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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Storing Your Models

Anyone who's been around this blog for a while will know that I've got far too many Imperial Guard (mostly unpainted I must add!) So, when Mrs Oink declared that it all needs to get tidied away I had to come up with a plan to store it all away in as few cases as possible and in as logical an order as possible (if I am ever to have a chance of remembering exactly where everything is!)
I love a good amount of planning... which is why I'm forever grateful to Admiral Drax for the Painting Chart! It also means this will be a long post!

I already had a pair of the large Games Workshop Army Cases. Both special editions in fitting camo green and desert variants. Each case is double the size of a regular "single" GW case. In actuality it is also marginally deeper, and I'll get to this later. When bought, each case came with one side of infantry trays and the other having a single, deep "pick & pluck" tray.

After a lot of deliberation, I decided to put most of my tanks into one box, and most of the infantry into the other one. Lets start by taking a look at my "infantry" case;

The newer desert case came with infantry foam that is 10 models wide, as opposed to the usual 9 models wide. This is key because platoon infantry squads are 10 strong, which means they can fit one unit per row!

This forms a basis of the infantry storage -

Each of my platoons happens to be 3 units strong, so I now store one platoon per tray! The remaining 10 spots of each tray are taken up by an assigned heavy weapons team and the veterans forming the platoon command squad (these weapons can also be re-assigned to platoon units if necessary). In this way, my three platoons fit entirely within one half of one case!

On the other side of the same infantry case you can see the trays pictured above. One tray stores my three veteran squads (designated 1st platoon in my Painting Chart) as well as a squad of squeezed in Ogryns! Another tray stores the command figures, including all of the Lieutenants, HQ characters and Command Platoon chappies. You can also see the "specials" of a Psyker Battle Squad and some Ratlings.

Finally, in a slight break from the rest of the infantry, the base layer stores my infantry support vehicles. It is simply an infantry tray with the foam cut away to form 6 equal compartments. You can see I can store my Hades, converted Salamander Jeep, Scout Trucks, Hellhounds and Hydra Tanks! This tray is very useful because I can fit almost any combination of tanks into it so I can mix and match when I need to put together an army list for transportation. (It can even hold Russes as long as I remove the turret first).

The tank case has had an equal (if not greater) amount of consideration. It stores the remaining Chimera chassis tanks. 7 tanks to each pick and pluck... yes, 7! I do this by storing the tanks on their sides rather than their tracks, and carefully sizing each slot. Above the tanks are more heavy weapons teams, including the lascannoners, a plethora of mortar teams and a few special weapons teams which can all be assigned to platoons on an ad-hoc approach.

Easy right!? Well, er, no, I also have a pair of Valkyries, and you're probably wondering where the Russ tanks are at?

It took me a while, but I found THESE cases from KR Multicase which were exactly what I needed! KR do a couple of valkyrie storage cases, but each of these ones hold one valk AND 4 tanks! well thats perfect because my Russes are all organised into set platoons of 3 tanks, with the additional slot taken up by one of the Command or Tank Ace vehicles!

Perhaps the best bit about these little gems though, is that they also hold 20 infantry models. Well, it turns out I've got 40 Storm Trooper models (used as Grenadiers, or Engineers, or sometimes just as Veterans to fly around in the Valkyries). It couldn't be much more perfect if it tried!

To help me remember where everything was, I also wrote out a little plan, and I ended up adding it to an updated Painting Chart.

Everything into 4 cases.

Well, nearly everything. The trouble is I still have a Vulture Gunship as well as a battery of 3 Basilisks to store... hmm... Looks like I might need to look at buying another case from KR Multicase!

Things to think about when planning your storage;
1. The quantity & type of your models.
You need to make sure that you know exactly what you have so that you know what storage system(s) will be suitable. Remember that your models may (or may need to) be dismantlable - such as removable valkyrie wings or tank turrets - and this can ease storage and transportation.
2. The bulk & dimensions of your models.
You should consider all dimensions to find out the best storage solution. For instance, by me storing Chimeras on their sides I was able to fit more tanks into each pick & pluck tank tray.
3. The organisation of units or "blocks".
You want to try to organise storage in a logical manner, keeping units together to make things easier.
4. Remembering where things are.
One of the points of all this thought is so that you actually know where all your models are. When they are split across a variety of cases it is usually helpful to write what is where. You can then use this as a quick reference. You may even find it useful to stick this to the inside of each case lid.

Well, that's a lot of work just to keep your models! What have I learnt? Well, that the Games Workshop storage cases are actually pretty good. But also that there are alternative sources that you can use to get exact and specific storage requirements. KR Multicase in particular, offer a simple and cheap cardboard case - which is absolutely perfect for models being stored in a cupboard... They also do GW sized foam trays so you can always transfer the foam into a harder wearing case for transport!


  1. Great article, Oink! I really like the look of those KR Multicases. I've been using the battlefoam trays for storage in the Closet of Doom, but I do like the thought of having some sturdy cardboard as an extra layer of protection from passing bumps and jostling.

  2. This is pretty ingenious, Oink!

    For my part, I seem to care less about my plastic infantry, so this is my solution:


    I also have a couple of aluminium flight cases with pluck foam, but the wooden beast is my 'gaming' transport. Currently, there's over 2500pts' worth in there, plus codex and playing aids etc.

    Even before using the wooden case (which weighs a ton even empty, by the way) I stored my models (most of which are varnished) ten-to-the-compartment, and my breakages are utterly negligable. Obviously the few well painted figures I have get a little more padding...

  3. Thats the charm of plastic infantry I suppose... I don't get that luxury with the Tallarn unfortunately... I can count the number of plastic infantry models for this army on one hand... erm... on three fingers! and they are mostly fixed to the salamander jeep anyway!

    I also just realised that I've also got another 4 russes that need housing! man, just when you think it's all sorted! (and I am planning an Atlas build that will need to live somewhere too!)

  4. Commissar ZaiusJune 12, 2012


    I have been working on trying to store all of my Guard recently as well, and managed to get a pack of foam from work that was going to be thrown away. I'm glad I found a resource to tell me how to put it together. Thank you!