Welcome to today’s tutorial in which we will be building our own magnetised movement trays for use in wargaming. The great thing about these is they’ll keep your troops in place even if you have to place them on a steep hill or other terrain piece, in fact you can even turn these upside down and your models will stay put. Useful for any wargame with plenty of troops, suddenly moving hordes and hordes of infantry has never been easier!
Here you can see the small collection of parts needed for this project, we’ll look at each one more closely in the pictures below. We believe this is quite an easy and low cost project, so why not give it a go, and let us know how you get on in the comment section.
Rubber Steel Sheets. This is what your miniatures will stick to, they are not actually magnetic, but the rubber sheets contain iron so that magnets will stick to them while they remain flexible and easy to cut. The sheets we ordered come with a self adhesive backing, which makes them even easier to use. We ordered our Rubber Steel Sheets from www.tinyworlds.co.uk, they were priced at £3.50 (around $5.70) and we got 5% off our first order by entering the discount code “firstfive”. Tiny Worlds have kindly said we can share this discount code with our readers.
Neodymium Magnets. We are going to attach these to our miniatures so that they stick to our movement trays. We love neodymium (rare earth) magnets as they are so powerful and have many uses in wargaming such as allowing you to swap arms and/or weapons on your miniatures. The most common size we use is 3x2mm magnets as we find these work great on miniatures for swapping arms, plus are the perfect size and strength to use on our bases. We ordered our 3x2mm neodymium magnets from Tiny Worlds which were priced at £2.25 (around $3.60) for 25 magnets.
Movement Trays. These are the base of this guide, useful as standard for pushing infantry around, but 10x better once magnetised! We’re using some old Games Workshop movement trays that we had in our bitz box, Tiny Worlds also sell their own design, or you could always make your own with plasticard.
Step one in creating your magnetised movement tray is to measure and cut a piece of the Rubber Steel Sheet so that it fits nicely into your movement tray.
If you’ve ordered Rubber Steel Sheets with a self adhesive backing like we did, you can simply peel away the backing and stick the Rubber Steel into the movement tray.
Here is the finished product, simple but effective. you can now paint/decorate this however you like, and then its on to magnetising your minis!
In this example we are going to use this old 28mm plastic figure from Games Workshop. What we need to do is attach a single magnet underneath the base of the plastic mini (we use two magnets on metal minis for increased strength) so that it will stick to the tray we created earlier.
Here you can see we have glued a single magnet underneath the base. Depending on the thickness of the base you may want to include a small spacer, something like a small piece of card or plasticard underneath the magnet to bring it level with the base. We simply used superglue to hold the magnet in place, we were relatively generous with it as we want it to stay put.
Once the glue on the base has dried, its time to test out your magnetised movement tray! Here you can see our mini on the tray, and let us assure you, he is not going anywhere unless we want him to, due to the strength of the neodymium magnets.
In fact, these little magnets are so strong that you can turn the tray on its side or even completely upside down, and this miniature is completely safe. We even shook the upside down tray around a little, and there’s no way you will accidentally knock this off, its only going to detach if you actually pick the mini up from the tray.
We’re big fans of these magnetic movement trays for any wargame which involves lots of infantry! From historical wargames, fantasy, of even sci-fi games like Warhammer 40k for those vast Ork armies, we think there are lots of gamers who could make use of these. Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to make your own trays, there’s no need to stop there, how about lining a couple of boxes with Rubber Steel Sheets for a great way to store and transport your miniatures? Let us know your thoughts, questions and how you get on in the comments section below.