Sunday, July 17, 2011

Magnetizing Arms

I have found it tremendously useful to magnetize the arms of characters and sergeants within my armies. It allows me to switch options within the squad without having spare models for each possible configuration, so it allows a great deal of flexibility without spending any additional money. I know it sounds daunting at first, but it really is very simple.

You will need:

Super Glue
1/16" dia. x 1/32" thick neodynium magnets
A pin vise with a 1/16" diameter drill bit
A hobby knife

I order my magnets from K&J Magnetics. 100 magnets for $13 seems like a good deal to me.

First, drill a hole into the center of the area where you would glue the arm to the torso, both on the arm and torso. I used to carefully measure them to make sure they exactly match up, but I've found this unnecessary. The models are designed with a lot of wiggle room in how these parts fit together, so as long as you are around the center, you should be fine.

The magnets will naturally rest in a column as they stick to each other. You can test if your hole is deep enough by sticking the column into the hole and checking to make sure one magnet is able to sit flush with the surface. Don't worry if it's too deep.

Next, insert your hobby knife between two magnets in the column and pull it away, leaving you with one magnet stuck on the side of the blade.

Then, put some crazy glue into the hole your drilled. Use the flat of the blade to place the magnet into the hole. This will ensure the magnet rests flush with the surface. Give it about 10 seconds to set, and then pull the blade away parallel to the surface. Don't pull it directly away or it may unseat the magnet.

Repeat these steps on the other half and you're done. There are a few things to keep in mind.

1) Be very mindful of the polarity of the magnets. Once you glue them in, they're almost impossible to pull out. Make sure the two magnets you use are oriented so that they attract each other. I orient all my torso magnets the same way and all the arm magnets the same way, so that all the arms are interchangeable. Also, remember that the end of the magnet that will be exposed is the end touching the blade, not the end facing away.

2) Test fit the pieces before you add any accessories. Blood Angels tend to have large shoulder pads that may interfere with jump packs in certain orientations, and my Executioners can have problems with the skulls on their belts. Make sure all of your arms can fit on the completed model.

At the end, you'll be able to switch up your models like this:

I hope that's helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.


  1. Great tutorial here. Might try it on some assault Marines.

  2. Nice one, thanks for this.
    Going to bookmark it for further use haha.

  3. No problem. I hope it helps, as it really is easy to do and has saved me a ton of money. I started when the new Blood Angels book came out because I was constantly adding and dropping infernus pistols on my sergeants, depending on whether I had the points.

    I also tried magnetizing jump packs on Assault marines so I could switch them for normal backpacks if I wanted to put them in a Rhino. It works, but they fall off pretty easily. I think larger magnets are required for something as large as a jump pack.


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