Tuesday, 23 April 2013


"Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts..."

1. The Pledge

Despite my previous adventures in magnetism, attaching detachable elements to my chariots proved to be a very different prospect than gluing a couple of magnets to plastic bases and letting them stick to rubber steel.

To begin with, I had to attach N42 magnets (3mm) directly to the models. This meant drilling a hollow into their feet - or both feet, in the case of the spear-wielding bosses (bigger and more unstable, in the best orky tradition)

"The magician shows you something ordinary. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course... it probably isn't."

Since the hole was too large for my slow and steady hand drill, I had to use a power drill and hope for the best (i.e. make a new foot from greenstuff when I drilled too far).

After drilling the model's feet, I glued the magnets in there. They stuck out a bit, as there wasn't enough foot to contain a whole magnet, but that suited me, as I reckoned it would be stronger to 'peg' into the hole anyway.

2. The Turn

Savage Orc Boar Chariot conversion with magents
"The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary."
Next up was the base of the chariot. I didn't want to put down a whole patch of rubber steel, as that would spoil the wood grain detailing.

Plus I didn't think the hold would be secure enough - this needed to be magnet against magnet. And to be extra sure of the hold, I used a bigger magnet - an N38 (6mm) - to hold against the lesser ones.

Then, I measured where I wanted the models positioned, and drilled holes where the magnets could fit. Surprising good fits too - only on one hole did I need to widen the space to get the peg to fit the hole.

Savage Orc Boar Chariot conversion with magents
"Now you're looking for the secret... But you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking."

I then had to fit the bigger magnets to the underside. This was easy enough, just a case of gluing them over the existing hole. Except where the magnets were placed over the axle of the chariot - which was a good deal thicker.

So I had to bring out my biggest drill big and grind out a 6mm hole into the plastic, big enough to slip the N38 magnet in there. Both the chariot and myself survived the experience.

Savage Orc Boar Chariot conversion with magents
"You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn't clap yet ..."

3. The Prestige

And how do they fit? I won't be doing my upside-down trick with them, and a good shake will have them off, but the hold is secure enough for tabletop use, so I count the operation a success.

Savage Orc Boar Chariot conversion with magents
"Because making something disappear isn't enough; you have to bring it back. That's why every magic trick has a third act..."

The scythes and banners were an easier prospect - once I'd gotten past the trouble of getting superglue to properly adhere to plastic and magnet.

The wheel sockets and scythe handles are almost exactly the same thickness as an N42 magnet, so they just needed snipping off and replacing - the scythes now leap into place with alacrity. I covered up the magnets with some fuse wire, and painted it to look like wrapped-around twine.

The banners were fine once the magnet actually stuck in place. It's not perfectly vertical, but that's orcs for you, and the bottom was easy enough to disguise with greenstuff. Like the scythes, the fit and hold is perfect. If I'd used plastic orcs, instead of metal ones, I think the same would be true of the charioteers.

All the same, in the future, I'll be sticking to using magnets for bases only.

"You're only supposed to blow the bloody scythes off!"


  1. Sir, I am amazed. You may keep the shillings I paid as entry, and pray accept this guinea note by way of a tip.