Guide [Tool Box/Chest Army Transport]

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Guide [Tool Box/Chest Army Transport]

Post#1 » Apr 27 2006 01:04

Tool Box or Chest as Army Transport

As requested, here is my 25+ year method of transporting armies.

Boxes in General
Here is my preferred chest for 40k transport:

It is a standard issue 2-drawer chest here in the US, readily available at K-Mart, Harbour freight (best price), or most Tool selling home-improvement stores. The drawers are 17.25" L x 7.5" W x 2.25" D. As you can see, Broadsides can stand up in a drawer, though too many antennae might cause problems. The top compartment is 19.5" L x 8.25" W x 4.25" Deep with lid closed. This area is great for vehicles and monstrous size creatures. Notice my two Harlequin Wraithlords stand up nicely there.

This box only would comfortably hold 4 Tau vehicles, and I have 5, so I went to this so I could transport virtually every Tau figure I own if I needed to:

The top section was plastic and uneven, so I leveled it up with cork. The drawers are still metal, so there was no issue there. The drawers are 17.75" L x 8.5" W x 2.25" Deep. The top section is 21.25" L x 9.75" W x 4.75" Deep with lid closed. This box holds a lot.

Note that I use a standard tool "box", just a cavity with a tray, for my historical minis. They tend to have deeper dimensions that are useful for Pikes and Cavalry with lances. I'm a big Renaissance and Ancients gamer so this is important.

Miniature Prep
Why a metal box? Well, if you magnetize the base of your minis, they stick to the box.

I use "refrigerator magnet material to laminate the base of my minis to. Here is a couple of scraps of the material:

It can be purchased from most commercial sign making shops, as it is what is used for "slap-on" car signage. It usually is sold in 24" wide rolls by the linear foot, and runs about $10 US for a square foot. So you usually will end up buying in 2 sq ft increments. 2 square feet bases A LOT of minis. It comes with a white vinyl layer stuck to one side that can be peeled off for a better gluing surface. I recommend this. It can be cut easily with scissors, or, scored and "snapped" or torn like plasticard for exact shapes. It has many other uses if you are imaginative.

Basically, I fill the base of a mini with modeling paste:

Scoop it in and smooth to form a level surface with the edge of the base. Let it dry thoroughly. You may need to do a much lighter and thinner coat if you want a perfectly smooth surface. I usually sand off level with coarse paper if I have any uneven surfaces. But if you get the knack of this, that's not always necessary.

I then super-glue the mini to the material:

Then trim the edge with scissors to produce the finished base:

If you use a cement type of glue, it is less necessary to have a smooth surface, but drying times can be extended.

Strength of the mini to case bond can be illustrated here, where there all two all-lead minis on the lid of an extremely smooth surface:

If you were to vigorously shake or drop the box, almost all minis will dislodge. This is NOT a perfect system for the careless. But it has served me well through the years.

Vehicles work really well in this system. Basically, I embed a rare earth magnet or two (depending on size/strength of magnet) in the feet or tracks of the vehicle, and it will stick down to any metal surface. In box type B, I had to laminate small sheet metal pices to the cork in strategic positions to accomplish my goals, for both the vehicles and the crisis suits:

You can see where the RE magnets are embedded in the feet of the Dfish, and the multiple places where I put sheet metal, offering multiple configurations for my transport needs.

Trade Offs

Advantages of this system:
1) Very fast army set-up and teardown. It takes me less than 5 minutes to put my army away and move on to the next round of a tournament.
2) Cheap. A whole 40K army will be transported for less than $50 US.
3) Display. To a certain degree, you can show off your army without unpacking it.

1) Not foolproof against idiots. If you drop it, your minis will be in a heap. If you fly, always request Security allow you to open the box for them in the scanning line. Just tell them there are very valuable "collectables" in the box that you can't have damaged.
2) Prep time. It's a bit of work doing extra time on your minis bases.

"Have army will travel"
'El Fox
"Remember: We're the Good Guys!"

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