Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships

A few months ago, at my local club West coast gamers we had a game of Battlefleet gothic. I hadn't played BFG since it first came out back in about 1999, and back then I only played a few games and then never revisited it. Our first game was a pretty large multiplayer game with lots of ships and it was great fun! Typically, it was only a few weeks later that games workshop, in all their infinite wisdom decided to discontinue all of the specialist games (much to my annoyance!), I missed out on buying any of the last remaining stock from GW, and ended up going to eBay instead to pick myself up a fleet. (eBay prices in all the specialist games have been going CRAZY since march 2013 when these games were discontinued, there's no bargains to be had unless you are really lucky, and its September now! hopefully it'll calm down in the next few months. I want more fleets!!) I've always been a fan of the imperium, I love the ships, and the fluff, so I went for those. I was lucky enough to get a few which were unbuilt, along with some that were pre built. I decided that I wanted to magnetise the ships weapons so I could swap them out and get the most out of my fleet! By magnetising battlefleet gothic ships, I not only get a cool little modelling project, but it also means I get much more than just the four ships I would normally have had. The imperial fleet (as with most imperial vehicles are built on the "Standard Template Construct" (or STC) design, STC design were intelligent computers in the "Dark age of technology" which built anything from a standard lasgun or bolter to a rhino or landraider tank, and even massive battleships like the battlefleet gothic ones! It was a method of standardisation in the "pre imperium" and is still used where the STC designs are available. This is one reason why all the ships look similar, with only the weapons down the side showing the differences in the ships. Technically, some of the ships (enough fluff, I'm back to talking about my models now) should have turrets down the length of the ship, where others have antenna masts, some have nova cannons on them and others have a prow ram. I'm not really bothered about those little differences. For me, the only real difference is the weapons on the side. So that's what I've magnatised. Maybe it's because I'm organised, or it's possibly because I live with a woman who has OCD, but when I'm building kits I always end up laying out the parts so I know where I'm at.
Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships - Parts laid out

Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships - Parts laid out

The first thing I did was to clean up the parts and cut them from the sprues, I usually do this by cutting the parts off the sprue with clippers, then I clean up the rough edges with a very sharp scalpel blade (I use swann morton number 26 blades on a metal handle, your classic "surgeons" blade. You can get these from most craft shops, or ebay.) The magnets I used for this project were from a company called first4magnets, I used some different sizes, purely because I had them available to me. There is no specific reason why some of the magnets are round and some square etc. Check out first4magnets multipacks, they're very good quality strong magnets. Much better than some of the cheap ones you can find on ebay. They even have a section just for wargaming!
Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships -  Inside magnets

Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships - Inside magnets

The first thing I did when magnatising battlefleet gothic ships, was to work out the polarisation of the magnets. At first I thought I would use a magnet on each side of the ship, so that as long as the weapons batteries all had the same poles, they would go on either way. I then realised this would require 4 magnets per ship, and as the magnets are so strong, having them so close together in the ships would be a nightmare to stick them together and over time they would probably break, so, In the end I went for two magnets in each, as you can see from the photo above.
Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships - inside magnets

Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships - inside magnets

I stuck (with blu-tac) two magnets onto two of the weapons batteries, then held them onto the side of the ship, then I put some glue one one of the magnets that would go inside the ship, then held it close to the inside of the ship, then let go. This let the magnet place itself where it needed to be. Leading to a perfect result every time. I just repeated this until each ship had all it's internal magnets on.
Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships - invisible magic

Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships - invisible magic

Once the internal magnets were in place, I stuck the sides of the hull together. These magnets are REALLY strong for their size, even from the inside of the ship they give a good strong hold when another magnet is brought up to it. Obviously, as there is only one magnet inside (per half) the ship has a "north" side, and a "south" side. This means I had to make some weapons batteries as north facing poles, and some with south facing. I can't mix and match sides, but as I have plenty of each I can mix and match between the two pools of batteries. As you can see in the photo aboce, there are 8 weapons batteries, split into two groups of 4. I made sure 4 of them were south facing, and 4 north. So I can use them on both sides of the ship.
Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships -  attached turrets

Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships - attached turrets

As you can see, this uses two of the turret batteries from one of the pools. The other pool will sit nicely on the other side of the ship.
Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships -  plasticard inserts

Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships - plasticard inserts

The turret batteries were really easy to get a magnet seated in them, I simply  found a drill bit that was slightly bigger than the magnets I had, then drilled into the solid back. Once I had a hole big enough for the magnet to sit in I just glued it right in. The launch bays were slighltly trickier, They are hollow, so nowhere to put a magnet! I stuck a small piece of plasticard in the back of each one, which gave me a nice seat for the magnet to sit.  
Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships -  small magnets attached

Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships - small magnets attached

To make sure I got all the magnets the right way round, I grouped my turrets and split them equally, Then I set about placing a magnet on the south side of the ship, when it sticks, you can then work out which side needs to be glued to the battery, once you've done all the south facing do the same with the north side.
Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships -  small magnets atached

Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships - small magnets atached

All the magnets attached to the correct sides, and lined up.
Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships -  finished ships

Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships - finished ships

An example of the finished ships showing various configurations! Now I've finished Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships, I can add these to my current fleet, the flexibility of these ships means I can put them out in various configurations in different games. This is especially handy as It's getting increasingly difficult to pick these up (since they've been discontinued) Thanks for reading my post on Magnetising Battlefleet Gothic Ships, If you liked this post, please leave a comment, let me know what you think! I love to see other blogs too, and photos of what other people are doing! So please feel free to post your articles if you've written about magnetising your ships, or even just got some nicely painted ones! My friend newton recently painted his chaos fleet, which you can see here: Newton's chaos ships check out his blog and leave him a comment too! Thanks again. Chris  

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