a vertical orientation instead of a horizontal orientation should probably do it, but I'm struggling to figure out a good way to do that.  Thoughts?

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I've noticed that most of your ships are at an angle - is that just for cool effect? Or does the weight of the ship actually pull them that way? Can you attach them straight up if you like? 

 

They'll totally stand up straight and tall, but that way you can't tell how cool and dynamic they are!  :)

 

For the big ships I took a bit of sandpaper to the ball, just to rough it up and give it a little more surface to grip on to hold their banked pose. It's not really an issue for anything except the Decimator, so far, and standing up straight they'll be just fine regardless.

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