Thursday, April 4, 2013

Casing An Army

This is the promised blog post depicting how I got the entire Beastmen army to fit into the Pelican 1510 case. If you didn't see my previous blog post regarding the Pelican 1510 army case, go check it out.

Here's the army that had to fit into the case.
During my army case investigation, I was unsure whether or not my army would fit into any particular case. I purchased this case despite that uncertainty, with the thought that I'd have to make it work.

Step one was solidifying my army list. Before I could stick models into the case, I needed to know what was to go into it.

Here's the space they all had to fit in.
After that I laid out the entire army, leaving all of the units on their movement trays. This was to get a feel for everything I needed to get into the case, and so that nothing would be forgotten!

At this point it seems important to note that this army consists of 121 models. That includes several larger models, such as the three chariots, and two solo Razorgors.
This army case only works for me because all of my units are solidly magneted to their movement trays using rare earth magnets. I decided that the best way to proceed here was to leave all of the models on their movement trays, and just fit the movement trays into the army case. There's no other way that they'd all fit into this case.

I laid out the two 3" pluck foam pieces that came with the case. I used them as templates to cut three extra 1/2" foam layers. That gave me a total of four 1/2" sheets, including the one that the case came with. One of these would go on the bottom of the case, one was to be used as a divider between the two 3" pieces, and the other two would go into the lid. These were cut using a pair of house-hold scissors.

I comfirmed that the height of my units did not exceed the top of the 3" foam pieces. The only trooper models that did were the standard bearers, so I separated them from their units. The BSB was also significantly taller than the 3" limit, so he was set aside as well. The Ungor spears were too tall as well, but they're skinny/small enough to just poke into the layer of foam above them.
I started with the heavier, more fragile models. These included the Razorgor Chariot, the Tuskgor Chariots, and the solo Razorgors. I decided it was much safer to put these in the case so that when the case was standing up, so were they. That meant that when the case was laying on its back, these models would be laying on their sides. Also, I decided that because they're heavier, these models should go near the bottom of the case when it's standing up.

The first foam that I removed was for the Razorgor Chariot. It went in the bottom of the case, when the case was standing up. I laid the model on the foam, marked the pluck sections that needed to be removed, and then removed them by hand.

The actual foam plucking process requires some care. If you're sloppy, or too forceful, then you're going to end up plucking/separating some foam sections that you don't intend to. If that happens it's not a huge deal, I'll tell you how to fix it later. It's best avoided though, so be careful!

From there I put the two solo Razorgors into the foam, similarly to how I did the Razorgor Chariot. I found that it's best to leave 2 layers of 1/2" pluck sections as dividers between all of your models. That gives the foam walls sufficient support. Otherwise, they very easily rip/separate on their own.
I saved all of the foam that I plucked out, as I knew that it would be useful later for packing things in. Also, as I removed foam, I labeled the spot according to which unit/model went into it with a white fabric marker.

The units on the movement trays were a cinch to get in. You just place the movement tray down, mark its footprint on the pluck foam, and then pull the appropriate foam. What that means is that most of my models will be standing up (albeit horizontally) when the army case is standing on its end. When the army case is laying on its back, the models will be standing vertically.

There were a few units that had small enough movement trays to allow for placing them into the case on their sides. This means that they'll be placed very similarly to the way the Chariots and solo Razorgors were, as opposed to how the other units on movement trays were. I did this with any unit that had a movement tray less than 3" deep (the Ungor Raiders and one of the Harpy units).

As for the taller models that I set aside earlier (the BSB and unit standards), they were placed in laying on their backs (when the case was standing on its end). They were also placed in very near to what would be the top of the case when the case was standing. Since they're generally lighter models, this was a great place for them.

Once all of the models had their own place in the case it was time to affix the bottoms to the 3" foam sections, and to repair any mis-plucked sections.
The mis-plucked/torn sections are pretty easy to fix. You need some Elmer's glue (also called white glue or PVA glue), and some toothpicks. I applied a small amount of glue to each side of the foam that needed to be stuck together, put it together, mashed it a bit to get the glue to soak into the foam, and then pushed a toothpick into one side of the foam and through the other to hold it together. In the places where I broke the foam off all the way through, I first did that to the top, then I flipped it over and did the same thing on the bottom side. After it's glued up, you have to let it dry overnight. It's fine to just leave all the toothpicks in place once the glue dries.

That last step works very well for fixing torn foam. The only thing to really look out for there is to not get any glue on parts of the foam where your models will be touching. The glue will dry hard and scratchy. You don't want your models in contact with that!

Once all the repairs were dry, I attached a 1/2" sheet of foam to the bottom of each 3" piece. This adds a lot of strength to the foam, and will make it so that I can handle the foam with the models in it while it's outside of the army case. To do this, I turned the 3" piece upside down, and applied a bead of Elmer's glue to the entire bottom. Then I set the 1/2" piece on the glue, and lightly pressed it down into the glue beads. From there, I just turned it over, set it on a surface that wouldn't be wrecked if a little Elmer's glue gets on it, and let it dry over night.

When placing the models into the foam with the intention of going somewhere, I make use of the pieces of extra pluck-foam that were removed earlier. This is placed in, on, and around the models in their foam beds. It ensures that they don't shift around, or vibrate while in the case.
The other two sheets of 1/2" foam are placed on top of the two 3" foam sections when they're in the case. These pieces fill up the extra space in the case lid. There's room for my folder containing printed army lists, as well as for my rules books between them when everything is all cased up.

Well, there you have it. Hopefully these two blog posts have provided everything that you'll ever need to know about army cases.

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