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As the title may suggest I am looking for a little bit of information on basic techniques for converting. I have been itching to use magnets and plasticard for quite a while, but haven't ever gotten around to it. With the new orks coming around and wondorous ideas for conversions buzzing through my brain half the time, I figure it's finally time to start using them. That being said, I have two problems for each. First up, when using magnets or plasticard how do you attatch them? I assume that GW superglue will probably work for plasticard unless it has some special coating, but is superglue enough to hold strong magnets on, or do you use something a little more industrial?
My second problem is I don't know where to buy either. I have read many times to check local hobby shops for plasticard, but after having done this I have come up empty-handed. If you live in canada, (preferably in the alberta region), could you give me a store name for where you buy it? I have also considered that it may not be called plasticard in Canada, so do you know what it is called if not plasticard? As far as magnets, I have seen some rare earth magnets in hardware stores like princess auto or home hardware, but they always seem too big for any application short of turret mounts for tanks, and I'm hoping to be able to magnetize something as small as a big shoota.
I would be very gratefull for any help you could offer.
Hey, there and welcome to the world of scratchbuilt (IE: not built out of bitz) conversions!
It's really not as difficult as you might think. Plasticard/Sheet Styrene is exactly the same material as the plastic Minis you're used to, just in sheet form. What works for one will work perfectly well for the other. Superglue is fine, although if you're gluing plastic to plastic then a dedicated Plastic glue will serve you much better. I use Ambroid Pro-Weld, but Testors Model Master is also pretty good and typically available at Walmart, Michaels, etc. Superglue is the preferred method for attaching magnets, although you could use a 5-minute epoxy to attach it if you really want a bulletproof bond.
(as you might have guessed, Micro-Mark, the store I linked to, carries all sorts of stuff. They're really good, check them out.)
Magnets are typically installed by drilling an appropriately sized hole and sticking them in with Superglue - the plastic holding the magnet does all the work. For larger holes, I like to blank off the holes with plasticard and attach the magnets to that... I'll try a quick diagram:
Well, that seems to work (for me at least). The idea is that the XX parts are the sides of the hole. The OOO's are the magnets, and the ******** parts are the plastic plate across the holes to make the whole thing work. (____ parts are just place holders, ignore them.) The plates hold everything together, and rotate freely against each other - got it??
As for where to buy them... Well, I'm gonna have to tell you to look at local hobby shops again. Look in your Yellow Pages book under Hobby & Model Construction Supplies - Retail, and you should find them. That's where they're all listed here in Winnipeg. Model Railroad shops may be your best bet.
Their ads there should be pretty clear on whether they have what you need, just give them a call to check before going on a trip. Micro-Mark sells some plastic stock, too.
Just to give you an idea of the options available out there, take a look at Evergreen Scale Models. They're basically the big name in modelling styrene supplies, and they make a truly staggering array of, well, pretty much everything!
As for magnets, people have all sorts of favourite sources, both online and off. My personal favourite? Lee Valley Tools. They're a Canadian company with branches in both Edmonton and Calgary (Retail stores link, over on the left has locations listed), and they are just plain AWESOME. Rare Earth Magnets in all sorts of sizes, from 1/8" up to 1", Superglues, Epoxies, Clamps and Vices, and all manner of interesting little stuff. Take some time to browse their website, it's well worth it.
Styrene supplies, from tubes, to sheets, to square tubing, even to diamon-pattern grillwork sheets...
... can all be found in one specific type of store, and its not a gamer store.
I'm certain that somewhere in alberta, there is a little old mans' model train store. THATS the goldmine for styrene in all its forms!
They use it to custom build scale buildings and industrial stuff for their scenery. And once you wander the aisles, youll see some really cool stuff. All you could ever dream of for plastic needs... even some stuff you never even knew of, and find instant inspiration for!
Thats the biggest tip I can give.
Regarding glues... styrene is best glued with that 'weld' glue, that literally melts the plastic parts together, then dries solid. Its the kinf of glue thats in a bottle, with a brush on the lid. This kind of glue is best for styrene to styrene glueing. When your styrene stuff is complete, you can use the same glue to ttach it to plastic GW models, or superglue.
As for magnets: I used disk rare earth magnets (internet mailordered) that fit a drillbit/rounter bit that I have. And, since theyre neodynium (smooth metal), even superglue doesnt hold it very strongly.. most often, the magnet will pull away clean, leaving a superglue mold in the exact shape of the magnet... the solution? A file! All I needed to do was scratch the metal up, and then superglue it normally. Then, it holds solid.
Hope that all helped!
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Thanks a lot for the help guys, especially you wraith. There is definitely a Lee Valley in calgary, and in fact I have spent a fair bit of time there, but I've never seen the magnets. I'm glad you gave me an excuse to go back, such a fun store to browse around! This goes a long way to pointing me in the right direction. Thanks again!