What we need
Magnetizing is really a cheap business - we just need:
- Some 3x2 mm real earth magnets. I buy mine from Back2Base-ix, you can get 50 for about $10. Although these days I buy them in batches of 200. These magnets are really handy!.
- A drill tool or a power tool. A manual tool will give you more control and is probably safer, while a power tool will make things easier, just make sure you handle it carefully.
- 2mm and 3mm drill bits. Although I use 3mm magnets, sometimes you might want to make a small 2mm hole, then expand it to 3mm.
And that's about it. Using magnets greatly increases your ability to switch gear, and now 6th edition is starting it comes in real handy.
Some smart use of the magnets consists in magnetizing the legs from the torso. What would I do that I hear you asking? well to begin with, it's easier and safer to transport, but it also allows you to play with the pose. It must be the kid in me, but I like to see my minis in different poses, or I would end up bored with them. It's just 2 magnets and a couple of minutes so really worth the effort.
This is what we need to do: drill a 3mm hole in the center of the round base above the legs, and another hole in the area below the torso/sarcophagus where it fits. If the hole is not exactly centered, that will make the pose slightly tilted, which is cool if that is how you want it to look. To fix the magnets in place, add some PVA (white) glue and stick a magnet. The flipside is that it will dry slowly, so refrain from putting the parts together or the magnets will detach. Some advices when magnetizing 1) obviously make sure you check the polarity before! and 2) make the hole slightly larger than the magnet size. This is because the glue will occupy space. We don't want the magnet to protrude from the surface, but to fit in it nicely.
The next part is a bit more tricky. In order to be able to swap the front plates, we need to create a point in the torso to place the magnet. There is no obvious place so what I do is to build a small cross with a suitable piece of the sprue, and place the magnet there. With a cross shape we gain four points of contact to ensure it will stay there. The front plates will need a piece of sprue as well to bring both magnets closer.
Adding the final touches
Now that we are able to swap the torsos, all we need to is paint them and the arms as well. The arms need no magnetizing at all as they are easily swapable (sounds obvious but do not glue them to the body!).Be aware though that some work might be needed if you want to use weapon arms from other kits, as GW decided to make them in different diameters. I hope they didn't do this on purpose although the contrary is difficult to believe.
If you want to use FW arms (the autocannon ones are rather popular these days!), then you just need to drill the hole in the arms to match the diameter of the dread's peg. Easy peasy. And you can always add magnets in there if need be.
We can also magnetize the upper part of the torso so the magna grapple, searchlight or smoke launchers can be added at will. To do this we'll drill in the center of the squared area in the top of the torso, right where the searchlight in the DC dread below is, or the smoke launcher in the picture above. These 2 options should be straightforward to magnetize, just be careful as these are small items and could slip while drilling. And that's about it, let me know if you have any questions!