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 Post subject: Magnetizing a Space Marine Predator
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:26 pm 
Craftsman
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I know this is primarily a LOTR forum, but I thought I'd share my latest article from Green Dragon regards to magnetizing a predator tank, lest any oneringers be secret space marine players and find it useful. The original article can be found here http://greendragonhobbies.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=conversions&thread=42&page=1.

Throughout this thread well be taking two predator kits and magnetizing it to holy hell and back. This will enable our client to swap out weapons as he chooses and even swap the side-sponsons over to full doors if he wishes. All attachments will be fully painted up and we're also going to try out a salt-weathering technique to give this tanks a real battle-hardened appearance and really bring them to life. First of all though, we need to crack open the kit and start assembling!

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We kept the back-door of the Predator loose so it will open and close freely, nice little touch :) Here is a Sternguard Marine pictured just before packaging to give an idea of scale for those not familiar with Predator tanks.
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The front rain-visor flap also moves up and down, we'll try to be careful with painting to make sure we can keep this neat little option.
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Now we start playing around with the magnets...
In this step we're going to look at magnetizing the turrets so we can swap out for either option. There are a few other guides online, I'm not saying this is the right way, the only way or anything of the sort. But using a combination of sources we developed a method that worked. Some of these online guides are a little suspicious and I'm not certain they've actually had a go at it themselves! Now for a tale of frustration, swearing at tiny magnets and ultimately achieving the goal intended.

The first step is to simply assemble the main turret hull, get your magnets at the ready - you'll need six small ones, make sure to take note of the polarity and for the love of Space Marines KEEP THEM SEPARATE! This magnets (the tiny wargaming ones) tend to be quite powerful and will jump at any opportunity to fly over the desk and stick together, or to your clippers, or to the desk itself should it have any metallic components. I found a good trick to keep them organized is to keep them at least 6" apart on the desk and use a tiny splodge of paint to mark the positive or outward sides.
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There are two little holes on the inside of the turret for the weapons to clip into. In this instance we are going to use either a hobby knife or our clippers just to expand the hole into a bit of a bigger shape in order to fit the magnets in there nice and slug, use a bit of superglue. In this case I used Citadel Thin Superglue, its pretty strong and not the sort you want to get on your fingers. If you find yourself with a bit of a gap you can use greenstuff to pad it out and fill the gap, but thats not too much of a worry - as long as the magnet sits in there and doesn't fall out. Allow it plenty of time to dry before you move on to the next step or you'll find it yanked right out again. A few hours is a good period of time. Once you think it dry you can test it by placing another magnet in there, it'll stick to the one you've glued in and you should be able to gently scrape off said magnet without pulling out the glued in one. For me this took 3 or 4 tries over the course of a day, very frustrating as the client warned me - the magnets sometimes don't sit right.
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No matter your best efforts, you'll still probably have a very tiny gap around the outside of the turret hull, to get around this simply use a little greenstuff and smooth it right over. It'll fill any voids neatly and we'll make it disappear in the painting process with relative ease.
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So there we are, the turret hull is magnetized and ready for the weapons.
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Now for the fun part! The weapons. Glue them as normal then clip off the little pegs that would normally slot into where you just put the magnets in the previous step. Now we're going to drill a little hole in the sides of the weapons and stick in the magnets. Make sure to get the polarity correct once more so that these do actually attract to the turret rather than repel. You can use a hand hobby-drill or... like me... Take the Jeremy Clarkson approach to save time...
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This will be the most frustrating part of your project so far. Trying to get the hole just right for the magnet is a real pain, you can use greenstuff to fill the edges if you make it a little too wide, but try to get it to sit just right and once again use superglue to hold it in there, allowing plenty of time to dry. I then used a very, very thing layer of greenstuff to smooth over all six magnets. This reduces their power just a tiny bit and helps hold them in place. The reason for this is to try and prevent situations where one removes the weapon and the turret's magnets follow.
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Now you can see the predator with two different swap-able weapons!
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Finally, we're just going to demonstrate how to safely remove and swap the weapons. Please take note that a rough approach will only undo all your hard work, there is a technique to removing the weapons that will preserve the plastic, magnets and eventually the paintwork too. When inserting the weapon use a finger and a thumb either side of the piece, gently sliding it into the gap, don't force it. Sorry if it sounds patronizing, but I would hate for anybody to experience that horrible feeling of accidentally smashing the weapon and turrent apart by applying the wrong amount of force in the wrong direction. These are strong magnets!
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For removing the weapon, very gently apply the technique in the photograph below, using the handy shield above the weapon for a little gentle leverage. We managed to insert and remove each weapon 5 times without any incidents at all, so thats the turret magnetized!
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Now we're going to take a look at the rest of the project and finish assembling this bad-boy before we move on to painting in the next few posts. So the next step now that we've magnetized our turret is to move onto the side sponsons and side doors. The turret is by far the hardest part so this won't be too difficult in comparison. As always keep your magnetized parts away from each other to avoid frustrations. First of all we're going to clip out and file down all the parts. We're then going to take some thin card, plastic card will do. I personally used an old christmas card (they have their uses even in March!). Cut out a little square and place it over the holes on your assembled bolt-guns. You can do the same for the las-cannons, however we'll do those later so as to keep it simple. Make sure you don't put the centre stork in this weapons as you usually do, we want to keep them separate so we can magnetize them.
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Next up we're going to stick on one of our magnets in the door-well. Make sure you put it in the opposite corner to the little indent with the buttons and lights sculpted in. So we're going to superglue that in there, one on each side and leave it to dry.
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Now we're going to attach the sponsons themselves ready for weapon magnetization. To do this, wait until those magnets are dry then simply chuck another magnet at it! It'll flip itself around for the correct polarization. You then want to put some superglue on the magnet and stick in the sponson door. You can do this before or after but the next bit is to attach the camera. To do that, put the little sponson rod into the well, and stick the camera on top facing forward of course, when that is dry you can then clip the rest of the sponson rod off and cover it over underneath the camera with a little piece of card, just like we did to the weapons.
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Once again, allow that plenty of time to dry and then you should be able to remove the sponson-well like so.
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Now we're going to attach the flat panel doors, should you choose to have your tank without any weapon attachments. To do that we'll be throwing another magnet straight in there as before. Then we need to take a little piece of sprue to help fill the void, superglue that to your magnet (which is magnetized to the magnet on the hull of the tank itself). Then take a little sausage of greenstuff and press that on top of your now dry and glued on piece of sprue. Finally, we're going to place the panel in the gap as if we were glueing it normally and press that right in. That needs a good long while to dry and set so be very patient and allow it the time it needs. The following pictures demonstrate the stage we should find ourselves at.
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Now we're going to finish off those side weapons. A very similar technique to what we did on the doors is to be applied here. First superglue a magnet up onto the card section you glued onto the sponson-well earlier. When thats dry you want to stick a magnet onto that, then apply a bit of superglue and we can now attach our weapons! You'll find that once its dry the weapons can not only be detatched and reattached but will also swivel to aim at whatever targets on the battlefield your army selects to destroy!
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Then you can go ahead and do the same for both sides and both weapons.
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At this point you'll be releaved to know you can put the magnets away, gravity can handle the next bit ;). We're going to assemble two different options for the top of the turret, just to give it all a little more variety. First is the easy one, the closed hatch. Don't glue it in place, it sits quite nicely when dry and doesn't fall out unless you turn the darn thing upside down. Note that we still haven't glued in the main turret so as to enable it to swivel from side to side as well.
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Whilst assembling the mounted gun we're going to glue it in such a way that the bolter can swivel up and down, this will help in game to show it the weapon is disabled or not. To achieve this glue the two halves of the bolter together but do not glue the stork, just glue them around the stork. (Makes sense when you have the bits in front of you).
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Once that guy is done, all thats left is to glue the rest of the optional extras to the vehicle in any way you desire.
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A quick note before we move onto a little showcase of photos. When attaching the side doors (which by now may well be dry) attach them base first as pictured here, otherwise you may experience skewed angles due to the magnet kicking in before its lined up.
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Now, for your viewing pleasure - a couple of photographs showing how we can now easily swap out various parts of the vehicle via the use of magnetizem! Next up we're going to start painting this bad boy using a variety of cool techniques for vehicles.
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 Post subject: Re: Magnetizing a Space Marine Predator
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:23 pm 
Loremaster
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Is that a model Storm Trooper in photo 20?
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 Post subject: Re: Magnetizing a Space Marine Predator
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:51 am 
Craftsman
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It is Bilbo! Another project I'm currently working on is painting up yoda and 5 stormtroopers http://greendragonhobbies.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=conversions&action=display&thread=41

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 Post subject: Re: Magnetizing a Space Marine Predator
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:30 pm 
Craftsman
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All sprayed, basecoated and ready to go :)

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At this stage of the project it is purely and simply about getting all those base colours down, we've got quite alot of ground to cover what with all the add-ons and magnetized parts as well. Its worth just checking once you've given the door-wells a few coats that the magnets still work perfectly fine, which they do indeed - but you'll want piece of mind after all that hard work and seeing is believing! We'll check back in a little later on when we've got all the basic colours for the Astral Knights Predator down and ready for the next bit.

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Its all about the base colors, getting the right design the client wants - we'll worry about detail later :)

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 Post subject: Re: Magnetizing a Space Marine Predator
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:59 pm 
Craftsman
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Just thought I'd share this little montage of the completed and painted/battle damaged Space Marine Predator One, work begins on predator number two now :)

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