Monday, June 10, 2013

Posing and Magnetizing the Riptide

Ah the Tau Riptide.  If you love giant robots and 40K, it doesn't get much better than this guy (you know, at least until two months later when an even bigger one comes out of the gates sporting +2 Toughness, +2 or so inches, and an even deadlier attack profile towards wallets and bank accounts).  The Riptide is by far one of my favorite models put out by GW - so small head aside, I had to pick one up.


The kit goes together smoothly, and allows for a full range of posing options (it even comes with several flying stands).  The small head isn't THAT bad, especially when you pose the mini so it isn't just standing straight up and down.  Speaking of posing the riptide - that is really the main topic of this article.

My first course of action (as it often is with large plastic kits) was to find a pose I liked by googling "riptide posing."  I'm not the best at posing a mini naturally, but fortunately the internet is full of guys who can work wonders with plastic.  I came across this thread at Advanced Tau Tactica where a member there named Shas'La - Vash had a beautifully posed riptide, and I went about creating a similar stance.  First up was the base:

WIP shot - plenty of rubble/gouges/bullet holes left to be put in.
This was mostly done with leftover rhino doors/panels (I had used forgeworld ones for my space wolves and had plenty of original ones leftover).  I added in some wire, random metal hardware, a small piece of imperial scenery, some cork rubble, an excessive amount of putty, and a respectable base began taking shape.


Next I assembled the Riptide's legs, removing the pins that would have given them the static pose on the box (GW does a nice job on the instructions letting you know where to cut these).


Then I assembled the upper body, leaving off supporting systems and secondary weapons. I chose to magnetize the support systems/secondary weapons as these have a big impact on how you run the riptide.  I went ahead and glued the Ion Accelerator gun mainly because I can't see myself using the heavy burst cannon - but also because I plain like the model for the Ion Accelerator better.




Next I went about the magnetization process.  I don't intend for this article to be a magnetization how-to, but I would be glad to do an article on that in the future if there is interest.  The first thing I did was take a sharpie and mark the top of a magnet while it was on the stack of other magnets.  I removed that one, marked the next, and repeated until I had marked all the magnets needed for the job.  This ensured I would always know the polarity of the magnets used.  This also enabled me to glue the magnets in a way that lets me swap around secondary weapons/support systems to any of the spots where I have a magnet.



The next step was to drill a pilot hole in the center of where I wanted magnets to go with a pin vice.  With the pilot holes as my guide, I then used a 1/8" drill bit to drill out a space in the plastic for each magnet.  I used 1/8" diameter x 1/16" width cylindrical magnets for everything, though the support systems likely would have held fine with 1/16" x 1/16" (you can see in the photo below I cut off the plastic base of the support systems and replaced it with a magnet).
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Your drill bit should match the diameter of your magnet (1/8" in this case).  On plastic I usually just use a drill bit with a shank that I can comfortably hold.  Some people use dremels/electric drills, but I have had no trouble drilling plastic by hand.  I also feel much more comfortable with hand drilling that my mini won't become a casualty before it even gets to the tabletop.  With the spaces drilled out I threw some super glue in the holes and popped in the magnets.

After allowing everything to dry, I now have a riptide where all the support systems/secondary weapons can be swapped as necessary.  Before I paint, I'll go back and clean/fill anything that needs it.

Note: this load out isn't rules legal, I just have everything attached for awesomeness
I hope you've enjoyed the article!  Feel free to post any questions or comments you have down below.

-Ron