Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer Update and Magnetizing All Quiet on the Martian Front Steam Tanks

Where has the summer gone?

So a quick update before the tutorial.  I went to Historicon and played in the Doubles Tournament put on by my great friends at I-95 (I am an honorary member).  Bill Wilcox and I partnered up and ran US Stewie horde and Recon horde.  The theme was MW and you had 1,000 per player, with a 100 point swing (I think).  Bill and I had three great games with Dominic / his partner in crime, Jesse Shaeffer / Kurt Reese and Joe Lewis / Gary Overmeyer.  Lots of fun!  Bill and I ended with three wins and we came in 3rd place.

I did not play in the LW Nats tournament, but congratulations to my amigo Mike Jacobs who finished in 4th.  Nicely done!

Bill and I did get a chance to play All Quiet on the Martian Front.  Bill got in at the beginning with the Kickstarter.  We had a great time and I ended up going over to the AQMF booth and just opening my wallet.  I ended up buying the Starter Box, a box of Steam Tanks, a box of Scout Tripods, 2 blisters of US infantry and a blister of Fleeing Civilians.

Due to life / work, I just now got around to opening up the boxes.  The Steam Tanks come 3 in a box and they let you build a Mark I, II or III tank.  Well, I thought I would pull out the magnets and go for being able to make all three!  But before I get into the details, one word of caution - magnetizing the Steam Tank is a royal pain in the butt.  I ultimately decided I would magnetize 3 tanks and build the remaining 6 as Mark III.  Your results may vary...

Anyway, on with the show!

Here is a Steam Tank cut from the sprue.  Notice the Tripod in the upper right?  I did magnetize those, but in the end you really cannot do it.  The Black Cloud gun thingy is too heavy and the magnet cannot support the weight.  But back to the Steam Tank.  What we are doing here is determining which parts need to be magnetized and which can be glued.

This what is glued so far.  The parts are the top hull, the bottom hull, the boiler cover, boiler stack, tow hook and the driver's area on the upper hull (lower left from this view).  The two track pieces have yet to be glued.  I also glued the upper hull for the Mark III together and the sponson holders.  Those can be seen at the top of the picture.

The first challenge to face is how to get the top hull for the Mark III and the flat cover for the Mark I and II to be magnetized and still cover the big hole.  I realized I needed to "lift" the magnet from the bottom of the tank.  To do that, I simply glued wood sticks together (sticks I use for gun pits) and created a platform.  See below:

Here is what they look like after gluing, but before cutting to size (and ignore the AIW stuff!!):

So I used wood glue, then cut them to fit the hulls.

The next challenge is how to magnetize the sponsons.  There are huge holes that they get glued into, but it is too deep for a magnet.

The answer is White Stuff!  Using the putty, I filled the holes.  Now I had to let his stuff cure overnight because you are using so much of it.  But by the next morning, we were good to go!

The next day, I glued all the magnets on.  Now be careful with polarity.  It isn't enough to just check the two that are actually connecting.  Because you have so many magnets, they get close to each other.  If you reverse the polarity, it can really stink!  Notice that I had to cut the grooves from the covers and the sponson holders.  You can also see the magnets under the hull cover and the Mark III upper hull.

So what does the final result look like?  You judge!

Mark III

Mark II

Not too bad!

You can see the next two magnetized tanks below and 3 Mark III that are not magnetized.

And finally, some love to the Tripods!!

Good luck and happy gaming!!