30 May 2011

A Safe Place to Hide Away

Updates are few and far between around here.  I explain this more fully on my other blog, but in addition to that explanation part of the reason is that I have had non-15mm Sci-Fi projects on the go.  A lot of my 15mm Sci-Fi is in the planning or gaming stages, as opposed to the painting stages, so there's not a lot to report.

However, I have been unhappy with the state of my storage situation for my 15mm figures.  Regular foam cases generally are either too expensive, or have too-large "slots" for the figures, being usually meant for 28mm figures.  So for the last several months my 15mm forces have just been sitting on my shelf, unprotected and unable to travel.
Two of my three armies, dangerously exposed to the elements....
A lot of people use magnetic strips on the bottoms of those plastic, divided storage containers (for yarn and whatnot).  They then magnetically attach the miniatures' bases to the magnetic strips.

My problem stems from the fact that I used U.S. pennies as bases for my figures.  I really liked the diameter and thickness for the scale of the miniatures, but pennies are not magnetic.  I thought about adding the Litko stick-on bases, either the magnetic or the steel type.  The magnetic type would work as previously mentioned, and the steel type would stick to (for example) a cookie sheet, or something like stick-on magnetic sheeting.

However, both of those entailed purchasing two further things to finish my storage, increasing the cost.  The cheapness of 15mm was one of the reasons I got into the scale, plus by using pennies as bases I saved even more.  Furthermore, I didn't like the idea of adding thickness to the existing bases; I felt that it would make them too tall for the scale of the figure.

In the end, I am a foam storage case kind of guy.  After a bit a searching I finally found a storage container I liked, that I felt could be modified to work with 15mm figures.  Hobby Lobby, $7, but I used a 40% off coupon for my trial run.
The storage case with a 15mm figure for comparison.

I then bought two 1" thick sheets of foam ($2 each) that I cut down to fit into the container for a bottom.
This sheet of foam has already been cut to fit the storage container.
Next, I cut a slit 1/2" deep into the foam for the miniatures' bases to slip into.
By cutting a slit, the miniatures are held in place a little better than if they are simply lying on top of the layer of foam.
I had planned on using the second sheet of 1" foam for the top, but it made it too thick for the container to close.  Luckily I had some 1/2" thick foam already that works quite well, if it is a trifle small overall.  So I plan to purchase more 1/2" foam that I can cut to better fit the container.
In general I am quite happy with the end result.  The containers are available in several colors, so if in the future I want to categorize my armies by color I will have that capability.  There is more than enough room in one case to expand my existing forces (basically, one army per container), and with only a little work I should be able to safely store the tanks and vehicles (not sure how, yet, but I'll let you know what I figure out).
Here you can see my existing armies, the new container, as well as the off-cuts of the foam, plus the second sheet of both 1" and 1/2" foam.  It all fits quite nicely on the shelf, and will be stackable.
Also, by judiciously using the 40% off coupon Hobby Lobby has on their website (almost) every week, I can get these at a good (ie, cheap) price.
Hope this helps if you're having storage issues, too.

P.S., as for the bases for my future 15mm figures, I plan to use metal washers.  This will at least allow me to have the option of magnetic basing if I change my mind about it, and they are essentially the same size and thickness as pennies.  Of course, plans do change and nothing is set in stone.  But I have already purchased the washers, so at least I've got that going for me.

Thanks for reading.


  1. that is a great idea for storage.

  2. Looks great! Do you know, by any chance, of a web-page that allows me to order such cases internationally?

  3. Omer Golan, I'm afraid I came up empty in my search. HobbyLobby.com didn't have the exact same item as they do in-store, but it's close:
    and the manufacturer doesn't have any listing at all for purchasing. It's at Sohocorp.com, S-200 model. You might try looking at any plastic storage containers in office supply stores, that are approximately 8.5" x 11" x 2". Good luck!