Thursday, March 11, 2010

More Time than Money

Yesterday, I was sitting around the house waiting on the plumber to fix some things in this place that we just moved into. I found myself looking at those snazzy miniature cases, you know, the ones that swaddle your minis in custom-cut foam and look like something a SpecWar operator would HALO out of a C-130 with and glide behind enemy lines like a silent angel of death?

Yeah... Even if I could afford one of those, I don't think I could justify the expense to myself.

So that got the hamster moving on it's wheel. Not having any way to store or transport minis other than plastic baggies thrown in a box is hardly ideal. I've got all these 'banker's boxes' siting around from the move, I figured that I should do something with them to help me get organized and move things around.

I started by measuring the interior of the box, and cutting a sheet of 1/8" cardboard (from another leftover moving box) that would fit in the bottom. I then cut 2" high pieces for all four sides and glued them down with wood glue edgewise to make the sides of my tray. I used a few more pieces in the middle as row dividers. I used old VHS cassettes to hold everything together to get a good seal.

Goofy, but expedient.

Of course, after gluing everything down I realized that I hadn't measured properly. So, we'll just call this one a proof-of-concept.

Since I'd already blown the 'measure twice, cut once' rule, I just added cross pieces wherever I thought they looked right. The clips are being used as wedges to force the pieces together.

Here's the first tray assembled, leaning up against the banker's box that it barely fits in. I should have cut the bottom piece a leeeetle bit smaller on every side to give myself some wiggle room...

...and that's exactly what I did on this next tray. It's just a wide-open 'catchall' tray for whatever doesn't fit anywhere else. Right now it's housing templates and some unpainted terrain.

Here are some pictures of the whole thing in use-

And here's the box with the lid on.

Alright, so it's not as sexy as some Agent 007 style case. And, yeah, the cardboard might rub some paint off the minis, but let's face it. So will playing with them.

If I hadn't already had the banker's boxes, a box of 12 is about $10. The cardboard used for the trays is just scrap, and you should be able to get scrap boxes from just about any retailer (liquor store, grocery store, etc.) for free.

That's a whole lot of nicely organized, custom mini storage for $10 and some time.


  1. Not a bad way to go, and certainly inexpensive. Though, if you're looking for cheap storage, you might want to check out the econobox line over at the war store:

  2. Well, that's still a bit rich for my blood, although I WOULD be interested in finding those foam inserts for something closer to wholesale...

  3. Check out general hobby or craft stores and even sometimes DIY stores for foam you can cut up to insert in there as padding. When I started umpteen years ago I used egg foam to store and transport my mini's.

  4. A really great idea! I have a ton of cardboard left over from terrain making, but nothing to actually transport my ladies in. I plan on making one of these ASAP!