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TOPIC: Foam Fetish

Foam Fetish 24 Jul 2017 00:38 #251578

Regular readers will know I have a bit of a foam fetish. I’m sure it started when I discovered a hand-painted figure I’d slaved over had worn, even through a coat of varnish. Now I’m not happy with anything painted, no matter who painted it, unless I can be confident it’s cushioned in acres of sweet, soft foam.

This proves a bit of an issue if you start collecting Fantasy Flight’s pre-painted Star Wars miniatures or, indeed, miniatures of any kind. For a lot of games regularly-shaped foam pockets are sufficient. They’re great for storing X-Wing fighters on stands, for example, ready to pull out and put on the table for play. But if you want to store large ships, or Armada ships, or anything from Games Workshop’s increasingly complex and spiky figure range, you’re out of luck.

For these you need foam trays with shaped pockets. And here you run in to two problems. First, you normally want to store something alongside the figures: bases, tokens and whatnot. But what you can actually store in the tray is down to the whim of the producer. Second, shaped foam is often phenomenally expensive.

So imagine my delight when I discovered German company Feldherr. They make shaped trays for a variety of games, including two that were causing me problems, Armada and Silver Tower. And their trays are astonishingly cheap. Surely, I figured, there must be a catch?

And there is a small catch. When you get their trays it’s clear they’re using a lower grade of foam than most of their competitors. Other trays I’ve had from other manufacturers stand stiff and proud if you lift them unsupported. Feldherr trays flop limply instead. Indeed with the thinner trays you have to be a little careful that the droop doesn’t spill your precious contents all over the hard, harsh table and floor.

 However, this is a pretty small catch, one easily remedied by simply making sure you lift each tray with two hands. And in return they’re not only cheap but have another overriding quality. They’ve been designed for maximum flexibility and convenience for the gamer.

One of the best examples of this is an Armada tray for the Wave 3 flotilla models. It comes with space for four of the ships. Because that’s what most shaped foam does. It’s designed for the convenience of the manufacturer, who wants to design as few trays as possible and sell you as many as possible. So trays tend to come in tandem with release waves, or to hold multiple models of the same type. And they often don’t hold much apart from the models themselves, forcing you to find storage solutions for other components.

This tray, though will hold two different types of flotilla, both the Imperial Gozanti Cruisers and the Rebel Transports. And it doesn’t just stop there. It’ll hold CR-90 Corvette models from the base game, Imperial Raiders from wave 2 and – at a push – you can squeeze in an Imperial Light Cruiser from wave 5 too. For maximum convenience all the models stay on their stands and there’s room for bases, dials and tokens too.

This flexibility extends through a lot of the trays they sell. There’s an Interdictor tray that comes with an insert to make it store a Gladiator-class Star Destroyer too, for example. They do no less than three different trays to fit an Upsilon shuttle for X-Wing, all taking different supporting models alongside it.

 

This is probably starting to sound like a shill in exchange for some sample trays. But here’s the thing. I was so impressed with the samples they sent me that after having used them to transport ships to combat one night, I went out and bought set and box to keep them in right away. I’m waiting on their Armada wave 6 solutions with bated breath. These are just really good trays at really good value. If you’ve any interest at all in storing components in foam, I strongly suggest you take a look.

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Foam Fetish 24 Jul 2017 11:54 #251579

www.foambymail.com/charcoal-pick-and-pluck-foam.html

I bought 8 sheets of this plus 8 sheets of "egg foam" style foam as a backer. Turned the wavy side down (after cutting) into large tubs and stacked my models and terrain.

My shit is nigh indestructible, especially in a Plano box

image-18.jpg


Considering that I have hundreds upon hundreds of painted models and terrain pieces and perhaps a thousand more still to do, this article struck me as reassuring that my OCD in protecting my work is not isolated to just myself



For smaller stuff I use bricks of foam and cut them with a long depth door cutter.

image-17.jpg
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Foam Fetish 25 Jul 2017 13:16 #251645

I liked the Feldherr foam so much, I bought the company!

In seriousness, I have liked the Feldherr foam for Armada, and, for what it is, it isn't inherently outrageous price wise. When I cared more, what was more of an issue is waiting for a reseller to have stuff for a new wave here, which meant wait times beyond those required to design and manufacture the trays themselves. But It seems unrealistic to expect otherwise.
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Foam Fetish 26 Jul 2017 08:53 #251670

I'm a huge fan of The APC by Portable Warfare.
www.portablewarfare.com/products/

They're pretty cheap, easy to label, stack well, and are perfect size to grab-and-go. I use their size as a restriction on how many minis I'll have for a game or faction. No more than two APCs of BB and DB minis. Each AoS faction only gets one...and I only buy minis that will fit inside or can be converted to do so. I've currently got two empty ones maybe some new AoS factions...after all my current minis are painted. I think I might go Nurgle and Ironjawz

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Foam Fetish 26 Jul 2017 14:20 #251708

Never heard of those...and now I wish I did.
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Foam Fetish 26 Jul 2017 15:07 #251709

Mr. White wrote:
I'm a huge fan of The APC by Portable Warfare.
www.portablewarfare.com/products/

They're pretty cheap, easy to label, stack well, and are perfect size to grab-and-go. I use their size as a restriction on how many minis I'll have for a game or faction. No more than two APCs of BB and DB minis. Each AoS faction only gets one...and I only buy minis that will fit inside or can be converted to do so. I've currently got two empty ones maybe some new AoS factions...after all my current minis are painted. I think I might go Nurgle and Ironjawz


Jeff, I'm actually looking for something like this I can use for Silver Tower, now that I'm painting it. How many of those APC things would I need for that game?
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Foam Fetish 26 Jul 2017 15:29 #251712

You could get all the adversaries in one. However, in the pick-n-pluck foam you may have to opt for having one large cavity for several minis instead of one cavity for each. What I mean is, usually with minis, folks will pick-n-pluck an individual spot for each mini. This ends up wasting a lot of space and is a habit carried over from the days of only having metal minis. I plucked a larger square and put all my tzaangors in it. Another long rectangle for all the acolytes. We aren't dealing with metal minis here so the likelihood of paint chipping is very low. Especially since they're simply resting in a box on a shelf most of the time. Even if the minis touch or rub a little they'll be fine.
I can take a picture this weekend if the above doesn't make sense.

Also, I think battlefoam sells a foam specifically for Silver Tower. It's custom cut and fits in the base box fine, but it doesn't account for the exotic adversaries or any custom additions.

FYI - Since my Silver Tower models also do time as an AoS warband I've sort of split them up as so:
APC AoS Disciples of Tzeentch - tzeentch models from Silver Tower base game + all tzeentch ST exotics + acolytes from hammerhal (to be purchased) + tzeentch models I like (such as the changeling)
APC AoS Blades of Khorne - all khrone models from the AoS base game (some converted to fit) + khorne adversaries from hammerhal + slaughterpriest + slambo
APC AoS Nurgle (coming soon) - All nurgle models from start collecting set + blightkings from hammerhal
Silver Tower base game box - Random Silver Tower specific models like gates/portals, floating discs and books, grots, skaven death runner, etc.
Small plastic Cheesex box - Silver Tower base game heroes + custom heroes (basically the collection of WHQ heroes)

What this all means is that if I want to play Silver Tower, I need to grab the ST base game, the Cheesex case, and the Disciples of Tzeentch APC. If I want to play Hammerhal I'll need the Hammerhal box, the Cheesex case, and all three APCs (Tzeentch, Khorne, Nurgle). So, I'm grabbing a few extra boxes to play the WHQ games, but the upside comes when I then want to play AoS...I only need grab the appropriate APC.

Another big upside in all of this is that each of these storage solutions are one tray deep. Years past, I'd have to unpack trays to get to desired models down below, then repack. Then unpack all the trays again to put the models back after play...and pack the trays all back in. It was a chore. My current system is very modular, sorted and easily accessible.

EDIT: Sorry to derail Matt's thread with another product. I do have a Feldharr MINI 32 for when I travel to BB tourneys. It's on its side on the far right in black in the image above. I love it. It's very high quality and a bit of a show off piece when I travel. It only fits one or two BB teams and doesn't hold anything while home on the shelf.
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