Using Science to Magnetize Tyranids & Aliens Toys

By |2017-11-17T07:30:01+00:00November 17th, 2017|Categories: Hobby Hacks, How To Tutorial, jstove, Tyranids, Warhammer 40k|

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Jstove is back with another hobby advice moment on how to magnetize bases and customize your Nids using some classic bits from 1992!

Jstove here, talking once more about building Nids and hoping that November brings me a shiny new codex so I’ve got something to eat all these spicy new guard armies with. Today, I’m going to talk about two things. One is specific to Nid players. The other is just general hobby common sense. Since not everyone is a Nid player, let’s lead off with the stuff that’s for everybody.

Using science to magnetize bases!

In my first hobby blog, I talked about the joys of scrubbing old paint off Ebay models, and the importance of basing. Today, we’re going to delve further into the fine art of magnetizing bases. Why is magnetizing your bases worth it’s own article? It’s easy, right? Just glue a magnet under the base. Done.

Not really. Magging your bases can be a real pain in the cloaca, if you’re inclined to believe Tyranids have cloacas. The problem with just gluing in the magnet to the underside of the base is that, over time, the magnet will pull itself loose and there’ll be nothing left under the base except that crater of dry glue where the magnet used to be. You’re basically betting the strength of the glue against the strength of the magnet. That’s a bet you don’t want to take. A lot of hobbyists that are already serial magnetizers like to solve this problem by sticking the base with a little blob of Greenstuff to really hold that sucker in. This does work but I believe it’s extra effort and wasted resources.

Fortunately, there’s a better solution.


Go to a hardware store and buy a pack of metal washers. Glue them to the top side of the base, before you apply basing, so you can hide the washer under the basing material and paint. Now, when you glue the magnet to the underside of the base, it will sandwich the base with the washer, using its magnetic force for good, and pulling up into the glue. Win-win. The washers also have the added benefit of giving heft to the miniature, which will help them stay sturdy on the table when dice start flying. It will also balance out the wobblies of some of the more dramatically action-posed models.

JStove Magnet NidA great example of this principle in action were my forest of Forgeworld Meiopic spore sacks. These are some great, gooey, creepy looking, big, fat spore mines that any Nid player would love to own. Especially because the only plastic alternative comes in the Tyrannocyte box. Unfortunately, Meiopic Spores are unbalanced and wacky models. The same droopy tentacles that make them look like bionic, floating Hindenburgs also do nearly nothing to support the model’s weight. The washer-magged base came to the rescue on this one.

JStove Magnet Nid

Nids Only: Taking the Swarm back to 1992

Now here’s the fun part for my buggy brothers in the hive. Using conversion parts for your swarm that are a blast from the past. Back in 1992, Kenner made a line of action figures for the ALIENS movie franchise that included Ripley, Hicks, and all your favorite marine friends. More importantly, it included a pile of really weird, awesome, and interesting looking aliens from different genotypes. Some of them are authentic Xenomorphs from the movie. Others are just fresh new nightmares that the toy designers and comic artists made up.


The great news for Nid players is that lots of these old 92 Kenner Xenomorphs are floating around on Ebay pretty cheap. Their arms and heads are perfectly sized to be donor parts for your favorite monster bugs. They fit great on Trygons, Tyrants, and Tfexes. Just rip the toy apart like that psycho kid from Toy Story and stick the cool bug parts on your models.

Here’s a Trygon with the ’92 Alien Queen’s head crest. It’s a perfect fit.

JStove Magnet Nid

The full custom Trygon with a custom base because why skimp on the base for such a piece of Xenomorphic glory.

JStove Magnet Nid

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