Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Hidden Hobby Costs: The Psychological Price of Model Transportation
As I continue working on my Skaven / Dark Eldar army, I have begun to think about just how I will be transporting these figures. While I have already begun constructing an army tray for in-tournament presentation, I am speaking more about getting the models from my home to a game store or GT venue with care. I pin the vast majority of my fragile miniatures, but I still wonder. Honestly, one of my major turn-offs concerning the new Dark Eldar line of models, are the multiple thin spikes and protrusions that cover the vehicles which are just waiting to snap off or become bent, and that's just on the table before they even enter a foam tray!
With my Vraksian Renegade Militia, I was lucky to have a large number of "boxy" vehicles, and standard sized infantry. For about $240, I purchased three large GW army cases, and after I cut the foam to fit my collection, can safely carry about 5000 points worth of models in them. For my Chaos Daemons armies, I have a few Sabol cases with lots of different foam trays to carry my specific roster selection whenever I want. My older armies all have various DIY transport solutions as well, that may not necessarily be the most space efficient, I have come to use those systems for those collections simply out of traditional reverence for the painted miniatures of my youth. Regardless, my "Kabal of the Fursaken" will need their own transport system, and there are many elements to consider.
My two Ravagers, will be heavily converted from Chinnork helicopter models. The large blades of the helicopters will need to be secured in transit. Naturally, I will make the Ravagers detachable from the flying stands, but then that raises the question of just where and how to transport the flying bases.
I have been looking at the new KR Multicase items that some of the podcasts I have been listening to promote. I have also looked at Battlefoam's custom tray cutting tool as well. Actually, KR Multicase has a similar electronic tool for creating custom foam trays. However at this stage in development, I do not know the exact and final dimensions of my three largest vehicles, due to their converted nature. This mystery makes playing with the custom foam cutting programs fairly terrifying, even at the experimental stage. I could always just buy more Sabol foam trays, and pluck them to the correct dimensions. These are things that I lay awake at night considering...
Lastly, I would like to make a tangential comment about army transportation. While the photo I included at the beginning of this post is obviously farce, there is a ring of truth behind it. I know that certain transport companies have stated that their products can be used to carry an army on a plane, but I am skeptical. The size of the armies that I collect are usually far too large to pack into a "carry-on" sized bag. That said, I cannot imagine checking any luggage that contained miniatures. My opinion stated, can you now see why I know I will never be able to bring miniatures to Adepticon? Unless I was to drive to Chicago, something my teaching position would never grant time for, I am in a tricky situation.
Anyway, thanks for listening to me whine about buying foam for my toy soldiers. If anyone has a good solution to my Skaven / Dark Eldar transport issue, I am all ears. And if anyone can testify to the psychological trauma of taking an army on a plane, I guess I would "like" to hear that too. (gulp)