Magnetizing Flying Stands

If you’ve ever used flying stands, you’ve surely had a few break off.  Most of the time, they seem to do so, leaving part of the stem stuck inside the model or the base (or both).  In those circumstances, you’re forced to drill out the old acrylic base and replace it.  The thing is, I always seem to drill that hole too big which leaves the stand wobbly. 

Back to Base-IX solution

With my new Tyranid gargoyles, I wanted to ensure that this wouldn’t be a problem for me in the future, and the obvious solution was to use magnets.  I stumbled upon some acrylic flying bases from Back to Base-IX that would work perfectly.  They’re small, clear, plastic, and come with rare earth magnets perfectly sized for the base (see my post on where to get the magnets).  All in all, they’re ideal for this application.  The only problem?  They’re $12 for 8 stands (before shipping).  Since I need 40 of them for my gargoyles (or rather, 48, if I’m to include my metal models), I can’t justify spending $75 on “invisible” bases.  So, I dug around my spare magnets and decided to make my own. 

Of course, other people have already come up with comparable solutions, several of those instructions can be found at the tail end of this blog post  I just didn’t feel any of them quite met what I wanted.  Specifically, I just wanted something small, and light-weight, and practically invisible, so that it doesn’t detract from the overall look of the model.  

Surprisingly, I already owned all of the necessary parts, and found it quite simple to put an effective solution together.  

The parts list was simple: 

  • 1/16″ Magnets & Drill

    Games Workshop acrylic flying bases (the standard bases that come with the gargoyles) 

  • 1/16″ x 1/16″ rare earth “rod” magnets
  • 1/8″ x 1/8″ rare earth “rod” magnets
  • Superglue
  • 1/16″ & 1/8″ drill bits
I’m sure you can figure it out from there.  All I really wound up doing was snipping the top off the flying stand, and cutting it flush with a  hobby knife.  At that point, a 1/16″ drill bit fits perfectly into the center (with enough room that you can slip slightly to the side without ruining the stand).  Then I slipped in a comparably sized magnet and glued it in place.  Once that set, I drilled out the bottom of the gargoyle with a 1/8″ bit and stuffed it with a like-sized magnet (ensuring the polarity was aligned with the base).  At that point, it was just a matter of creating an assembly line to get the rest done.
 
The end result is exactly what I wanted.  A strong bond, on a practically invisible base, for a relatively low cost (in my case it was “free,” due to the fact that I already had the magnets lying around).  It didn’t take that long either.  Since I had the day off from work, I managed to prep all 40 bases and gargoyles alike, plus de-sprue, clean, & assemble 30 gargoyles (along with watching entirely too much T.V.).  I’m heading down to hit them with primer now, but thought I’d whip up a quick post to let you all know how easy a solution this really is. 

As stated before, there are some reputable sources with good products and advice.  Some of those can be found at the links below:
  • The original high-priced solution I was looking at from Back to Base-IX: premade acrylic flying stands–which come in a variety of colors.
  • Ron at FTW has a robust solution, which would be great for larger models.
  • Fritz from the Bell of Lost Souls, has a suggestion using magnetized wooden dowels from children’s toys.
  • Some of the guys over at the Dice Like Thunder forums have good suggestions.

Normally, I’m the first guy to go drop extra money on a fancy solution, but after seeing how cheap and easy this sort of thing is to do myself, I’d advise everyone take advantage of this. 

Happy Modeling… 

Flying stand picture from Back to Base-IX.

Advertisements

5 comments on “Magnetizing Flying Stands

  1. Looks good Rob! Just starting to magnetizize myself on the feral nob bikers on cyboars I've been making, and wow, is it awesome!

  2. Yeah, magnets really are the way of the light and the power. I thinkthey're most beneficial to one of two types of people: 1. Gamers on a budget who don't want to have to buy a base model for every variant. 2. Older gamers who have seen multiple editions of the game and have, as a result, had to pry apart their painted models because they were suddenly invalid.As a result, I'm buck-nutty on magnets… I just magnetized wings for mywarriors because… well… why not?

    • I love magnets! So far I’ve only used them on my Epic Titans, to allow quick weapon swaps, but I’ve plans to do much more magnetizing.

      Good article, thanks. I actually wanted to do exactly this with my BFG ships, but hadn’t found any magnets small enough up til now.

      • It’s amazing how tiny they’re getting. I’m not sure how effective these
        would be with metal models, but they seem to work swimmingly with plastic
        ones.

        By the way, do you mind if I ask how you stumbled upon this post?

  3. Yeah, magnets really are the way of the light and the power. I thinkthey're most beneficial to one of two types of people: 1. Gamers on a budget who don't want to have to buy a base model for every variant. 2. Older gamers who have seen multiple editions of the game and have, as a result, had to pry apart their painted models because they were suddenly invalid.As a result, I'm buck-nutty on magnets… I just magnetized wings for mywarriors because… well… why not?

Have something to add?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s