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Magnetizing Guide: Jetbikes

One of the first proper 'hobby' conversions people consider is magnetizing their miniatures. I learned to do this on my Tau Crisis suits, as any Crisis suit player will tend to do. What I'm magnetizing today is my jet bikes.

Eldar windrunner jet bikes all come with three options for wargear; standard twin-linked shuriken catapults, shuriken canons and scatter lasers. Whilst for now any jet bike can take the heavier weapons freely, it may well be in the next iteration of the rules it will be one-per-three as in the before times.

To avoid us having to spend another £10+ per jet bike to make our army legal again, we magnetize the weapons, allowing us to swap them out from battle to battle (or even mid-battle if we act like Skaven and the opponent isn't looking).

It can seem like a daunting task filled with various arcane devices, such as rare earth magnets and the mythical plastic tweezers, but it's not all that complex. You will need some tools though. Here is the list:

Hand drill
Magnet size matching drill bits
Magnets (duh)
Super glue

Plastic/Non-magnetic Tweezers
Felt tip pen

Here's the finished product to give us some hope...

Choosing your magnets can seem like a difficult task, particularly since no one can give you a straight answer on which ones to use. For these, I've bought some 3mm x 1mm magnets from Wayland Games. They do the job here for the smaller stuff, and I've used two of them to pin a Heavy Burst Cannon to a Riptide. The connection is not so strong on the heavy stuff, but these small ones are ideal for special weapons and the heavy jet bike ones.

The first step to this awesome bit of converting, is to drill a hole for the magnet. You may need to snip off some connecting parts to make room for them, but it's generally better to keep those slots and tab bits. This keeps the model looking like it should.

If you look closely at the above picture, I've drilled a pilot hole first, and then gone in with the larger, magnet sized drill bit. This keeps everything under control, and ensures you don't ruin your expensive plastic.

Checking to see your hole is deep enough is easy. Just put your stack of magnets in and see if one fits snugly in the hole. You may need to drill a bit more, or you could have the magnet sticking out a bit.

The next procedure is a bit of idiot proofing and quality checking. I take a weapon I've magnetized before (in this case a Tau Burst cannon), and connect the new magnet to it.

Taking a felt tip pen, I then mark the top surface of the new magnet. When I mount the new magnet on the scatter laser, I will need to make sure this marked surface is visible.

This is because magnets have polarity. If you get your magnet poles the wrong way around, the pieces will repel rather than attract each other.

Some modellers will mark their magnets as soon as they get them, but I find that the markings tend to rub or chip off over time. This is just a way to assure ourselves that we're not making a mistake.

Next we need to mount the magnet into the hole we've prepared. Drop a little super glue into the hole. Now carefully place the magnet in the hole, with the marking face up.

You can use your fingers for this, but super glue does a fantastic job of sticking skin together (which was it's first actual use, patching up wounded squadies in the Vietnam war). That's why I use these plastic, non-magnetic tweezers.

If you accidentally get some glue on them you can just wipe it off. For your fingers, you can end up getting the magnet mounted to you rather than the scatter laser.

The next step is to do the same thing for the weapon hard-point on your miniature. Just remember to do you polarity markings on one you've done earlier here as well:

The fun thing happens if you have all your weapons matching up. You can now mount an Ion Accelerator on your jet bike!

Hope that helps some of you. If you have any questions or an easier way to do things, let me know in the comments below.

Until next time!

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