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Transporting your Army
Old 22 Jan 2008, 08:11   #1 (permalink)
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Default Transporting your Army

Devilfish are very handy for transporting one's Fire Warriors across the battlefield in. However, if you can't afford a Manta, how do you take the Devilfish around from battle to battle? Worse, what if you have Landraiders? Those things aren't light! So here's some advise... a small article on taking your army from place to place while avoiding breakages. This article has a bit of a Tau focus, mentioning specific units, but it can be used by anyone.

There are two basic to transporting a whole army.
-Infantry Slots: Some sort of box with small compartments, in which individual models can be kept organized.
-Carrying Case: A larger external container, in which your Infantry slots can be kept.

Infantry Slots
There are several options when it come to storing your infantry. The cheapest (ignoring the possibility of a cardboard box lid) is definitely a bead box.

Bead boxes can be picked up from your local craft store for under $5. Make sure to get one with larger slots... they are not particularly space efficient, and it's a good idea to get one that will allow at least 3 Infantry to be stored per slot. A jigsaw can be used to take out interior walls, allowing the storage of larger models; just be careful with it. The disadvantage of these is that they're hard on the models. I used to use them, and I was always having to glue the arms back onto my fire warriors.
Smaller bead boxes (with each space one inch[sup]2[/sup] or less) are ideal for storing bits and magnetized crisis suit weapons. They can usually be fit into a travel container, too.

Foam Trays are the most obvious, and, in my opinion, the best way to store infantry.

They are easily stackable, won't break models, and stylish. However, they aren't as cheap as you might think. The problem with them is that, although they are good for fitting some models, Tau fire warriors are actually tough to fit in them, due to their long pulse rifles. I find that it's easiest to arrange them with the guns pointed down, with their backs to the top of the foam. Remember, the cases 'give' quite a bit, so even models that look hard to fit in (like Sniper Drone commanders) will generally stay quite well, if you squish them down.
The second problem with them is that they don't fit Crisis suits... at least the standard ones don't. I find that cutting out a section of four squares allows a Crisis suit to fit in quite nicely. Broadsides can be fit in these spaces, too, but slots must be cut in the foam for their guns, so they can extend into the next slot over. In mine, the guns don't prevent the placement of another model "next door."
Kroot... These things are a total nuisance to put in foam slots, due to their poses. I use the same strategy as with the broadsides, cutting slots to allow their guns to extend into the cell next door.

Carrying Case
A carrying case for your warhammer models must be durable, portable, and it must have sufficient space to store your models in. A cardboard box (the ones that oranges come in are about the right size) is a reasonable choice, if you've got nothing else, but it is awkward to carry and looks stupid.

A Games Workshop case might seem like the obvious choice...

And really, I can't say anything bad about them. They are durable, portable, and look nice. They come with a bunch of free foam, too! However, they are extremely expensive, especially if your army is big enough to require more than one. They run from 55 to 130 dollars here in Canada. I don't really recommend them, simply due to cost.

A metal laptop case is another stylish, but expensive, way to carry your models.

I've seen people with these at GW stores. But, well, they're at least as pricey as GW cases, and many of them have less overall space. But they're incredibly well armoured, and very nice looking.

A toolbox, such as the kind found in an average hardware store, is usually not a good idea. Most infantry foam slots won't fit in them (they're too wide), and the metal ones are very heavy. But they might be good for carrying vehicles in if you're going to construct your own padded foam sections for them.

Cargo bags, to me, seem like a great way to carry your stuff around in.

I'm planning on picking one up in the next few days. Compared to the GW cases, they are inexpensive (although this depends on the exact model), and they contain plenty of space. Make sure to pick one out that has reinforced sides... as in ones that are more than walls of cloth... the bag should stand up straight without anything in it. As well, measure your infantry slots first, so you can get a bag that'll fit them.

Vehicles, unfortunately, present a special, and rather annoying case. They are large and often delicate, and they do not fit into foam slots well, due to their height. There are special foam slots designed to hold vehicles, but I've never seen them in any of my local hobby stores... buying one online would likely be the only option. Wrapping them in bubble wrap seems to work, at least to some extent, but it's time consuming, and your friends will pop all the bubbles. My advice is too make your own storage spaces for vehicles out of foam (I'm working on a method of how to do this), which, hopefully, will fit in your transport case. If not, it may be a good idea to buy a second, smaller case, to cart your vehicles around in. A cheap plastic tool box is a good way to do this.

Continued in the next post...
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Old 22 Jan 2008, 08:20   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Transporting your Army

Actually moving your army around, once it has been all packed away, presents its own challenges, at least if you have a reasonably sized one. Although just stuffing it in the back seat of a car seems like a good idea, sudden stops and turns can send cases sliding around and falling to the floor. It's better to put them in the trunk, hold them in your lap, or at least secure them somehow. Back when I stored everything in cardboard boxes, a sudden stop sent dozens of fire warriors flying around my car.

If you don't live right next to a GW (both of my closest ones are quite far away), you may end up taking a bas or rapid transit to get there. Do NOT leave your cases unattended, ever. Keep them on your lap, and keep a death grip on them. They often look like they contain things more desirable to steal than a bunch of plastic models. If you can, go with a group to keep an eye on each other's stuff.

If you're going to other places, besides the GW (common, when they're not close by) during your trip, ask if you can leave your stuff behind the counter. At least at my local stores, the staff are reliable, and the stores are usually pretty quiet. A few cases behind the counter are pretty safe, and the staff don't mind keeping an eye on them while you go buy anime or video games. ~.^

Finally, always bring glue with you. No matter how secure the case, there's nothing more annoying than arriving at GW and finding that your commander is missing an arm... or worse, a head!

Thanks for reading, hope you found this useful!
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Old 22 Jan 2008, 08:36   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Transporting your Army

I`ve bought a Crystal Caste Battlehive Carrying Case a couple of years ago:


Rather expensive, but well worth it. There are no ready-made "slots" in the foam; instead, you can easily make your own custom slots. This is excellent for standard infantry (and not-so-standard infantry, as wel - Firewarriors, for example).

But it really shines when it comes to Crisis Suits. There is not just a 1" thick foam layer in there, but also two 2" thick layers, which are ideal for Crisis storing. One layer can safely carry 9 Crisis suits (or three Piranhas). The infantry and Crisis department of my 1.500pts army fits in there without a problem.

Now, vehicles don`t go in there. To this day, I haven`t found a way to safely and satisfactory transport my 4+ Tau tanks to battle. Right now, I`m using a plastic toolbox, which can carry up to 6 tanks with a bit of fiddling - and it also features a tray where I can store things like Drones, Engines, and so on.
Still, this isn`t ideal, and chipped paint is a sad reality for me.

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Old 22 Jan 2008, 08:40   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Transporting your Army

I unfortunately use a shoebox. I line it with foam, then use small foam pieces to line the outside. Doesn't work well at all, but all I got. I'm considering buying something better for it...

On a lighter note, love the guide/recommendations. Good work!

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Old 22 Jan 2008, 08:55   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Transporting your Army

i use the normal GW cases (though i have started looking at the cargo bags for my larger/potential armies)

on the odd occasion i cycle to my GW (about an hours ride 8) ) i use a shoebox. ALL metal models are individually wrapped in soft kitchen roll or something and carefully placed in the box. most of my vehicles/plasctics are sturdy enough to survive the trip.

i have yet to try transporting a land raider crusader whilst cycling (i fear the effort required )
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Old 22 Jan 2008, 09:22   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Transporting your Army

I use one big toolbox/fishing box for every army I have. I don't like carrying alot of things, and thus I am done with them. And since all my armies are Mechanized (for 40k), I will often check out if the toolbox that I want to buy can fit a Devilfish (since it is a huge vehicle). If it can't fit at least 5 of them, I will not take it. They also usually come with those little trays that enable me to put my infantry all in one box.

My largest toolbox is so big that I can fit all my 3500 pts of Mech Tau in it. The other two are smaller, but nevertheless can fit all my Rhinos needed for that army and their variants just fine alongside their troopers.

Besides, they are way cheaper. With RM50 a box (USD 12.50) for that kind of storage ability, I think it is a really good deal.
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Old 22 Jan 2008, 09:48   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Transporting your Army

The BEST army transport that can transport an entire Mechinized force you can make for less than 30$ the one i have STAYS in my car trunk and nothing ever breaks and I dont break for speed bumps. It holds 1 Titan my Swooping hawks 30 guardians 1 falcon 3 war walkers 3 Wraithlords farseer on jetbike 4 waveserpents, about 20 interchangeable heavy weapons.. Books Dice measuring tape glue ect.....If i didnt have my GW troop case i woulda left out the titan and put them all in there......

1. Sports/Dufflebag the kind with the zipper pockets on each end are best. you can pick one of these up anywhere secondhand store is great. I have had mine for years used it in school. ( I seen one almost identical for 5 bucks at a secondhand store)

2. Go to a Fred Myer or a campingstore and find some bedding foam a 6 foot mat sized 4" thick will cost about 20$ have a friend go in on it with you and make 2 cases. Also pick up one of those disposible extendable razor knives the oarnge ones that extend to about 4".

3. measure the inside of your case. cut out squares that are the same size for a snug fit. cut them all out so it fills up your bag. Now lay them all out and put your army on it and arrange it for best fit leaving at least 1 or 2 inches around the side. when you can put vehicles in sideways or at a slant to take up less room.(Use a sharpie to trace) And cut narrow V's for troops they will go in head first so you put them in and out by holding the base.

If you have a fragil model like my Farseer on jetbike with spear, his spear is coathanger and greenstuff.. I cut out a large rectangle so he was not touching any of the sides then on i took a peice of faom the size of the hole and cut a slit half up the foam. the slit is used to go around the flying base then you can put it in the case being held inplace by the foam sheet. then throw a few smaller foam parts on the side that you can easly put in and out to remove the model.

My case is far better then any massproduced carry case that you pull the squares out to fit stuff in. The cutting is time consuming but when you figure your getting a superior TAYLOR made case at fraction of the cost its worth it... besides the factory ones you still have to pull/cut the squares out, and if you leave a 1 inch between vehicles it wont split like the precutones will.

If anyone wants ill post pic of mine
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Old 22 Jan 2008, 16:16   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Transporting your Army

If you have an Ikea nearby, they do a fantastic range of fabric storage boxes with zipped tops that take 8 standard small foam figure trays, like those above, with just enough space at the end for a codex, rules and dice bag. The sides and base are made from solid board which provides an excellent level of protection. The top is fabric, and I usually put a layer of 10mm foam over the top of my figure trays.

The range is called Lyklig and I now have about 8 of them, all fitted out with figure trays and tank foam (the wrinkly foam sheet with a profile like an egg box). If you want to save some money, or have non-standard sized models, there's nothing to stop you making your own foam inserts, as outlined by Xyster.

For carrying, I made some webbing straps to loop under it, with another strap that velcros round the box and holds everything in place. The straps are removable, so I only needed to make a few sets and I can swap them from box to box, depending on the army I'm taking out. I can carry two in each hand, if necessary and the boxes are are solid enough that the contents are well protected.

This is a catalogue photo of the box (with the carrying handles sketched in on paintbox) - I didn't have a photo handy.

Better still, when you get your army home, they stack on a shelf, under a bed or on top of each other, so your minis are always protected. And they look fairly tidy so you don't get any grief for leaving your gaming stuff lying around. At less than 5 (UK) you get a smart looking all-in-one storage and transportation solution.
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Old 22 Jan 2008, 22:46   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Transporting your Army

Looking at that an idea struck me (love late nights). If you made some kind of clip on the straps so you can connect two of them on top of eachother. Now you have two stacked. You can repeat this as much as you want. Place this on those baggage trolly thingy. The bags with wheels.. (i dont think i like late nights anymore). TROLLYBAGS! AHA!

So... My awesome drawing.

# = Crate
o = wheel
|Arm or whatever.


Like that!
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Old 22 Jan 2008, 23:44   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Transporting your Army

For my Blood Angels I use a Medal Craftsman Tool Box. I cut sheet magnets and placed them on the bottem of the bases. They sat up right, and unless I am in a wreck or have to slam n the brakes to avoid one they stay in place. Actually this past December I was getting out of my friends car after going to a Tourney. I stepped on the curb that was covered in ice. I tripped and landed in the snow. I went inside, and not one model moved.

I dont like to use foam unless I have to (Eldar) because it can wear off the paint. I dont care about the Eldar because I am going to completely change the color scheme. I just have to finish my Blood Angels (damn Apocalyspe) and Tau (damn laziness) first.
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