LEDs for Miniatures

This is a short (and crudely written, sorry) tutorial of how to add LEDs to your wargaming miniatures.

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Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

For this method you will need an LED light in the color of your choice, A 3 volt coin button battery (mine is a CR2032), a magnetic reed switch, some copper wire, and a silver based conductive pen. Once completed you will also need a small magnet to activate the reed switch completing the circuit. I also used a small piece of sheet metal as a place to put the magnet next to the switch. I purchased everything off Amazon for this project.

Step 2: Place the LED

Find an inconspicuous place to hide the LED and trim the leads to an appropriate length. I used superglue to attach my LED under the head of this miniature.

Step 3: Wiring the Base

With this particular model there was already an extra hole in the base but you may need to drill one out. This can be done with any normal had drill and bit. You will then need to run two wires up through the hole. Remove the sheath from the tips of the wires. Make sure not to cross the wires. Underneath the base you will need to interrupt one wire with the reed switch. I soldered the copper wire to both leads on the reed switch but you could just twist them and wrap with electrical tape. The second wire can simply be attached directly to the battery by removing the sheath and using electrical tape to put one wire on the + side and one on the - side of the coin battery. Actually placing the battery and taping the wires down should be the last step as you wont know which side of the battery should be up until you test it.

Step 4: Applying Conductive Paint.

To apply the conductive paint I recommend not using the pen that it comes in. I instead squeezed the paint out onto a pallet and using a brush for better control. You will need to run a line of paint from one LED lead to one of the wires and a seperate line connecting the other two points. Again you can not allow the to lines of paint to touch or overlap.

Step 5: Completing the Connection

At this point you will want to place your magnet to activate the switch and test to see which side of the battery needs to be up or down. I also recommend applying some varnish over the conductive paint to protect it before doing your final paint job on the miniature. If the LED is not lighting up you may need to check for any gaps in the painted lines, or check if the bare copper wires are touching or if the paint lines are crossed. Hope this helps anyone that may wish to try this in the future.



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    3 Discussions


    6 months ago

    Awesome post, never thought of using conductive paint instead of wiring! I've done something similar but used a micro-switch instead of the reed. Keep modeling!

    1 reply

    That is so many kinds of awesome. Then find a way to put a red LED in the dragon's mouth