Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Project in a Box

Following on from my thoughts of how to approach a new project (click here for that post), I've had several discussions with friends about refining the process. In that earlier blog, the defining criteria to look at when contemplating a new project were:

  • manufacturer (do I have a yen for a particular range of figures?)
  • cost (the "stay away from Foundry" factor)
  • scope (how many figures do I need?)
  • familiarity (how much research is necessary?)
  • uniqueness ("there can be only one")
  • basing (does it really matter?)

As I've been plugging away at my Carlist war project (the big order arrived a few days ago!), I've been thinking about how to transport the figures. I had already made the decision to magnetize the bases and find a metal toolbox that would fit the collection. Luckily, I was able to find what I think is the perfect box for the collection. It's an all-metal toolbox with hinged open top and two sliding drawers. This box will easily fit all the figures for both armies in this collection (about 300 figures). Having bought the case, I realized that I had actually gone about it ass-backwards. As with most gamers with most projects, I usually build the project first and then try to find a box or boxes to contain it. I realize now that this is actually counter-productive, at least within the context of my new project parameters. Rather than paint then find the box, why not find a box that fits the necessary criteria and build the project to fit the case? This also has another somewhat un-planned result: it limits the size of the project (assuming I keep it to one case). In the case of the box in these photos, I think I've found a good case to house almost any project that fits my new project criteria.

So, what are the criteria for the project case?

1) metal construction (to house the magnetized figure bases)

2) drawers or hinged top deep enough to accommodate standard bearers, cavalry, pikemen, etc.

3) smooth drawer pulls (to avoid jiggles that will upset figures)

4) solid construction that will take some abuse, if necessary

5) top handle...this is particularly important since side handles are a nuisance for me

The case I chose meets all of the criteria but of course I'm sure there are many others and the choice would be reliant upon a gamer's personal preferences. Note: If anyone is interested, the case I chose I found at Lowe's for $45.00 CAD.

The toolbox of choice. It measures 20" wide x 9" deep x 12" high.

The hinged lid open to show the Carlist War infantry. There is ample vertical space to house the standards and bayonets.

The bottom drawer houses cavalry, commanders and various artillery pieces and wagons, again with ample vertical space.

If there is any drawback to this particular case, it is its weight. Without the figures it is a substantial lift (in the context of figure cases). With the contents it is quite heavy but this also produces another effect (besides me grunting and groaning when I pick it up). When it's sitting on the floor or on a table it is difficult to move or jostle so does help to protect the figures in a way. It also is less prone to jumping about in the back of my truck while driving.

Now I just need another one for my WWII project!


  1. I did something similar with my ECW project. I went and found a tool box that should fit what i have so far with a bit of space.

    I've been looking for a case for my Renaissance Polish, before i continue to far with them. my problem is that with lances upright, they are quite tall(4"-5")! I have yet to find a suitable carrying case in a decent price range.