Tuesday, May 05, 2009

To Plan or not to Plan (Foam Trays)

So as I was pulling my armies out to take some photos, I came to the realization that when I started this hobby 4 years ago I had no idea how to plan out my trays to carry my army in.
My first Army was Eldar and once I had a small force I ordered a Sabol "Motor Pool" for what I thought might be a vehicle-heavy Alaitoc Eldar Force. I had seen a few different transport options at the club I gamed with in Okinawa, but I never asked for help in figuring out what to buy to move the army back and forth. At first, the case worked out great, but as my force grew, it became obvious I would need to reorganize the placement of some models. Additionally, I added a small GW case to handle the overflow of infantry models that was plaguing me. Some trays had to be re-purposed like the one below.

A little bit of ingenuity and some hot melt glue allowed me to fit my jetbikes and reuse a tray that I wasn't using for standing infantry models. After many years of packing and unpacking, I've decided that I do not like the method of placing figures in a 2 or 2.5 inch tray standing up. I haven't done the math, so I don't know if it is more efficient to use two 1 inch trays, but it is definitely easier to load and unload.

So for my Space Wolves, I bought the standard Army Transport, and it has worked out much better. Also with my experience in planning the trays, I think I've done a bit better job of setting the case up. Still I've needed to add a small GW case for the drop pods and have one 2 inch tray that sits outside of the case, most likely I will have to buy a GW or Platoon Transport from Sabol. I'm not sure which one I will go with, but am planning to wait for now.

For my latest army, I'm going with a completely different plan. I am going to fill my trays, unit by unit, and then when I am ready buy the case that fits the army not try to fit the army into the case.

Some things I learned about picking the best way to transport your army.

1. If you are just starting out, you really can't go wrong with the standard GW figure case. It might be a bit more expensive, but you can place models in it as soon as you get it home and don't have to worry about wasting space or ruining a tray.

2. If you have large or awkwardly shaped models, you could buy one tray at a time, and then when you have a sizable army, go to the website and see what case will work best for you.

3. ASK! There is likely a player who has similar figures and has already figured out a way to transport them. Even if you don't like the methods you see, you can avoid some pitfalls by this simple step.

4. Sabol has a link to a program that can help figure out how to plan a tray, and Battlefoam offers custom laser cut foam to maximize the usable space in a tray.

5. You should keep some of the foam you pull out. If you do adjust your load plan, a bit of glue can help rebuild a tray to serve a new purpose.

Well, that's all for now. I hope you've found this article useful and if you have good ideas, please comment below.

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