Stormtalon Phase 1: Magnetized Weapon Pods

Finally, I have started on the Stormtalon.  The first step doesn’t seem like much, when you look at it, but it’s something I’ve never tried before:  Magnetizing part of a model.  I did this to take advantage of the weapon loads the Stormtalon could carry.  At a Canadian  pricetag of $54.50 plus tax,  I wanted to make sure I got my money’s worth.

Curious as to how I did it?

Well the first step was order some rare earth magnets.  I purchased mine online from, a large Canadian online retailer which also happens to be conveniently close to me.  I went with a “combo pack” of 50 3/32″ x 1/16″ disc magnets and two 3/32″ drill bits (that’s a 2.38mm diameter for my fellow Canucks).  I didn’t want to improvise with drilling and accidentally make the hole too big.

50 Rare Earth Magnets and a Side of Drill Bits. To Go, Please.

I wanted to get one size smaller (1/16″ x 1/32″), and was worried that these might be too big.  As it turns out, this size is right on the money for most of the Stormtalon weapon pod options.

Skyhammer Magnetized

It turns out the hollows in the Skyhammer missile nose cones on the underside of the front piece are just a hair’s breadth–literally–smaller than 3/32″ of an inch across.  I sized the hole by dropping in the drill bit and giving it a twist or two manually.  The magnet fit in tightly, no glue required.  This was fortunate, as I dropped the first magnet it just to see how well it fit and I couldn’t get it back out again.

Now, you’ve probably noticed that I’d already assembled the weapon pod body.  I realized this was a mistake the moment I tried to judge where the magnet on the pod body should go.  Fortunately, the Emperor provided me with a flash of inspiration.

A Little Dab of Brightly Coloured Paint…

I painted the back of the magnet red*, then put the front piece on the pod body to mark where I should drill.  I then dabbed a bit more paint on the pod body mark and put on the Typhoon missile launcher piece so it could get marked.  This wasn’t necessary for the gun mount, as I show below.

*Yes, that is the original Blood Red paint I bought before GW changed the paint pots.  It still works awesomely well.

After that, it was easy peasy to get the magnet in the pod.

Easy Peasy Poddy Woddy Magnety… er, Bagnety

Next up was the “gun mount.”  The mount slot’s narrowest dimension is also 3/32″ of an inch, and the end of the slot overlaps the magnet placement.

Couldn’t Have Asked for Better

Since there was only one gun mount for both the heavy bolter and the lascannon, I put the magnet on the weapon itself.  The idea was that the weapon would hold the gun mount in place.

If the Guns are Magnetic, Does That Make Them Railguns?

The only serious issue I had to face came from the Typhoon missile launcher.  The magnets were 1/16″ thick.  While that’s really not that much, it was thicker than the base of the Typhoon launcher.  In order to get the piece to stick on, I had to use something thinner, something that the magnet would grab.  Fortunately, I had just the thing…

20 Gauge Wire Bits

I am sooooo glad I bought that small coil of wire all those years ago.  I carefully chiselled out the back of the Typhoon front piece and super-glued in two little bits of wire.  The wire was, remarkably enough, still a touch too thick but it was a darned sight thinner than the magnets.  I can deal with the teensy wobble, and I double anyone will notice this front piece sits a little higher at one end.

Port Pod Magnetized

I repeated the process for the starboard pod, and now both the pod bodies are ready to be mounted on the fuselage.

Next up:  The assault cannon chin mount and an idea about those wee wings on the engines.

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5 Responses to Stormtalon Phase 1: Magnetized Weapon Pods

  1. Mike says:

    Hey paul, I went and got some magnets to put on the saddles of my thunderwolves, so I can take the riders off for tranportation purposes. I ended up using a 1/8″ x 1/16″ disc rare earth magnets. I had my own drill bits, but the pieces i was sticking together didn’t all line up very well. I originally tried using metal wire in the other half as you did, but it wasn’t strong enough. So i resorted to using magnets in either piece (note***: before gluing magnets in place, paint the poles so you are aware of which is north and south, so they don’t repel once in place. ps. I also used orignial blood red paint). It has worked out extremely well.

    • War Disciple says:

      That’s some darned good advice. I’ve been super paranoid about polarity so far, but I haven’t been marking the poles. I should – I can see myself getting sloppy and gluing something in backwards, and then wrecking the part trying to get the magnet off again.

      Did everything eventually turn out okay for the thunderwolves?

  2. Mike says:

    Yes, everything turned out excellent. I just recently played in a tournament with the riders magnatized to their mounts. I was often picking up the model by the rider,not the mount, and Sometimes the mount was too heavy and they would become separated, but other than that. everything was excellent

  3. SideBurnSam says:

    Great guide! Helped me out alot when assembling my first Stormtalon! =D
    You know you can use hobby-knife-metal broken down to small pieces to use for the ammo/charge packs so be able to switch them too? =)

    • War Disciple says:

      Thanks! And thank you for the suggestion about the hobby knife – I hadn’t thought of that, but I certainly have enough old blades. It’s too late for the Stormtalon, but it will be handy on some other projects.

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