BattleTech - The Board Game of Armored Combat

BattleTech Miniatures and Terrain => Hobby Tips and Tricks => Topic started by: Crackerb0x on 28 May 2018, 10:21:58

Title: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: Crackerb0x on 28 May 2018, 10:21:58
After a couple lucrative trips to the IWM foundry, I'm not finding myself somewhere over 200 miniatures and I have a problem I want to see what you guys (with lots of miniatures) have to solve the following problems:

- How do you store tons of miniatures? I bought some floating shelves from Ikea, but I'm not a huge fan of them even though they get the job done.
- How do you transport large amounts of miniatures? I have a couple sheets of BattleFoam, but the 'small' hex size ones don't seem to be good for anything larger than a small light mech and the 'large' hex size ones aren't friendly to the more spindly miniatures in my collection.

 
Title: Re: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: DOC_Agren on 28 May 2018, 18:11:29
Storage, before the great fall many moons ago was on a group of shelves, until 1 day I heard a pop, followed by pop,pop pop, pop  Crunch which was the tp mini shelf coming unstuck and pancaking on to the next, and so on until they landed on my poor made paper mache dropships.  Now most them are in mini (hotwheel/matchbox) car cases.

I used to use Pistol cases to transport mini, but be warned if you do they need to be the trunk of the car unless you want to explain Battletech to law enforcement who stop you.

Title: Re: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: Daryk on 28 May 2018, 20:00:49
A friend of mine in college (who had a ton of miniatures) used plastic tool boxes with layers of foam inside.  He cut out hollows in the foam for the minis, and could carry quite a few that way.
Title: Re: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: Deathknight69 on 29 May 2018, 00:31:49
Me, personally, I have a couple of GW black cases and one of these: http://foamcorps.com/The-Ranger-FOBRAN.htm in Marine Desert camo. I'm sitting on about two companies worth of 'Mechs and Vee's to assemble, base and paint. Then I'm gonna have to get creative for storage.
Title: Re: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: Colt Ward on 31 May 2018, 13:32:52
I have some stored in lure/tackle boxes with some inserted foam to keep them still.  I have some, usually ones I am puttering with or frequent players, sitting in shoe boxes with foam.  And some of my favorites or one in various stages are sitting on my desk or a shelf.  I started moving them into boxes b/c dust.  I use a shoebox with miniatures foam carrier in the box.  I need to go to something better/larger so I can put the second layer of the foam carrier in use.
Title: Re: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: Tangoforone on 20 July 2018, 13:10:27
What I've heard some people do is mount magnets in the base, then the mini can just stick to 2in to 3in deep pans for cooking and won't move in any direction.  The only potential issue with this is you need to base EVERYTHING, which some people don't like to do for their vehicles/infantry/etc.

Currently I use bubble wrap and tackle boxes.
Title: Re: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: Xiwo Xerase on 20 July 2018, 15:32:22
I store my completed miniatures in Sabol pluck foam (or similar sized foam), mostly 1.5 or 2 inches deep, one per unit (generally company or binary), which are then stored in toy boxes.  I have a single bag that supports the foam, if I ever wanted to take them anywhere.

My fantasy minis have fender washers glued to the bottom of the base, which are then stored in plastic bins with adhesive sheet magnets stuck to the bottom.  I have considered doing the same for my BT minis since storing them this way would be more space efficient (I'm running out of space for pluck foam as is) but I'm concerned the metal minis might be too heavy for that to work out well.  I'll try to test it over the weekend.
Title: Re: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: Xiwo Xerase on 22 July 2018, 00:15:26
For my experiment, I used a 4 L Really Useful Box with an 8.5x11 inch adhesive sheet magnet at the bottom.  (This is a box I use for storing fantasy minis.)  The adhesive sheet magnet isn't very strong.  My test subject was an old Highlander (20-896) glued together and mounted on a standard IWM hex base (20-800).  A one inch fender washer was then glued to the bottom of the base, rounded side down.

After putting the mini in the box and shaking it at various amounts, I found:In general, the Highlander performed worse than the fantasy minis also in the box.  However, those minis are lighter.  (My digital kitchen scale says the Highlander weighs about 2.25 oz whereas a sample metal fantasy mini ways only 0.625 oz.)

I conclude this would be feasible for home storage but not for transport.  I would not guarantee any minis packed this way would make it to their destination intact.  (This is the same conclusion I came to for my fantasy minis.)

Possible ways to improve this may include:
Title: Re: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: Cache on 22 July 2018, 10:39:28
What I've heard some people do is mount magnets in the base, then the mini can just stick to 2in to 3in deep pans for cooking and won't move in any direction.  The only potential issue with this is you need to base EVERYTHING, which some people don't like to do for their vehicles/infantry/etc.
Add this to the potential issues: If you use a magnet strong enough to hold a large metal mini to a pan, two of those magnets in close proximity (base to base contact on a board/mapsheet) spontaneously will try to mate. Your mini and/or paint job will wind up damaged. I know this from experience.

Xiwo Xerase has the right layout of things--magnet in the case, ferrous metal on the base of the mini. Standard sheet or strip magnets likely will not work well enough for heavier minis so gluing individual rare-earth magnets to the bottom of the case might be the ticket. Add ferrous metal to the minis base. Litko, for example, sells flexible steel  (https://litko.net/collections/miniature-bases-and-base-bottoms?_=pf&pf_t_material=basematerial%3AFlexible%20Steel%3A%200.025%20inch)in various shapes and sizes that sticks to the bottom of bases. Washers would be cheaper for sure. Any sheet steel about 20 gauge or thinner should work very well and be nearly unnoticeable.
Title: Re: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: beachhead1985 on 06 August 2018, 19:38:19
Having similar issues to the OP.

Following my move, my old solution; long, shallow plastic storage toes lined with eggcrate foam is no longer possible due to a price increase locally of over 200% on egg crate foam and the impossibility of shipping it.

Those ranger bags *look* okay, but how many minis do they hold?

Right now I have over 300 broken minis with no homes; casualties of the movers and a huge wooden storage chest that failed me and will be disposed of.
Title: Re: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: dirty harry on 07 August 2018, 06:27:45
With a little DIY you can build a viable transport and storage out of a tool box or tool case.
Pro:
- you can design the inlay to your specific needs
- several trays inside give you plenty of storage space
- easy to transport (as long as they are not misinterpreted as another form of gun case).
Con:
- DIY necessary
- Does not look as professional as purchasable solutions
- You still need foam mats and a tool case and other materials...

I added pics of one of my 3 cases, i have built for my collection (~400 different BT miniatures, 200 more to come). The case itself is a simple tool case you can buy at your local home improvement store. It contains two trays of ~2" thick foam cut into size from one big foam mat (also available at your home improvement store). Each foam tray has 30 cubicles, but it is up to you, if you want bigger cubicles or smaller ones. Usually one cubicle can hold two miniatures (with separating foam between them). BTW: use the cutout from the cubicles to create matching bottom and top foam layers for the respective cubicle (and if you are willed to put more than one miniature per cubicle, even the divider). While the bottom tray does not need a separate bottom plate (the usually foam coated wall of the case itself takes over this function), the upper foam tray is glued to a thin plywood board (.15") (thick cardboard will work the same way) including some strings as lifting aid (and another tip: cut the upper foam slightly smaller than the case for ease of extraction of the tray).
3rd tray is a thinner one, usually containing my tanks. Thickness of this tray depends on remaining space inside the case. Cubicles were more specific to my tanks stored inside.
My 3rd case contains a single egg crate foam tray on top instead of the tank tray. It is for all kinds of infantry, battle armor and ProtoMechs (as i place them separately on 1-cent coins).
Overall costs should be lower than any purchasable solution, but depends mostly on the costs of the case.

Nevertheless these cases are quite durable and can be stapled. (Which does not say, they can break your shelf again. A fully loaded case can weigh up to 20 pounds...) The all around packing in foam should prevent damages during transport and up to 60 cubicles plus separate space for tanks should give you plenty of space.



BTW:
As this topic reappears from time to time why not make it sticky?
Title: Re: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: mbear on 07 August 2018, 08:49:29
FWIW, there's a guy who did something like this with Expanding Foam and a T-shirt.

Topic: Pamper your tools in a cosy drawer space! (http://madmodder.net/index.php?topic=4770.0)

1. Put tools in drawer.
2. Cover with old t-shirt.
3. Spray expanding foam on top of shirt.
4. Cover foam with newspaper.
5. Cover newspaper with board.
6. Put weight on board.
7. Let set overnight.

The next day you remove the weight, board, newspaper, remove the t-shirt and you have a custom layout for your tools.

I imagine you could do the same thing for the drawers in your transport boxes.
Title: Re: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: Cache on 07 August 2018, 10:14:04
A general rule I go by is to spend at least 10% of the value of the item on storage to take care of my investment, if it's going to be transported. If someone else is handling the item the I will pay more for better. If I pay less, nobody touches the case but me. Egg-crate foam is worthless for minis when the case takes impact. Each mini needs to be in it's own compartment. Pluck foam is designed to come apart... so it comes apart when a heavy mini is jostled hard enough.
Title: Re: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: beachhead1985 on 11 August 2018, 17:46:25
With a little DIY you can build a viable transport and storage out of a tool box or tool case.
Pro:
- you can design the inlay to your specific needs
- several trays inside give you plenty of storage space
- easy to transport (as long as they are not misinterpreted as another form of gun case).
Con:
- DIY necessary
- Does not look as professional as purchasable solutions
- You still need foam mats and a tool case and other materials...

I added pics of one of my 3 cases, i have built for my collection (~400 different BT miniatures, 200 more to come). The case itself is a simple tool case you can buy at your local home improvement store. It contains two trays of ~2" thick foam cut into size from one big foam mat (also available at your home improvement store). Each foam tray has 30 cubicles, but it is up to you, if you want bigger cubicles or smaller ones. Usually one cubicle can hold two miniatures (with separating foam between them). BTW: use the cutout from the cubicles to create matching bottom and top foam layers for the respective cubicle (and if you are willed to put more than one miniature per cubicle, even the divider). While the bottom tray does not need a separate bottom plate (the usually foam coated wall of the case itself takes over this function), the upper foam tray is glued to a thin plywood board (.15") (thick cardboard will work the same way) including some strings as lifting aid (and another tip: cut the upper foam slightly smaller than the case for ease of extraction of the tray).
3rd tray is a thinner one, usually containing my tanks. Thickness of this tray depends on remaining space inside the case. Cubicles were more specific to my tanks stored inside.
My 3rd case contains a single egg crate foam tray on top instead of the tank tray. It is for all kinds of infantry, battle armor and ProtoMechs (as i place them separately on 1-cent coins).
Overall costs should be lower than any purchasable solution, but depends mostly on the costs of the case.

Nevertheless these cases are quite durable and can be stapled. (Which does not say, they can break your shelf again. A fully loaded case can weigh up to 20 pounds...) The all around packing in foam should prevent damages during transport and up to 60 cubicles plus separate space for tanks should give you plenty of space.



BTW:
As this topic reappears from time to time why not make it sticky?

This looks damn good, IMO, but I cannot get the foam in my area. No idea why. No one carries foam rolls for less than $149

PS: I LOVE your kneeling thunderhawk.
FWIW, there's a guy who did something like this with Expanding Foam and a T-shirt.

Topic: Pamper your tools in a cosy drawer space! (http://madmodder.net/index.php?topic=4770.0)

1. Put tools in drawer.
2. Cover with old t-shirt.
3. Spray expanding foam on top of shirt.
4. Cover foam with newspaper.
5. Cover newspaper with board.
6. Put weight on board.
7. Let set overnight.

The next day you remove the weight, board, newspaper, remove the t-shirt and you have a custom layout for your tools.

I imagine you could do the same thing for the drawers in your transport boxes.

Now this is pretty brilliant overall; like insulation foam?

But how does that work with minis will long, thin gun barrels?

However...I will have other uses for this.
Title: Re: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: mbear on 13 August 2018, 09:43:05
Now this is pretty brilliant overall; like insulation foam?
Exactly. Like Great Stuff.

But how does that work with minis will long, thin gun barrels?

*shrug* No idea. Just wanted to give you ideas.
Title: Re: Asset Transport and Storage
Post by: beachhead1985 on 13 August 2018, 13:46:11
Exactly. Like Great Stuff.

*shrug* No idea. Just wanted to give you ideas.

Appreciated. I will use this elsewhere.