Games Workshop released a new series of cases for carrying miniatures.
I’ve been eyeing a new case to house/transport my ever expanding miniature collection from Warmachine/Hordes to my dabbling entry into 40k. I’ve used them all, e.g., Battlefoam, Sabol transports, but have never used any of the Citadel line of carrying cases. I couldn’t justify the price point (close to $100) for what was essentially a hard plastic case (like the kind you could pick up at the Home Depot to carry tools) and a pile of pluck foam.
But, then GW came out with the new lines of cases (see here for video):
Crusade Case $124
Battle Case $83
Skirmish Case $50
Now these seem pricey, but they are essentially on-par (or dare I say cheaper) than equivalent miniature carrying systems from other companies. In short, the cases are unique in that they use a channel system of soft foam that compresses (nicely) when the lid is closed. The case is made of a soft, pliable but seemingly durable plastic, that closely snugly with the foam inside. The hinge in the back is reinforced with a metal pin (an upgrade from other cases that use plastic hinges that can break or warp over time).
In my experience, so far, the selling point of this unique design has proven true. I picked up the Crusade Case with the intention to carry my budding Grey Knight army. So far, it has worked really well. The selling point of this system is that the foam structure allows the user to pack a wide variety of miniature sizes and shapes without worrying about orientation or fit. Essentially, the foam is pliable and flexible enough to fit large and small models without too much effort. The foam structure did not bend or break any of the models even when I packed them to overflowing.
I’ve fit 25 space marines, 20 terminators (with banners and halberds), 2 fully glued together dread knights (with greatswords!!!), and a fully assembled land raider into the case. There is about two stacks of foam that are still empty. Empty. I’m fairly sure I could fit a dreadnaught, and a whole bunch of infantry into those two extra stacks.
I am impressed.
My initial concern that the compressed foam would damage or bend parts of my miniatures was unfounded after using this case for a few days. No damage occurred and I wasn’t even careful putting the models into the foam. I essentially pushed them in which ever way they fit. The foam-case system works, and the curious part of me is intrigued by the physics of how the foam compresses around miniatures. I almost wish the black case were clear so I could see inside while the case was closed!
Now, a question does come up…. would it fit my Warmachine/Hordes miniatures? I think it would. In fact, I think the shape/flexibility of the foam would be really useful for safely squeezing the most cumbersome of my Privateer Press models, including the warcaster, Harbinger of Menoth, and the warjack, Guardian (with it’s two fragile flags). I did a quick test and my Judicator colossal fit nicely into the bottom foam. Though the weight of these heavier models (generally made of pewter) may shift the foam and surrounding content a bit more. More testing needed, but so far the case looks to be a good, cheaper, and certainly more convenient alternative to the other foam/case systems I’ve owned.
A limitation that I have yet to test is whether the foam is durable. The individual “channels” appear to have been constructed by gluing individual foam zig-zag strips into a foam “frame”. If the glue does not hold properly, or is weakened by repeated use, then the foam channels would eventually collapse.
The cynic/cautious sense in me thinks this may be GW’s plan. Get the case, have low-durability foam that requires periodic replacement, and make continuos money selling replacement “channel” foam. If true, that would be annoying. Then again, we, the miniature hobbyist are a creative and resourceful group. Note that there is no dedicated room for holding codex/books or other gaming doodads.
While I’m very happy with my purchase of the Crusade case (it appears to be a good value), I own a glue gun and a roll of duct tape. I’m ready to go when things start to fall apart.