Preserve Your Forces: 7 Ways to Safeguard Your Miniature Collection

Miniatures have a knack for being more delicate than their battlefield roles suggest. These tiny titans, whether infantry, tanks, or fantastical creatures, are often made from materials like plastic, resin, or metal, which can be surprisingly fragile.

That's why it's essential to protect and store them safely. Without proper care, these finely detailed figures can easily suffer damage, diminishing their aesthetic and functional value.

After the time you have put into assembling and painting miniatures to create the perfect army, it is worth a little extra effort to keep your troops looking top notch. Here’s a few pro tips.

Use Foam Trays

Foam trays are a popular choice for miniature storage. They come in two main types: 'pick and pluck' and laser-cut. The pick and pluck variety allows for custom spaces to fit various miniature sizes, making it a flexible option. Laser-cut foam, on the other hand, is tailor-made for specific models, offering a snug fit. This level of customization is crucial for keeping your miniatures secure and intact.

For those not frequently traveling with their miniatures, foam trays can be used for shelf storage. To protect from dust, place these trays in cardboard boxes. Alternatively, you can use glass cabinets to keep your minis dust-free and on display.

Keep Them in the Original Game Box

Storing miniatures in the game box is a straightforward option, especially for sturdier, unpainted figures. It's handy because everything you need to play is right there. Publishers sometimes even design the box with miniatures in mind.

However, this method has its limits. The box can get crowded, especially with unassembled pieces or expansions. Also, while convenient, it's not the best for showing off your collection and doesn't always protect the miniatures from damage.

Buy a Hard Case

Another option for miniature protection is the generic hard case. Great for larger collections, these cases come with locks and handles to keep your minis secure. Their sturdy plastic exterior and foam interior also makes them ideal for various miniature sizes and types.

Compared to soft cases, hard cases provide better protection against impacts. While soft cases are easier to carry, they fall short in safeguarding your figures. For thorough protection during transport, hard cases are your best bet, though they don't help in displaying your miniatures.

Get Custom Box Inserts

Custom box inserts are specialized organizers designed to fit inside your game boxes. They offer a level of customization that ensures every miniature has its designated spot, greatly reducing the risk of damage. The precise fit of custom inserts also maximizes the use of space within the game box, allowing for efficient storage of both miniatures and game components.

But while custom box inserts excel in protection and space efficiency, they come with their own set of challenges. The cost can be a notable drawback, as these specialized organizers often carry a price tag that can match or even exceed the cost of the games themselves. Additionally, assembling these inserts requires time and a careful hand, which might not play well with everyone.

Magnetize the Models

Magnetizing miniatures is a solution for very delicate or spindly models. This involves attaching rare earth magnets to the base of the models and using a metal surface for them to adhere to. It's particularly useful for models that might be damaged by foam, as it minimizes contact and movement.

But, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, if you're headed to an event or a friend's place, those magnets might make your bag a bit more interesting at security checks, especially if you're flying. You don't want your army flagged for extra screening because of some tiny magnets.

Also, consider the "jumping effect" if you're into games where positioning is key. Strong magnets can cause unintended movements, like a game piece suddenly snapping to another because of the magnetic pull. This means you'll need to find that sweet spot in magnet strength‚ÄĒstrong enough to hold but not so strong that your miniatures start moving independently.

Make a Display Board

Creating a custom scenic board for your miniatures is a popular option among both Warhammer and Warmachine players, along with board game fans.

Once you've got your set painted and ready, the next exciting phase is to build a scene that showcases all your figures. Magnets come in handy here, ensuring each piece stays securely in place on the board. The standout display boards are those that look amazing and fold up, making them easy to carry around.

The advantage? You get to put your miniatures on full display, keep them organized, and protect them with style. If you get creative with your design, this board can also be a smart way to transport and store your miniatures, merging functionality with visual appeal.

Use Plastic Containers

Plastic containers offer a flexible solution for both storing and transporting historical wargaming miniatures. Whether you need space for just a few figures or an entire fleet, there’s a variety of sizes and shapes to match your needs. Adding foam to each compartment gives your miniatures a cushion against shocks and bumps.

These containers won’t break the bank and feature clear lids so you can quickly see what’s inside. They’re also compact and easy to carry, courtesy of the handles fitted on their surface.

Protecting the Troops

These are some of the best ways to safeguard your wargaming miniatures. Each method involves equipment or tools you can easily find at your local hardware store. Now it’s easier (and more affordable) than ever to preserve your precious miniatures for years to come. Whether you're a seasoned wargamer or just starting out, these practical tips will help you protect your miniature army investment.

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