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Magnetizing bases - How I do it.


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I am a huge proponent for magnetizing bases and metal tool boxes (magnets are way cooler than foam any day). So are the majority of my gaming group. Those that weren't are converting, and the new people are being indoctrinated (I would be wringing my hands here and cackling but I am in public and need my hands to type). Since I seem to be the only one of us who bothered to measure and order appropriate sized magnets, it fell to me to be the supplier. In order to ensure everyone gets the right ammount of each size, I was going to put this dissertation on our facebook page. Then I figured that the rest of the community would probably benefit from this as well, so I should share.

So without further ado, how I magnetize my bases based on actual measurments (ie: me sitting in my basement with a lap full of bases and a caliper while listening to old irish drinking songs).

The first step is figuring out what bases you have. There are two versions of the 40 and 50 mm bases and three versions of the 30mm (in my collection at least). As far as I can tell, the bases switched between V1 and V2 somewhere around books 3 and 4. V3 30mm came out with the new M2E plastic kits. The simplest way to determint what you have is to look for the Wyrd logo stamped in the plastic. Early bases did not have this. The below diagram shows what each looks like.


Now for the actual measurements... (disclaimer: my caliper measures in inches, I will make some metric conversions later)

30mm depths: V1= 0.09", V2 and V3 are 1/16"

40mm depths: V1= 1/16", V2 = 0.1"

50mm depths: V1= 1/8", V2=0.1"

The internal width of the center strip on all the V1 bases and the V2 30mm is 0.1" wide. On the V2 40mm and 50mm it is 1/8".

The small circles on the 50mm bases have an internal diameter of 0.1" for V1 and 1/8" for V2

The large circle on the V3 30mm is 0.36" internal diameter, and 0.44" outer.

The tiny circles on the V2 bases are too small to be useful, so I didn't measure them.

Next lets talk about the magnets. If you just want a list of what I use, skip to the bottom. I'm going to explain how I got where I am now to help you avoid the mistakes I made, and maybe you will come up with solutions I missed.

When I stared I only had the V1 30mm and 50mm bases and I hadn't yet started pinning models to their bases so the center slot was filled with that metal bar attached to the feet of the model.

My initial concern was getting a magnet that exactly fit the depth of the base. I did not want to have to screw around with spacers and filler. Second, I did not want a magnet that was stronger than the glue bond between the magnet and base. I intended to use Zap-a-gap (my glue of choice). I knew I wanted square or rectangle ones so that I could glue them to the side of the center bar to maximize the amount of magnet suface glued to the base. I also idealy wanted to only get one size and have it work for everything. I had 0.09" and 1/8" to work with. I split the difference and decided to look for 0.1" cube or bar magnets. These aparently are impossible to find. A few head scratches later, I converted to metric and got 2.5mm. VIOLA! found them on the first try. So I purchased some 2.5mm x 2.5mm x 10mm N42 magnets and went to town.

They worked great. I put one in the center of each 30mm bases, and two on opposite corners of the 50mm bases. I could pick up the models without the magnets coming off and I could turn the models upside down and they stayed put (I was using Bad JuJu as a test subject).

Things changed when I got my first V1 40mm base. The 2.5mm magnet was too tall and the model was wobbly (but stayed attached so not too concerned). Shortly after that, V2 bases started showing up. The 50mm was functionaly no different, but the 30mm bases had the same problem as the V1 40mm. I had also started to have some problems with magnets breaking free from the bases. I blame having to leave my models in my car during an upstate NY winter. The freezing temperatures was probably making the glue more brittle. So I started looking for a solution.

I ended up settling on a 3/16" x 3/16" x 1/16" bar magnet. I applied them the same way as the others to the new 30mm bases and the old 40mm bases and it worked like a charm. The next winter, I had even more magnets break free from the old 30mm bases. I was due to restock my supply anyway so I researched other options. I know the 10mm length was excessive for all but the heaviest 30mm models so I ended up going with 2.5mm cubes. I would put two on each 30mm base like I did with the 50mm bases. So even if one popped off, I would still have the other to keep things from flying all over. This was also the time that I started really pinning the models to the bases so it freed up the center slot. The magnets fit inside perfectly, double score!

That brings us to the present. I still have occasional magnet break free, but not like I used to. Since most are in pairs, I don't find out until I try to pick up the model. I just got my first set of V3 30mm bases. I like the hold acheived in the V2 30mm bases so I have glued the flat 3/16" square magnets to the center, but have yet to test them in action. I don't anticipate any problems.

My only cocern going forward is how to handle the V2 50mm bases. The 2.5mm magnets will still fit, but I will be unable to adequately mount them in the center slot due to it's increased width. I am toying with the idea of getting some 1/8" disc magnets to fill the small holes. Four of those should give me the same hold as two of the 10mm bars.

So in summary, I currently use 2.5mm cubes, 2.5mm x 2.5mm x 10mm bars, and 3/16" x 3/16" x 1/16" bars. I plan to try out some 1/8" diameter x 1/10" diameter discs.

V1 30mm = one 2.5mm x 2.5mm x 10mm bar or two 2.5mm cubes

V1 40mm = one or two 3/16" x 3/16" x 1'16" bar

V1 50mm = two or three 2.5mm x 2.5mm x 10mm bar

V2 and V3 30mm = one 3/16" x 3/16" x 1'16" bar

V2 40mm = one or two 3/16" x 3/16" x 1'16" bar

V2 50mm = two or three 2.5mm x 2.5mm x 10mm bar or up to four 1/8" diameter x 1/10" diameter discs (these have yet to be tested).

Here is a quick diagram on placement


I purchase the 2.5mm cubes and 10mm bars from http://www.indigo.com/magnets/rare_earth/

I purchase the 3/16" bars and 1/8" diameter discs from


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