Monday, March 16, 2009

Space Hulk modular Terminators #1

I figured if I am going to go through all the trouble of making a 3D Space Hulk board, I may as well make some modular Terminators using magnets as well.

(preemptive apology for the crappy pics, my digital camera is M.I.A and the cellphone will have to do unit I edit this post at a later date with better photos.)

Most Space Hulk missions use up to two 5 man terminator squads.
Second edition is fairly straightforward with only the 'Fangs of Fenris' White Dwarf campaign adding any mutability to the squads.
First edition base game is similar, but the Deathwing expansion greatly enhances how you can customize your Terminator squads.

After going through and thoroughly researching what is needed to customize each squad, I have come up with a parts list needed to make 2 mutable squads:

10x IMMUTABLE BODY FOUNDATIONS (torsoes, legs, heads)

2x Torso halves with Banner Mount
6x Terminator Sgt. shoulder pads (w/ Crux Terminatus)
2x Shoulder pads (w/name plate)

4x Power Swords
12x Power Fists
* 2 grenade launcher type bits
(2 of each of the above combine to make a powersword/fist/grenade launcher for the Captain)
* 2 power axe bits (use two arms that had the power swords removed and replace with power axes)
4x Chain Fists
2x Storm Shields
2x Lightning Claws
18x shoulder pads (w/ Crux Terminatus)

10x Storm Bolters
4x Assault Cannons
4x Heavy Flamers
2x Thunder Hammers
2x Lightning Claws
20x Shoulder Pads (blank)

62x 1/32nd" Thick x 1/8th" Diameter neodymium magnets
(rated N52 adhesive strength)

For each squad, this gives you the following configuration (note: you will see one arm at the bottom that has no weapon on it, as it is waiting for a force ax to be glued in place for the librarian):

(here is the reverse so you can see the magnets)

...and parts needed to make the Sergeant/Captain:

Assembled terminator bodies with magnets waiting for their arms:

Happy termies that can switch their weapons for whatever scenario needed:

I first twisted an exacto tip in the center of where I wanted to place the magnet to make a guide hole on either side of the torso to ensure that the pin vice will drill a centered hole where the arm will go. This part cannot be stressed enough as making the magnet as centered as possible helps the adhesion of the magnets. It is easy to just drill a hole all the way through the arm socket on the torsos. I recommend trying to be careful to avoid that but it happened a few times to my models and it wont really mess with how well the magnets stick in the torso.

Once those holes are drilled in the torsos, I start gluing magnets on the left side of the torsos to make sure that the polarity of the magnets remain consistent.
(tip: once you have the magnets in the holes, take the torso and press the magnet down on a flat surface, This will make sure that the magnet is flush with the surface of the torso arm socket)

I reverse the polarity for the right side. (for example, of the north pole is facing out wards on the left side, then the south pole should be facing out on the right side) this helps to keep the fields from conflicting with each other when the magnets are in place (A minor worry). If needed, here is a small article about working with magnetic polarity.

The whole project becomes a lot easier if you make one torso to be your "master" which you use to make sure all of the others are consistent.

Now that the torsos are drilled and magnetized, I then start drilling out the arms using the same technique as I did with the torsos, again using an exacto to make a guide hole to ensure the hole is centered.

Once all the holes in the arms are drilled out, I then place a VERY small amount of superglue into the hole by basically swirling the tip inside of the hole to make sure the walls of the hole are wet with the glue, but just barely.

An easy way to avoid confusion regarding polarity is to just take a single magnet and place it in the torso that already has a magnet. I then add a VERY small amount of glue to the arm hole and press the arm onto the torso. The magnet sinks into the hole of the arm created by the pressure of squeezing the two pieces together.
The magnet will only go in the arm as far as it has to and no further, ensuring that the magnets have maximum contact.

Remove the arm to make sure that any super glue that might have squeezed out is not gluing the arm to the torso.

Once dry, slap the arm back onto the torso then glue the shoulder pads on the arms using plastic cement while the arms are on the model. This makes sure that the shoulder pads do not interfere with the arms being tightly fitting to the torso.

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