As I continue magnetizing X-Wing Miniatures models, it’s time to show the Imperial ships. The first ship I magnetized when I started doing this was the TIE Phantom. I think I chose it because it was my favorite ship and I wanted to have it magnetized first. A better idea would have been to do one of the TIE Fighters first, since I had a few of them and if I messed up, it wouldn’t have been a big deal as I didn’t fly them that often. So my suggestion is to start with a ship that is either easy to do, one you don’t really care too much about, or one that you have multiples of.
In my magnetizing scum ships post I showed my two methods for adding the magnets onto the ships. On the TIE Phantom, I used the drilling method as I wanted the magnet to sit flush on this ship.
To Countersink or not
Most of the Imperial ships are able to have the magnet countersunk as the area where the magnet will go is a good enough size to sink it. I did get lazy with a few of the ships and didn’t countersink them since I don’t really use those ships (like some of the TIE Fighters). It does save a lot of time not countersinking the magnet, but the end result doesn’t look as good in my opinion.
For those that I did countersink, I used the same method. First step, take off the plastic peg using a pair of pliers. Most of the ships I had to wiggle the pliers back and forth and the peg would snap at the base, leaving a small portion inside the hole in the ship.
Then I took a 1/16″ drill bit and drilled a small pilot hole where the peg remains were. I did two more drill bit sizes after the first – 9/64″ to get the hole a bit bigger, then moving up to 1/4″ for the final size of the hole. See my previous post for some notes on using the drill.
Drill a little at a time and keep checking with a magnet to make sure the magnet will fit correctly. Drilling too much is worse than not drilling enough. When it fits well and you are happy with it, put a couple drops of glue and put the magnet in.
The pictures above are from a Phantom that I recently did. The first Phantom I did looked quite a bit different (the ship on the left in the pictures below). I tried to put the magnet further forward instead of where the peg hole was. Doing this cause the hole that I drilled to cut off one of the ship’s guns since the hole was so close to them. And when that happened, I stopped drilling further which meant that magnet didn’t go in very far.
I didn’t countersink the magnets on the defenders because I didn’t want to run into the same issue of cutting off one of the guns. So I went with the rotary tool method on these to just flatten out the bottom to make it flush for the magnets to sit.
I did one TIE Fighter with a countersunk magnet, but decided to save time and just flatten the area where the magnet would go with a rotary tool since it was faster. I rarely use the original TIEs so I didn’t really care how they looked, but I still wanted them magnetized in case I ever want to fly a swarm.
TIE Advanced Prototype
I didn’t drill very far on the first Interceptor I did (the one on the far right in the picture). I think this was one of the first ships I did after the Phantom and I was still scarred by the gun coming off.
The one ship I didn’t do so far is the TIE/sf Fighter – the rear guns are so close to the peg that they would almost certainly be removed when putting a magnet on the bottom. I may try just gluing the magnet on without flattening the area, but haven’t decided yet.
I considered magnetizing the Imperial Raider, but I wouldn’t want to use the magnets that I currently have. I would want bigger magnets, as well as bigger steel balls. And while it might be cool, I don’t really think it’s necessary to magnetize that ship. Maybe some day I’ll change my mind and do it, but for now it stays on the normal epic pegs.
I recently picked up a Gozanti-class Cruiser, and while I have no intention of magnetizing the ship itself anytime soon, I did glue some steel balls into the docking clamps so that I can still use my magnetized TIEs in epic/campaign games.