Many times storing our minis at home or transporting them somewhere to play with a friend or play a tournament is the most cumbersome thing that exists. Generally, we do not have good places, so we pile them up in boxes or furniture, which often causes them to get dusty or wear out the paint job. Also, unfortunately, the GW cases specially made for these cases are often out of our pocket. This article will show you how to build a place to store and/or transport your minis with elementary and cheap materials that we can find anywhere.
Requirements for materials and tools
High-density foam (usually used to upholster sofas and furniture in general, is also used to make mattresses. It is the same used by GW in their suitcases). I recommend a thin one, 1 cm thick.
- A shoe or sneaker/tennis box.
- High-density foam (usually used to upholster sofas and furniture in general, is also used to make mattresses. It is the same used by GW in their suitcases). I recommend a thin one, 1 cm thick.
- Tape measure.
- Glue (I recommend liquid silicone, although white glue also works).
- Paint is not necessary unless you want to personalize your box.
Step 1: Cutting the base
First, we will measure our shoebox in width and length.
Once we have these measurements calculated, we will transfer them to the foam and cut a piece that will fit perfectly in the bottom of the box to function as a base.
Step 2: Taking measurements: the “columns”
Now it’s time to measure the compartments where the miniatures will go. To do this, we take a model, in this case, this orc of Moria. We will count in the foam how many representations can fit to create the “columns” (as if it were a table in Excel) according to the base of the mini and always considering the thickness of 1 cm. of the foam. Thus, I recommend leaving a space of about 3 to 4 cm. between the separations. Remember that this is regular. You can also measure distances for cavalry or monster bases.
Once the measurements are taken, we will see how many columns we will have to make. In this case, it was enough to make 8 to have 9 spaces in total.
Then it’s time to measure the foam. I recommend that you measure the height of the column according to the size of your mini since you can make them standing (as here) or lying down. For the orcs of Moria, I made the height 3 cm. I already had the length and the size to start marking the foam and cutting the separations to glue them where they corresponded.
Once you check that the measurements are correct, just glue them. Liquid silicone in the right amount will ensure a good hold and quick drying. White glue will take longer to dry but will stick very well.
Step 3: Taking measurements: the “rows”
Now we will measure the rows to better see where the mini-figures will be. The measurement will be done, as before, according to the size of each base. We’re leaving about 3-4 cm between each mini-figure. Here we don’t have to worry about the thickness of the foam since we will reduce it. In this case, I had enough room to make 5 divisions so that the result was 6 rows.
Then, we will simply measure what we need taking into account the length and height, and cut the pieces. Here, to save space, we will cut each piece of foam in half to be 0.5 cm thick. I recommend doing it with small parts for better handling of the material.
Once everything is cut, we proceed to glue to assemble this kind of grid on the base that we missed at the beginning. The result should be something like the following image. If the pieces are more significant, don’t worry; just use the scissors to adjust them to the most suitable size.
If you look closely, the foam pieces in the rows are thinner than in the columns to save some space and materials.
Step 4: Storing the minis and sealing
And that’s it, it’s that simple. Once you check that everything is dry and well glued, proceed to store your minis in the spaces you created.
To finish, cut a new piece of foam the same size as the first one to act like a lid to better protect the minis.
You can apply this craft to a variety of containers. I did it with a box that my parents gave me to store the minis when I started with the hobby (back in 2007), but that had no protection. Today it has foam compartments for over 200 minis, and even one is removable!
To make this compartment removable, you just need to have enough space upwards (as you can see in the shoebox) and repeat the process explained above. As this one will be moved and the minis of the end compartments must have some containment to avoid falling out, I recommend that you apply for some protection on the edges like this typical packaging foam or the same foam we use reduced to half its thickness.
I hope this article has helped you learn how to take care of and protect your precious minis a little more!