Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Monster Magnet

Don't you love it when you paint up a regiment with a lot of passion, spend hours upon hours shading and basing, only to have your models fall over 1000x during a 60min game?

I don't.

And that's why I wanted to try magnetizing my WHFB regiments. There are several ways to do that (buying individual magnets, magnetic paint etc..), but I chose to give pre-cut magnets and ferromagnetic foil a try, because they seemed the mose elegant solution.

I found this nice little online shop called, who ship at reasonable rates (~€4 within Europe which can be considered more than honest, compared to all these crooks who "offer" shipping at €10 and more).

The owner, Magnus Schwekendiek, is a nice fellow who will answer all your questions about size, compatibility, shipping etc...

On top of that, you get a small discout for ordering 3 or more base sets of the same type, e.g. if you buy 3 or more 2x5 20mm base sets, the price drops from €1.60 per set to €1.44.

This can save you a euro or two when you are basing more than one regiment of 20 men. Instead of buying 2 sets of 4x5 bases, just buy 4 sets of 2x5 and cash the discount.

This is what the bases look like. The ferromagnetic foil is included. Bases are pre-cut and have a "sticky" side, which makes then very user friendly to apply to the models.

Just peel off the protective foil, stick the magnet to your model, and put the model on the magnetic foil. Done. I glued the foil to movement trays for increased stability.

(I apologise for the unfinished models!)

Here you can see the magnetic foil I glued to the movement tray.

The magnet is roughly 0.7mm thick and does heighten the model a little. I had concerns about this at first, before buying the magnets, but they were quickly dispelled. The additional height is far beyond anything noticable. I'd be more concerned about the paintjob than about that :)

Aaaah! What a feeling of relief! No more shifting and falling models! BTW, this ALSO works with metal minatures... pretty amazing.

So if you have been hesitating to get magnets for your models, I can REALLY recommend this stuff. One of the most useful features for tabletop games.

Below I listed 6 advantages of magnetic bases, which make them more than worthwile in my eyes:

1) Protection. The models stand in place and do not fall over - which happens VERY readily during games. On top of that it abolishes this little annoying phenomenon of knocking over light plastic miniatures as you are placing more onto the tray, during setup.

2) Transport. You can actually transport the regiment as a whole! It also makes moving the regiment from its shelf onto the battlefield and vice versa a 100% safe undertaking. Especially for standard bearers, which tend to have a high center of gravity and fall over easily (rest in peace Questing Knight standard bearer).

3) Price. At around €2/ set there really is no excuse for not getting these. If you consider that some people are buying GW plastic "hills" at €25 *shudder*, you would like to advise them to save their money and buy magnetic bases instead.

4) Not so easy to make yourself. I am a big fan of only buying things you cannot manufacture yourself. So scenery is out. You cannot easily make magnetic bases yourself, so there is your reasonable buy.

5) Feel. The magnets and metal foil add a little extra weight to plastic regiments, which adds to this "old school" feel that I know from my early days, where all miniatures were metal. This might sound silly, but it does feel so much cooler to push around a "heavy" block of "massive" infantry, rather than something that feels like 20 LEGO figures...

6) Standalone. You do not necessarily need movement trays to glue the foil into! Although it is recommended as it adds a lot of stability, you can move around your miniatures on the battlefield with them standing only on the foil.

I hope this will inspire some of you guys to give magnetic bases a try,



cianty said...

Nice. And definately no need to apologize for THOSE pics! The regiments looks great!

RonSaikowski said...

Wow, I can see where this really does benefit Fantasy models.

I did some magentizing for 40k models but this seems like a no-brainer after seeing what you posted here.

Nice job.

Thomas said...

Thanks Cianty and Ron!

@Ron: Yes, the magnets really do make life a LOT easier :) I can't believe I haven't thought of this earlier.

Now for 40K models, how do you magnetize them? I mean since they are all in loose formation, I suppose you would need some kind of "skirmish" movement tray?

RonSaikowski said...

Magnetising them is really for transportation purposes. Movement in the game would be near impossible unless you wanted some kind of formation for your guys.

The trouble is, the magnets will attract if they are strong enough. I've had that happen more than once in the middle of a game. One model will jump over to another and the bases will come together because of the magnets underneath.

Ashton Sanders said...

Sweet! That's a great idea. I don't know if I'll ever use it, unless the expand the Skaven warband limit *squeek!*....

But I totally hear you on the "feel" of the heavy models. It's so much nicer.

It sounds like the weight of the magnet you glue to the model's base ends up lowering it's center of gravity anyway (without the foil sheet).

Crazy Idea: Make a "travel board" with that foil (or metal) so you can play on road trips! lol

l8r Tom

Anonymous said...

I had a mate who used iron impregnated paint to undercoat his whole gaming table. it came out like the GW Roughcoat when applied with a spraygun. He then painted the table normally and added magnetic strips to his figure bases. How did he add magnets? Easy, he got hold of some of the stuff you make the big magnetic signs for you care and simply used good double sided tape to stick it on. Cutout the round bases before adding tape with a circle cutter.

The nutbag even went so far as to put tiny Rare earth magnets into the hands etc of his lictors so they would scale buildings... to eat my guardsmen!!

Ezekiel said...

yeah, the signmaking magnetfoil is what I use as well... easily aquired, and cut, so you can actually make them yourself.. but this seems like a decent and affordable option too! hurray for magnets... had a lot less damage... - though, large metal models still suffer from inbalance...

(never trust your bigass dragon to be safe during transport...:S)

Thomas said...

I agree Ez, you CAN make that stuff yourself.

I guess it's just more comfortable to get the pre-cut stuff, especially considering that it is not THAT expensive.

I changed the "Cannot do it yourself" to "not easy to..." :) I think that is more accurate.

Thanks for the pointer about the magnetic foil guys! I will try to find some should I require some more magnets ;)


Pfreck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pfreck said...

Thanks a lot for the review, Tom!

This is really helping me out to magnetize my Skaven regiments. Yes, I started a Skaven army some weeks ago, I just couldn't resist the new models.. They look so awesome! No pictures yet, but will soon follow!

I've done about 10 Clanrats with Rare Earth Magnets, they do work fine. However, Rare Earth Magnets aren't exactly the cheapest magnets around.. I'm about to place my order at Magnetbases to see how they work for me. From what I've read from your review they seem to be just right for me!

Also, do you have any better pics of your Corsair unit(s)? I'd love to see more of your Dark Elf army!



PS. I'm also working on a new blog (once again..) that will be a more general blog, so I can use it for more than just Mordheim!