Sunday 13 May 2012

Storage and Transport: Playing with Magnets

A little while ago I started looking into storage and transportation solutions for my growing miniature collections. As I get more and more stuff painted up my usual 'shove it in a baggie in a box approach' needs some refinement to stop all that effort going to waste. I've played around with a few ideas and I think I've finally come up with something I'm happy with. 

First attempt was to get some self-adhesive magnetic and iron sheets from TinyTinTroops. These were reasonably priced at around£4 for two larger than A5 sheets (including postage). 
Two sheets does an A4 sized filebox comfortably, with a few leftover strips. The adhesive on these is every strong and you don't have to worry about it coming loose, worry about getting it in the right place first time!
Mark II was a 'tuff box' (whatever that is) from Rymans. The plastic is a bit more sturdy than the filebox card and the clasps more robust than the filebox locking mechanism. As you can see it accommodates all of my currently painted 15s and FOW, although I'm gonna have to get another one soonish. 
The magnetic sheet has a fair amount of pull but nowhere near as much as neodymiums, basically it all boils down to surface area vs weight. For my BSG fighter stands this system works quite well. The bases are large and the figures are very small and light. A inch square of the iron sheet on the bottom of each base seems to do the trick. 
It also works very well for my FOW units which again are relatively light and mounted on very large bases. However, the 15s are a bit mixed, it seems to hold the larger based ones quite well but the smaller based ones I just don't trust. 
As you can see, I can hold the box at the horizontal, and even turn it upside down, without any problems. However, if you start giving it a knock of two the individually bases figures start to slide around and can fall off. I wouldn't want to trust this on the bus or tube. Its great for storage at home, but I need something slightly more robust for travelling. 
To this end I've ordered some 8mm x0.5mm neodymium magnets off ebay (recommended by a friend) to stick on the individual figures, this should get rid of the worries as these little magnets are incredibly powerful for their size.  Originally I couldn't find disc magnets this size (i.e. really thin) but it turns out they exist, so in someways, its back to plan A after a detour through plan B.

My bases order should be arriving soon from warbases and my magnets from ebay soon so I can finally see if my whole sabot bases concept will actually work or fail in the detail.


  1. I've been using box files lined with the flex-steel sheet for my magnetic based FoG army, carrying it on tubes, buses and a fair bit of walking without ill effect (even with some jolts), but I do keep them flat in a holdall. I also stick a thin sheet of open-weave foam over the top, with some bubble warp on top to pad out the box although I'm not so sure it's necessary.

    However, I did carry a similarly packed box file on its side in a shoulder bag this weekend, containing my spare troops for Campaign. None of them had shifted, despite the fact I'd actually put the file in my bag with the troops uppermost.

    For your flight stands, You might find that 25mm washers (or larger if the flight stands allow) would be better than the flex-steel.

    Some people I know put cardboard dividers around their figures/models using the steel-magnet (or even magnet-magnet) transporters.

  2. Well, this looks amusingly familiar... :)

    1. How so? (Apart from it being a fairly standardish solution).

  3. It's very amazing that such little neodymium magnets take so important roles in the whole work.


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