A DISCLAIMER: Some of the techniques used may be a bit hazardous. Know your limits with tools. If you cannot open a bottle of superglue without getting it in your mouth or eyes with a trip to the emergency room, this tutorial probably isn't for you. Some manual dexterity is needed for safely handling the hobby knife and drill bit. Always drill and cut against a solid surface like a cutting mat on a workbench, never in your hand. The wife's 200 year-old antique dining room table probably isn't the ideal workbench. THIS TUTORIAL DOES NOT REQUIRE POWER TOOLS. DO NOT USE POWER TOOLS WITH THIS TUTORIAL. This tutorial is for information purposes only. Results not guaranteed. YMMV. WYSIWYG.
Select the part you want magnetized. I have chosen the Space Marine arm with grenade.
Find and mark the center of the shoulder with a hobby knife. Do this against the work surface, not in your hand.
Twist the hobby knife a couple of times to widen the center so the drill bit will stay in the center of the shoulder. Again, do this against the work surface, not in your hand.
Select the magnet you are going to use. I use D201-N52s 1/8" x 1/32" for Space Marines and Terminators. The magnets I used are strong enough to keep a OOP pewter jump pack on my Chaplain, but just barely. The plastics are much harder to knock apart since they are lighter.
A close up of an individual magnet and the arm.
Select a drill bit that is the same diameter as your magnet. This one is a 1/8" bit.
SLOWLY drill out the shoulder with the bit using your fingers. Make sure you are drilling perpendicular to the flat surface of the arm that you would normally glue to the torso. DO NOT USE A POWER TOOL, THE BIT SHOULD BE IN YOUR FINGERS NOT A DRILL OR DREMEL! Once again, do this against the work surface, not in your hand.
Clean up the hole you are making periodically so you can check the depth of the hole. You want to drill out just enough to make the magnet flush with the flat surface of the shoulder. Test fit this before gluing!
Select an already magnetized torso (see below for instructions on creating a magnetized torso). I have chosen this Assault Marine model.
Place the loose magnet on the already magnetized torso on the correct shoulder for the piece you are currently working on (The left shoulder for left arms, the right shoulder for right arms). Mark the exposed surface of the loose magnet with a permanent marker. This will ensure we install the magnet with the correct polarity.
Remove the loose magnet from the shoulder and place on a hobby knife out near the end. You can also use a steel needle file, sculpting tool, etc., but I find the thin blade makes sliding it off the end easier. I use a dull blade for this part. Make sure the mark you put on the magnet is not the side against the tool.
Apply the tiniest drop of superglue you can manage into the socket of the arm. Put the cap back on the superglue. Using the tool, place the magnet in the socket.
Place a piece of cardstock, paper, popsicle stick or other non-magnetic material against the flat of the tool and gently pull the tool out from between the arm and whatever you have on top. Remove the non-magnetic material after you have moved the tool away from the arm. Be careful; these magnets will interact with metals up to 2" away. Before the superglue dries, make sure your magnet is level and flush in the socket. You should be able to make minor adjustments with whatever you held the magnet in place with.
This part is hard to show, but I think this photo gives you the idea. To be honest, I don't do it like this anymore, I just use my finger to hold the magnet in place and to make sure it is level. Then I wipe any superglue off my finger onto a paper towel while it is still wet. I am an adult and recognize the hazards of sharp blades and superglue. Proceed at your own risk.
This should leave you with the magnet in the socket and you should not be able to see the marker we put on the magnet since that side is inside the arm.
Here is the marine with his new grenade throwing arm option attached (after the superglue has dried).
Here is everything on this marine that has been magnetized.
You can magnetize all kinds of bits for your models. I started with my assault marines so I could kit them out in a variety of ways.
To get started magnetizing, I suggest creating one magnetic torso, then magnetize all of the weapon options, then magnetize the rest of the torsos, so you get the polarity correct on them all. To create the first torso, place the initial magnet following the steps above (find the center of the shoulder, drill it out until it is flush, superglue in place). After that has dried, drill out the other side in the same manner. To achieve proper polarity, place the new magnet on the already glued one and mark it like we did for the arm above. Then glue it into the other side so you cannot see the mark, just like we did with the arm.
When creating additional magnetic torsos, place a loose magnet on an already magnetized arm and mark with permanent marker. Drill out the corresponding side of the torso and glue the magnet in with the marker side in (just like we were doing with the arm above). This should keep all of your arms interchangeable between torsos.
Edited by averykess, 05 December 2009 - 01:59 AM.