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I had a request from another LO member to describe how I use magnets and washers with my carrying case. I figured I'd share it to everyone.
So the principle is easy. Find a plastic box that your models will fit in, glue washers in the bottom, and then glue magnets in the bottoms of your bases.
I used rare earth magnets from amazingmagnets.com in the following dimensions:
1/4" diameter x 1/32" thick
1/4" diameter x 3/32" thick
The model bases:
For my space marine (25mm) non slotted bases I had glued nickels in the bottom of my bases for stability. Then I uses one of the 1/32" thick magnets and used regular CA glue to hold the magnet to the nickel. This magnet is strong enough to hold the plastic models quite firmly to the washers.
For terminator size bases (40 mm I think) I used the 3/32" magnet and just glued those straight to the bottom with CA. These guys are strong which led to some problems with the boxes which I will discuss in a moment
Finally for the MC bases I used two 3/32" thick magnets at opposite sides of the base to hold these guys down. The magnets are so strong they'll hold my all metal hive tyrant in the box upside down (just don't shake it):
The Carrying case(s):
Since you'll have a hard time finding a light carrying case made out of metal, I recommend that you pick up a plastic box that's the right size and glue fender washers to the bottom of them.
Fender washers are large washers with smaller holes in them. You can of course use a piece of 1/32" steel, but that would be expensive and hard to cut. I got my fender washers at a small hardware store. If you go to the big box stores like Home Depot or Lowe's you'll pay over double the actual costs of the washers (they only sell them in bags of 10 or so). I paid around $.05 per washer. You'll need a bunch. I recommend a box of about 50 to start with. I used 1 1/4" washers, but any size will work.
I chose to divy my models up into units. I found some nice size boxes at wal-mart real cheap ($.50 each). Then I took my hobby knife and scored the bottom of it a bunch. I image some coarse sand paper would also do the trick. The problem comes into the fact the CA (super glue) will not bond very well to steel. However, a glue called Gorilla Glue will expand and kind of grab the washer.
So for one unit of space marines I placed 10 washers in the bottom of my box (gluing them down with the Gorilla Glue). I used an old pocket knife to pry away the bigger bubbles when it dries (takes 12-24 hours to set). Simple enough:
For the terminators I had bit of a problem, the magnets are so strong they'll pull the washers off the plastic when you pull the models out. I took some plasti-card and cut it to fit in the box. Scored the underside of the plastic the same way as I did the box and then put Gorilla glue on top of the washers and sandwiched the washers. The magnets are strong enough that they still old the models through the card:
Finally for the big models I had to track down a suitably large box. I glued down washers in this one (spaced further apart) the same way as I did for the small boxes:
To carry the small boxes around I found a file carrying box that the small boxes fit in. Any box will do, or you can just carry the boxes loose.
Problems I've had with this method are:
1) magnets fall off: Luckily to no ill effect. Super glue puts them right back.
2) slotted bases: Haven't quite figured out what I'm going to do with the slotted bases. The 3/32" magnets are too thick and too strong.
3) washers just come loose: Gorilla glue works for the majority of the washers, but sometimes they just won't stay stuck to the plastic.
4) horde mating: I do not recommend this method for swarms like gaunts. The last thing you want is all your models to jump together on the board because the magnets are really attracted to each other.
This is not the end all, be all solution for carrying miniatures. This is just the way I prefer to do it. If I could afford the space and time for foam carrying trays I would prefer to carry my models that way. In the end this works for 90% of models. I hope it helps someone!
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Just to add to this, sheet metal from any hardware store works great. You can line the bottom of a box, crate or anything you like. Most hardware stores will be happy to cut them to whatever dimention you want.
Othewise, I've seen people use magnet sheets(also from hardware stores) and 3/4'' flat washers(fitting under the base) to stick the minis(non-slot) on to the magnet sheets.
W/D/L Eleventy trillion billion/NONE/ NONE - I am STILL rulezor!
WINDMILLS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!
I appreciate this thread! a lot.
Also, to expand a little, i thought of this today, before i picked my gf up from school...
When i worked at a factory one time, there was this table magnet, that you could turn off and on. when on, it was stronger then all hell! when off, it was barelly strong at all.
If you could make a box with a ground like that, and put some dimes and quarters on the bottom of the bases, then maybe turn the thing on or off, you might have something there...
I think im going to try and find one of those things online tomorrow or the next day, i will post what i find.
Nice work! I've seen these in action and they look great and really do the job!