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"Storing loose artillery" Topic

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Gallocelt21 Feb 2023 3:07 p.m. PST

I've just finished painting British and Boer field artillery in 15mm. It was recommended to me that I base the artillerymen on something like a 40mm by 50mm base and have the gun separate. In that way, I could use the same crew figures for different guns. The figure bases will be magnetic, therefore, easy to store. The loose guns are another matter. Any ideas on how to store them so they don't get knocked about too much?



Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2023 3:56 p.m. PST

My figures are stored on wooden unit 'trays' with magnetic paper on them. All figures and vehicles have a metal base in one form or another and thus are secured. The individual guns have a narrow metal base between the wheels parallel to the axle. They are thus as secure as a figure.

I actually base the guns and their crews on a single base to represent them in action. Another model represents the gun being towed and that is the one with the arrangement above. There is also a separate base of 'marching gunners' so that with the limber and team it looks more realistic.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2023 7:14 p.m. PST

An appropriate size container and cotton balls.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Feb 2023 7:20 p.m. PST

Wrap in bubblewrap

Personal logo Condotta Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2023 7:24 p.m. PST

The solution I devised for loose 28mm Napoleonic artillery is to place them in an empty cardboard tube, such an empty toilet tissue tube, and stuff both ends with tissue. If needed, you can write on the tube what the contents are. I place the tubes down in one of the photo storage boxes I use to transport armies and have never had any damage. Simple, cheap and effective.

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2023 7:55 p.m. PST

I use this same system (magnetically based artillerists, separate guns) for various 15mm black powder periods (AWI, ACW, Napoleonic, FPW, etc.). Black powder era artillery is all pretty similar (big wheels, long trails, short the bottom of a 4x6 or 5x7 photo box, and let the lid push the guns into the foam. That secures them for travel.

I am about to embark on this same scheme for 1/144 WWII, but the guns are plastic and thus more fragile. For those I found bead boxes at a craft store with small compartments just the right size to fit a gun. I am still undecided whether to line the compartments with foam; the plastic guns are pretty tough, and as long as I store the boxes flat and avoid shaking then like maracas, I think they should be fine.

Another solution you might consider is pick-and-pluck foam.

It most commonly comes with 1/2" blocks, and you can get it in any thickness (you probably want 1/2" or 1" thick). It pays to put a thin sheet of solid foam (e.g. 1/4" thick) underneath, to protect items placed in the holes you tear. You can buy it in big sheets, and use the perforations to size it for any container you want to put it in.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2023 7:58 p.m. PST

Sporting goods sections and craft shops usually sell flat boxes of transparent plastic with a host of internal dividers. I eventually gave up on 15mm, but storage was never a problem.

Gallocelt21 Feb 2023 9:12 p.m. PST

These are all good ideas and I thank you. A box with foam or cotton sounds reasonable. I did a quick search and a particular kind of foam seems to stand out. Polyethylene foam might be the right stuff. It seems a bit expensive on Amazon but perhaps a hobby or hardware store would carry it?



Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2023 9:20 a.m. PST

Amazon rarely has the best prices on foam. I've bought my last few big batches of foam from The Foam Factory, but there are others on the Internet.

- Ix

Gallocelt07 Mar 2023 2:12 p.m. PST

Thanks to the advice that I got from so many here at TMP, I was able to solve my loose artillery problem. I bought a clear, tough plastic bead box from Walmart. The box is about 13.5" x 8.25". There are 32 compartments inside the bin, each can hold up to two 15mm field-sized artillery pieces. For Boer war, that would be (2) British BL 15 pounders, or (2) Boer Creusot 75mm guns. To keep the artillery figures snug in their chambers, I bought some foam sheets from PrimeTimeFoam, sold on Etsy. This dark grey foam is fairly soft and springy, often used to keep military and fantasy figures from knocking about while in storage. I cut the foam sheet into pieces that would fit snugly in the chambers, each piece being slightly wider than the chamber's walls. Since the box is about 1 and 1/8" tall, I cut a second piece of foam same size, and used it as a chamber lid. I was able to press the foam lid down tight without distorting the artillery models. The artillery pieces do not move if the box is jostled. I now have space for many, many more guns and I know that, as I paint up pieces from different armies and eras, they will find a home.

I am very happy with this storage system and I thank you all, once again for advising me.



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