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Herald of The Warp
2,752 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings heretics. Nord here with another tutorial, albeit a different on that I usually do. For the first time, I will be doing a tutorial that is not about painting, but about magnetizing.

I scoured the net for a tutorial on how to magnetize a Helbrute but I couldn't find anything that didn't require me to cut, molest and greenstuff various parts of the model. As I prefer to have the model as intact as possible, I thought it would be of interest to you all to know that there IS a way to do it.

My method described below requires no cutting, no removal of parts and no greenstuff to work. We will aim to keep the model as intact as possible, so it doesn't seem like it's magnetized at all.

So let's get started!

Table of contents:

1 - Requirements
2 - Before we get started: Tips on magnetizing
3 - Armsockets, Powerfists and Missile Launcher
4 - Thunderhammer and Power Scourge
5 - Heavy Bolter and Lascannon
6 - Autocannon, Plasma and Melta
7 - Final result and conclusion

Important note:
Under each chapter I will write how many magnets you need for the weapons described. If in doubt which size to use for which, look at this section for each chapter.

I should also note, that you will be hard pressed to have any of the fleshtubes on the model if you choose this approach. You can do it, but it requires a bit of finesse.

1 - Requirements

Materials required/recommended:
- X-acto blade
- Metal/resin glue
- A wooden match
- 3 mm & 4 mm drill bits (I recommend using bits made for concrete/metal)
- Hobby drill (Army painters will work just fine)
- 12 x 4 mm magnets
- 8 x 3 mm magnets

What should be assembled?:
Let's take a look at this photo, showing every weapon and it's state for this tutorial.

You will note that the model is pretty much in complete shambles right now. For ease, when saying left and right it is as looking at the picture:

- Arm sockets are not glued to the body. They will be soon enough, but for ease of drilling, keep them out in the beginning.
- Both powerfists are completely assembled, including shoulderpads. Just don't glue them to the body.
- The models left shoulder is assembled and the shoulder plate is glued. But do not glue anything below the elbow for now.
- The Multi-melta, Plasma, Autocannon and lascannon are assembled but not glued to the arm.
- The joint that will hold the heavy bolter and the lascannon is assembled but not glued to anything.
- The thunderhammer and power scourge are assembled but not glued to the shoulder.
- The right shoulder that will hold the two mentioned above, will have it's shoulderplate glued on, but not the weapons.

2 - Before we get started: Tips on magnetizing

A few tips, which are hard-earned, I thought I would give before we get started. They might seem redundant but hey, might as well!

Make sure to drill precise

For the parts to click together seamlessly when we're done, we need to be as precise as we can. Take a look at this arm, for example:

We need to place the magnet as close to the middle of the square, in the middle of the joint, as we can. The more centered it is, the higher is the chance that it won't be skewed once we have glued the magnets in. Nothing sucks more, after having used all this time and patience, than to find it is magnetized on not fitting into the socket and is off to the side!

Use the X-acto blade to make a small hole in the middle, so your drill can rest in that for the starting position.

Use a wooden match to push the magnets into place

Once you have placed the magnets, and have glued, you have precious little time to correct them before the glue makes it near impossible to move them. Once the magnet has been placed, you will need a non-magnetic item to push the magnet into place if it isn't resting as it should. Use your wooden match for this, as you can easily throw it away afterwards, if it gets ruined by glue.

Make sure the magnets don't stick out
In extension of the match-tip, make sure (unless otherwise stated) that every magnet is not sticking out of the place it's supposed to be in. The magnet should be pushed in so it follows the surface completely. If it sticks out, even a little bit, you risk a gap between the two parts as the magnets will keep them separated.

Use a stack of magnets to make sure you get the right polarity

Once you get going, it's vital that all of the magnets are the right polarity when they're being glued in. They can be near impossible to get out if you get it wrong, and you risk having to molest you model to get them out.

To counter this, as it can be easy to loose the orientation, have a row of magnets out from the magnet it is supposed to match. This little trick can be a lifesaver in case like this, where so many arms have to match the same magnet!

3 - Armsockets, Powerfists and Missile Launcher

Required magnets:
5 x 4 mm magnets: 2 for sockets, 2 for Powerfists and 1 for Missile Launcher.

Allright, let's start with the basic stuff. These are pretty easy, but will lay the foundation of how the model will turn out in the end.

We will start out with the arm sockets that we have not glued to the model yet:

Remember what I wrote in the tips section, that it was important to drill in the middle? Never will it be more important than at this step. If this one is not straight in the middle, every single weapon can be off to the side. Luckily you have some leeway because the mold around the edges are quite detailed and will hold it into place, but still: Use the X-acto blade, make a small hole in the middle and do this one right.

Once the hole is made, push the magnet all the way in. Which polarity they are on either side does not matter right now.

After you have put in both magnets, let's get these glued to the model. We will use these for each shoulder and nearly every weapon for seeing which polarity is used, to it will be easier once it's on the model:

We will do the exact same with the Powerfists and the Missile Launcher:

Keep it steady and get the magnet hole in the middle of the square. Use the polarity trick in the tips section and get both Powerfists and the Missile Launcher done correctly.

Now he can pack a punch at least, if everything from this point goes to hell. Make sure to see if it clicks into place and enjoy the view of the first few pieces that can be taken off!

4 - Thunderhammer and Power Scourge

Required magnets:
6 x 4 mm magnets: 4 for socket, 1 for Thunderhammer and 1 for Power Scourge.

Now that the simple stuff is out of the way, let's get on to the one that is pretty annoying. Just to get it out of the way. We're talking the Thunderhammer and the Power Scourge.

The reason why they're annoying is that they share the same arm bit, but we only have enough parts to make one shoulder. So we need to be creative, as both weapons need to use the same shoulder.

Do make this possible, we need to glue the weapons together individually first. The shoulder will only have the shoulder plate glued on. To do this right, hold a weapon in place, glue the top part of the shoulder on and gently remove the weapon afterwards. If done right, you can slide each weapon in place after the glue has dried and you can then switch weapons without removing the shoulder plate.

After the glue has dried (give it like 30 minutes, as we want to make sure we don't break it now) come back and drill a hole in the middle of the shoulder bit, just like the power fists and the missile launcher.

The keen eye will spot that I used more than one magnet here. The reason is this:

That's right, we don't need to drill these weapons. However, for weapons to have a good enough hold from the magnets, we needed to extend the magnet in the shoulderjoint, so I used multiple that are glued together. Alternatively you can glue a bit between the magnet in the shoulder and the one that is supposed to stick to the weapon, but I have so many damn magnets that this was just easier.

Be sure to give the magnets in the weapons plenty (!) of glue and that they are placed roughly as on the picture. If they are higher or lower, you risk the magnets sticking too high and the joint won't get in properly.

The weapons will now slide into the shoulder and be held in place by the magnets.

5 - Heavy Bolter and Lascannon

Required magnets:
1 x 4 mm magnets: 1 for socket.
4 x 3 mm magnets: 1 for elbow joint, 1 for armor joint, 1 for Heavy Bolter and 1 for Lascannon

Now that we have the annoying weapons out of the picture, the entire left arm of the model is done. Yay! Now let's move on the right one, beyond the Powerfist.

We will start with the joint that will hold every single weapon (beyond the fist), the armor joint and it's 2 weapons:

These will be the smallest parts we will be using, so it's time to make those 3 mm magnets handy. The shoulder will need 2 holes drilled, as we will need to be able to switch out a lot of parts:

The large one is the one that joints it with the model. We will use our last 4 mm magnet for this one.
The small is the part where the armor joint and many of the next weapons will be attached to. Make sure to drill this pretty precise, as on the picture, as it just makes it easier in the long run. Beyond the 2 armsockets, this is probably the one I can emphasize the most on, in terms of precision.

Once you're done, it should look like this (4 mm for the socket and 3 mm for the elbow):

The next part is the armour joint that will attach to the Lascannon and the Heavy Bolter. For this bit, we will drill all the way through the armour, as we will be using the next magnet all the way through.

Notice that I drill just where the lines break and the mold curves inward? I can do it exactly where the magnet is on the picture, because I was precise with the elbow joint in the shoulder, so now I can use that as a guideline. This will really come in handy later on, when we get on to the last bunch of weapons as well, so keep this in mind.

As for the weapons on the other side:

I used 2 magnets on the Lascannon, as it is slightly heavier than the Heavy Bolter and I wanted to make sure it had the stability it needed. You can make the magnets go upwards like I did, as you have some room between this bit and the armor joint, if you look inside the joint. So the magnet won't need to be straight for once.

And that's that for these weapons. Now you have a magnetized shoulder, the armour plate can be taken on and off, and you can switch which weapon the armor joint holds. So far so good!

6 - Autocannon, Plasma and Melta

Required magnets:
3 x 3 mm magnets: 1 for Autocannon, 1 for Plasma and 1 for Melta

Let's finish off with another easy part. If you did the shoulder joint on this side as precise as I asked you to, then this next bit will be easy.

All 3 weapons have the same mold in the joint, which we can use as a guideline. Remember when I told you about the mold curving inwards in the armor joint? It's the same thing here:

If you drill it precisely the same place on all 3 weapons, this one will be a breeze after everything you've been through so far.

So now the right arm is ready to be used. These 3 weapons replace the armor joint and is a stand-alone weapon so they are ready for use.

7 - Final result and conclusion

And that's that! Your Helbrute is now ready to face whatever you need with every weapon at his disposal. Here's a few examples of layout with the same model we have been using all the way through this tutorial:

It can be a pretty extensive magnet job, but it will be well worth it in the end. Just take your time, be precise and it will be awesome to use in the future.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and if you got any questions, just ask. I will answer as well as I can :D

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to prime these after having used 2 of them as practice for this tutorial.

633 Posts
Did this on one of my hellbrutes to the gun arm so I could change the gun out as needed. Left the powerscourge on it, since I liked the look of that thing.
Great tutorial.

Heresy Online's Pet Furby
8,723 Posts
I owe you a cookie mate :good:

Entropy Fetishist
4,249 Posts
Looks solid. Now I just need to buy myself a handful of new drill bits...

Herald of The Warp
2,752 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now I just need to buy myself a handful of new drill bits...
Luckily they don't cost much. I got mine for like £2 each, and the magnets (rare earth) costs next to nothing on eBay.

Including bits, I think you can get everything you need for multiple Helbrutes for around £10.
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