Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Using Neodymium Magnets...

Merry Christmas Everyone! Hope all is having a wonderful holiday season - not long before we put 2010 behind us!

Tonight wanted to post a short tutorial on using Neodymium micro magnets in your action figure sculpting - Neodymium magnets are the strongest permanent magnets known - so strong that only a few grams can lift a thousand times its own were talking heavy duty here. Imagine replacable limbs, interchangable heads, attachable weapons WITHOUT PEGS!? about removable/interchangeable armor? Hmmmmm...

I'm currently working on a Darth Stryfe sculpt - Darth Stryfe is a Sith Lord from the Dark Horse comic series Legacy. One of the comic issues show Stryfe shirtless...revealing his awesome Sith tattoo work across his chest and I have been thinking how I could make a feature of removable armor that could clip or fasten in place without harming the body sculpt and paint application of the tattoo work. Epoxy can be limited unless you incorporate existing straps or clips from factory made packs and accessories.

The magnet idea popped in my head after doing a bit of "spring cleaning" in my office when I came accorss some very small, round silver magnetic disks that were very difficult to seperate. I then visited and placed an order for a 50 pack of 4mm Micro Neodymium Magnets...

Then, taking my newly sculpted work in progress sculpt of Darth Stryfe...

Take a dremel tool and carve two shallow holes in two points located on the chest. Remember to go just deep enough so the surface of the magnets that will be placed are flush to the surrounding surface.

Using super glue, take two magnets and glue to the drilled surface. Try to get as flush to the surface as possible, then allow to dry. ***NOTE*** be sure the magnets you have glued have the identical poles facing outward so to attract the opposite poles that will be attached to the sculpted armor. If not, the magnets may fight one another and make it impossible for the armor to attached properly.

Once the magnets have set up and are dry, sculpt lightly over them, reconstructing the chest

Below are images of the sculpted armor "shell" - no details have been added yet, but the magnets have...the shell is created an hour before the epoxy cures to a rock hard consistency...just enough to be pliable, yet not sticky and in no way a danger in adhering to the surface underneath.

As you can see - same process as the chest, with the exception of having to sculpt over to hide the magnets.

Added a bit more detail to the chest armor below...

The magnets work like a charm! Very strong, snug but not strong enough to make it difficult to quickly remove the armor or stress the sculpted piece.


I will begin sculpting the back piece of armor and make them flush to one another to appear seamless.

So I hope this gives you an idea or two about your next project. I'm sure you will be seeing me use this process more and more. Awesome!

Visit my Flickr photostream for all the udated images, as well as my Facebook page, sith_fire30 creations. Still on the road to appraching 200 fans...fantastic! If you haven't become a fan, please take a moment and click the like button.:)

Again, Merry Christmas! I'll be posting a final update before the end of the year -



Elias said...


Road Warrior said...

One of the coolest and craziest ideas I've yet. Nice job Dayton and Happy Holidays!
Oh btw are you familiar with this character?

Road Warrior said...

Haha. Sorry if my post didnt make much sense, it is the holidays so there is a bit of "madness" about. What I meant to say was.

One of the coolest and craziest ideas I've seen yet.

Julian said...

Truly amazing!
There+s hope other customizers will learn this and begin working using "The Sithfire Magnets"!
I am anxious to see how you do the different hands, I am sure you thought about this already.
A 3 3/4 figure "a la Hot Toys" with six pairs of hands! Awesome!

Rems said...

Brilliant!! The list of possibilities is endless!

Incom said...

Magnets have been used in the past, radioshack magnets I believe. But these neo magnets are available in perfectly small sizes, even 2x1mm. Awesome work so far, Dayton!

Does Fixit suffer from fingerprints 75% into the curing process? Or is that risk minimal?

everbeen magnet said...

We can supply all kinds of permanent magnet, such as neodymium magnets, ferrite magnets, alnico magnets, smco magnets, rubber magnets and etc.