Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Magnetizing the New Bugs: Harpy/Crone and Exocrine/Haruspex

This past weekend I broke out the new bugs and started putting them together. With both kits, I decided that I wanted to magnetize them as much as possible, in part so I don't have to make a decision on my list before painting the models.

Nice big pile o' bugs
I jumped back and forth between an Exocrine/Haruspex kit and the Harpy/Crone kit as I ran into problems or concerns, allowing myself some time to think about a potential problem and not just going gung ho on an $80 kit.

Even though I went back and forth, I'll start with one kit and run through the magnet points and how I attached them. I'll start with the Haruspex/Exocrine because it was a pretty straightforward magnet job. There are only three points of connection we'll need to swap out. The first one was the head. After looking at the neck piece and the back of the two heads, I was pleased to find there was room to recess a magnet in the head and leave room for another magnet coming from the neck.

For the exocrine head, I simply added some putting into the neck section, and pushed the magnet in and let it dry. I sealed it with some super glue just to give it some extra durability. I then used this to mark where on the neck I wanted the base magnet by attaching the second magnet and putting some paint on, then affixing the head. With that spot located, it was a pretty simple matter of gluing on the same size (1/4") magnet to hold it in place.

Finally, I simply glued a third magnet in the Haruspex head to line up in the same spot.

The arms were only slightly more involved. I realized the widest portion of the arm socket perfectly fits a 1/4" magnet. Rather than doing any cutting into the body, I simply notched where the arm ball went into the socket, cut that part off, and slapped a 1/4" magnet on the end of the arm. Then I glued a 1/8" magnet in the socket (no drilling or cutting here). And like that, I was done.

Next up was the Crone and Harpy. This lady was a lot tougher than the exocrine, in part because there are so many more parts to magnetize. I also made it a little harder on myself by gluing the entire body first. For the next two, I'll make sure to leave the top and bottom portions of the carapace separate.

Now, one caveat, for several of the bits, I decided to just go with one or the other. Notably, this would be the chest spines, the back pieces, the tail, and the blade/spore mine cluster. With this first flyer, I decided to mix and match, and figure for the next two, I will do the build almost entirely Crone and almost entirely Harpy.

The first bit I magnetized was the wings. This was not so much for customization as transport - the model is probably closing on a foot long, and the wing span is almost as big. Trying to fit two of these things in a case would be difficult with the wings attached, let alone three. The wings fit pretty well into the sockets and the size of the body, so first I tried simply pinning them in place through the front arm. However, the pin wasn't enough to keep the arm pressed into the body.

To fix this, I drilled into the rear "arm" sockets. The body at this point is pretty thin, and I ended up drilling through from one side to the other. Using some putty to secure it, I inserted two 1/8" magnets into the body, well recessed. Then I glued a 1/8" magnet to the end of the socket. With the recess being deep enough, there was no need to cut out the socket, and the wing slid firmly into place.

The next bit for magnetization was the head. Initially I just used a pin, which worked, but wasn't very stable. I could have probably used a little tac to hold it in place, but decided to go with a magnet. Pretty simply, just a 1/8" magnet on the head and neck to hold it in.

The final bit was the weapon arms. This was the part that was most concerning because the sockets were fairly small and the different arms had different points of contact outside the socket. This is the part that would have been much easier if the top and bottom halves were not connected. The arm sockets were drilled out and putty used to hold a magnet, while the ball of the arms were cut slightly and then drilled to allow the magnet to be recessed.

Lastly, I magnetized the tentaclids into the wings, which was pretty easy. Simply, I drilled out 1/8" holes for magnets, and then matching magnets in the bottom of the tentaclid mounting point.

As you can see from the Crone pictures, I started painting and I must say, this model is huge. I'm hoping to crank it out, but it might be a while before I can show some assembled pics.