Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Army Transport Miniature Case Review

I've previously kept most of my minis in bits boxes.  When they are plastic it seems OK.  If they are tough enough to be played with they should be tough enough to be transported next to a few more of their kin.

And then we got into Warmachine where the minis are predominantly metal, heavy, and often multi piece.  Time for a new solution, and the $60 Army Transport case seemed like a good deal vs $130 for the Battle Foam equivalent.  Overall I think it was worth the $60 as any padded case seems to run fairly pricey.  Here's my thoughts on it.

Materials are kind of second class.  Not bad, but not top notch.  Looks OK at the moment but feels like it could wear out easily.  I hope to be proven wrong.
The front pockets are pretty tight.  Room for a thin manual, some cards, a few dice.  Anything thicker though, like the ever present Chessex blocks of 36 dice, there is no way to store in here.
The zipper only runs around the top which limits access.  You want something out that bottom tray?  You are going to be removing every other tray to get to it.
The trays that come standard with the 'full' version are 6x 1 inch trays and 2x 2.5 inch trays.  1 inch is about 25mm.  Warmachine small bases are 30mm.  Yeah, problem there if you are buying this for Warmachine.  You can buy an empty bag and get 1.5" and 2.5" trays separately.  Thing is it costs more that way, now you are looking at close to $80.

Tray dimensions are 7.5" by 12.5".  In pull out squares that's 13x24.  You can shuffle them around a bit, but unless you have lots of really bulky guys that is about 18 small minis per layer.  As a guide, a regular marine will fit in a 3x3, Devastator or Sergeant, 3x4, Standard Bearer 3x5 or 3x6.
If you spring for one of the 3 or 4 inch foam layers (and the bag will hold 11 vertical inches of foam) you can get most vehicles in.  A layer will fit 3 transports (trukks, chimeras, razorbacks) or 1 large vehicle (land raider, battle wagon) and a transport.  It'll only really fit two Russes as they are kind of chunky.  The biggest stuff though, like a Valkyrie will not fit in this.  Well not unless you break off the wings and front antenna.

So am I happy with the bag?  Yeah, I guess.  Kind of wishing I'd sunk the extra into one of the dedicated Battle Foam bags though.  Yeah, twice the price, but bigger, better built (it seems, no first hand experience) and just better designed.  Plus, the Warmachine version has trays designed to fit Warmachine minis, rather than the too thin standard Army Transporter trays, and a big ol' Warmachine logo on the front.  While the Army Transporter does its job, it feels too much like a cooler bag someone shoved foam trays into.

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