Today I get to delve into the heady subject of model storage. Isn't this exciting boys and girls, I hope you are all sitting comfortably as I'm going to begin.
There comes a point in any hobbyists journey where they start to think:
Hmmmmm, where am I going to store these models, all the cupboards in the kitchen are full and I'm not sure how the cold in the fridge will affect the glue?
Right, the shoebox and tissue paper just isn't cutting it for my 6000 points of Eldar, how am I going to keep them all safe?
The second one is not a lie, I've seen this. Their excuse was that mini storage was too expensive!
Generally however, this is when you start to wonder about how you are going to store your models. It's something I've been making a few changes about with mine and our group has been asking a lot of questions so I thought I'd bring together everything I've worked out over the years and share it. This is not everything there is on storage, and there'll be other opinions. Feel free to add your ideas and thoughts in the comments below.
I mean, if you house is the literal "Museum of Tiny Menz (TM)" then you may be able to have something like this, but this is simply the dream we all aspire to, and that Charlie has achieved:
Otherwise for the rest of us, we have to find other solutions.
For ultimate safety, and definitely for transporting your models where there's a likelihood they may get knocked about a bit (think public transport or airport baggage handlers) I cannot speak highly enough of KR Multicase. I personally have flown with models in aircraft holds to and from Hawaii using KR and didn't have a single model break.
They were the first to come up with the idea of VERY soft foam for the least chance of damaging your models, protected by a hard case. Theirs is particularly affordable because those hard cases are made of cardboard and you can then get a variety of bags to transport the cardboard cases. I'm a big fan of their double backpack which can be compressed down to hold just a single case, and has plenty of pockets on the sides for all the extras needed for a game.
The downside to foam in cases, if it's something you worry about, or if you are short of space, is that the model density is rather low. Take Jeff's storage, there's probably 5, maybe even 6 models stored here (joking obvs):
I've still got a few of my KR cases for when I want to travel, but now most of my models are living in Really Useful Boxes (RUBs). For those that haven't had the RUB, these are extra-sturdy plastic boxes with locking lids that in certain combinations stack. They're aimed at the home office and storage nuts, but with a few extras they come in handy for your models. There's various combinations of boxes that go together.
- The 1.5, 5, 5XL, and 8 litre boxes all stack, and would almost certainly stack in pairs on top of 21/21XL boxes.
- The 6, 12, 24 litre boxes all stack.
- The 4, 9, 19, and 25 litre boxes (and their XL lid counterparts) all stack and the 1.75 and 3 litre boxes are basically half their size so stack nicely in pairs on top.
These are a 9 litre XL (left - great for larger models), 4 litre (centre - perfect for the majority of rank and file), and 3 litre (right)
Here's the 9 litre without the XL lid which just happens to be the same height as the 3 litre, and also 2x 3 litre boxes on top of a 4 litre box (oh the fun we are having!)
But wait, there's more...
That's all well and good I hear you cry, but those are hard plastic, my models will slide all over the place and get smashed. Well for the ultimate storage, you can also magnetise the cases. There's two options here, you can put magnets in the base of all your models, or as I did, put a magnet in the bottom of the case and then something ferrous on the models.
I am using this self-adhesive magnetic sheet from amazon (clicky-link) that will fill the bottom of 3 boxes with some left over. Stronger magnets are definitely better as they will hold bigger models. For something ferrous, I use steel washers from DIY shops and simple superglue which bonds more than well enough (there's a couple I got wrong and I can't get them out of the bases). Be careful, buy 2mm thick washers so they extend to the bottom of the bases otherwise the gap between magnet and washer will be too big and it won't hold. I use 20mm washers that are perfect for 25mm bases, and 25mm washers that are perfect for 32mm bases.
Here you can see the majority of my Wood Elf army in a single 4 litre RUB
and as you can see they are completely happy to be posed on their sides or even upside down
I even have a hobby box that allows me to paint wherever I need to in the house or can easily travel with me to other places (at least in the before times, when travel was still a thing)
And as a final little extra, it turns out that these RUB are compatible with IKEA Pax wardrobes. I added a pull out shelf that stores about 90% of my hobby in two stacks.
So yeah, after that wall of text, hopefully if you are looking for a compact way to store your models then this may have given you some food for thought. As a final point, while you can definitely transport your models like this in a car or similar, if you were going to travel in a less controlled environment such as public transport then I'd definitely opt for something like KR.
If you've got other ideas, and I know there are lots of other options out there so it would be great to hear about how they work for you in the comments section.