Regular readers will remember that I did a review on the KR Multicase Aquila 1 & 2 cases back in September 2012. You may also notice that it is April 2013 which means only one thing: I’ve been utterly shit at getting this second review out. However, this rather shameful delay has allowed me to do one very important thing when it comes to reviewing figure cases…and that’s use them. For the last 7 months the cases I talk about below have housed my sizeable Dystopian Wars and Firestorm Armada fleets and two full companies of Ultramarines. So I think it’s fair to say they’ve been put through their paces.
This time round I will be looking at the Classic Kaiser 1, the aluminium case, the card cases with a Kaiser 2 transport bag and the backpack.
So let’s kick things off with the Classic Kaiser 1. Essentially the big brother to the Aquila series, the Kaiser is a card reinforced fabric carry case with two enough space for either two large trays or 4 half sized. As I mentioned in my original review, because KR uses the same length for all its cases, the trays are interchangeable which is extremely handy.
I’ll be honest, when I put models in the case for the first time I wasn’t convinced it’d do much. The sides fold outwards quite a bit when it’s unzipped to the point that it’s a bit of a pain trying to zip it back up with flying stands tucked between the foam – as I had as it house my Terran fleet for Firestorm – but once it was zipped up it felt solid. The fabric is also tough and hard wearing after months of being in boots, backpacks, front seats, in wardrobes, under tables and dumped in the hallway it’s still like new. And more importantly not a single model has broken.
Moreover, because of KR’s tray system you the relatively small storage capacity is offset by its flexibility. That said a standard double width tray from KR holds more than the 3 tray plastic cases from Games Workshop but it’ll overall hold fewer models, and seeing as it’s £10 more expensive it’s a tough case to justify. That said, it’s compact, durable and I’ve never had a single model break from just sitting in the foam. I can’t make the same claim of my GW plastic cases so arguably it’s worth the extra investment. Plus, the flexibility in trays allows for fairly easy rotation of models.
Equally, the standard aluminium case is bloody brilliant. It houses my massive Covenant of Antarctica fleet for Dystopian Wars and my equally large Sorylian fleet for Firestorm Armada were crammed into this bad boy and I’d deliberately mixed the trays up so it was a combination of standard and pluck trays so I could see how the sponge took to the various model sizes and weights.
I’ll say this for the pluck trays: they’re a chuffing clever idea. I was able to store a dreadnought, carrier and two battleships in mine, all nice and snug and none have chipped or broken. But make sure you plan what’s going where as a mistake or misjudging in which direction the sponge is cut and you can waste a lot of space. Probably the best thing about the pluck trays is that they feel like they protect the models without feeling like the models are going to break every time you put them out on the board or away after a game.
At £50 it’s easy to gawp at the price but let me tell you a story… A couple of months back I had arranged a game of Dytopian Wars with Neil of the chaps. I met him at the bus stop round the corner from his gaff which was also, conveniently, right next to a co-op. As in our circle standard issue nose-bag is pizza and snacks are kettle chips and maltesers a brief shop was in order. Neil dutifully went in search of stone bake, Italian base, pizzas and I the munch. Whilst bending down to get the maltesers the shoulder strap slipped and the case swung forward and smacked into the corner of a metal shelving unit with such noise that the shop assistant at the counter asked if everything was all right.
We got back to Neil’s and a opened the case expecting my carrier to be smashed and my array of cruisers and frigates to be scattered about the case, paint and resin chipped. But no. Not a model had moved, not a model had broken. I don’t know of any other case that would have done that. And best thing of all? I chipped the sodding shelving and the case didn’t have a scratch.
I suppose it boils down to this: you shouldn’t spend £50 on a figure case if all you’re going to put in it is the contents of Dark Vengeance in there because no matter how well you’ve painted them, they’ll take a lot of breaking. If, however, like me you’ve got a shit load of resin and metal that likes to explode when dropped then actually, between the touch case and the lovely cushiony soft sponge of the trays you’ve got yourself a bloody good case that’s absolutely worth the money.
The funny thing about the card cases is that they share that all important protection with the aluminium case. Because they’re nice and bendy. Yet surprisingly tough. And stonkingly cheap at £25 and it’ll hold more toys than a GW case. Granted, it won’t stand up to a downpour and the handle also doubles as the locking mechanism which always makes me extremely nervous but as a budget figure case you absolutely can’t go wrong.
Especially as it doesn’t behave like a budget figure case. Yes, it’s not as pretty as the aluminium one or as easy to transport as the Kaiser but what you sacrifice in those areas you still gain in terms of protection of your models because KR recognise that it’s as much down to the foam as it is what you wrap around it.
Especially as for £27 upwards you can get a Kaiser Transport bag to put it in which gives you all the fun of an extremely tough carry all but includes lots of lovely pockets to keep things in. Which is always handy. The Kaiser2 transport bag even comes with a kill tray and a dice box complete with dice and a tape measure.
The important thing to remember when looking at the KR range isn’t necessarily the quality because to my mind it’s a given. They make bloody good cases with high quality foam that keeps the models safe. When you look to invest in KR cases it’s all down how many models you’ve got, what storage you have and how many actual cases you need. Foam can be stacked and rotated. If you can get away with two cases and a dozen trays then that’s the way to do it. KR Multicase is an intelligent figure case system that rewards a little forward thinking as well does the job of keeping our beloved toy soldiers safe very well.
Now, I did say I’d review the backpack as well. Although I have used the backpack for wargaming I’m instead going to say this:
Regular readers and followers on Twitter will know that just under 6 weeks ago I became a father. When it came to packing the bag my wife quickly realised that she lacked the space in her hold all for all the things she wanted to take, as well as a clean shirt and toothbrush and supplies for me. So I used the KR backpack. Apart from having two massive compartments that can accommodate the card cases it had a large forward compartment and pockets up the arse so it meant that we were able to carry everything we needed and at no point did I ever feel like a zip was about to break or a strap about to tear. It coped with it admirably so if it can do that it can more than handle us wargaming lot.