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15mm Eagles in Flight

Product #
Suggested Retail Price
£3.50 GBP

Eagle + Rider
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Suggested Retail Price
£3.50 GBP

Magnetic Adapters (4)
Product #
Suggested Retail Price
$5.95 USD

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camelspider writes:

The problem with those is that the bird now has a large metal cylinder coming out of its bottom. It undermines the effort to make the bird look like it is flying rather than glued to a base.

The models are pretty well painted but not so great-looking, with those huge feet. Maybe the feet were made so large because they are meant to support the model as it rests on the ground, as you say. Pity though because it sort of ruins the appearance.

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20 July 2009page first published

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As you may remember, a while ago Stuart Lunn painted up some Eagles (and their riders) for TMP.

But how to base them?

I wanted to do something different than the usual clear plastic bases, or even the base with piano wire sticking out of it... and I wanted to give the birds some real altitude above the tabletop.

My first attempt was to duplicate my previous efforts with the WWII Hurricanes - put a magnet on the bird, and get it to sit on top of a magnet-tipped Litko clear acrylic base.

Eagle with magnet attached

So I used a pin vise to drill out a hole, and glued a magnet in place.

From what I can tell, the Eagles are designed to "sit" on their behinds, so that's where I drilled the holes.
Eagle with magnet on flight base

But unlike the experiment with the WWII aircraft, the Eagles were too top-heavy to sit for long atop their flight stands. Any quiver would send them nose-diving for the deck!

I wondered if perhaps the problem was that I wasn't putting the magnet at the center of gravity, so I tried drilling a hole in an Eagle's belly instead...

Eagle with belly magnet on flight base

...but that didn't help.

Another approach

So I decided to give a try to the Magnetic Adapters available from Ninja Magic. They're intended for use with spacecraft models, but I figured it was worth a try.

The adapters come in two parts: A small part that attaches to the model, and a large part that attaches to the top of the flight-stand pole. There is a magnet in each part, strong enough to hold the model in place. The top part fits inside the bottom part, and that design adds mechanical strength to keep the model from falling over to the side. The parts also have "teeth" where they meet, which keeps the model from spinning in place.

Eagle with magnetic adapter on flight base

I found that the system works pretty much as advertised. The only tricky part was getting the bottom part to sit straight on the flight pole - despite checking from multiple angles, sometimes the piece just ended up slightly crooked when the glue was dry! However, the system worked even so, and I suppose it gives a bit of variety to the flock!

Using the tallest size of acrylic flight stand from Litko, the Eagles now indeed look "up in the air"...

Eagle with 25mm figure

...and the magnetic adapters means that if I want to change the height, it's a simple matter of swapping out bases. (For instance, for games where flying creatures operate at different "height bands.") And contrariwise, the flight stands can be used with any models that have the adapter mounted.

Eagles on the tabletop

I only see one drawback to the magnetic adapter system: In a space game, you can paint it black and it blends in with the tabletop. In a fantasy game, there's really no color to blend to... sky blue? grass green? eagle brown? I chose to leave them pewter.

Eagles on the tabletop