This information has all been put on the FFG forum, but it bears repeating.
What you need
X-wing ships largely fit into two different size, large or small. While all large-based ships are to be considered small for the purpose of magnets, many small ships can’t be considered small, they simply aren’t.
For large ships, you’ll be needing large magnets, I recommend the K&J Magnetics R622CS-N. The countersunk part help to maximise the surface area to give you a better hold.
For small ships, you can make do with much smaller magnets, the K&J Magnetics R421 do the job really well.
For most ships, you’ll also need ball bearings of the appropriate size. K&J Magnetics NSB6 (3/8″) and NSB3 (3/16″) work a charm if shipping to your location is not murder. It really is murder to ship those to Canada, so I went with bulk orders at bearingscanada.ca (these and these). Unless you really plan on having all ships on their pegs at all time, you really don’t need that many bearings, so convince other local players they want in too.
How to do it
The same basic process can be used on almost every single ship.
- Get a drill bit the same diameter as your magnet. I strongly suggest a Forstner bit as it leaves a flatter bottom. They are a bit more expensive, but you only really need 2 of them.
- Pull and or cut off the existing peg.
- Drill a hole deep enough to fit your magnet.
- Glue it in with your preferred super glue. Something that is shock resistant is a good idea, as clipping on and off the pegs can unglue some magnets over time.
Do a Y-wing first for the small ships. Then use it as a template to make sure the exposed surfaces of your magnets will always repel each other. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my ships deciding to clump together. The Y-wing is flat and easy to keep on hand to make sure you set every magnet the right way. Plus, Y-wings will stack, the magnets are close enough to pull through.
If you drill through, by choice or by mistake, here’s a (very obvious) solution to setting the magnet in place without fighting with it, put it on its peg then gently lower the ship onto it and hold for a few seconds until the glue starts curing:
All those trial and error led to using nail polish remover a few times to swap the magnets. The family kicked in again on one of those occasion and it stripped some of the window paint (and embedded a thumb print on it). It just means I get to redo it differently!
Ship by ship guide
Once you get started, you may realize that not all ship’s pegs were where their center of gravity is, which matters if you don’t want your ship to always list to one side. Through trial and error, I’ve found what seems to work best for most ships (except those B-wings, I’m still not happy with those).
The magnet basically goes where the peg was.
I just dug a magnet-shaped cavity to partially inset it. The cavity is bigger so that the bearing can also fit into the magnet. Trial and error will get you there, but go slow.
The balance point is a bit back from the peg. It’s a small space, but the upside is that it is very nearly impossible to see that magnet thanks to the wings.
Just dig down, be mindful that it is partially hollow. One of them doesn’t even have glue, my last test fitting the magnet would not even come out, so I let it be. Given the shape of the ship, it’ll never be visible, though the bearing obviously will be.
It has to be moved. Initially glued the magnet straight on, but I had to shape the surface to it was flat, I dug down with the Dremel to create a hole. This one is entirely hollow at that point, be very careful not to drop the magnet in, the rattling could get annoying.
very simple, just move it back.
A big ship gets a big magnet. He also has his own custom small peg with a big bearing though, from random testing, he also fits on a normal small peg. I’m still debating digging into the model, that’s a BIG whole relative to the size of the ship. If only I had a drill press
move it back, those wings are heavy. Same as the Decimator, this one is hollow, be careful.
Firespray 51 (Slave I)
I didn’t bother digging it in at this point. This way, it fit snugly on a single peg, riding very low, and he looks awesome that way.
The first one I dug into, with a drill bit instead of the dremel. My bit was too aggressive and just jammed in there instead of creating a hole (this ship is also mostly empty. It’s been moved a bit forward. Given the size of the ship, very tall and long, it’s the least stable of the bunch.
Mist Hunter G1-A
This is where the magnet goes, the default peg is far too forward. That being said, do not use a small magnet, it does not hold. I’m out of big ones, so this will have to do while my order gets in, but I strongly don’t suggest it. My 2 year old has become very careful with the X-wing ships, but he expects them to be magnetize at this point :facepalm:
now with a large magnet, as that large ship should have. Only a sliver of metal shines through when it’s on the ball, which I’m fine with.
While I was at it, I figured I may as well do the back end of the Ghost, to make it just a bit less likely that the base will fall off. Even with small magnets, be careful drilling in, the shell is not thick!
Until I redo the front, its back end is a tiny bit jacked up, leading to it looking down to any ship it faces, which I think is very appropriate!
Nothing really special, it goes exactly where the peg was, otherwise the 3 arms peg wouldn’t work. I need a better setup for my drill, but I gotta say that the Forstner bit works much, much better than a Dremel:
It even works suspended!
And, bonus, the Ghost peg makes a wonderful squadron peg:
TIE Advanced Prototype and Attack Shuttle (Phantom)
Ridiculously straightforward! The Phantom is another shape that makes insetting magnets questionable, it’s so small and cute that you barely see it.
It wasn’t planned, but my (then) 2 year old was so used to banking ships that he tried to bank it the first time I showed him the Gozanti.
I magnetized the docking clamps as well so that my magnetized ships can dock. This is where having planned ahead and having the same orientation for the magnets of all your ships pays off.
Showing the clean work that can be done with a Forstner bit and the fact that not all ships are indeed small.
Without the magnet
Magnet glued in
I thought this would be the easiest one to do. I was so far off the mark!
I ended up needing to use a grinding wheel on my dremel to create a flat surface without removing the cute little turret that’s on there. This means the magnets is far more forward than it usually is on a TIE. I’ll have to see what it does to balance, but I can say it doesn’t blend in at all!
Protectorate starfighter Fang
By far the easiest. I decided to inset the magnet. Then, I proved that having boys running around isn’t conducive to detail work. At least the gash is on the underside!
Shadowcaster Lancer-class pursuit craft
The peg is not where you want your magnet to be. Just put it down and you’ll see it tilts back easily. I’m afraid I over corrected a bit though. I’ll do some test, but you may want to split the difference in half from this picture. (Update: Having flown it many times, it’s fine where it is.)
Second warning, the ship is hollow, plan your drilling carefully!
As you can tell by the weight, this ship is hollow. The magnet must go where the peg was to account for both wing positions. If you intend to only fly in one configuration, feel free to adjust the magnet position as desired.
If you center your drill bit on the original peg’s position, you won’t touch the guns and can decide whether to partially or entirely inset the magnet. With the design of this ship, and the wings, I went for a partial inset.
People keep asking which magnets to use for the K-wing and the answer is “definitely not the small ones!” Still, I finally had time to swap the magnets on one of my son’s K-wings (he doesn’t want his ships magnetized, this one was done before he could express a preference 😉 )
If you inset it, even partially, it makes almost the whole magnet and bearing disappear:
You could more fully inset it, but the position is quite close to the “neck” of the ship, and I wanted to avoid any mishap that could end up snapping it off
And here’s a shake test for the fans, you can get it to wobble free, but it’s much harder to do so now.
This one was obvious. Based on weight, it needs the large magnets, but since it doesn’t have a majestic wingspan, it doesn’t require a large bearing (though it doesn’t hurt to use one!). With the large magnet countersunk, none of the small bearing is visible when on the peg.
Upsilon class shuttle
I had serious doubts about this one.
First, I tried to simply use blue tack to see if there was any way it would work with a large magnet and bearing. It does not, at all.
Then, I tried thinner disk magnets I had laying around. They were not strong enough.
Finally, I figured I could just use two of the large magnets, as their hold together is impressive. If you have them on hand, going with similarly strong disk magnet would probably be better, but I wanted to make do without yet another order to K&J.
Without going with ball bearings though, how you put the magnets in becomes really important. I got distracted by my family and it went in crooked :angry:
But since I needed to make a custom peg for it, I could adjust the peg accordingly (the above image is with it put on 180 degrees on that peg, compounding the issue)!
The final result holds strongly, wings up or down, and is not crooked anymore!
This beast needs a large magnet, quite obviously.
A small magnet works, but it’s dense enough that going with a big one wouldn’t be insane.
How large can you go? Make sure you get the center of gravity right.
What, a ship in this wave that is perfectly fine with a small magnet? That’s unpossible! Mind the center of gravity, that’s a lot of wings in the back.
Asmodee Canada needs to get off their posterior and actually ship them to FLGS just 200km from their distribution center ffs! We had a handful of them land in our region, spread among almost a dozen stores, so most people never got any. :angry:
Large magnets will likely be unavoidable, and given the shape of the ship, it probably won’t go on a bearing if you want it to be stable.