With the release of “Escalation” many people will be looking at adding a bit of firepower to their armies. For the Imperial Guard, there is no better place to start than the titan slaying Shadowsword. This kit can be bought in plastic form straight from Games Workshop. It allows you to build 8 (yes eight!!!) different Baneblade variants, including the Shadowsword and Stormlord.

Now this is an expensive bit of kit, costing £85 from GW but containing 295 bits, you’ll probably want to make the most out of what you’ve paid for. When I built and magnetised my kit, it was the older Shadowsword one and didn’t have the parts for the Baneblade or Hellhammer. I’m sure with a little bit of tinkering though the Baneblade hull pieces could be magnetised to work with the rest of the tank.

 

That’s enough background info, now on to actually getting the beast magnetised. I started off with the side track sections. Build up the track sections as normal, but add some magnets to the areas where the external armour plates will fit in as shown in the picture below.

Use some larger diameter magnets here so they are strong enough to hold the armour plates on (I used 4mm x 1mm). Make sure that the polarity of your magnets is the same all the way along. This can be achieved by using an applicator tool, which can be as simple as gluing a large magnet on to a bit of sprue and then marking the polarities. Repeat this process for the other side of the tank.

The actual armour panels are a bit trickier. I very carefully drilled out a 2mm hole, starting with a 1mm bit, in the centre of the guide pieces. Be very careful not to drill through the whole armour panel.  Using the opposite polarity applicator you can start gluing some magnets to the armour. Double, triple even quadruple check your polarities here. You don’t want to have to start cutting pieces up to try and get the magnets out. This is what your armour panels should look like


You’ll also need to magnetise the top section. This is pretty much the same as the sides. Use your magnet applicator but bear in mind that these magnets will be close to the ones on the side panel. This may be a problem if you are using very large magnets. So here is what the top section should look like.





Now onto the top armour panels. Again this is pretty much the same as the side armour panels. I used 4mm magnets on these, rather than 2mm as you can get them to fit easily by cutting out the edges of the guide piece as shown below. Once again, make sure you check your magnet polarities before gluing.



Finish building up the rest of the side sections, including putting all the tracks on, as there is no more magnetising needed on these areas. Always have a go at dry fitting everything first. I found it easier to dry fit and work out an order for what I was going to glue next instead of just steaming straight in.
As an added extra, I also magnetised the twin linked weapons that are on the side sponsons. This was probably one of the most difficult sections to try and figure out. First of all start by getting the central support for the sponson weapons. Remove the guide pegs at each end so you have something that looks like this.


Drill a 2mm hole into each end. The end piece is only about 4mm wide so try to make sure that your hole is as central as possible. Next up take your 2mm x 1mm magnet and test fit it in the hole. I ended up having to drill down a little bit more before the magnet would sit flush. Using the magnet applicator, and taking note of the polarities, glue a magnet in each end. Here you can see the whole weapon mount assembled, and if you don’t glue the weapons in place you can swap them over depending on which you need.


Now it’s time to give the actual sponson housing the magnetic treatment. Start off with the base plate for the sponson. Using the opposite polarity applicator, glue a 2mm x 1mm magnet in the centre of the mount hole. Also glue two (one on top of the other) larger 4mm x 1mm magnets in the corner as shown (this will allow you to take the sponson housing apart easily.





Build the rest of the sponson housing but don’t glue the section that you magnetised above on to it – that would defeat the point of using the magnets. You do need to add a magnet onto the rest of the housing. A slightly bulkier magnet works better here. I used a cylinder magnet which was about 6mm x 3mm. Check your polarities before gluing and then use some super glue on the magnet and position it like below. Leave a gap between the magnet and the edge of the sponson so the bottom piece will slot in.


Attach everything together with your shiny magnets and you get something that looks like this.



Have a go at placing the sponson in the 3 different positions along the side of the tank before you start messing around with magnets again for the other side. There was a Baneblade variant with 4 sponsons on it, so this could easily be used to give you the 4 sponson look or no sponsons if you wanted. Here is how it looked on mine, with the side and top armour plates in position as well.



Those sponsons are missing something now though. And it’s time to add the lascannon turrets. This is a really simple stage. Start off by gluing a 2mm x 0.5mm magnet into the top hole both of the sponsons (a 2mm x 1mm would work but means you have to do more in the next step).


Build both of your turrets up except for the guide pole that goes through the middle. Mark about 2mm up the peg and then carefully remove the marked section. Gently file the peg so it’s smooth and flat, and insert it into the turret. Put a magnet on the existing one already glued to the top of the sponson and then dry fit your turret. If the turret sticks up a little, or wobbles about, remove the guide peg and file down a little bit more at a time. Dry fit again until you are happy. When ready, glue the other magnet to the end of the peg. When the super glue has dried insert the peg into the turret and glue in place. This is what the underside of the turret will look like.




And here is the turret attached to the sponson.


That’s everything that can be done to the sides, sponsons and turrets for the tank, so now it’s time to tackle the main body itself. First up are the quick and easy bits for the troop compartment/engine bay. Glue a magnet onto the engine cover so that it will stay a bit more secure when in place.




Then glue a couple of strong magnets on the blanking piece that will go over the troop compartment. My magnets are aligned differently as I was trying to figure out which way worked best. In the end I think the vertical magnet worked slightly better. You’ll see why in a second.




On the main troop compartment, very very carefully drill a hole for a small magnet. This magnet will hold the top cover in place. I nearly drilled through completely, so I’ll repeat to be careful. Use your magnet applicator and double check the polarities before super gluing the magnet in place.


You can see one of the magnets that was used to hold the other covering piece in the above picture. This one lined up with the horizontal magnet, but didn’t hold as well as the vertical one. If you blu tac the blanking piece in place, you can then check the polarities easily by just gently dropping the magnets into place on the troop compartment. They will naturally go into their best position. Add some super glue when you are happy and move on.



You will then end up with something that should look like this.


With the rear section done, it’s time to have a go at the front. The front turret section is trickier than the back, mainly due to the different variants that you can build. But a bit of patience went a long way to helping me figure out what to do next. Start off by gluing the main turret together. This includes the sides and back.


Drill four holes, for 2mm x 1mm magnets, into the underside of the turret section. Make 2 holes at the front, which is shown in the first picture, and 2 at the back as shown in the second picture. Then glue in the magnets making sure that your polarities are the same all the way around.



Now it’s time to put some magnets in the front armour plate that also doubles up as the troop standing section. Start by dry fitting the armour piece on to the front and back of the turret, and mark on the rough positions of the magnets. Then carefully drill four holes, two on each side. The plastic is pretty thin so take your time. Finally, using your magnet applicator, test fit some magnets and check the polarities before gluing them in place. It’s worth test fitting the whole thing before gluing. Stick a bit of selotape over the magnets before gluing them and make sure everything is ok.



Take a bit of a breather and prepare for the final bit of magnetising. Soon you’ll be able to paint this bad boy up and forget about magnets for a while. This last section focuses on the main weapons that will be fielded on this super heavy. I’m going to start off with Vulcan Mega Bolter. Build the mega bolter as per the instructions. Once built add two large flat magnets, maybe 4mm x 1mm, on to the back of the weapon.


A couple of magnets are needed within the turret to hold the weapon in place. If you hold the mega bolter in its correct position you can drop the magnets inside of the turret and let the wonders of magnetic fields do the rest. Check that you are happy with the positions before super gluing them in place.


Next is the weapon mount for the rest of the weapons. Again build this as normal and then grab a sharp hobby knife and some clippers. What you are aiming to do is to remove the plastic between the guide hole and the end of the mount.


Using a combination of your clippers and knife, cut away the plastic until you have a rectangular guide instead. Try to make the guide as smooth as you can by using a file or some sand paper if you have it. Your end result should look similar to this (but hopefully a bit neater than my hack job). Test fit the mount on the front of the turret, if it fits good job, if it doesn’t it’s time for some more filing. No magnets are needed if you managed to get a good fit.




The weapon barrels also need a little bit of magnetic intervention. Cut down some left over sprue pieces so that they fit inside the two weapon barrels, and then glue a cylinder magnet on one of the sprues. Check the polarities before gluing another cylinder magnet on the other sprue.




And that is all the magnetising that is needed. You will now be able to build 6 different Baneblade variants using one kit. As mentioned at the beginning of this post, with a little bit of experimentation, I imagine that magnets could be used to magnetise all of the variants out of the one kit.


Thanks for reading and I hope this has been of help. Oh and to prove that this worked and wasn’t just a cheat, here is a shot of all of the parts laid out after painting.





 
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