After collecting just a few Warhammer miniatures, I was stuck with a problem: how the heck does one go about transporting armies? Transporting all those models to the battlefield without breaking them or chipping my cool paint scheme was going to be hard! At first, I tried throwing them all in a shoebox with a bit of foam inside. That was certainly a cheap solution but did not really solve anything.
So I set out to research all the possible options and I have found the very best.
What is the best transporting solution for Warhammer armies?
Overall there are two different solutions when it comes to transporting your Warhammer army: a magnetic or a foam solution. Both are viable and have their separate pros and cons, but the magnetic solution is by far the superior option if you look at the overall pros and cons.
But what are the exact pros and cons of each solution? Why is a magnetic solution better? And how can you make or buy one? I will cover all of that in the article below.
Foam vs magnetic transporting
There are a lot of foam solutions ranging from a very cheap DIY to deluxe versions with unique foam-cutouts for your exact army and models. The basic principle is some kind of container that is filled out with foam layers (the picture of the GW case below is a good example). In the foam, there are several cutouts you can place miniatures into. The foam will protect your miniature from bouncing around so they will be safe in transport. Simple and effective.
But the foam cases also has several problems:
- You have to individually handle each miniature when you put them in the case and when you set them up on the battlefield again. This takes a lot of time, and time at the table is not something you want to waste on fiddling your minis out of the case. Also, the more you handle your minis the more of a chance there is that you drop one, bend something or that your skin oil rubs of on the paint.
- The foam is never really snuck, so you will experience your miniatures bouncing around a bit inside the foam. This can lead to damage in the long run (especially if your foam is not cut for the exact miniatures in them).
- When the foam is snuck around the miniature, it can put pressure on it. Nowadays there are a lot of weak points on the flimsy (but cool and dynamic) GW miniatures that can easily break in the wrong foam solution.
A magnetic solution solves almost all of these problems. In its simplicity, the magnetic solution is a container with a metal bottom in it. Underneath all of your miniatures, you make sure to have a magnet of some kind. Instead of being laid down in the foam, they just stand on the metal while you transport them.
A magnetic solution is better because:
- Once you place a miniature in the container, it is only the base touching the metal underneath. There is no pressure put on the actual model.
- If you have magnetic movement trays, you can put the whole unit into the container in one go. This in turns means that you do not have to touch each model and it will be much quicker to pack down and set up units once you get to your game.
- You can store your units in your carrying container, making it much less of a hassle to get ready for a game. When you store in foam, you cannot see your models. When you store them upright in a magnetic solution, that is a possibility.
I think the benefits are obvious: you save time, you make it less of a burden to actually get to play with your miniatures and they are transported in a safer way.
Different magnetic transporting solutions for Warhammer armies
Cheap DIY option:
A ‘do-it-yourself’ was the magnetic solution I started with, and if I can build it so can you (I am read not a DIY type).
This is how I made it:
- I found a plastic container that had enough hight to fit my biggest model in the army. Any big old thing with a flat bottom will do.
- I bought a metal sheet that had metal on one side and glue on the other and put it on the bottom of my plastic container (you can find it here).
- Underneath all my miniatures I used a magnetic sheet (you can find it here). You can do it with rare earth magnets, but because of how GW makes their bases they are kind of fiddly to get in and because the bases are elevated, the magnets will not be in close contact with the metal sheet.
The result was pretty useful, considering I had only spent about x £ on it. Below is a gif of a metal plate (from my bought case) with my magnetized miniatures on top. Watch how hard you can shake the miniatures with magnets on it!
Below I have added two videos:
- In the first one you can see how I attach the magnet sheet under the normal round GW bases.
- In the second one you can see two boxes where I have laid metal sheet in the bottom.
Options if you want to buy a magnetic carrying case
You can upgrade the DIY method in several ways: get a better case, put some straps on it and have multiple layers.
At the end of the day, I just found the big case too bulky to carry around (and the clear plastic was quite a mistake, considering how many weird stares I got on the bus…) and I decided to buy a professional solution.
My research led me to those 3 different magnetic transport options for wargaming:
- A-Case: A somewhat expensive solution (at about $125 ). They have stopped selling their original version (which had some minor bugs) and now have the “A Case+” version on the market that alleviates some of the problems of the first design. The case is too small for my taste, and you are probably going to have problems fitting bigger models and horde armies in there. For smaller games or elite armies, this can work out fine. Is it better than anything you could produce yourself? Be advised that they also produce different sizes and are doing a Kickstarter with a new type of product.
Tablewarproduces are similar, if a bit more professional, carry case. They look sturdy, good and the reviews are generally positive. Prices range from $90 and up to $180, but still not enough to go from away from the DIY option in my opinion.
- Battlefoam in the form of the Magna Rack. This is the deluxe version if you want a magnetic, solid and all around professional carry case. The system is modular, the whole rack system comes out of the bag, you can carry your whole army around on the tray at tournaments, and the whole thing fits in the bag like a glove. It is just very good.
If you are not a DIY person, I truly suggest you go with the Magna Rack. I ended up going with the 720 Molle version myself (I can get about 3500 points of destruction in that beast). I have tested it for well over a year now, and have only very minor complaints. It has basically solved all my transporting needs, my storage needs and my display needs!
Granted, a price tag of $245 was hard to swallow at first, but after having used it for so long I can say it is well worth the price.
When is foam superior to the magnetic solution
- I have tried transporting older metal models in my Magna Rack back, and boy was that a bad idea. My big wyvern fell over in the instant the car hit a bump and it proceeded to knock over all models in the bag. Only go magnetic with all plastic armies!
- I ride with my Magna Rack on the bike, but it is quite unwieldy to have to the bag slung over the shoulder. If you need to ride a long way with your army, foam could be a better option for you (or just a smaller bag I guess).
- If you ever need to check your army on a plane, you NEED a foam solution. I could be tempted to check a small magnetic case in as hand luggage, but I would never leave it in the hands of anyone else.
There are so many it is crazy!
- Games Workshop
- KR Multicase (with the worst website ever)
- Sabol Design
- The Tyrant Army Case
- Safe and Sound
What magnets should I use beneath my miniatures?
I suggest you go with the magnetic sheet instead of the rare earth magnets /Neodymium magnets. Because GW bases are hollow, the rare earth will sit slightly above the surface. This, in turn, will severely limit how strong the magnetic connection. The magnetic sheet will be flush with the surface and create a stronger bond. If you do go with the rare earth, the easiest solution for glueing it to the base is with a hot glue thingy (metal glue is not your friend in this instance).
Would it not be better to use a magnet underneath instead of a metal sheet?
No, I tried that at first. I quickly found out that the magnet sheet below will act weirdly with the magnets from above. Basically, the miniatures will not have a good grip. Magnets on metal works. Magnets on magnets is weird.