My jetbike army is nowhere near finished but I thought it would be cool to post the general progression of it sofar.
First we have the flying bases and what is a jetbike army without nifty flying bases? If anyone has any experience with the GW flying bases, however, they know what a pain they can be! They either fall off the models when you try to move them or break off and just frustrate you to no end. I came across a solution in the blog of Fritz from Way of the Saim Hann and the end result is something that looks good and functions well
And turn it into:
The toy used is called Magz and I got a large box of them from Target for around 30 dollars with shipping. The toy has magnets on both ends and not only is it super fun to play with (and who doesn't love magnets!) but it makes a great flying stand. They come in all sorts of colors but I was lucky to have my set come with a lot of black ones so I don't need to paint them-yet.
One thing Fritz' blog doesn't mention about this toy is that you can take a set of pliers and clamp down on one of the toy's ends (where the magnet is) and pop the magnet out with enough pressure. The toy will release one of the magnets easily so you effectively get extra rare-earth magnets rather than just gluing the rod to the base and having one of the magnets go to waste.
*A helpful tip while doing this is after squeezing for a bit, put another magnet near the end you just clamped and the magnet inside the toy should pop right out as it gets attracted to the magnet in your hand.*
Now as far as attaching the jetbikes to the magnetized flying stand goes, you can do two things. You can use the extra magnets from the toy (if you used the pliers to get them out) and glue those to the bottom of the jetbikes and call it a day or you can get appropriately sized wood screws and stick those into the hole where the flying stand would otherwise go. I did a little bit of both but found that over time the glued magnets would come unglued so I got some screws that had their heads fit nicely into the "groove" of the toy for a snug magnetic fit. You can get these for cheap from Ace Hardware (any hardware store will do) and remember to bring the toy along with you to make sure you are getting the right size! The shorter the screw part is the better and be careful with how you screw it in-too angled and it will come out the side! I want to emphasize bringing the toy (one of the rods) with you again to get the right screws for your jetbikes (if you choose to go that route) because first of all, you want to make sure the screws are magnetic and second of all, you REALLY want to make sure they are the right fit!
This is what the jetbike should look like when finished:
If using the screws, another nifty thing you can do is screw them in at a slight angle and you can get a turning or "maneuvering" effect out of the mounted model. I have done this for my Autarchs which I will post in a later entry!
Here is a jetbike squad all ready and magnetized:
Now you are ready to scrape off mold lines/flash and prep the models for painting. One nifty thing about having the models magnetized like this is that the flying stands double as a great "stand" to set your models on when painting.
Stay tuned for some progress reports on model building/painting!