A place to document my experiences in assembling (and scratch building) ships.

Magnetizing PHR Frigates (3/14/17)

In researching how to magnetize the PHR, there are several blogs and videos on how to magnetize the cruisers (like here). However, I could not find any resource on how to magnetize the frigates. Looking at the assembly instructions, it looks like very little modifications are required to allow for assembly of all the frigate variants. The sole exception is the Medea strike carrier. That ship does not use the ventral wing. In fact, the component covers the inset for the flight stand. My options were to 1) permanently build several Medeas and allow the rest to be configurable, or 2) figure out a way to allow configuration of all the variants.

My solution was to magnetize the flight stand, ventral wing and hole for the flight stand. As you can see from the following picture, magnets (2mm x 1mm) are inserted in the recesses for the flight stand and ventral wing. In drilling the holes for the magnets, I used a sharp awl to poke a small recess where the drilling is to start. Magnets were then inserted using a friction fit or with a small drop of superglue gel. The trickiest part was the area for the ventral fin. That area is very thin and you have to be careful when installing the magnet or it will fall through the hull and into the model, where it is impossible to remove.
PHR frigate with magnets installed
A wire was inserted in the joint of the ventral wing to allow a firm connection. To attach the wire, I used an Xacto blade to score where the wire should lie. I then used a combination of a scribing tool and my Xacto knife to widen and deepen a groove large enough to hold a small piece of 22g floral wire bent to follow the curve of the ventral wing. The wire was then superglued into place. Any protruding wire was then filed down (if needed) to the level of the joint. The completed ventral wing attaches securely to the magnet in the main hull. This had the side effect of allowing free positioning of the ventral wing.

Ventral wing with wire inserted
Here is a close up of the flight stand widget with a magnet installed. To drill the hole in the flight stand. I started with an awl to indent the area to drill the hole for the magnet. I then used 1/32" drill bit with a pin vice to drill a hole to the appropriate depth for the magnet. I drilled gradually larger holes in the same place (using larger and larger drill bits) until it was large enough to hold a magnet. The magnet was secured in place with superglue.
Flight stand widget with magnet installed.
Magnets were then inserted in the modules to allow for easy attachment and removal. The magnets fit tightly enough that glue was not needed to keep them in place.
Completely assembled and magnetized PHR frigate sprue.
The upper wings of the PHR frigates are fixed. I couldn't think of a good way to attach the upper wings of the PHR frigates to allow them to be positionable.

Frigates configured as (L. to R.) Pandora, Calypso, Europa, and Medea/
As you can see from the above photo, the modules fit well on the hulls. The ships are secure on their stands with the magnets and don't rotate freely as there is enough friction between the flight stand widget and the hole in the frigate hull to prevent rotation. You can lift the miniature up by the hull and the stand won't wobble (much) or fall out. I hope that those individuals who are interested in magnetizing their PHR frigates will find this guide useful. Next step is to paint these ships.

1 comment:

  1. I glues all (5) Medeas. The others I'm thinking of magnetizing, but considering the size of my fleet with current 22 ships, I may not. If you have a very few (~8) Frigates, I can understand. With 16 or so, you can fix the Medeas. Cheers