Soviet Steel – Magnetising the Cossack Light Walker.

I had to wait until after Christmas before I could get some more toys for my Soviet Army.   I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when a box of Soviet bits arrived this weekend.

I’ve been waiting for the Cossack for some time.   Given the paucity of options in the armoured car slot that the Soviet army has in the Konflikt’47 rulebook, a light walker is very handy to give Soviet players something nimble and agile with a bit of stopping power.  We’ll look at the performance of this piece of glorious soviet technology later, let’s talk first about the kit.

The Cossack comes in 8 pieces.  The leg assembly needs some care and attention, with each leg consisting of a main limb and a connector between leg and body.   The remainder of the parts are the chassis , two optional guns and a nose turret.   When I saw the optional guns I thought that this would be perfect project for magnets.

I’m sure that most of you have already worked with magnets on a regular basis but for those who’ve never magnetised a model before, I thought I would do a quick tutorial on how to do it so you can see how simple it is.   So, you’re ready to try magnetising your first model and you want to know how to do it,   Simples!

You will need:

  • A selection of rare earth magnets (hit ebay for these, there’s plenty of good economical suppliers available)
  • A Pin Vice with a selection of drill bits
  • A rotary tool (if you have larger magnets)
  • A scalpel
  • Superglue
  • A fine grade ruler or set square for measuring with (Unless you want to go balls deep and eyeball it!)

For this project I’ve used 4mm x 2mm magnets for the main chassis and 2mm x 1mm magnets for the guns.      2mm x 1mm will do fine for most plastic arms on 28mm miniatures.     3mm -4mm should be used on metal components and larger plastic pieces.   You may wish to go bigger for large turrets, but a 4mm x 2mm magnet in the body and turret keep the resin turret on my KV-ZP model.

So let’s get started with our little Cossack Project.

As you can see below, I’ve removed the locating nubs from the two gun parts.    I used these nubs to guide me where to drill for my 2mm magnets.     When I came to the main chassis, the magnets being used were 4mm.  My Pin Vice will only go up to 3mm drills so I used a 4mm drill in my Dremel (other rotary tool brands are available) and then manually rotated the drill head to ensure that I had sufficient control on the depth and direction of drilling.

To place the magnets I have a special system.    All of my magnets are connected together in a pillar.   To ensure that I don’t mix polarities on my magnets and end up with pieces that repulse each other, I glue magnets from one end of the pillar for one side of the join and then use the other end of the pillar to complete the process.

As you can see here, I’ve left the magnets about 0.2 mm proud on the guns to give the best chance of a good connection to the chassis.

sov-csk-mag-05

Click!  The guns sit in place.   Here you can see the Light-AT gun in position on the Cossack itself.   Ironically there isn’t much difference between either weapon but it was a good demonstration of magnetising a model and allows me to make sure I am putting the right guns on when required.

In game the Light Cossack occupies an armoured car spot in the reinforced platoon and is available from 100 points for a regular light walker with a forward mounted MMG and light Autocannon.    It’s a light 7+ armoured vehicle with the Agile, Recce and Walker special rules.     You can upgrade the Autocannon for a light-At gun for +15 points but you lose the agile special rules.    Given the plethora of anti-tank options available for the Soviet army I can see people not bothering with this upgrade.    With Recce and Agile we have an incredibly nimble walker that can pack a considerable punch and will be perfect for sniping Heavy Infantry or Tough beasties from afar.   I think they make a really nice theme for a force too.   I can imagine seeing a forward recon platoon of three of these striding through the steppe supported by a mounted infantry platoon or two.   This may be something I put together in the future.

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