Man there’s plethora (yes Jefe) of content to post on this subject! For those that don’t know, rare-earth magnets are a type of permanent magnet developed in the 70-80’s and is currently the strongest permanent magnet you can get your mits on. Despite what their name suggests they are not rare nor made from precious metals. The materials composing them are as common as tin or lead.
The strength in these suckers is quite surprising. In fact they can give you quite a nasty pinch only being a few centimeters across. Larger then that and you can get injured pretty severely as they will crush fingers between two or a magnet and metal sheet. Since we’ll only be dealing with the very small variety there is no risk of boo-boos.
These little gems have a variety of uses for a wargame hobbyist. My primary two uses are for movement trays for Warhammer Fantasy, and for vehicle/monster modularization. Never again shall your regiment of finely painted warriors fall all over the damn place when you try to put them on a hill/terrain. Now you can use all those sexy bits that came with your Carnifex/Razorback/Dreadnought!!!
I get all my magnets from K&J Magnetics. They have a huge product line and have excellent customer service. I’ve only ever used nickel plated as they are the cheapest and more then durable enough for everyday modeling.
Here’s what I use:
D-21 (1/8″ dia. x 1/16″ thick) – Perfect for small modular jobs like switching out space marine arms or something similar. Strong but they cant take too much weight axially so go easy.
D203 (1/8″ dia. x 3/32″ thick) – Stronger then the D21 but also thicker. These were what I used to modulate my Carnifexes back when they had options (>.<). Now I primarily use 2-3 of them for setting my cavalry for use in magnetic trays.
Use a 1/8 drill bit for your Dremel to make your depressions/holes for these two sizes. You do have a Dremel…don’t you?
D303 (3/16″ dia. x 3/32″ thick) – Perfect for setting up regiments for use in magnetic trays. Just superglue one of these to the bottom of your base and it’s ready to go. Try too keep all the polarities the same or you have your models snapping together and hugging when your units take casualties.
D403 (1/4″ dia. x 3/32″ thick) – These are the largest RE’s I use. They are much stronger then they appear and will hold a surprising amount of weight axially. Save these for your big jobs.
Use the 196 High Speed Cutter bit when installing these into resin bases or larger projects.
Seriously, go out and get some. Customization is awesome in this hobby and you can get more model for your buck with these little bastards.