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6 Steps to Attractive Balls

MagneticBalls

An Ursa Miner Bruin and an OCP Patriot with magnetic balls.

I attached magnets to the bases of my DreadBall miniatures.  I also magnetised the bases on my Blood Bowl teams a while back.  During play the ball (with corresponding magnet) can be quickly and easily placed on the players base, where it will stay during play.  It makes a surprisingly fiddly aspect of the game easier.  Those of you who have hardly given a thought to where you position your balls may be sceptical, but its worth the minimal effort.

The process is simple but as a few people asked me how I did it I decided to put together a post about it.  The materials and tools that I used to make my balls attractive are as follows:

  • 1.5mm diameter x 1.5mm height magnets (1 per ball)
  • 3mm diameter x 1.5mm height magnets (1 per base)
  • Drill with 1.5mm bit
  • A small clear plastic bag (I used a small ziploc bag that a miniature was supplied in)
  • Superglue
  • Permanent marker
Balls1

Magnetised Blood Bowl Balls

1) Drill a 1.5mm diameter hole at least 1.5mm deep into the underneath of both of your DreadBalls.

2) Mark two of the smaller magnets on one of their flat sides with the marker.  Make sure that the the same side of each magnet is marked – the marked sides should repel each other and the unmarked sides should attract the marked sides.   This is the most important part of the entire process, so dont rush it.  Make certain that the same pole is marked on each magnet.  The last thing that you want is repulsive balls.  Trust me on that.

3) Place one of the marked magnets on a rigid, flat part of your work surface.  It doesnt matter whether you put the marked side of the magnet face up or face down as long as you are consistent with all of the magnets that you plan to use in the balls.

Balls3

A Blood Bowl Skaven mutant models the magnetic effect.

4) Put a small drop of superglue into the hole in the underneath of a ball and press the ball down on the magnet with a quick motion.  If you do it too slowly the glue is likely to cure too rapidly and jam the magnet halfway in.  Repeat this process for both balls.  Wait for the glue to dry fully.  I magnetised the balls last January and didnt take photos, so I have no visual aid for this step, sorry.

5) As I have been using painted balls to play the game for the last six months or so I want to make sure that they dont get glue or anything on them in the next step.  So I put one of the balls into the small, clear plastic bag.

DreadBallInBag

A breathtakingly dull photo, but it gets the point across.

6) Put a drop of superglue into wherever you want the magnet to go on the underside of the base.  Put a magnet near, but not in the glue and pick the base up.  Hold the magnetised ball (still in the bag) against the top of the currently upside-down base near the glue and the magnet will shoot from wherever it is to that location, flipping over if required.  This flip is why this is the easiest method that I have found to get the magnets in the right place AND in the right orientation.  Doing it this way 100% ensures that the magnet ends up where it should.  Its not rocket science, but its a hell of a lot better than gluing a magnet into a drilled hole the wrong way around, trust me on that too.

This short, no expense spared video should make the process very clear.

You now have attractive balls.

EDIT:  I was subsequently asked where I bought magnets suitable for this process.  The answer was usually from China via Ebay.

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6 Responses

  1. That is awesome and clever. I particularly love the final step, making an otherwise infuriating step into something that is easy, clean and almost foolproof.

    Great work!

    Like

    • Hiya Denis, how are things?

      You are right about the final step. If there is a fun part of the process (and it has magnets in it, so there must be) then its the last bit. I tried other techniques to do other magnetic toy soldier things years ago and it was, as you said, infuriating. This way is easy and it works.

      The other fun bit is making puerile jokes of course 🙂

      Like

  2. It’s so hard to find good tips on how to spiff up your balls … thanks!

    Like

  3. Thanks for taking the time to do this. Really helpful stuff for novices like myself.

    Like

    • I hope that its of some use to you Wispa.

      Magnetic balls are genuinely useful in games too, its not just a gimmick, its handy.

      Like

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