Friday, 22 May 2009

Tutorial : Magnetising the Valkyrie

I recently picked up a Valkyrie and I've decided to use magnets for the various bits and bobs on it. This tutorial is basically what I've done to my Valk and how I did it, hope you find it useful.

For everyone that thinks that stuff like this is beyond them, then please realise that this is my first attempt at using magnets with my models, and if I can do it, then so can you. The only thing that will stop you doing something is yourself, just give it a go. For all those who see this stuff as easy, please forgive some of my rough bits, it's my first go - lol


As I'd never used magnet before, I got a load of Neodymium from ebay. I got over 100 magnets of different sizes for less than £6. Going from left to right, the first are 2mm x 1mm discs, 3mm x 2mm discs and finally 3mm x 6mm rods.

These are my applicators. You'll find that the magnets are to fiddly to handle especially when you're working near other magnets (magnetic pull) and if you're using super glue as well, then it's a recipe for disaster. So, I use these simple applicators, they're just two rod magnets with lumps of green stuff wrapped around them. I marked a plus and minus sign into them so I can tell them apart.

So, if I use the plus one to mount the magnets in the wing mounting, then I'll need to use the minus one to mount the magnets in the weapons. It's an easy way of making sure your polarities are all right.

Flying Stand

This was by far the easiest part of the project to do. First off, roll a small ball of green stuff about 2mm across. Drop it into one of the small holes into the piece that the clear stand plugs into. Then place two 3mm discs on the end of an applicator, then using the applicator, push the two magnets into the hole with the green stuff. Push them down until the head of the applicator is flush with the top of the hole, then move it sideways across the surface of the piece to break the magnetic connection.

Magnets have a strong pull end to end but very little strength to resist sideways movement. Give it a minute for the green stuff to stick to the bottom magnet, and then use the applicator to pull off the top magnet. If both of them come out, put a tiny bit of superglue in the bottom of the hole, and then pop the magnet back in, pushing it down with a cocktail stick (non magnetic). Don't worry about the depth, the green stuff is already mould to the right depth from the first time.

Once you've done this with all four holes, give each magnet a thin coat of super glue to hold it firm. Don't worry about it looks like, no one's going to see it and the super glue won't effect the pull of the magnets.

Next up is the base plate of the Valkyrie. Simply mark out where the the magnets need to be placed and then put a drop of superglue on the first. Using the OTHER applicator, pick up another disc magnet, put it down on the spot. Give it a minute to hold and then move the applicator off the magnet sideways again. Repeat the same for the other marks and then give them a thin coating of superglue.

Because we used two magnets initially of the base piece, they're set at the perfect depth to allow the magnets on the hull to fit snuggly inside the four holes on the mounting piece.

And before you ask, yes I did intend for the base plate to be tilting forwards, it's strafing!!!

Weapon Mounts

First off, push a roll of green stuff into the v shaped mount and wait an hour for it to set, then using a craft knife, clean off the excess leaving the piece solid so to speak. Leave it for a couple of days to set firmly. Then using a 0.5 mm drill, drill two holes into the green stuff. This is a guide hole to make sure it dead centre. Then, expand the hole using a 1mm, 1.5mm and finally 2mm bit. If you've done it correctly, you should have only drilled into the green stuff. Then, put a drop of superglue into the hole and apply 2mm x 1mm disc magnets to your applicator and push them into the holes until the applicators head is flush with the plastic. Give it a couple of seconds and then move the applicator off sideways. The magnets should sit flush with the surface of the mount. Once it's all dried, glue it to the bottom wing.


First off, the rocket pods need a little more work than the other weapons. Put the two halves together and then cut off the top mounting fin, then file the top flat. Once that's done, put some green stuff inside the pod under where the mount fin was. Push the green stuff in about 5mm at the ends to make sure it doesn't stop the plastic ends going on.

Once it's set, drill two holes into the top of the pod in the same fashion as described with the wing mounts. I actually found that the holes didn't go deep enough to drill straight through the plastic but even so, I'd still recommend putting the green stuff in, just incase you do go too deep.

Don't use the magnets to test the depth, or dry fit in any way. The fit is that good that you won't be able to get the magnet out but it won't be glued in. If you want to check the hole depth, use the non drilling end of your drill bit.

Once the holes are done, put 2mm disc magnets into them using the method describe for the wing mounts, but remember to use the OTHER applicator.

With the missiles, simply cut away the mounting fin in line with the front and back fins and then drill and mount the magnets. For the Lascannon's, I used spare ones from the heavy weapons squad. Simply cut and file away the bottom hinge and then drill and mount the magnets in the top piece, which is just perfect for the job!

Nose Weapons

The main difference with the nose mounts was the lack of a mount to drill into. So, I took a large lump of green stuff and then forced it into the weapon housing. To get the flat surface, I simply licked the side of the cockpit and then dry fitted the two pieces. Whilst holding those in one hand, I licked the base of the weapon mounting plate and forced it into place, leaving me with a perfectly flat surface to drill into.

On the licking, I find that water just runs of bare plastic whereas saliva give a thin even coat with is perfect for working with green stuff, and it is my spit, I wouldn't want anyone else licking my models - lol.

Heavy Bolters

For the heavy bolter sponsors, I simply cut off the pin from the bolter base and then mounted a magnet. For the arm, I used the same method as the flying base, green stuff in the hole first and then pushing a magnet in.

Rear Ramp

The rear ramp it's self is just perfect for magnets. The two rings near the dismounting edge are exactly 2mm's across on the inside. Simply drop a bit of super glue into it and then add a magnet.

Unfortunately, the roof isn't so perfect. You're going to have to build to green stuff blocks to mount your magnets. In all honestly, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Before you do this, you're going to have to build up the hull. Simply add the two sides, rear ramp, and front to the base plate then let it dry.

Once dry, get two large blobs of green stuff and put them on the two rear corners of the roof. Lick the sides of the hull where the green stuff will meet and then push the roof in place. Whilst holding it together, lick the magnets on the rear ramp and then close the ramp firmly. It's best not to rush this process, make sure the super glue on the magnets has completely dried before licking it. Once you take the roof off, the green stuff should be roughly shaped to fit flush with the ramp and sides whilst having an indent made by the magnet and it's ring mount.

Leave this overnight and then drill the hole as described before. Remember that you're going to have to go a little deeper that the rim made by the ring mount as the ramp magnet protrudes slightly from the mount. Once you've made your hole, use a craft knife to shape the blob into something more angular and then mount the magnet, making sure you use the OTHER applicator


To make transport easier, I also magnetised the wing mountings as well. First, very carefully drill a 2mm in each of the wing mounts and then mount 2mm disc magnet.

For the wing mounts, first place to blobs of green stuff behind the mounts and then lick and force the closing panel onto the mount to force the blogs flat. Next drill and mount 2mm disc magnet in the mounting holes.

And there you have it, hope you find it useful, and if you give it a go, let me know how you get on.


Alliance said...

Great article. Very well designed and set up. What are you planing for the wings? I need to magnetize mine for easier transport.

Admiral Drax said...

Fantastic - as ever.

I've not done a lot of magnet work, but I've found it tremendously useful to mark a thin band of foundation paint around each pole: blue for north; red for south.

Works a treat.

Ranger Rob said...

Very useful. Thanks for posting...If I ever get a Valk I'll be sure to check back here.

sovietspace said...

What an awesome article mate. I'm think about tackling my flyers soon, and your advice on how to magnetise the hell strike missiles will cover very in handy.


Cadian 127th said...

Very very useful post. I think I'll be using magnets a lot when I get hold of my Valkyries.

Keep the excellent guides coming! :)

- Courtney @ Cadian 127th

Itkovian said...

Very nice and concise guide, sir. Bookmarked for when I get round to my lot.

MIK said...

Add me to the growing list of folks saying, "man, you've written one heck of a top-notch tutorial"! I'm forwarding this one along to my buddy who just picked a couple o' these up.

Renegat said...

Very useful, really!

I´m planning my own "magnetized" Valkyrie and os i got a lot of ideas from it!

Unknown said...

This is just what I needed to see. I had some vague ideas about how to proceed with the magnetization of the Valkyrie, but this is a clear guide. THANKS!!

Col. Corbane said...

Thanks for your kind comments guys, honestly thought I replied to you all earlier. Must be old age - lol

I've added a bit more to the tutorial so that it now covers how to magnetise the wings. I think that covers about everything to do with magnets.

Next on to the painting, I'm hoping to take this model to the next level, so wish me luck :-D

J.R. Vosovic said...

Awesome. I was planning on doing this, glad I found you. Already following you too, crazy =)