Many will know that we like a bit of Star Wars at Shell Case towers. Many will also know that we’re a bit mental for the X-Wing Miniatures Game as well. Because it combines two of the greatest things known to man: wargaming and Star Wars.
Having acquired some sizeable fleets Mat and I had both outgrown our home-made figure cases – I especially as the Falcon is massive. So we got in touch with our friends at KR Multicase to see if we could take a look at the X-Wing custom cut foam range they have available. Happy to oblige us, we got to take a look at foam cut for both Rebel and Imperial heavy forces.
I’ve been using KR cases for a couple of years now and I can’t rate them high enough. I only have two Games Workshop cases remaining and that’s purely because they’re still fit for purpose and too badly battered for anyone to buy them off me…that and they’ve got Phil’s Ultramarines written on them in gold pen. What? Mat on the other hand is new to KR.
I mention this so as to emphasise the impartiality the review comes from.
Now I’ve always been dubious about custom cut foam. Not that it wasn’t up to snuff but because I use to have a lot of the aforementioned Games Workshop cases and so was use to cutting rectangular slots to fit anything and everything from cavalry to yhetees to tanks to winged daemons. So to have something that was done for me was both very satisfying and disconcerting all at the same time.
Mat and I had similar configurations with the deviation being he had capacity for a Lambda class shuttle and I didn’t. Which suited me fine. What I did have room for was the Falcon. Now, to cover off a common query quickly – why does the Imperial sponge have a slot for the Falcon? Because the Rebel players don’t have exclusive ownership rights. Imperial players can use it as just a YT-1300 transport for scenarios or, if you’re feeling cheeky a small games with the Imperials versus the Falcon. What’s not to love?
What sets the foam apart from regular cases or even regular custom cut foam is that it offers a complete game storage solution. There’s a variety of compartments for your manoeuvre wheels, cards, counters and turn templates. Other than the former and the latter it’s not abundantly clear what each compartment is for. Whilst not a major problem because I was able to figure out homes for everything, it would have been nice to have a sheet pointing out what is what.
The important aspect is, of course, the fit for the models. KR very cleverly designed a system that would allow you to house just about every fighter configuration in the game which is pretty clever. Better still it was designed so the models would be on their flight stands. This may seem at odds with the experiences of anyone with a Battlefleet Gothic fleet but it does, quite amazingly work. Through in homes for larger ships, the larger flight stands, and everything else and what you have is an incredibly useful miniature storage system.
There are niggles though. Aside from not knowing where everything’s supposed to go – apart from the obvious – the storage for the turn dials isn’t sufficient for the number of models the case can carry. I’ve filled mine and I’ve got two dials spare. And that’s only 10 models. The compartment for the upgrade cards whilst is deep enough, doesn’t take into account the piles of cards the larger ships, like the Rebel Transport, come with so that’ll quickly fill up as well.
This isn’t the end of the world as you can find homes for them elsewhere in the case but it does slightly defeat the purpose of custom fit foam. However it’s worth noting that this was a foam bundle and KR does off you the freedom to mix and match the trays however you like. The important thing is that it performs its intended function incredibly well and Mat and I are extremely pleased with the cases. They keep the models safe and all the counters, templates and cards stay where you leave them. What more could one ask from figure cases?
The foam is flexible yet supportive where the ships are concerned yet it does an excellent job of keeping all the (many) bits of cardboard in one place. I can’t stress how important that is to anyone not familiar with the game. There’s quite a lot of cardboard. But the bottom line is this: it keeps my very expensive models in perfect condition which allows me to transport and game with them without fear of them arriving smashed into tiny pre-painted fragments. And that’s an extremely good thing.
The X-Wing foam and carry cases are available from KR Multicase priced at £32.99.
And relax… So that was Salute. Well I have to say for my first show since Games Day many moons ago it was great and I loved every minute… But I’m getting ahead of myself, let me take you back to the Friday before…
It’s Friday night and I’m getting ready for the early morning start to pick up Lee, Neil & Phil and make our way to ExCel London. My bag is packed with all the standard supplies, chocolate, Jelly Babies for that mid show sugar pick me up, Business Cards, Wallet with money (but no credit card) and of course my all important ticket. Now I have had a pretty hard week and not a great deal of sleep up to this point so I was really looking forward to getting an early night and some well deserved Salute action. But one more thing had to be done, the car needed to be sorted ready for the drive up, which meant fuel was required, or so i thought.
So I take myself down to the local petrol station. On route I realise I have three quarters of a tank of Diesel so I’m probably okay for fuel but as I’m out I think: sod it I’ll top it up. It’s at this point everything goes horribly wrong and nearly ends in my not attending Salute. So I’m at the petrol station idly watching the litres tick over on the unleaded petrol and…fuck my life!
I end up spending my Friday evening sat in the petrol station for 2 hours waiting for the AA to turn up only to tell me they will have to tow me home as they can’t drain the tank until the following day. Needless to say the wife was less than impressed and I didn’t get my early night. This did mean I had to take my little run around with 4 blokes up to ExCel. All things considered it did okay. It got us there and back in one piece and that’s the main thing.
But what about the other car Mat? well my wife waited in the next morning and a very nice man we will call Trevor turned up at 9.30am and drained the tank and topped it back up with enough Diesel for my wife to get to a petrol station and put the correct jungle juice in (which cost us £152 people check your using the right nozzle it can be an expensive mistake to make), enabling her to meet Phil’s wife for there prearranged play date (with our 1 year old daughters).
Jump back to 10:30am Saturday the 12th of April… SALUTE! MAT BUY TOYS!
There was so much to see my poor brain couldn’t take it all in at first, there were hobbyists everywhere and toys galore, I don’t think I’m remiss if I say it was an awesome humbling sight, and it made my wallet cry.
But before I got to buying toys we had to round everyone up say hello as some of us had never actually met in the flesh namely Rob and Reece, it was great to finally meet thee guys, it also meant I could reduce the weight of my bag as I had Robs business cards with me. And once handed over I wold have more room for toys.
I had to remember that I wasn’t just here to buy toys, I was here on business, and it was with this in mind we headed over to a few of the indie stands to chat to a few people about some truly interesting games, that not only looked awesome but sound utterly brilliant.
Among these was a game that has been mentioned a couple of times on The Shell Case now and that’s World Of Twilight: Travels through Anyaral
first mentioned by Gav Thorpe in his guest post, but I will leave Phil to tell you more about this. What I will say is the models are gorgeous and it looks fantastic, I for one am really looking forward to this one.
Next up was a very cool looking game that got Phil and I very excited, its in development by a company called White Dragon Miniatures its called Shattered Void and it looks and sounds truly brilliant, the models look great and the artwork so far is stunning, its also going to incorporate a bit of RPG so your pilots will evolve as you play more games, and the movement template is frankly inspired, it also looks the utter tits when being played, I was slightly disappointed they only had the one demo on the go as I would of really liked to of had a game of this and really get to grips with it. As I say it is still in development although some of the models were on sale on the day and it took a great amount of will power for me not to succumb. But rest assured when the Kickstarter is due to go live we will let you know all about it. This is definitely one to watch.
Another in development game we got to have a quick look at and chat to the producers of was a game called Twisted by Demented Games, this was in very early stage of development but is set to be board game or maybe an RPG, I have to say I don’t think its 100% sure what type of game its going to be but one thing is for sure the models were beautiful, the ones we got to see were supposedly the main protagonists based on characters from Charles Dickens Oliver Twist (I’m guessing this is where the name comes from). From what I understood the initial board game idea sees different fictional characters brought to life by some sort of Engine. The Dickens characters are jumping about literature causing mayhem and mischief. As I say this is very early in its development and I think the concept is a little confused at the moment, but its still one to watch if not just for the stunning miniatures we saw. It will be coming to Kickstarter in the not too distant future, so keep your eyes peeled and hopefully by then it will have a better idea of what it wants to be.
Now… MAT BUY TOYS! I had a rather extensive list of things I wanted to get at Salute or at least look at but one of my main objectives was Pathfinders for my Tau force and some X-Wing shizzle to aid me in my ever growing struggle to actually win a game. So we all headed over to the rather large Wayland Games stand, I got my Pathfinders hoozaah, but alas there was no X-Wing Shiz for me or Phil although we did get some extra Dice for said game, I say these won’t help me in the struggle to bitch slap Phil, but you never know these could be the dice I was looking for.
Its Business Time… Whilst Lee and Phil queued to make their purchases Neil and I wandered over to Mantic, whose stand was swamped and with good reason, Mantic had brought with them a limited number of there pretty awesome Battle Grounds sets. During our rather long chat with the guys at Mantic we got a bit of an over view of the future of Dreadball, which honestly had us totally gripped and is something we can all really look forward to, I can’t say too much here but needless to say Dreadball is set to become something even bigger and better than it is right now. And getting the low down on the Battle Grounds set was awesome, it was really good to speak to the guys and find out what was there intentions for the scenery set, and we all agreed it would make a god damn brilliant Necromunda board, so watch this space as our Necromunda itch grows fuelled by Mantic goodness. After talking all things Mantic it was time for… MAT BUY TOYS!
And to Forge World we wound our merry way, we had 20 minutes before the #warmongers meet, so this had to be a strategic hit and run style purchasing spree with the queue neigh huddle still being rather sizeable. Phil, Lee and I worked together to cordon off an area to enable us to make our way to the front on the queue (eventually) and pick up our wares, I had preordered myself a tasty Tau Battlesuit for my growing Tau force, yeay another tick for me… and a slight addition something that had been tickling my hobby spot for the last week… DEATH SHROUD. Yep I crumbled it didn’t take much to be honest, and purchased myself a set of Death Guard, Death Shroud Terminators. I’m not totally sure what I’m doing with them yet I’m thinking a small skirmish force but that’s always how these things start.
FOOD TIME, so it was that time of day where we all broke out from the buying of all the things as Ashley would say and went in search of sustenance to enable us to continue our day of awesomeness. It was also time to catch up with the other #Warmongers and compare purchases and stories of our days so far.
Once more unto the breach my friends, after the #Warmongers meet it was time to head over to Heresy Miniatures, one to check out the new Netherlord and two for me to get my hands on a set of Andy’s amazing gangers, just to help me with that Necromunda itch. I’m doing Delaque this time around but don’t really like the original models Andy’s are a fantastic alternative the “not” Delaques are stunning and the full set ay of set me back £70 but for that I got 25 blokes and a big bag of weapons with some god damn inspiring choices. Sadly we missed the last Netherlord by a matter of seconds it was such a big hit that some desperate French man forced Andy to sell him the one out of the display case. but hey MAT BOUGHT TOYS! and another tick.
It was at this point Rob decided to join us the workaholic had missed the #Warmongers meet due to his blue foam addiction, and the need to push this on other people. Which I’m all for frankly. But it was good to have a catch up and compare purchases which were pretty meagre on Robs side of things, he did however point out Mierce miniatures were in attendance with some of their wares, so with this in mind we made our way over to the stand Via Forge World to enable Phil to part with some more money of some old armour variants for his Ultrmarines. Now I’m not going to talk to much about Mierce here mainly because I was so distracted by all the shiney I don’t recall much of what was said, luckily Phil was in attendance and did most of the talking whilst I and several other others of the crew frankly perved at the utterly beautiful miniatures on display. I managed to hold off buying anything here but mainly because at this point I was influx as to whether I was going to do Beastmen of Lizardmen for my Mordheim warband.
To West Wind Productions, now if you haven’t heard of them why not and where the hell have you been? They are the creators of the great Empire of the Dead Victorian/Steam punk skirmish game which has some great looking starter sets available with factions ranging from Vampire Slayers to Bedlam Inmates and Jack the Ripper, more on this game to come shortly as me and Phil face off with 2 opposing factions and a run down of the rules. We got chatting to Wendy whilst on the stand discussing our aspirations and explaining how much we liked what they had and what they were doing. It was at this point that Wendy filled us in on their upcoming update of Secrets of the Third Reich, One that got Neil and I pretty excited, I mean its a game that has Nazi Zombies for crying out loud what’s not to get excited about. And with its update imminent it is only set to get better. Wendy also gave us a quick update on their latest Kickstarter, War & Empire a 15mm Ancient Era Wargame, that got us all a little bit excited and I can foresee a few arguments about who gets to play which army. But more on this to come.
As the day was drawing to a close we headed to wards KR Multicase and its mountain of blue foam and card board… Via Forge World (again!) for me to acquire Calas Typhon to go with my Deathshroud. Phil also needed to make a stop at Studio McVey to have a quick catch up with Mike, and we dropped in on Sphere wars.
After a quick chat with the fine people at KR including Rob… Again! and a sit down on their fine chairs made of the finest blue foam available, Phil and I walked away with an X-Wing carry case each, reviews to follow, I will say now its bloody brilliant and has got me looking at KR cases for my other armies now as well.
It was at this point I took the opportunity to grab a few snaps of some of the stunning games boards on show at Salute, I am only sorry I didn’t stop long enough to ask a bit more about them, but I think you’ll all agree it doesn’t make them any less brilliant.
Oh and I bumped into someone who was clearly less than impressed with my last performance against Phil in X-Wing.
So with swag in hand we made our way to the Bar for a much needed rest and a post Salute catch up over a beer, or Pepsi in my case (other fizzy drinks brans are available) all before our mammoth 4 hour drive home, not helped by football traffic or Phil’s inadequate bladder.
So in review I thoroughly enjoyed my first Salute I didn’t pick up everything I wanted I had hoped to walk away with some Malifaux items but just couldn’t make up my mind on the day. I had also hoped to pick up some bits for Mordheim but again my own indecisiveness was the downfall there.
I did how ever tick a few of my boxes, I got my Pathfinders, Some X-Wing Shizz all be it just extra dice but that still counts, a gang for Necromunda and DEATHSHROUD. I didn’t foresee Calas but frankly I should of known the Pretty black boxes were just too much for me to resist.
Oh and the awesome KR case. Out of everything I have to say the Heresy Minis have become my purchase of the show and I really cant wait to build and paint them let alone play with them.
And its with some great contacts made and empty pockets I wish you farewell Salute for another year.
A week or so ago Mat told you all about how he turned a Boba Fett lunch box into an X-Wing Miniatures Game figure case. Seeing as we’re both completely mad for the game set in a Galaxy far, far away (Battle Report 4 coming soon), I decided I’d make one as well. Being the good guys I opted for an equally good and virtuous character in contrast to the dastardly Boba Fett. Of course I refer to none other than that true hero of the Rebellion…R2D2.
I aside from being the brains behind the Rebellion, I opted for Artoo because of its simple shape. The object of the exercise was to create a two layer figure case that would – eventually – hold a squadron of X-Wings or a mix of a dozen snubfighter sized models. I admit to going into the build a little blind because, well, how hard can it be? It was debatable whether or not I could comfortably fit the fighters and their bases in the case but I was gonna…ahem…wing it.
So, what do you need? Well a lunchbox or some description. Go for metal, it’ll keep your models nice and safe and won’t crack if you drop it. You’ll also need some egg crate foam, a glue gun, some decent scissors – I used kitchen scissors.
It isn’t rocket science so let’s get down to business. Assuming you’ve bought a piece of foam big enough, you should be able to get at least 5 sections of foam that’ll fit a case the size of the one I’m used – 19cm x 13.5cm x 8cm – I know I could get 5 because I managed to bodge one of the layers and had to cut a fresh piece. I opted for placing the tin on the foam and scoring the foam lightly around the edge of the tin then cutting the shape out before trimming it down by a few mil’ to fit inside the case.
Keep the first insert handy as you can use it as a guide for the other three but it really is as simple as that. Once you’ve got all 4 pieces of sponge out use your glue gun to glue the first piece into the bottom of the case, making sure it fits comfortably, you don’t want it too tight or it’ll eventually break free of the glue.
As you can see from the picture above the case holds 3 X-Wings and their stands quite comfortably. If you were willing to carry your stands separately you could fit 6 fighters per layer in the case. And as 12 is the magic number, that’s pretty good going.
Now, the dividing layers you can glue together if you like but I opted not to as I wanted to option of taking equipment and pilot cards with me for games between the layers, so I knew they were with the models. This is specifically games I’ve planned ahead for so I don’t need to take the entire equipment deck.
If you wanted to use one of the layers to transport something a little larger than an X-Wing, I’d recommend having a thinner piece of foam pre-cut and handy that you can swap out as the foam Mat and I opted for was pretty rigid and that went double with two pieces together. Using a thinner piece will allow your Millennium Falcon or whatever a little more room to breathe.
Finally – and this is the fiddly bit – place the last piece in the lid of your lunchbox figure case, but don’t glue it in place yet. Partially close the lid so you can see where the sponge insert will meet the lip of the tin which will prevent it closing fully. This will all need cutting away so the case will close but it’ll still afford you sufficient protection for your models. Cut it away in stages. Removing too much – particularly from the bottom – will mean the case will close but any models near that end of the case won’t be afforded full protection. That said, don’t be paranoid about it. Providing you’ve got some fairly rigid sponge you’ll get good grip. Once you’ve got your final piece of sponge cut to size, glue it into the lid.
And that’s the case done. It works well but only for snubfighters – and really only Rebel ones at that. I currently have the Falcon on bottom layer and 3 X-Wings on the top but it’s an iffy fit and I won’t be leaving it that way for long. The Falcon on its own with the stand and all the associated cards would fit fine. Equally a squadron of snubfighters will go in the case no problem. And with some careful positioning, their stands will too.
It’s robust and the foam really holds the models in place. However, the lasers on the X-Wings do tend to get caught on the foam which is bit frustrating and I’d advise caution when removing them as there’s little give and if they break it’s an expensive model to replace. And value for money of the case is a little shaky as well when you take into account the lunchbox, the foam and other supplies.
I’ll be honest – if you’re going for X-Wing hardcore, the laser cut trays is probably the way to go. The models are just too expensive to risk anything happening to them. However, the case is tough enough that you can put a fair few models in there and they’ll arrive in one piece. Plus the size of the case makes for very convenient transportation. Which is kinda nice.
If, however, the last cut stuff is your bag or you’d prefer a standard figure case then the KR Multicase range is available from Firestorm Games priced from £9.99.
Regular readers will know that Phil & I are a touch into the X-Wing Miniatures Game. Just a touch, mind. It’s not like we’ve started reading the fiction, watching the movies or humming the theme…not a one. Promise.
After our first game I got thinking about figure cases, and it was mainly down to the fact Phil turned up to that game with a tiny card board box within which he had everything he needed for the game, plus a some scenery. And that was it. I realised that I didn’t need a bloody great figure case to lug all my X-Wing stuff about in. As Phil and I text one another back and forth (provoking the usual boyfriend banter from our wives), we hit on the same idea. We both had Empire Strikes Back lunch boxes as children which would have been roughly big enough to fit some foam and fighters in.
So to eBay I took myself and looked up Star Wars lunch boxes, and low and behold I was rewarded with a plethora of options, including an old Empire Strikes Back lunch box… which sold for £32.56. As tempted as I was the exercise was as much about budget as it was convenience.
Once again texts flew back and forth and within minutes we’d found metal character lunch boxes. Being Rebel scum Phil opted for R2D2 and being the Imperials with a penchant for a certain Mandalorian I snapped up Boba Fett for a trifling £8.99. That may seem expensive for a smallish child’s lunch box but don’t forget licensed products are always more expensive than they should be.
Between us we then purchased a sheet of egg box foam for £7.00 which was more than enough to do the job. So total spend on materials thus far: £12.49.
So first up, using the thick card make yourself a template, I did this by drawing around the outside of the lunch box and then cutting out the shape. Bare in mind though the inside is going to be smaller so you will need to trim it down until it fits nicely inside your chosen case.
Now you have your template you need to use this to measure out your bits of foam and cut out the basic size and shape, you can use a sharp knife or your scissors for this bit I found it easier to use the knife at this point.
Now holding your template to your cut out section of foam you need to trim it to size. I originally started off using the knife to do this bit but quickly found the scissors were a lot easier to use for the kind of shapes you need for some of the odd-shaped tins.
Once you have done one section of foam check how it fits in your case as you don’t want to do all pieces and find none of it fits.
If it all fits okay repeat this method for the piece that will fit inside your lid, but again bear in mind you will need to make this bit ever so slightly smaller to ensure it all closes nicely, and make sure you take a decent size strip off the bottom so it won’t get in the way of the hinge.
I have created a multi-layer case thinking I could get 2 layers of models in, but more on this later.
The best way to do this is to glue 2 sections of the basic cut foam together back to back using your hot glue gun. I would say here make sure you’re quick as once the glue goes cold your kind of screwed and have to peel it off and start again, which makes a real mess of the foam. So make sure the glue is nice and hot, it’ll give you a few seconds of sliding about before it sets.
Now repeat what you did earlier with your template, at this point I would recommend discarding the knife in favour of the scissors if you haven’t up to this point, as trying to cut through 2 pieces of the foam can be a pain in the arse with a knife. Not to mention the blade will be pretty severely blunted.
Finally, get your glue gun out again and glue the base section and lid section into place if you so wish, I have to admit I didn’t do this bit as I am using the lid to store certain card templates much like I do with my GW figure cases. But otherwise you’re done and ready to load up you brand spanking new Star Wars themed X-Wing carry case.
Now to conclude, as I mentioned I didn’t actually glue my foam in. This is due to a bit of an issue with the size of the case and TIE Fighter models. Due to the stabilizers on the TIE Fighters being rather sticky-outy, I wasn’t able to utilise the middle layer as it would have frankly crushed my models, so I am left with but a single layer of miniatures. All that said it’s not a huge issue as I think I should be able to get at least 10 or 12 models in. and it still looks damn cool. But it does mean, in the short-term, I’ll be replacing the double layer of foam with a single layer, which will allow me to fit bases and flight stands in the case tidily. I’ll also be making a larger case in the not too distant future and be taking my sandwiches to work in the most secure lunch box ever…
As an alternative to egg box foam a range of KR Multicase & Battlefoam foam are available from Firestorm Games.