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"Storage Solution For Miniatures?" Topic


11 Posts

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steve170121 Jun 2022 6:26 p.m. PST

My WoFun 18mm minis have arrived and I am in the process of assembling the units. I was curious as to what players might be using to store their armies and tabletop terrain for gameplay? At the moment I am using some magnetic lidded cardboard boxes for storage and they work great but doesn't offer much space for future additions to my collection. The boxes are also too small to store trees and buildings.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

torokchar Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2022 6:41 p.m. PST

Steve – I use plastic storage cases – the ones with drawers and tops w/handles. The nice thing is you can see into the drawers for a look, they also stack for storage:

picture

The drawers hold both 15mm and 28mm armies and the taller figures fit in the carry cases.

picture

I label the drawers with a flag or a card describing what is in the case.

All of the drawer bottoms are lined with magnet sheets and the figure stands use metal plates or washers – this keeps the figures from moving around.

picture

I use these for my 28mm ACW collection since the flags stand too high for the drawers:

picture

My collections are well over 50,000 figures so I have a bunch of these which allows for easy storage and selecting what I need depending on the game.

This system works great for me – hopefully some others have good solutions for your needs.

Charlie
Lone Star Historical Miniatures (LSHM) club of Texas

Perris070721 Jun 2022 9:05 p.m. PST

Torokchar. Where did you get those awesome ACW Flags??? I am guessing 28mm scale?

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jun 2022 6:00 a.m. PST

Steve:

I'm a bit OCD about these things but here's what I do:

link

picture

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2022 8:38 a.m. PST

I started out with cardboard cigar boxes full of figs carried in small metal file boxes. When it became clear even to this dedicated Luddite that these were no longer available I switched to the sort of plastic boxes that Torokchar uses. Works well.

Steve Foster22 Jun 2022 8:39 a.m. PST

@ Extra Crispy

That is a huge storage setup, amazing. You must have tons of miniatures given the photos.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2022 10:08 a.m. PST

As you're seeing, no two quite the same. I'd say buy boxes which can stack on top one another and deep enough that you don't need to separate flag stands from their infantry regiments, marking each box with scale and army so you can read that scanning your shelves. Buy the boxes, so they'll match and stack, and buy more than you think you'll ever need.

In a perfect world, the terrain boxes would be the same only usually deeper. In practice, the big box of trees is not going to stack with the small box of fences, so you're probably going to need at least two sizes. Try to limit it to two per scale. And clear plastic generally works better for terrain than for troops. You can see that torokchar still needs to label the contents of his plastic troop boxes. I've experienced the same problem.

Generally, if you expect to play exclusively at home, drawers you can pull out have merit. But if the armies regularly deploy to another house or convention center, you want a box with a lid, and usually a way to keep that lid in place.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jun 2022 10:20 a.m. PST

@Steve Foster:

Well, some of that is terrain but yes, 20,000 figures or so.

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2022 5:03 p.m. PST

I've been through a lot of generations of miniature storage over the years. Cardboard wears out, cigar boxes are all different sizes, plastic boxes usually have limited production lives (so in a few years you can't get any more), plastic drawers aren't very transportable, metal toolboxes are heavy (and a theft risk), nicely finished wood boxes are expensive and don't look so nice after some use.


The two solutions I've found most enduring are:

  • 12x12 plastic boxes
  • Plano tackle boxes with removable boxes inside

The 12x12 boxes are usually sold for scrapbooking, paper storage, paper crafts, etc. They have a lot of advantages: this size never goes out of production; every one stacks nicely with the others regardless of manufacturer; I can get tall ones or short ones as needed; I can usually find some with trays or compartments for projects that need those; trays I made myself will fit in other 12x12 boxes by other manufacturers; I can usually find them on sale somewhere; they're easy to find (craft stores, Amazon, big box stores, etc.). I also sometimes find plastic storage boxes for more specialized storage that have the right footprint to stack nicely with 12x12 boxes.


Plano makes a lot of different types of boxes and they come and go from the market, but I've been using the multi-box tackle boxes for almost 30 years. I can usually carry an entire army and some terrain/peripherals in one of these the armies go into the removable compartmented boxes, the terrain and dice and rulers and markers and stuff can go in the top section under the lid. This format of box is so popular and enduring that I can usually get new compartmented Plano boxes that fit in my old tackle boxes, or swap compartmented boxes between old and new tackle cases as needed. I can also find Plano boxes for sale at any big box store or any store that sells fishing gear.

An honorable mention: Really Useful Boxes. These are stackable, sturdy, and come in a wide variety of sizes, though you have to be careful only certain sizes stack together, and very few combinations are nestable (boxes that fit inside other boxes). I bought a lot of 4L and 9L RUBs back when I could get them on sale, because they stack together and I can magnetize the bottoms with cheap hardware store 9x12 galvanized roof flashing. I also like the 9L because I can nest nine 0.55L RUB pencil boxes inside. However, in the US RUBs have become really expensive, some sizes have disappeared from the US market.

- Ix

GamesPoet Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2022 3:49 a.m. PST

Picked up a plastic 9 drawer container on wheels at about 3 feet high. The 8 drawers are 18"x18" and 3 1/2" deep. The latter is a little tight for horses with lances, but generally these work well, and are available at Michael's craft stores. They also come in different styles and configurations.

I can fit two 25/28mm Lion Rampant armies of medieval figures per drawer, and use a piece of cardboard going from one corner to the other to keep the armies separate in their triangular spaces. Six armies so far, plus a bunch of other medieval figures in a couple of other trays for further expansions, or changing up armies, and ever present unpainted figure storage, etc.

Also, nabbed two plastic 4 drawer containers on wheels at just under 3 feet high. Each has 4 drawers that are 14" x 23" and 6 3/4" deep. This is a little better for horses with lances and things like Macedonian pike. Couldn't tell anyone where they were bought from, or if they can even still be purchased, because these are somebody else's office castaways that were put out for the taking. I washed them down, and pressed them into more rolling miniature storage, yet suspect similar items can be found elsewhere, too.

Unfortunately this thread is only in the "Getting Started with Napoleonics" area

Steamingdave223 Jun 2022 3:37 p.m. PST

I use Bisley filing cabinets with 10 or 15 drawers for my smaller scale figures, as well as Really Useful Boxes with 15 compartment inserts, which are particularly good for 10mm and 6mm figures. My 28mm figures are stored in cheap 4 drawer filing cabinets from IKEA.
All my figures have magnetic bases and both the RUBs and filing cabinet drawers have steel bases, so figures can be transported safely for club nights.

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