Monday, January 11, 2016

Magnetizing Kingdom Death: Monster survivors

Kingdom Death
After finishing the introductory hunt scenario and my initial settlement phase for Kingdom Death: Monster (which you can read about here), I have have some gear for my survivors. Instead of assembling and painting a new batch of survivors to represent those armed with my new gear, which I would probably have to do after every settlement phase going forward, I decided to try magnetizing my survivor miniatures. I hope this will give me the flexibility to represent whatever gear combinations I need my survivors to have, or at least get a close representation, without needing to buy, assemble, and paint, a new batch after every game.

I started with the unarmored and rawhide armor kits. Each armor kit comes with four survivors, two male and two female. I decided that for each armor kit, I would attach the upper and lower bodies, to give four survivors each with the chest, abdomen, and leg coverings for that kit. In the game I might not always have all three of these as a matching set for each survivor I use, but I figured it would be a good enough representation anyway for a survivor that had mostly one kind of armor, and I didn't want to worry about every possible combination of upper and lower body.

I initially intended to magnetize the arms at the shoulder, but the kits have a lot more weapon options than they do extra arms, so I would have had to leave out some options. It would also mean I'd have at most one arm of each gender with any particular weapon. So, for example, I couldn't have two male survivors that both had a bone axe. Also, where the arms attach to the shoulder on these miniatures would have left a very visible and obvious join if magnetizing there. I decided instead to magnetize the hands at the wrist. This was much more difficult to do, as the parts are much smaller, but it gives a lot more options. It also allows the arms to be glued at the shoulder and the gaps there filled in and filed down smooth.

I also magnetized all of the heads at the neck so that for a particular named survivor, I could use the same head throughout a campaign even as they got new sets of armor. I could just move the head to a different body (as long as they don't get a helmet, I suppose, which some of the armor kits have). All together this should give me some great flexibility. It will be a lot to paint, and difficult to paint because I have a lot of separate heads and hand/weapon pieces I need to paint somehow. And this wasn't easy to do, because the smallest magnets I could find (1/16" diameter, 1/32" thick) just barely fit inside the forearms of the models, especially the female arms. Have a look at the pictures below to see how they turned out.


  1. That's brilliant. I wish I had the patience for it.

  2. Question, how thick of a magnet did you use?

    1. The magnets I used in the wrists were 1/16" diameter x 1/32" thick, and anything bigger that that would be too big. For the necks I used 1/16" diameter x 1/16" thick because I already had some of that size. But any bigger diameter than that wouldn't fit.

    2. Thanks, i had figured much. I ordered some today. It's hard to imagine the paint being enough to keep them connected at the hands, but we shall see.

    3. What I did, is cut off most of the little nib that sticks off the hands to form the wrist, then file it down flat. Then I used super glue to attach the magnet to the flattened part. It helps a lot to scratch up the magnet and the part of the hand you are gluing it to with a steel file. This helps the glue hold better.

      Gluing those tiny little magnets to those tiny little hands was definitely the tricky part of all this. And take care to make sure you are gluing the magnets the right way! They have to match up based on which way you glue the magnets into the forearms, so I used a sharpie to mark the side I was going to glue, so I wouldn't get it turned around when I inevitably dropped the little magnet.

      Another useful think I did was, for the left forearms I glue the north side of the magnet facing out, and the right forearms I glued the south side facing out. The hands are then opposite. This way, once everything is glued together, pairs of hands (one right and one left) can be stored attached to each other, since their magnets will be opposite polarities. I did a similar thing with male heads vs female heads having different polarities so one of each can be stuck together for storing.