Single Magnet Magnetizing
So while I was looking over my box of Scions, I noticed that the “Tempestor” (basically the squad sergeant) has quite a few arm options—options that begged to be magnetized.
Now I’ve magnetized a couple of Leman Russes, but doing something as small as a figure is a totally different ball game. I have a sample set of magnets that do have some reallllly tiny ones in them,so I was ok on the front. However, while I was looking of the model, I began asking myself why everybody always uses two magnets? While I know it probably makes the joint fairly strong, it seemed overkill—especially for something like an arm (however, please correct me if I’m over looking something). Plus there is that whole polarity thing, which has caught me once before.
So, I decided to do some SCIENCE! and see if there was a way I could get away with just using one magnet for the joint.
Idea 1: Metallic Epoxy
OK, so this wasn’t a completely honest effort—more curiosity than anything..
First thing first, WEAR GLOVES with this stuff (I know I always should, but, you know…). Anyways, this stuff STINKS. And the smell doesn’t come off for quite sometime.
Otherwise, this stuff is an epoxy putty, but it’s already kinda pre-mixed. You just cut a chunk off and work it till its all one (stinky) uniform color.
After it hardened I was absolutely floored that it actually had some (incredibly small) magnetic properties. My little rare earth magnet tugged ever so gently towards the lump of cured epoxy, and stayed put when I set the magnet on it. Now, it’s not going to hold anything on, or anything like that, it’s a verrrrrrrrrry weak bond and wont do anything for us. But, like I said, I was surprised there was actually enough metal content in the putty to do anything at all.
Idea 2: Nail Head
I found a pack of small nails that had a really small diameter head that was also quite thin. I was looking for tiny washers when I came across them. Turns out they were way smaller than any washer the store had, so I picked them up.
The head is about 3mm in diameter and half a mm thick.
I was an idiot on the initial try and placed the the entire nail on the arm, thinking it would be easier to cut the head off after the glue had dried.
Because it’s still a nail and kind of hard, when I used my wire cutters to cut the stem off, it broke the nail loose. Also, unless you have better wire cutters then I do (or find a softer nail) you’re probably going to leave a bit of a nub on the head, but that’s ok! I just drilled ever so slightly into the limb we’re magnitizing and basically pinned the nail head onto the arm. I think that will actually help the nail head stay on. I’m sure you could file the stem nub off if you so desire.
And because the nail head is so thin, you really don’t have to counter sink it into the limb if you don’t want to, which can save a fair amount of work.
So how did it work? Perfectly. I was able to pick the Scion up with the arm and even after flicking my wrist a bit, everything stayed stuck together.
Idea 3: Magnetic Sheet
This stuff actually worked better than I thought it would. I just cut a small bit out and superglued it to the powerfirst arm, and it stuck. Now, I couldn’t pick the mini up with that arm, but I don’t see it just falling off in a game either.
The Ferro-Epoxy is not going to do anything for you except stink up your hands, avoid this unless you need a super weak bond that can’t do anything.
On the other hand, the nail head is perfect, not a lot of prep work, no polarity to worry about messing up and it was dirt cheap—like a $1.50 for a couple or dozen. It was also more than strong enough.
Finally the magnetic sheet worked ok, as the arm stayed put, but really didn’t like to be handled. On the plus side, polarity wasn’t an issue, so that’s helpful (and maybe kind of weird—much like ICP, I’m not sure how magnets work). I could maybe see it being useful if you had a weird shape to magnetize, cutting the sheet would be pretty easy to match a shape and it’s fairly thin, so you wouldn’t need to counter sink it.
I’m sure someone(s) have already posted something like this, but I couldn’t find it, though there was no easy way to search—everything came back with two magnets, which is why I’m calling this single magnet magnetizing.