One of the constants of being a miniatures wargamer is the ongoing quest for solutions to store your models. After hours of painting, you’ve just got to have a way to safely store and transport your tiny soldiers and tanks to and from the tabletop battlefield. Models also need to stay in order so they are easily accessible when setting up a game. Finally, living in cramped quarters in a Brooklyn apartment with a wife and two kids also makes neat, sturdy storage solutions a must if peace and organization is to be maintained on the homefront.
As a gamer of several decades, my eyes are constantly scanning store shelves, yard sales and piles on the curbside for discarded boxes, bins and packaging for just the right storage. On many an occasion I find myself wistfully rotating some neat container in my hands wondering if this is just the right thing to store models. Yes, storage is a bit of an obsession.
I work at one of the leading stock photography and film licensing companies in the world, and recently I came by two enormous rolling dumpsters sitting in a hallway by a freight elevator at the office. Spilling out of these bins were hundreds of plastic over-sized videotape cases destined for recycling. Pulling one case off the top of the pile, I realized what I was holding in my hands was just what I needed to store my newly-painted 6mm World War II micro armor models from GHQ.
After hauling a dozen of these cases home, I carefully removed old adhesive cataloging stickers and tabs before giving the cases a quick wash in the sink. A quick trip to an office supply store and about $15 later, I had some magnetic sheets and double-sided heavy-duty adhesive mounting squares. I cut a piece of magnetic sheeting to fit the bottom of each case and then affixed the sheets with the adhesive squares. Once I had a stack of boxes all made up, I labelled each case along one edge using a label maker. The labels not only clearly show what’s in each box but also help to indicate which end is up when opening the hinged lid.
For a minimal cost, I’ve netted an easy storage solution for my 6mm models. The magnetic sheets are strong enough that I can carry the cases and even store them on end on a shelf without the models shifting around in the box. The one-piece cases with built-in hinged lids and closure tabs keep the boxes tightly closed. Everything is organized by nationality and unit type, and opening a box clearly displays the models when fielding a force for a game. As my collection grows (as any wargamer’s inevitably does), I can easily peel and replace the labels with new ones.
Cheap, sturdy and flexible — my new storage is a big victory for my little models.