Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Custom Movement Trays: Part 2

This is part 2 of 2 of my movement tray tutorials. Here I'll show you how I magnetized the movement tray that I built in Part 1.

This tutorial will first show you how to add steel to the movement tray, so that models with magnetized bottoms will stick to it. I will then show you how to add magnets to the bottom of the tray itself, so that it will stick in an army carrying case with a metal bottom.

Once again, start by gathering up the supplies required for this job. Here are most of them. The steel, some scissors to cut the steel, the movement tray in question, and the rare earth magnets (they're sticking to the side of the steel).

The steel rolls came from the roofing section at Menards (a local home improvement store). As you can see here, it comes in small rolls and large ones. I use the stuff on my house remodeling tasks occasionally, so I have a ton of it sitting around. Be sure that you buy Steel when you go to pick this stuff up. It is in the same place, and looks exactly like the Aluminum rolls they carry. If you buy aluminum, you're screwed; magnets will not stick to aluminum.
The first part of this tutorial will show you how to make models with magnetized bases stick to the tray.

Start by measuring the length and width of the tray. Subtract 1 to 2 millimeters from each of those, and draw it out on the steel with a pen. This is so the steel fits nicely onto the tray, and doesn't overlap.
Cut out the marked steel with a pair of regular household scissors.
Be careful, as the cut steel is very sharp.

Fit the steel onto the tray to be sure that it fits nicely; trim it if necessary. Be sure the corners of the steel aren't curled. You need to bend the steel up so that it's as flat as possible.

You can see in the pic above that I've scored the bottom of the steel with the scissors. This will make it stick better in the next step.

Glue the steel to the movement tray, scored side down. I cover the bottom of the steel with super glue, then stick it onto the movement tray. It works better that way, as the wood will suck up some of the glue if you put it on there first.
Time to put some weight on the steel, and wait for the glue to cure. I use the magazines under the other sides of the weights in the above pic to be sure that the weights make flat contact with the steel. The steel sticks better that way, and ends up flatter.

The rest of this tutorial shows how to add magnets to the bottom of the movement tray, in order to make the movement tray stick into an army carrying box/case with a metal bottom.

Don't move on to this step until the super glue is completely cured, otherwise it'll be a mess and likely break apart on you.

The number of magnets to use will depend on which type of models will go on the movement tray. Are they metal or plastic? Are they large or small? For my case, I am going to use 8 magnets. There are 5mm wide rare earth magnets.

Get out your trusty drill, and a drill bit that is slightly larger than the magnets. Here you can see the magnets stuck to the end of the drill bit. You'll also note that I labeled the bottom of the movement tray. That's a good habit to have, as I have probably twenty random movement trays in the closet that I built over the years.
Drill the holes evenly across the bottom off the tray. You can go in until the bit hits the metal that you glued on top, that will stop the drill bit. Be careful not to put a ton of pressure onto the drill, as you might pop off the steel sheet on top.

Now gather up the supplies for the next step. You'll note that I drilled a few extra holes, just in case I need to add additional magnets later.
The way that I attach the magnets is by first making small balls of ApoxieSculpt. Then I put a dab of super glue into one of the holes. Next take a putty ball and turn it into a cylinder. Push the putty cylinder end first into the hole, to fill it up. Mash it in there, and then break/wipe off any excess. You want the putty to be flush with the surface of the wood, and smooth at this point.

Without delay, place a small drop of super glue onto the putty that is now flush with the surface of the wood. Take a magnet, and set it on the putty. I use the cap from my super glue bottle here, to push the magnet into the putty. You want the magnet to be pushed into the putty, and too end up flush with the wood. All excess putty that oozes out and around the magnet should be removed and smoothed over.
Above you can see the super glue cap that I used as a tool, as well as the finished result.

One very very important thing to remember here, regarding the polarity of magnets. When I magnetize an army using rare earth magnets, I make sure that every single magnet that goes into any model or movement tray has the same polarity side up as all of the others. You can run into some serious issues if the magnets under your movement tray are repellant to the ones that are on the bottoms of your miniatures! Always be aware of this potential issue when adding magnets to anything. One easy way to always be sure that you get them right is to take out an existing model from the army that is already magnetized, and attach the magnets you are currently applying to the magnet on the model's bottom.

That's all there is to it. You'll see that I added some toothpicks to the top of the side rails here, to fit in with the rest of the army. At this point, it's all set for primer.
Note in the above pic that I had to fill the spot on the top where the side and front rails meet with ApoxieSculpt. There were some unsightly gaps there.

These movement trays are great, once you've built an army carrying case with a metal bottom. Your troops can be carried around, all ready for battle. No time consuming packing and unpacking of each model. The only thing this transport solution wouldn't be very good for is taking them on an airline.


Domus said...

I completely did this with my lizards after having seen it done on your beasts. Love it and it makes setup / takedown so simple.

Ryan said...

Very nice work - and thanks for the post!

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