Thursday, 10 October 2013

How to make a magnetised movement tray

I used to make my own movement trays, from plasticard and spare plastic sprue. It's quite cheap, a bit time consuming with all the measuring and cutting, but easy enough. Nowadays, I have an easier method, using pre-measured and laser-cut mdf bases. These can be bought from a variety of suppliers, my preferred is The movement tray is usually bought as one piece, with the top and bottom glued together (shown left), but you can ask them to leave the pieces separate, as shown right.

In order to make the base magnetic, there's a number of things you could do. One thing that some do is apply magnetic paint to the base - of course doing this would mean you could buy the whole thing pre-assembled. I have never tried magnetic paint so cannot comment on the practicality, but it's probably the easiest method. My tried and tested course of action is to put a sheet of magnetic vinyl on the base. You can buy this on ebay. It cuts to size with standard scissors and glues on with superglue - or you can actually buy it with an adhesive backing. Whichever you do, it's easy to measure out, just draw round the mdf base itself for a pretty close fit, glue it on, then trim any overhang with a craft knife.

The final stage is to glue on the top section. Again, I use superglue to do this. Job done! Easy magnetic bases, with no measuring, just a little trimming and glueing required. The next stage is to add some scenic decoration, sand and rocks, static grass, to match your bases.

Be sure to check out the accompanying post - How to magnetise your bases.

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