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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cheap and Easy Homemade Magnetized Movement Trays

Magnetized movement trays have been a fascination of mine since my first day of Warhamnmer Fantasy, ever since my first opponent walked into our game with lines of Wood Elf archers and cavalry attached to strips of sheet metal and was moving the trays easily without the models so much as quivering.  Since then, I've looked into a lot of different methods.  I've tried:

1.  Sheet metal.  I don't have a professional metal cutter, and I didn't like how jagged my work turned out. 
2.  Premade magnetized bases and trays.  By the time I found these in stores, a lot of my models were already on bases, and I didn't want to switch them to the magnet bases.  Also, I played Bretonnians for years, so the standard base sizes didn't really work. 
3.  Metal Paint.  I could never find this locally, and it was expensive on the internet. 

Finally, I developed my own cheap and easy method. 

Step 1 - Put Rare Earth magnets on the bases.  Try http://www.amazingmagnets.com/ for the magnets, or look at your local hobby shop.
Step 2 - Build your own trays.  You can use the GW trays that you can cut into various sizes, or trays from other companies.  I've also used cheap thin plywood. 
Step 3- Buy some small, inexpensive washers.  You can generally get a hundred or so for a couple of bucks at your hardware store.  Glue those suckers onto your trays. 

I like to flock my trays to match my army bases.  In the picture above, you can see one of my old trays made out of plywood (in the bottom left), and GW trays with washers.  They make large fantasy games so much easier to deploy and pack up, which adds a lot to enjoyment. 

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