Monday, September 19, 2011

Tools: Feldherr Transport Cases and Foam Trays

It's now come that time to celebrate the first year of the Dark Workshop's introduction to the digital universe known as the internet. To celebrate this glorious achievement, small though it is, I bring to you a look into protecting all the work that we hobbyists do.

   I've finally come to the point where I have more than enough models to keep me busy for years, and enough models built and painted that I feel the need to protect them during transit. So in my quest to find some foam trays to hold my minis and a case to carry them, I stumbled upon a friendly German company called Feldherr. The prices weren't too bad and the free shipping got my interest, so I decided to see what they were all about.
   At the time I was ordering, there were some deals going on, so I bought into their Feldgrau bag deal and got two. Along with the carry bag, it also came with five 25mm infantry sized foam trays per bag, a 60mm dreadnought sized foam tray, a dice bag and a paint brush. That's a lot of foam, and it looks a little something like this:
   The foam trays come in two parts; the tray, and the bottom. Most of them are self-adhesive, which translates into you have to stick them together yourself. Most of the infantry foam I got already had small compartments cut out, but I did get one rastered one. The dreadnought sized trays always come rastered, so you'll have to pluck out the shape of the compartment you want.
Raster 60mm foam tray
Raster 60mm foam tray
    I found that starting at one corner and peeling away the backing at a diagonal until I had to go straight across was the easiest for removing the protective film without getting the foam tray stuck to myself. Their adhesive is impressively sticky stuff and if it touches anything that isn't foam, it'll stick and not let go. Once it's on the foam, it holds well enough that you would actually have to try to remove the bottom from the tray, but it doesn't stick so much that if you want to pluck the foam off the bottom it's not too much of a hassle to do.
25mm cut foam tray
Done before adhering to bottom
   For the pre-cut infantry foam, I made sure to pull the foam compartments out before sticking them to the bottom to save some effort. For the rastered foam however, I just left it intact and pulled the backing off first and then stuck it to the bottom. Removing the small foam pieces from the bottom wasn't too bad, the adhesive material didn't cling to the bottom at all when I plucked them out from both the infantry sized tray and the dreadnought sized tray. Like I said above, there's enough stick to keep the bottom from falling off but not too much that when you want to remove pieces it's not difficult.
60mm Raster holding my Chapter's dreads
My new lootas and burnas have a comfy home
   As for the pre-cut infantry bases, the foam trays are only about half an inch shorter in length than Games Workshop infantry bases. This does mean however that the compartments the models get stuck in are slightly smaller and tighter fitting. This is good if you don't want your models moving around too much, but bad if you have delicate parts extruding from your minis in various directions. A few cuts of the foam with a sharp knife usually fixes that however.
One Ork mob in a single tray
Three Fire Warrior Teams can comfortably fit
   The case itself can hold five infantry sized foam trays. The bag is only deep enough to fully hold four 25mm foam trays, so the fifth will be sticking up over the zipper line. This is however to apply additional pressure on top of the foam trays so that they don't move around during transit. This is something to keep in mind when placing your models into the foam trays and may influence how you play on cutting them to fit. So far in my testing of this carrier, I've had more models damaged on the battlefield than in this case.

   As for the dice bag and brushes that I got as freebies, the dice bags are really nice, and hold a fair amount of dice, especially the larger D10s, D12s, D20s I keep around for Deathwatch. The paint brushes on the other hand I'm not as happy with. The bristles are too coarse and thick for my liking and don't release paint as freely as I need. The only nice part about them are the handles. I'll stick to my regular brushes for painting, that's for sure.
   Overall, I'm very satisfied with the foam and cases. The foam really does a fantastic job of protecting my models by keeping them solidly in one place and the travel bags are big enough to carry whatever army I want to bring; one bag for infantry, and another for vehicles. One infantry bag can hold 180 minis, and that's more than enough even for my Orks at 1850. Another thing I liked about the company was that they had excellent tracking for their shipping. The tracking number they provided actually worked, and the site I was sent to showed the progress from being packed to arrival, all with text information boxes and a pictograph. I'm very happy with how well everything was handled and the product I received. Well, that's it for me today, onto the next project.

Signing out,

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