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Author Topic: Rotation magnets for flight stands? Edit: SUCCESS AND PICS!!!  (Read 568 times)

Offline olicana

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 602
    • Olicanalad's Games
Forgive me for posting this here but, I recently came across these rotation magnets, seen in use with X-Wing models, on ebay, by Green Stuff World and figure that this forum is a good place to ask about them.


I have a small collection of white metal 1:144 scale WW1 aircraft by Red Eagle Miniatures (the old Skytrex range) and I'm looking to upgrade my flight stands. The bigger fighters weigh a couple of ounces, or so, each. They are much heavier than plastic X-Wing models (I have a collection of these too).

My question is, how strong are the magnets? Will they support these white metal aircraft at jaunty angles, or will the planes simply drag the cupped magnets off the ball bearing?

Don't worry about the bases I use for my flight stands - I melt down white metal and pour it into jam jar lids and they weigh about 6 oz - so they are very stable even 'flying' white metal models 8 - 9" above the table.

Thanks in advance,

« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 02:02:02 PM by olicana »

Offline Mr Tough Guy

  • scientist
  • Posts: 452
Re: Rotation magnets for flight stands?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2018, 10:33:41 AM »
I guess it depends on the type and size of magnets that you use, I'm not an expert but after a few minutes browsing the website of KJ magnetics I think some of the larger ones should probably be okay: https://www.kjmagnetics.com/blog.asp?p=star-wars-x-wing

Offline AWu

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Re: Rotation magnets for flight stands?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2018, 01:19:02 PM »
Magnets are really strong. Bond is secure, But they can move.
 If your planes are heavy, white metal, they wont fell off bu they might slide to the centre of mass.
Ive seen it with X-wing ships that are super light (in fact I loose game once because I judged ship direction based on model and not the base)

So it might be risky.

Offline Mako

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Re: Rotation magnets for flight stands?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2018, 05:36:00 AM »
Haven't worked with "rotation magnets", but I use these, and they work well even for diecast metal toys, which are a bit heavier I think, in most cases, than 1/144th scale, WWI fighters.

They're magnetic pickup tools, mated with rare earth magnets, epoxied onto the bellies of the craft.

Haven't had an issue thus far.

The fighters shown are the Titanium range of diecast metal spacecraft - Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica.

They work very well with multiple periods of aircraft, spacecraft, spaceships, etc., and telescope from 7" - 22" in height.  Even inverted maneuvers can be represented.

Offline olicana

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    • Olicanalad's Games
Re: Rotation magnets for flight stands?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2018, 04:44:01 PM »
I'm pleased to report that the rotation magnets work, but they need a bit of work.

First off, I didn't buy the pack from Green Stuff World. After a bit of searching on ebay I found the constituent parts were cheaper bought separately. I bought ten countersunk rare earth magnets (10 mm x 3 mm) and fifty 8 mm ball bearings. The former are used for door catches and such, the latter were sold as catapult ammunition. I I made a saving of about 40%.

I decided to rig my planes and stands in the opposite way to that proposed by Green Stuff World. I glued a magnet to the top of each flight stand and a ball bearing to the underside of each aircraft - I don't need a flight stand for each of my 40+ aircraft and the ball bearings are a fraction of the cost (10%) of the magnets.

To hold the ball bearing in place I used a drill to countersink a cup in the bottom of each white metal aircraft and glued with super glue.

I have made five flight stands so far, so I have doubled the magnets on each stand (held together only by magnetism) to give better pulling power. Using a nail through the hole in the centre of the lower magnet, the magnet is glued to the aluminium tube flight stand 'pole', with the nail down the tube, with Araldite - they ain't coming off!

However, even with the extra pull of two magnets together, the aircraft simply lolled to one side or another without any possible precision because there was no 'grip' between the contact surfaces. My heart slumped, I had hoped this would not happen. However, where there is a will there is usually a way, and I'd immediately identified the cause of the problem, so half the battle was already won.

To stop the aircraft slipping and sliding of their own accord I did some extra work with my electric modelling drill. I used a tear drop shaped 'diamond' grinding tool (it looks like it's diamond encrusted but it's almost certainly something else) to gently scratch the inside surfaces of the countersunk 'cup shape' in the top of the upper magnets. to similar effect, I used a grinding wheel to scratch each ball bearing before attaching to the aircraft. Given the aircraft are white metal and quite heavy (in a small way) I'm very impressed by the sticking power of this grinding. There is now plenty of friction between the surfaces of the ball bearing and magnet, and the aircraft, even the big two engine AEG IV bombers, hold true and steady to any angle the aircraft are set.

When I get time I'll post a picture.

« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 04:46:20 PM by olicana »

Offline olicana

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    • Olicanalad's Games
Re: Rotation magnets for flight stands?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2018, 02:01:02 PM »
Here are some pictures (more pics and what the rest of the stands are made of, and a how to, at link)


Again, I apologise for running the question here. I know 'my flying thing' isn't in the 'future wars' mould, but the original 'magnets idea' came from an X-Wing advert and there are more than just plastic space ships on the market, so the idea will easily cross pollinate.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 02:11:15 PM by olicana »