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Bolt Action and Trying New Things

I, like many wargamers, am a big history buff, and I have a deep interest in the Second World War. So, when I saw Warlord’s Bolt Action at GenCon 2011 (or maybe it was ’12) I was immediately fascinated.  While I had obviously seen Flames of War, the small scale (15mm)  didn’t really do much for me (I already do micro-armor and BattleTech in 6mm), where as the comparatively large size of BA’s 28mm pulled at me. Much like the modeling opportunities presented by Warhammer 40K (also allegedly 28mm), I felt I could really have some fun modeling these guys.

Alas, the timing wasn’t right and it wasn’t to February that I finally took the plunge and picked up some minis to play Bolt Action. Like most of my purchases, I bought a US army force used off a friend. The infantry is a mix of Warlord plastics and Black Tree Design metals backed by a collection of Warlord resin vehicles and metal support units.

While the Black Tree sculpts look nice, proportionally they just don’t jive with the Warlord plastics. I’ll probably sell those off and use to the money towards fleshing out my force.

Anyways, as I have about a million different projects going, I’ve decided that I’m going to “speed” through these guys. I’ll never be a Golden Demon painter and I think I need to accept a certain amount of compromise on these guys to get them to the table in a reasonable amount of time. And, even when I do spend a lot of time on a model, I still find myself missing something or screwing something up. So I’ll spend my time on character models and paint up the rank-and-file to (what I hope is) a good table top standard.

To achieve this, I’m going to be trying out a couple new-to-me techniques. Including using Zenithal highlighting and ‘dips’ (though I’ll brush it on).

So to begin, I picked five random GIs, cleaned them up, based them with some sand and hot glued them to a strip of cardboard.

I then rattle-canned them Colorplace flat black all over and let them dry. The next day, I hit them with grey primer, holding the can parallel  to the mini’s torso and applied thin, quick coats.


Grey mid-coat applied. You can kind of seen the black in the shadows.


I followed this up with white, holding the can directly over the mini’s head and again, spraying in quick, thin coats.

You can see the built in highlights contrasted to the black basecoat. The question is, will this show through the coats of paint to follow?

To be continued…

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.

So, uh, ferro-epoxy?

So, uh, ferro-epoxy?

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.

Look Ma, no hands!

Look Ma, no hands!

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.

Nailed it!

Nailed it!

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

Don't tell my wife I "borrowed" this. Please?

Don’t tell my wife I “borrowed” this. Please?

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.

Thumbs up!

Thumbs up!


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.