Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Magnetized Ravener Build Review

If there is one thing that I can’t stand about box sets is being forced to use only one version of what the unit can be. I hate to shell out the money for another box of figs just because A) I am a stickler for WYSIWYG but B) you only have enough points left over for the cheap version of whatever you are playing in that game. You cannot play a different weapon type or upgrade if the other parts are permanently glued to the fig.

This is where neodymium magnets come in for changing out weapons and such. Neodymium magnets are some of the strongest magnets that you can get and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes for relatively few dollars. I buy mine from http://www.kjmagnetics.com/ but Goggle “rare earth magnets” or neodymium for other sites but the cost will be about the same. Normally I don’t promote a store that isn’t a sponsor of our site but what the hell! This blog is about being helpful right?

Enough already:

THREE all plastic Tyranid Raveners with medium sized 40mm bases.
-This box let’s you make the bare minimum of a Ravener squad. GW’s website can be a bit confusing by telling you on one hand that the box comes with just 3 figs while on the other the box can make 3-9. -

Anyways, you end up with two sprues with enough parts to make any configuration listed in the new Tyranid codex. There is a few bonus parts: you get one ripper/ankle biter bug and one extra fancy base decoration to make one of your Raveners look like it is popping out of the ground. Not bad!

Construction is simple and the detail is great! I really like the way that the main talons are serrated and the new mouth pinchers look. There are plenty of sharp barbs and spikes on these bugs; so many that one actually broke skin on my finger.

Now the first step was simply to glue the tale on to the base.

NEXT IS IMPORTANT: the magnets will be sold in sets and typically will stack on end. You need to make sure which end is which. Use a marker to mark which polar end is which. The last thing that you want to do is to go through all of this work just to find that like ends don’t attract and now your fig’s freak’n arm refuses to stay on!!

Next, get the back torso section ready for the magnets. Use a pin vice to drill a small hole in the socket of where you want the optional arm to be. You may need to use a hobby knife or pointed file to widen the whole for the magnet to fit. I use a tiny 1/16" dia. x 1/32" thick disc magnet. It’s rated as a N50, which is fairly strong as these kinds of magnets go. After the arm magnets came a 1/4" dia. x 1/8" thick N42 disc. These torsos are deep so I used a thick magnet with lots of glue.

Make sure that you let the glue dry completely before attaching other magnets or they will just pull off and try to stick to each other. I use medium thickness maxi-cure super glue. It dries in about 10-15 seconds but is still thick enough to use as gap filler.

While this part dries, glue in the polar opposite side of the magnets to the front torsos and arms. When these parts dry, test fit them to the back torso, they should snap right together. At this point, glue the back of the head to the back of the rear torso part. This is a bit tricky and you may want to file a very small notch on the back of the head where it lays on the torso back for support.

Now take the chest plate off and glue just the back of the permanent arms to the rear torso part. Glue the rear torso assembly to the rear of the tale assembly on the base. Use glue only on the rear of the inner parts so that you magnetized parts will have no troubles fitting into place.

When it all dries you should have a fully customizable Ravener.

I do have to apologize for the awful pics as my main camera wasn’t with me.
To GW’s credit, they do make other models customizable of sorts like their Bane Blade and Hell Hound kits, well sorta.