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Author Topic: Magnetic Bases  (Read 707 times)
Stewart
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« on: 14 April 2020, 09:02:18 AM »

Hey all,

I'm fairly new, but I've been playing with seeing if I can get a workable magnetic base system (in my case for Blitzkrieg Commander).

My main motivation is I'd like to have the minis usable for multiple game systems.

So I've attached minis to thin 9mm washers and ordered some mdf bases.. I plan to test fitting magnets to the underside of the mdf bases
in appropriate locations for the base.. I'm yet to find any magnetic sheeting thin or strong enough to work well through (at least part of) an mdf base..

Then I can just make bases for other systems in their allotted sizes with different magnet counts for the differing game systems..

Has anyone else had any success with magnetised bases?
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fred.
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« Reply #1 on: 14 April 2020, 09:58:59 AM »

Hi Stewart

Magnetic basing can be a really good way to get use of figures for multiple systems. It can also be a bit fiddly to get to work well.

I think you will really struggle to get magnets to work through the thickness of an MDF base. Id suggest either putting a layer of magnetic sheet on the base, for the figures to directly attached to. Or sinking small rare earth magnets into the base (some of the MDF base manufacturers produce this kind of thing, but I suspect not for the size of bases you are looking at)

With 10mm figures you will have a problem that the metal to magnet surface area is quite small - so may have adhesion problems. If you go down the rare earth  magnet route they will have enough grip, but you might end up spending more on magnets than on figures!

For 10mm Id be tempted with infantry to just go for figures based for each system - especially WWII were figures are pretty quick to paint.
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Westmarcher
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« Reply #2 on: 14 April 2020, 10:03:48 AM »

All of my miniatures bases are magnetised with actual magnetic strips. The main objective is to keep them relatively secure in their tin boxes and in this respect it is successful (unless you do something catastrophic like dropping the box). It also gives me the option of making sabots or movement trays for games like Impetus, etc. which stipulate larger bases.  For making these I still have a supply of steel paper in my box and thin mounting card or board (the type you use when framing pictures) which I can cut and attach to it but quite frankly although I have the likes of Impetus, etc. in my rules library, I've never played them so never actually had the need to make said sabots.  
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Stewart
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« Reply #3 on: 14 April 2020, 10:09:17 AM »

Steel paper might have been the search term I was missing...
I was searching for "steel foil" (because I was looking for something like "tin foil" but steel).. this could replace the washers I've attached..

Inevitably i'm going to be spending more on the base than the minis - but my goal is more space saving (I already take up way to much room with hobby in the house).

Thanks for the comments, all!  Smiley

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Orcs
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« Reply #4 on: 14 April 2020, 10:15:32 AM »

Steel paper might have been the search term I was missing...
I was searching for "steel foil" (because I was looking for something like "tin foil" but steel).. this could replace the washers I've attached..

Inevitably i'm going to be spending more on the base than the minis - but my goal is more space saving (I already take up way to much room with hobby in the house).

Thanks for the comments, all!  Smiley



Steel paper used to be available from magnetic basing, but their supply dried up a couple of year ago. They now sell a ferro sheet instead. This is quite a bit thicker. Service from them is excellent

https://www.magneticdisplays.co.uk/

In 10mm I would agree with Fred, its easier to go with figures for each system.

The other option is to use generic size bases, as while  most rulesets specify base sizes, as long as both sides have the same it does not make much of a difference 
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ianrs54
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« Reply #5 on: 14 April 2020, 11:14:54 AM »

Baggage Train has magnetic paper, and the Range do some as well.
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mad lemmey
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« Reply #6 on: 14 April 2020, 11:41:22 AM »

Products for Wargames do it too
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Stewart
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« Reply #7 on: 14 April 2020, 11:44:49 AM »

hmm, I've just noticed a product called FerroPaint.. must be paint with embedded iron/steel...

This is a deep, deep rabbit hole
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jimduncanuk
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« Reply #8 on: 14 April 2020, 11:54:31 AM »

hmm, I've just noticed a product called FerroPaint.. must be paint with embedded iron/steel...

This is a deep, deep rabbit hole

Do not go down this rabbit hole.

The magnetic field of this paint is incredibly weak and useless for gaming purposes.
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jimduncanuk
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« Reply #9 on: 14 April 2020, 11:58:30 AM »

I used to make all my own bases with 1mm plasticard and then magnetize them with magnetic tape from Trevor at Magnetic Displays. I make sabot bases covered in steel paper.

Nowadays I use MDF bases from Warbases but still magnetize them as above.

Trevor will advise what magnetic materials are currently the best for the hobby. Use my name as an intro if you don't know him.

Warbases also do magnets and bases with holes for magnets although they are currently in lockdown.

http://jim-duncan.blogspot.com/2016/06/sabots-and-magnets.html


« Last Edit: 14 April 2020, 12:04:36 PM by jimduncanuk » Logged

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Orcs
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« Reply #10 on: 14 April 2020, 12:17:54 PM »

Products for Wargames do it too

This seems to be similar stuff that Magnetic displays sell.  Products for wargamers say its 1mm thick but the stuff from magnetic displays is theoretically 0.4mm thick. both are seld adhesive.  Possible one measures it with the backing on and one with it off?
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mmcv
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« Reply #11 on: 14 April 2020, 05:53:49 PM »

Ferrous paper can be quite useful here too, e.g. https://www.first4magnets.com/ferrous-magnetic-sheets-tapes-t174.
.
Do share whatever you come up with as magnetic systems give a lot of flexibility. I'm experimenting a bit with using magnets for labels and wound trackers on bases as a convenient way to manage things.
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Stewart
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« Reply #12 on: 14 April 2020, 08:47:42 PM »

So i had a little experiment with some 2mm neodymium magnets and 6mm washers I had lying around from other projects.

embedding the magnets in a standard MDF base, then quickly painted, then flocked..
They do hold well enough, but I'm sure to no-ones surprise the flock wears off pretty quickly,  so you end up with a muddy hole anyway..
I'd imagine the paint would wear away pretty quickly too.. That explains why everyone uses the "sabot" style bases.. I didn't feel the washers made the bases too tall, though...

I think I'm going to go with suggestions and just glue the models to the bases, and stop trying to be a smart arse.

I have found that the models stand perfectly well on their own when mounted to thin 9mm washers though.
I might re-visit in future if I fancy trying to do skirmish at 10mm, as i was trying to do both with this idea (I've got a strange desire to try Chain of Command at 10mm)
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fred.
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« Reply #13 on: 14 April 2020, 08:54:55 PM »

Chain of Command in 10mm works well.

We mainly went with figures mounted 2 to a 30x15mm base as just found single based figures a pain to move around. I can't recall the size of washers I used but around 10mm. I left the leaders on washers to make them a bit more obvious.

Movement trays work well with 10mm figures that are multi-based, less so for individual ones.

For larger scale figures it makes a lot of sense to single base, then use magnetic solutions - but you have a bit more area to work with.
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