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Inarah

transport & storage ideas?

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I'm about to start prepping 50+ figures for my kid's paint and take in August.  In the past I stored and transported them in a cardboard box with double sided tape on the bottom. They mostly stayed put in nice rows.   Well the tape is wearing out and I'm looking for a slightly better looking solution.  It has to hold figures from Mousling size to mounted horsemen, in Bones, plastic and metal on all kinds of bases.  I get all kinds of donated figures, I don't re-base them if I don't have to. 

 

I have a single figure budget. I run the event with donated figures and paints from friends and the community, and a few dollars from my own pocket.  Whatever I come up with needs to be cheap and relatively easy to set up and access for the kids.  That's why I'm using  a cardboard box now. 

 

Anyone have a better idea?  I'll consider anything. 

 

 

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A used iron cookie sheet, 1-2 rolls of magnetic strip (cut to length and attached to the cookie sheet in rows), and a box of 1-inch washers (glued one each to the bottoms of the figures).

 

That's getting close to the $10 mark, though, if not over.

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What are the 'good enough' criteria?

 

Is it only to transport unpainted minis without damage?

Is it supposed to keep them in some sort of order to make it easy for kids  to spot the mini they want to paint?

 

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I once made a quick and simple figure transport by taking a cardboard box about 3 inches tall, and then cut up a bunch of paper towel and toilet paper tubes to about 2.5".  Then I arranged them vertically ( I I ) until the whole bottom of the box was lined with them.  I then ran a ring  of glue around the bottom of each tube and glued it into place.  You could then place a cotton ball in the bottom of each tube to cushion the figure. 

  For your purposes, you could put a sticker with each child's name on it inside each tube top so they know which one is theirs. 

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39 minutes ago, Gadgetman! said:

What are the 'good enough' criteria?

 

Is it only to transport unpainted minis without damage?

Is it supposed to keep them in some sort of order to make it easy for kids  to spot the mini they want to paint?

 

 

Both. It needs to keep the more delicate figures like the LotR horsemen I just put together from breaking spears, and it needs to double as a display on the paint and take table. 

 

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2 hours ago, Inarah said:

I'm about to start prepping 50+ figures for my kid's paint and take in August.  In the past I stored and transported them in a cardboard box with double sided tape on the bottom. They mostly stayed put in nice rows.   Well the tape is wearing out and I'm looking for a slightly better looking solution.  It has to hold figures from Mousling size to mounted horsemen, in Bones, plastic and metal on all kinds of bases.  I get all kinds of donated figures, I don't re-base them if I don't have to. 

 

I have a single figure budget. I run the event with donated figures and paints from friends and the community, and a few dollars from my own pocket.  Whatever I come up with needs to be cheap and relatively easy to set up and access for the kids.  That's why I'm using  a cardboard box now. 

 

Anyone have a better idea?  I'll consider anything. 

 

Box of 100 3/4" or 5/8"  fender washers. 

Discarded magnetic vehicle sign.

 

Box of washers: $6 to $7

Magnet sign: $0

 

Visit local FastSigns™ or similar franchise. Ask if they have scraps or cutoffs and explain it is for a craft project. 

 

Line bottom of box with magnet sign message side down. 

Glue one washer underneath the base of each mini. Washers stick to magnet. Even if box is turned upside down. Only vigorous shaking will dislodge the minis. Use 2-4 washers under cavalry bases or Ogres/trolls. 

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2 hours ago, Grumpy Cave Bear said:

A used iron cookie sheet, 1-2 rolls of magnetic strip (cut to length and attached to the cookie sheet in rows), and a box of 1-inch washers (glued one each to the bottoms of the figures).

 

That's getting close to the $10 mark, though, if not over.

 

Cheaper to just attach the magnetic strip (which can also be those magnetic business cards that you get for free from real estate agents all the time*) to the bases of the figures and use a steel cookie sheet**. I've been using that method for years and it works pretty well.

 

* If you need to, you can buy the same material pretty cheaply.

 

** ETA: Steel cake pans work well, too, since they have sides that will keep things away from the minis and they often have lids as well.

Edited by Doug Sundseth
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The material at the magnetic vehicle sign ships is the strongest grade of the stuff. 

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1 hour ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

Cheaper to just attach the magnetic strip (which can also be those magnetic business cards that you get for free from real estate agents all the time*) to the bases of the figures and use a steel cookie sheet**. I've been using that method for years and it works pretty well.

 

* If you need to, you can buy the same material pretty cheaply.

 

** ETA: Steel cake pans work well, too, since they have sides that will keep things away from the minis and they often have lids as well.

 

I found out the hard way the downsides of attaching magnets directly to the mini bases: 

Weaker magnets won't have this problem, but also won't grip the cookie sheet or cake pan as strong, either.

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11 minutes ago, Grumpy Cave Bear said:

 

I found out the hard way the downsides of attaching magnets directly to the mini bases: 

Weaker magnets won't have this problem, but also won't grip the cookie sheet or cake pan as strong, either.

 

FWIW, I've used magnetic bases (using the rubberized magnets) for a couple of decades on the bases of my DBM armies and individual figures and haven't had any problems. Though you're right that if you drop the box or tray, the magnets won't hold. Don't do that. :rolleyes:

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It's marginally over budget, but I have found an Iris "scrapbook storage case" liberally layered with bubble wrap holds a good number of minis reasonably securely.

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I have friends who have armies of figures that they store in "pluck foam" trays and pricey army bags.  I visit to help paint minis, say, and my friend is going to toss a bunch of foam scraps, and I say, "Noooo!  I can USE that!"  And ever since then, I've gotten grocery bags full of foam blocks, far more than I'm actually likely to use.  I get a piece of foam-core illustration board, cut it to the right size to fit into a plastic bin, cardboard box, Portable Warfare bag, or whatever else I'd like to put it in, get out some cheap glue, and then I just start gluing down a perimeter "wall" of scrap foam blocks, and then I go through and put in some spacers.  It doesn't need to be pretty, and I don't even need to have a single "pocket" for each and every mini -- I often just have an open "row" where I squeeze in several minis, and the foam provides just enough friction and cushioning that they don't go rocking all around the place when I move the box/tray.

 

For transportation, I keep an eye out when visiting the thrift store (Goodwill, etc.).  Sometimes I've found handy little plastic cases that I can fit custom mini trays in.  By pure chance, one time I found an empty box that was apparently once the holder for some "Yu-Gi-Oh" franchise-related game, and it had the exact same dimensions as the Reaper plastic minis storage box I got in the first Reaper Bones Kickstarter.  (In fact, it had a slight out-dent that nestled neatly into the recessed area on the Reaper case, so I was able to stack them.  They aren't EXACTLY the same case, but they sure look a lot alike, and have the same general slide-lock mechanism.)

 

Whatever you do, though, DO NOT USE HOT GLUE.  I did that once upon a time, and then, after the tray took a trip in a car trunk in summertime, I learned the error of my ways.  :(

 

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I bought some bankers boxes and some varying thicknesses of charcoal foam (like you get in most figure cases) and am making my own carriers.

 

The foam company site I used was foam by mail dot com without spaces.

 

It's a little pricey, but with all the Imperial Assault and Kickstarter minis I have, it will cheap in the long run.

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I'm not a huge fan of using foam for miniatures transport. I find that it can be really abrasive if you don't individually wrap the figures (I like thin plastic) before putting the figures in.

 

But if you want to buy it, the best search terms are "pluck foam" and "Pick n pluck foam". The other sort of foam commonly used for similar purposes is "egg crate foam".

 

I'll also mention that inexpensive pistol cases often come with pluck foam in the middle and egg crate foam on top and bottom and sometimes don't cost any more than the foam by itself. And they're a very convenient size for carrying minis and painting supplies.

Edited by Doug Sundseth
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I have two foam mini totes. I can confirm what Doug says about them being somewhat abrasive. They're primarily for unpainted figures for me nowadays, or old figures. The abrasion isn't awful, but tips that stick out will lose paint taking figures in and out. Semisnug fit probably is better than opening a space fully though; the foam will hold things in place if snug so abrasion won't happen in transport. It will happen on placing/removing. I have yet to try plastic coatings to store figures with foam yet. 

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