Magnets and Miniatures

Quick little anti-tutorial today, inspired by Goobertown’s excellent video on magnetizing miniature bases. I go the opposite route, attaching 1″ metal washers to my mini bases and magnetizing my storage boxes and painting handles instead.


  • The minis themselves remain magnetically inert – you can use them on those fancy monitor tabletops without jacking up the display (but be careful you don’t scratch the surface). The minis won’t stick to each other by accident.
  • It’s a lot easier to glue a washer to a base and have it stay there. Magnets like to pull free unless you really dial in your adhesive strategy.
  • The washers add satisfying heft to top-heavy or light plastic/printed minis. To be fair, magnets do this too.
  • Older minis and some lines like early Reaper Bones have non-standard or odd-shaped bases. 1″ washers provide consistency in basing size.
  • Sometimes the washers can be your base.


  • You can’t stick your minis on your fridge.
  • Most bases are 1″ as well, so the washers add a few mm to the height of the overall base. You can avoid this by using the washer as the base itself, using smaller washers, different bases (Enemy Spotted Studios uses very thin bases that end up feeling just right once I glue washers on), printing/making your own bases that account for the added thickness, or just deal with it (my current option).
  • Seriously, I haven’t run into many drawbacks. I suppose it makes setting up magnetized storage a little more fiddly, but I deal with mini basing way more often than I set up new storage boxes.
Enemy Spotted Studios base + washer on left; typical GW base without washer on right.

Gear Up!

Here’s what I use. I’ve been happy with these options for a few years now.

4 Liter Really Useful Boxes. I found mine at Staples. These stack really well and are deep enough for larger minis in odd poses to fit. For larger monsters you may need other options.

Zinc 1/8″ x 1″ fender washers. These were from Home Depot but whatever, they’re washers. Just make sure they’re ferrous.

8×10 Magnet Valley 60mil adhesive magnetic sheets. You have to cut some extra to fully cover the floor of the storage box, but the adhesive is strong and the magnetic force is powerful enough to hold minis, something that thinner sheets struggle with.

I use four square Magformers for a painting handle. Don’t buy these just for that purpose, though. You can use magnets drilled into dowel rods like Brent from Goobertown uses, or whatever works for you. I will say that Magformers also make fine chip clips and are excellent fridge magnets.

Before this, I had been blue-tacking minis to dixie cups for painting. Magnets are way better.

Finally, you’ll need a file or sandpaper to rough up washers, superglue to fix them to your bases (there’s enough surface contact that I haven’t had any come loose yet), and a utility knife to trim the magnetic sheets to fully cover your storage boxes.

Keep making cool stuff out of trash, and don’t forget to take breaks and look at distant objects to give your eyes a rest.

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