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.
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:
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
- 1/16″ & 1/8″ drill bits
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.
Flying stand picture from Back to Base-IX.