Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Magnets and iPads

With my army list submitted for Convic, I have once again locked myself into using a number of models that are not yet ready for the table. As usual, I find myself using a tournament as motivation to get some more stuff painted. However, this time it feels like I'm cleaning up odds and ends rather than trying to get a whole regiment ready for the event.

My army list contains 8 Demigryph Knights, which happens to be exactly how many I already have painted. Unfortunately, my list contains a musician and no other command models - which means my standard bearer is in the way. The champion can easily pass as just another knight, but the standard is a bit hard to ignore. Something must be done.

I had always planned to paint 10 Wolfygryphs, and to use them in 2 units of 5 (when the points allow). I fell short of this in my initial wave of productivity, largely because I was keen to get them done, but also because I figured the final 2 models were surplus to requirements for most occasions. These last 2 models were to be the standard bearer and musician for the second unit of 5. However, if I assemble them like this now, I still won't have the number of regular guys I need for my Convic list. Good planning, huh?

Enter the magnets.

You see a lot of people using magnets on their models online, in particular where things have different weapon options - so 40K vehicles and dreadnoughts are common targets. Using the magnets allows the player to have the choice of different configurations without having to proxy, and without having to buy and paint up multiple versions of the same thing. It's a very efficient strategy, but one I've never really employed before. I generally just double up on the models, figuring I will hopefully get to use them at the same time at some point. However, the Wolfygryphs are a bit different. I don't need more than 10 of them, so I really just need to make sure that I cover my needs with the models I have already. Time to try my hand at magnetising some models.

My plans are simple - the final 2 Wolfygryphs will be able to be either a standard bearer and musician, or regular knights. I decided the best approach was to make their shield arms interchangeable, so that they would have a weapon regardless of which magnetised arm I was using. It did mean making a left-handed standard, but I can live with that.
My second Wolfygryph standard bearer. His banner is less impressive than the first one, but I'm fine with having a main banner and a secondary one.
Demoted! The same guy, this time with his shield.

My second musician.
And the same guy, having dropped the horn and picked up a shield.
The magnetising is just a simple matter of drilling a hole for the magnet and gluing it into place, then repeating the process on the other component so that the magnets will meet. I had to use small, flat-headed nails rather than magnets in the arms, because there wasn't room in the shoulder to fit the magnets I had on hand. This is fine - the join between the nail and the magnet in the torso is strong enough to do the job.
The first Wolfygryph, showing the magnet embedded in the rider's torso.
The other guy, showing the same treatment.

The standard and horn, both of which have nails in their shoulders.
And the shield arms that replace them.
The models are pretty close to being undercoated now - they just need cloaks and bases. I'm hoping it won't take too long to paint them when there's only 2 to do.

Whilst I was at it, I also carefully cut the arm off one of my half-painted Venators. I am using 2 units of 5 regular knights, and both have musicians. I only had 1 Venator musician, so something had to give. I decided to keep with the magnetising theme and gave this guy the same treatment that the Wolfygryphs were getting.
My Venator who lost his arm in a terrible accident with a very large knife.
I managed to remove the arm without any serious damage, and it is shown here next to its replacement.
Once these guys are all done, I need to put together and paint a second Volley Gun. It all sounds quite achievable, which is good. These are not the things I want to be working on in the grander scheme of things, so I'm glad I won't have to kill myself to get them done in time.

All of the photos in this post were taken using my wife's new iPad. I admit that my reaction to tablets having cameras was "why?" It's a big, clumsy thing to be using as a camera. But I have to say that the thing focuses very well on models that are very close up - it does a surprisingly good job. Below is a shot that my wife took when she first had the idea of trying it. Not bad at all. It's also quite easy to stabilise the iPad because of its size, and the screen gives you a very good look at what you're shooting. I am impressed and will fiddle with it again in the future (when it's not being used for Angry Birds and other important things)...
My wife experimenting with the iPad's camera. This is the full, uncropped picture just taken on the floor with no special treatment or lighting.

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