For my upcoming solo campaign (for which I hope to have a working rules draft in a week or two), I need something pretty good in the way of map markers. My map of Iberia has been printed up nicely at A3 size, and laminated. It is now on the magnetic whiteboard in my office, and I am working on creating very small magnetic markers for the combat groups.
I have thought up a design, the materials are here - all I need now is to assemble them with sufficient precision!
The counters will be 7mm acrylic "spacer" beads (as used in necklaces and friendship bracelets) which are embossed with the letters of the alphabet, and these are to be fastened to some fabulous little 4mm magnets I have obtained. There will be 3 colours of beads - one alphabet for each, to cope with the 3 armies. The beads are 3mm thick, the magnets 1mm.
The makings – a couple of beads, a magnet and Her Majesty’s head on a £1 coin, all laid out on a board marked with 5mm squares. The coin is not part of the design – it is there to give an idea of the size. You probably realised that. On this scale, my finger-ends would look like elephants’ feet.
I'm dithering over choice of glue at present. The magnets are amazingly powerful, so the glue must be strong enough to allow the markers to be removed from the map without breaking and leaving the magnets behind. The beads are rounded and have the letters embossed on both sides; if they were flat on the back, I would consider superglue, but I'm not a fan of using superglue to fill gaps or provide part of the structure. I could use Araldite, but it's messy to work with, and these are very fiddly parts - I could easily end up with the whole lot glued permanently to my workbench. I need some user-friendly glue which will stay where I put it, fill the gaps between the curved bead and the flat magnet, and dry rigid and STRONG.
I have a few ideas, but there may be something out there which is just what I am looking for.
One of the attractions of the beads and magnets is they were very cheap - the magnets were about £5 for 100, the beads came to about the same amount again in total. Slight problem with the beads is you get 150 mixed letters in a bag, so you have to do some quick maths to identify how many bags you need to be pretty sure of getting at least one complete alphabet!