How to: Magnetic MDF Bases

To go alongside our newly released Magnetised MDF bases this guide will help you get the most from the product with a few tips and a walk-through of how I approach basing.

I also get asked a lot about the bases for my Blood Angel army so I will also cover how I paint these.

Here are all the finished models in one of my storage boxes lined with metallic sheet; which I am holding above my head!

The magnets are designed to firmly hold models in place but not be too strong as to make removing them a pain. The reason for 2 magnets as a minimum per base (rather than 1) is to ensure the models do not 'spin' when in play or in travel.

Stage 1

Note: Make sure you are working on a flat surface when placing the magnets.

Firstly we need to consider gluing the magnets in place, I prefer super glue as it dries quickly however a good quality Wood Glue is a good alternative.

You will notice on the bases that the pre-cut holes on one side will have a darker ring around them, this is the side you want to push the magnets through from. Simply apply a small drop of super glue to the inside of each pre-cut hole.

Stage 2

Place the magnets in the holes, and push them flush to the bottom of the base with the end of something like a paintbrush. This will ensure the magnet is completely flat to the base and will give you the best adhesion.

Stage 3

Then we simply need to cover the base in glue and apply your sand. I use a strong Wood Glue for all my basing to ensure the material sticks firmly, I would recommend avoiding the cheap 'classroom' style PVA glues. I also recommend mixing a few grades of sand together to create more interest on flat bases like these. If you are based in the UK, I use 2 grades of Bird Sand from my local Wilkinsons.

An additional benefit is that the top layer will help hold the magnets in place, and as you can see the magnet holes are not noticeable at all!

Stage 4

Now we give the bases a good coat of spray can undercoat, for these bases I used Halfords Grey Primer.

Stage 5

Next I painted the bases with GW Rakarth Flesh, I slightly thinned the paint to help it flow into all the nooks and crevices.

Stage 6

To add some depth and definition to the bases I washed them with Army Painter Strong Tone Ink thinned with a little water. The benefit with the drop bottle design is you can drip the paint directly onto the base and then wash the entire base with a slightly wet brush. Leave these to dry fully.

Stage 7

This is the first of 2 drybrush layers, we start with GW Pallid Wych Flesh and aim to get good coverage while picking out the top of all the sand. I always recommend a makeup brush for this kind of drybrushing.

Stage 8

The final painting step is a lighter drybrush of pure white, such as Army Painter Matt White or GW White Scar. Make sure to not go too heavy on the drybrushing otherwise you will remove the previous layer and the bases will look too stark from contrast.

Stage 9

Now we are at the stage off fixing the models to the base, I always recommend pinning the models as this will keep them nice and secure (I have always regretted not doing this in the past). You simply need a hobby pin vice and paperclips (oh and some clippers to snip the paper clips).

I drill into one of the feet of the model to be based, then super glue a piece of paper clip; then clip to the right length. Then I drill another hole in the base itself for the pin, but check and make sure you won't be drilling into one of the magnets! And us super glue to fix the pin and model to the base (don't forget a dab of super glue on the other foot/feet)

Stage 10

Finally add your choices of tufts and paint the base rims black with Army Painter Matt Black then your fully based and magnetised models are complete!

Here are my recently finished Blood Angel Terminators all done using these products and method.


 

 


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