To Magnetize or Not to Magnetize . . .

That is the question.  So . . . what’s the answer?

Greetings fellow wargamers!  Caleb with White Metal Games here.

Recently I was sent a Stormeagle by a client with the desired goal to magnetize all the options available.  No problem.

As as studio, I have to be willing to magnetize options for clients.  It’s what they want and I want to give clients what they want.

But as a person, I have a real love hate relationship with magnets.  Which got me thinking, . . . what do YOU guys think about magnets.

Let’s weigh some of the pros and cons.


Seemingly limitless options:  This is of course the great huzzah.  Any option in the kit at your fingertips.  Razorbacks to Rhinos, and then back again!  Nids with a million little claws, etc.  Any army list, any time!

Ease of Transportation:  Some models, though grandiose, are just a little . . . well, hard to get into a foam case.  See Dark Eldar  . . . everything for examples of this.  But if you add a magnet to the Aethersail, POOF, instantly easier to get into a case.

Less chance to break when dropped:  I’m not 100% sure this is true, however, the theory is that when a model is dropped, the limbs don’t sheer off so much as separate.  This is not an excuse to go juggling your models and put the theory to the test.


Magnets are not as strong as you might think:  Yes, magnets can hold up a limb.  But if the model is pewter, or of the limb is very heavy or weighted at one end (like a banner) more than the other end, gravity tends to take over.

More Stuff to Transport in your case:  For the most part these are just bits and pieces.  However, more stuff is more stuff.  Then you’ve got to think about how to storage those magnetized bits so they don’t attract towards each other through the cells of your foam case.

Less Bits to Convert With:  For me, it’s all about the bits!  I want those extras to do crazy conversion, like this one Goatboy just put together for me!  You want to build cool models, you need extras.

More items to paint per model:  Sure, it’s only another gun barrel or sword or two.  But those items take time.  Time you could be painting new models.

Magnets are not cheap when you get into the BIG magnets:  Want to magnetize the arms on a Warhound Titan?  Get read for about $10 bucks a pop.  Now for the big models I think this is a good investment.  But with resin being so dense and heavy, you start to run into the issue of magnet strength again.

Magnets come lose over time:  It’s the nature of the beast.  Magnets are constantly being pulled towards something.  Over time this little pull pull pull adds up until finally the magnet might drag it’s way free.  Then you need to repair the model.  Can you repair it without the help of the person that built the model in the first place?  Plastic welds last forest, generally.  It’s something to think about.

Time consuming in the beginning:  Eager to play with your new toy?  Not so fast, buddy!  If you think gluing together a model takes a while, think about doubling that time when you magnetize a figure.

For me, the answer is somewhere in the middle.  There are some models I DO want options for, esp. when the options can’t be used for much else.  Like this Eldar Wraithknight Diorama we did for a client.  They wanted options, we gave it to them.

But can’t this get out of control.  What about a landraider with all three variants. . Or a Baneblade with all six variants (A hexblade?)  Where does it end?  When is enough enough?

Where do you come in on the matter?  Let us know your thoughts, and until then,


Caleb, White Metal Games

About the Author: Caleb Dillon

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