Switch Theme:

Warhammer Carry Case Design  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
Author Message

Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.

Made in gb
Fresh-Faced New User


I’ve recently been given a brief to design a Warhammer carry case and was hoping for some advice / council. Most of my experience with war gaming is from school or friends’ houses so my knowledge is limited.

Just looking for basic preference information, such as how many figures are usually transported? What’s usually taken such as figures, tools, boards, dice etc.? Does anybody use the Games Workshop’s Figure cases and do they have any issues? Or what do you use instead?

Thanks, any input is much appreciated
Made in gb
Quick-fingered Warlord Moderatus

United Kingdom

Number of figures will depend on the system, points and army being played. If you want a generic idea, have a look at the battleforce and Start Collecting! boxes on GW's website.

I use KR Multicase cases, but Tabletop Tyrant and Feldherr are also good.
Made in ca
Trustworthy Shas'vre

 NeverEnoughDoomWheels wrote:

I’ve recently been given a brief to design a Warhammer carry case and was hoping for some advice / council. Most of my experience with war gaming is from school or friends’ houses so my knowledge is limited.

Just looking for basic preference information, such as how many figures are usually transported? What’s usually taken such as figures, tools, boards, dice etc.? Does anybody use the Games Workshop’s Figure cases and do they have any issues? Or what do you use instead?

Thanks, any input is much appreciated

Okay, you've got a ton of design decisions to make. The important ones are case design and tray design.

Case Design: There seems to be 2 major designs: Hard case (clamshell) or reinforced fabric (with flat plastic inserts). Reinforced fabric has the advantage of adding pockets to the exterior for books, dice and such, while clamshell is more robust and probably easier to manufacture, though with a larger start-up cost. Reinforced fabric is going to be more labor intensive but with smaller start-up costs.

Tray Design: This boils down to pre-cut holes in the foam or pre-scored foam that the end user can configure himself. The advantage of pre-cut is space efficiency as the walls between cells can be smaller. Pre-scored has the advantage of custom configuration for oddly shaped miniatures. Both designs can be of varying thickness.

In my experience, tournament level play generally can involve as many as 100-150 infantry scale miniatures and potentially dozens of larger miniatures, including fairly large tanks. So a single case probably can't manage a tournament level army unless it's very large. I generally needed 2 of GW's clamshell cases for a tournament army, and those cases held 108 infantry figures each in pre-cut holes, and I had to remove sections of tray, sometimes across 2 levels of trays, to hold vehicles and monsters.

It's probably best to have a ratio of 2 thin trays for infantry to 1 thick tray for vehicles - assuming you're selling the trays bundled with the foam.

I recommend checking out Battlefoam's website http://www.battlefoam.com/. They're what I use these days (reinforced fabric cases with pre-scored and pre-cut trays, you can buy individual trays for a mix of what you need.
Made in ca
Eternally-Stimulated Slaanesh Dreadnought


+1 for Battlefoam.

GW cases are flimsy and the foam loadout they come with is unsuitable for anything but Infantry, really.

The Fall of Kronstaat IV
Война Народная | Voyna Narodnaya | The People's War - 2,898pts painted (updated 18/09/19)
Волшебная Сказка | Volshebnaya Skazka | A Fairy Tale (updated 07/10/19, ep9 - Разорение | Razoreniye | Downfall)
Kabal of The Violet Heart (updated 18/09/19)

You know, if there's one thing I've learnt from being in the Army, it's never ignore a pooh-pooh. I knew a Major who got pooh-poohed; made the mistake of ignoring the pooh-pooh. He pooh-poohed it! Fatal error! 'Cause it turned out all along that the soldier who pooh-poohed him had been pooh-poohing a lot of other officers who pooh-poohed their pooh-poohs. In the end, we had to disband the regiment.
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps

Battlefoam is great. Pricey for foam, but it's the best you're gonna get. I actually have bought custom foam inserts from them for my GW cases, makes them actually useful!
Made in us
Ancient Chaos Terminator

Eye of Terror

Carrying cases are a real issue for designers. There's a competition between utility and capacity at play, it can't be easy to understand what would really appeal to a user.

I'm a fringe case, my interest is primarily in painting and collecting models. My wife is uncomfortable with the idea of having them on display, so I keep models in carrying cases so they can be stored conveniently. Also, I sometimes need to transport armies locally / over large distances in North America and Europe. So being able to organize models, retrieve the right ones at the right time, and know that they won't break along the way is important to me.

My armies are stored in carrying cases. I use different solutions for infantry and tanks. Currently, I'm using 7 of the following for storing miniatures:


Each one has 6 foam inserts that store 36 models each for a total of 216 models per case. 216 may sound like a large number, but that's low for the way many people play the game. My cases are filled to capacity and I need to use smaller cases to deal with the overflow, which creates a secondary issue for storing the cases themselves. Since I end up with 2 sizes, I can't have a single stack where they all reside.

As far as the foam inserts go, they are sufficient for storing a standard game model. Where they fail is with larger models and detail pieces. For example, I have a Grey Knights army that has larger "Terminator" models with books attached at the top of the neck area. The Terminators don't fit into the standard slots and the books come off when I do.

There's 2 ways I've addressed this problem: by altering the foam trays and by purchasing a different carrying case. For the former, I don't like altering foam trays. It's possible to rip part of the foam tray out to allow larger models to be stored, but this causes the trays to degrade faster and looks ugly.

The other case I bought is a Crusade carrying case. It's the current version used by Games Workshop.


What I liked about it is the collapsing foam and the carrying capacity. It promised to hold about the same number of figures as the ones I currently used, plus it has this collapsible foam that is supposed to be gentler on the figures. In practice, the foam still knocks those books off the Terminators shoulders, and I've never been able to fit 216 models into one. It could be that I'm using it wrong, but it's a carrying case - it's not supposed to require a lot of figuring out to work.

Something that can address the problem of variable size miniatures would be valuable. Not really a fan of Games Workshop's transport systems, feels like the design skews heavily towards miniatures of a specific size / shape and without adjusting effectively for others.

For tanks and larger models, I have been using these things from SnapWare.


It's easy to understand how they work, there's a couple latches on each tray. You literally snap them on and off to add more trays.

The inserts you see in the picture are made of cardboard, I threw them out and replaced them with high-density foam and styrene to protect the models in transport. On several of the trays, I added a thin sheet of metal on the bottom to allow me to keep miniatures in place with magnets.

What I like about them is the modularity. I can add a new tray whenever I want to increase the carrying capacity. It stops me from having to buy new carrying cases because each tray attaches to another. I also like the fact I can customize it. I have slots for specific tank variants and know that details won't break off. The whole system is durable, it fell out of a car moving about 15 mph once and the case + everything inside survived.

But what's really been cool is the fact the snap fit stuff can also serve as terrain for games. I like that I can pull out my army have a box that's just over a square inch to put on the table, and that I can control the height of the building. Many of my armies rely on mechanics that require line of sight blocking terrain, and one of the things gamers often lack is a personal collection of scenery. When a carrying case can be more than a carrying case, that's pretty exciting.

Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka


A few thoughts to consider:

1) I would look at the following company product lines. Battlefoam - KR Multicase - Games Workshop. All three produce cases for carrying miniatures with variations on designs and contents, a short overview;

a) GW - focuses more on a "briefcase" design overall with hard clamshell design and foam tray inserts. The foam trays are precut with slots for standard infantry or pluck-foam for tanks/monsters.

b) Battlefoam - fabric lined plastic cases, though they've also some much tougher ones too. They have their own foam inserts which are a firmer foam, but still foam. They focus on the idea of shapes for each model and offer a lot of diversity in foam shape and design and customising for customers.

c) KR Multicase - again they are foam based with custom shapes and custom ordering for customers; however they've also the added trick that they have reinforced cardboard boxes. These are either carry cases in their own right, but can also be stacked into fabric lined plastic reinforced cases and also aluminium cases.
Their approach is that you can build your "case" up out of multiple units of their card cases; which lets you swap and switch content and means that you're not dealing with a tower of foam at the end; and instead have a stack of card cases.

Note that another popular approach that has been growing are magnetic trays. These are essentially a sheet of metal with sides and (or just a frame) which lets players put magnets on tehir model bases. The models then stick to the metal tray for transporting. They are popular because without foam they can pack a LOT more models into the same space.
These are not as suitable for bouncy transport such as air or long distance car etc..; but in general they are good for casual carrying. they also give the bonus for tournaments that most of the army can fit on one or two trays; making it a lot quicker to stick the models on a tray and carry that tray around table to table.

2) As a gamer I find that cases with pockets for additional storage are very desirable. Being able to have dedicated spots for dice, books, tablet, paper, counters etc.... In addition to things like water and food.

3) A lot of the design depends on what you go for - carry cast, briefcast, backpack etc.... There are even luggage roller designs out there now for those taking big armies or armies with lots of larger models in them.

In general there's clearly a range of scales needed. You can fit a killteam or Shadspire army in a handheld case, whilst a full Monstrous Tyranid army is going to need a bigger case and multiple layers as even with magnetic trays there are a lot of bigger models to store.
Age of Sigmar is also showing that there are quite a few models which are not suitable for magnets as they have a very thin base connection. Air units are often like this such as Khinari thus even with a magnetic tray approach the option to have both magnetic trays and foam trays would be very desirable.

So in general if this is a once off case ask the person commissioning you for what they want in a case. If its for a company then you are either picking one niche to support and doing it darn well (eg you could focus on cases for Necromunda - designed to hold lots of terrain and boards and fewer models); or you're approaching it as a system (like KR and Battlefoam do) where you want a simplistic core approach which is basically modular in design so that customers of various backgrounds and needs can easily select what they require.
Remembering that many gamers have more than one need; thus having a complete modular system makes it much easier to get someone to buy into one bit and expand into the others.

Simple things like Battlefoams ability to zipper smaller cases together into bigger single blocks to carry; or how KR Multicase puts side pockets on their bags which can hold their accessory and dice tray box.

A Blog in Miniature - now featuring reviews of many new Black Library books (latest Novellas) 
Forum Index » Dakka Discussions
Go to: