Monday, April 1, 2013

Pelican 1510 Army Transport Case

I always vowed that I would never fly with my models, due to how much time and effort that I have into them. I simply couldn't bear the thought of them being broken or destroyed!

However, for my upcoming trip, I'm going to have to eat my words on that vow. That's because there's only one sensible way to get to the UK from the Midwest US!
That meant that I had a very important problem to solve: how to get my Beastmen army safely to the UK and back.

I investigated several major case brands that the war-gaming crowd is likely familiar with, and a few that they're probably not. These brands included Army Transport, Battle Foam, Pelican, Platt, and Sabol.

When the dust settled, I went with the Pelican 1510.
My list of considerations for a case were simple: something that would best protect my models from damage, something that I could carry on an airplane, and something that would hold my entire army plus the rule books.

I threw cost out the window almost immediately. The cost difference between a cheap case, and a great case is around $100 to $120. That cost can be mitigated significantly by shopping around on the internet. I decided that if spending some extra money meant that all my models make it without issue, then it was totally worth it. Whether they actually do make it safe and sound remains to be seen (I will follow up with a blog post about the results, post UK trip).
So, why did I choose the Pelican 1510?

It was one of the more expensive cases that I considered. The retail price according to the manufacturer is $271 and some change. When I first saw that, I immediately wrote it off. It was when doing my second round of investigation into cases, after nothing else solidly fit my criteria for one reason or another, that I noticed that I could get the Pelican case through Amazon for $169.95 including shipping and a stock set of pluck foam. That price is very comparable to other cases of similar size with foam.

The Pelican 1510 had many excellent features. It has a thick, hard plastic shell that is crush proof. It's watertight, in case I have to walk through the rain with it. It has a pull out handle, and wheels for towing it behind you. Its exterior dimensions are such that it fits the carry on requirements for all air lines. It also has comparable to slightly more interior space than cases in this size and price range.

Thus far I've only encountered one potential downside with the case. It's a bit heavy, weighing in at about 13 and a half pounds with nothing in it other than foam. While this isn't an issue for me, it does seem worth noting.

Another great thing about this case is that there are many accessories available. Some of them are made by Pelican, and some are made by other companies to support the product. Among these things are TSA approved locks, Lid Organizers, and many different foam configurations. Should I decide to reuse this case for something else in the future, I will have many options.
The stock foam configuration that I purchased the case with through Amazon is intended for camera equipment. It has two layers of 3" pluck foam with a non-pluck 1" edge all the way around, a 1/2" layer of foam for the bottom, and a 1.5" 'egg foam' layer to go in the lid.

I did have to purchase three additional 1/2" foam layers to optimize my foam configuration. One was used to create dividers between the two 3" layers, and the other two were used to replace the 'egg foam' that was intended for the lid. These three 1/2" layers, plus what came with the case, were used to protect my entire Beastmen army with room to spare of my army lists and rule books. There was even some additional space in the case beyond what I needed for my models. I could have gotten another small unit in there.
The additional 1/2" foam was around $10, and can be purchased through the Foam Factory. I chose them because they had the most user friendly website, and they're priced right. They have a wide variety of other types of foam available, in case you want to purchase a custom set of additional foam for any army case that you may have.

If you'd like to compare foam companies for yourself, check out as well. They're a competitor of the Foam Factory. Also, if you're looking for a second set of stock foam for the Pelican case, be sure to peruse; they're the most affordable online place that I found.

Cats everywhere agree that the Pelican 1510 case is pretty great!
I will be doing a second blog post on how I actually went about getting all the models into the case. That process was a bit trickier than you might have thought it would be, and there are a few pitfalls to avoid.
Well, I hope that helps you with your own army case decision. There are so many out there to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming when you first start looking. I recommend that you list your army case selection criteria, and start from there. Don't be afraid to cross something off the list, even if it at first seemed like the obvious choice to go with. Do your own research, and go with what best fits your needs.


retroalias said...

Nice, looking forward to seeing how it works for you.

Cpjiardina said...

Great choice.

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