Monday, April 4, 2011

My Possibly Unique Way to Magnet Mount Leman Russ Sponson Weapons

Ok, a buddy asked me recently to describe how I started mag-mounting my weapons on my new Leman Russ’ sponsons. I haven’t seen anyone else do this, so if they have done it this way, my apologies, didn’t mean to rip you off and not give credit.

I basically wanted a fast, forgiving way to mag mount sponson weapons so this is what I improvised quickly one night. it worked well enough that I wished I had thought of it earlier for my earlier Lemans.
Note: I'm using the previous Leman Russ kit. to my knowledge, the following still applies to the new kit.

Materials needed:
  1. Leman Russ kit
  2. Pin vice with small drill bit
  3. Xacto
  4. Unwaxed dental floss
  5. Small hobby magnets
  6. Krazy Glue
  7. Vehicle stowage (i.e. GW stowage or Tamiya)
  8. Greenstuff and basic greenstuff experience (tools, handling skills)
 View from inside the Leman Russ side panel, looking through the hole I cut, into the bottom of the sponson. Note the hole for the weapon post and mag sunk in greenstuff behind it.

1. I cut a large hole through the Leman hull, smaller than the footprint of the sponson tabs on the hull (see pic below.) This hole is necessary so when you change weapons, the thick weapon post has a way to rock in and then sit level in the bottom hole. You’ll see what I mean as you start assembly. I took the lid of the sponson and scored some cris-crosses along the top with the xacto, from about the middle going forward. This is a texture anchor for some greenstuff later. This will need to be covered by stowage or whatever you want so don’t over do it. A small strip the width of a pencil and the length of a sharpened tip about center should do it. Assemble the sides of the sponson and glue to hull as normal, DO NOT GLUE THE SPONSON LID.

2. I filled and leveled the bottom inside of a sponson with green stuff. Then I counter sunk a magnet into that greenstuff “bed” and skim coated over it so the mag is embedded and still level (see pic below.) The mag will need to be essentially directly to the rear of the hole for the bottom post of the weapon that goes in the sponson. You’ll want the magnet very close to the surface of the greenstuff, even visible through it. If it dries too thin, just give it a coat of crazy glue afterwards and let dry.

Remember to orient your magnets properly before glue and greenstuff!

3. In the meantime I took a long length of unwaxed dental floss and glued an end of the floss to either the top or bottom of the other magnet. When that has dried, I wrapped the magnet a few times in floss and then glued it again, orienting the floss so that it is glued in the center of the magnet and leading straight up and away from the center. This is tricky and will result in glued fingers if you rush the steps and forget to let everything dry. Treat what you created with care until you can get to the next step.

4. After that glue is dry, I made a small, “tear-drop” shaped cone of greenstuff around the magnet on the floss, including its sides and up the floss a few mm. Remember to keep your fingers wet for that part. The idea here is to embed the knot of wrapped floss and protect the floss that hangs the magnet. I put that to the side and let harden. As that hardened I tapped a small hole into the sponson lid, roughly over where the magnet is in the bottom of the sponson. Just eyeball it, it doesn’t have to be laser-precise.

5. After all green stuff had dried, I dangled that tear drop magnet hanging from the floss through the sponson lid, and let it grab the mag in the bottom of the sponson. I trim the tear drop as necessary, making sure the weapon in its sponson mount can traverse without being impeded by the tear drop. Shave very little here, the magnet can move laterally if it really needs to, you want that magnet staying in the greenstuff.

6. Once that was good I put the sponson top onto the sponson and fit it together, making sure the weapon (in this case, heavy plasma cannon) is fully seated in both bearing holes and traverses normally. It does. The floss was still poking out of the sponson lid at his point.

7. Holding down gently on the top of the sponson lid, I lead the floss across the top of that criss-crossing on top of the lid from earlier, starting from the hole, just a few mm’s towards the front. You should take up the slack of the floss inside the sponson and make it tight without breaking the magnet bonds. Glue it with crazy glue right to the sponson top. Leave it together while the glue and floss dries before you try pulling it apart. After that is dry, trim off the extra floss with xacto and reinforce with a small blob of green stuff on the that texture to lock it all down. At this point I used that greenstuff to anchor a piece of Tamiya stowage to hide the hold, floss and greenstuff.

Mr. Pask likes flexability. And pigment. One out of two ain't bad.

That’s it! All-in-all, minus dry-time, it took less than 20 minutes to mag both sponsons. I also mag-mounted the front sponson but that was done the more traditional way (more later.) I dry-fitted all Demolisher weapons and sprue weapons and they all sit tight while popping out easily.

If you have ways of improving on this or run into issues trying it out, lemme know.




Obarkon said...

Not a fan, seems like a waste of precious green stuff. You should have tried a simpler method, for example drill holes in the back of the weapon glue a magnet in, then do the same to the rotating sponson. Your method just seems like it would be a pain in the ass to do for more than one or two tanks.

Yeti's Yell said...

Not sure that's better than what I did. I'm using the older kit and all the sponson weapons I own already have a post and the majority are metal (plasma cannon, meltas.) So by your method I'd have to saw every post off of every weapon, including through the metal ones (which will be a pain in the ass)and then mag everything. The method above took 20 minutes for the whole tank.