Remember those plastic army men you grew up with? The little green and tan soldiers that so many of us played countless hours of imaginary battles and skirmishes with? Miniature wargaming is a popular hobby in which players actually collect models similar to those little plastic army men, paint them, and play epic battles with them on the tabletop, using dice and various rulesets. Warhammer is one such game, as is Warmachine, Flames of War, At-43, Battlefield Evolution, and many other game sets. Now, I have played many of these wargames and have enjoyed them, tet I have found the miniatures to be quite expensive, ranging from $3-5 a piece-a far cry from the dollar store plastic army men of another era! So, I really have taken great steps to ensure that these pricey little ‘toys’ are adequately protected from harm. How? Read on!
First off, with miniatures that require a paint job, especially from pricey games like Warhammer, one must protect against the chipping and flecking that sometimes occurs when these figures are transported or stored. To do this, I have seen several different methods that can be used for this, including foam, tissue paper, or even bubble wrap used to protect them. Personally, I prefer a cushioning each figure on a array of foam inserts that come with many miniatures, and just sorting them so they do not touch each other. Of course, you then have to be careful that you don’t dump the container over, as they will then scratch and rub against each other. When I am mailing someone a group of Warhammer figures, I will wrap each figure in tissue paper, or even just toilet paper squares, thus cushioning them and separating them from damage at the same time.
Now, there are many different types of containers one can buy to transport their figures from place to place, home to hobby store, etc. There are even specialized containers that have a protected slot for each figure for sale online and in gaming stores. I prefer the simple tacklebox, with the previously mentioned foam inserts inside to protect each figure. Tackleboxes are cheap, and don’t cost as much as the typical custom miniature storage travel container, plus they are readily available from almost any store that sells fishing equipment. Not only that, but they come in a wide array of shapes and sizes, that will generally work for any type of miniature collection. However, they aren’t without their drawbacks-like I said, if they tip over, the miniatures will get scratched up and some paint may come off, unlike if they were in the custom miniature case. Whatever you feel like using, be it for affordability or protection, go for it, and find the best you can get.
Finally, paint jobs themselves are important. You’ll need to not only use paint that won’t flick off, but also use a protective coat of matte varnish over the figure once it has been completely dried. This varnish will help guard against chipping, making the miniature a little more durable from the wear and tear of transportation, curious hands, and so on. A display case at home is the best way to keep your mini’s out of harms way, but still show them. Some furniture stores, like Ikea, may carry large glass cases that can be used just for this purpose.
Keeping your miniatures safe is not hard, but it requires a little more time and effort. Take the time to go the extra mile for your investment in miniatures, and you’ll thank yourself later.