Sunday 30 March 2008

Review: Figures in Comfort Multi Storage Case

The Multi storage cystem is one of a range of purpose made figure carrying cases from Figures in Comfort, a UK based company.

The case can be ordered with a bespoke set of trays from the large range made by Figures in Comfort either half or full sized. The half size trays are 355 x 265 x 35mm overall and vary from 35mm to 70mm deep. I ordered my case with a combination of the following tray types:

Tray No. 4 - 35mm deep and has 36 slots, each 26 x 55 x 25mm.

Tray No. 5 - 35mm deep and has 20 slots, 16 are 65 x 55 x 25mm and 4 are 26 x 55 x 25mm.

Tray No. 12 - 35mm deep and has 143 slots, 135 are 14 x 21 x 25mm and 8 are 21 x 30 x 25mm.

Tray No. 13 - 57mm deep and has 15 slots, each 88 x 38 x 47mm.

Unlike the Slotafoam tray from Charon Productions these are formed from two pieces of foam with the upper layer stuck to a lower 10mm thick base. The adhesive fixing the upper and lower parts of the trays is certainly noticeable but does not appear to affect the contents in any significant manner.

The Multi opens at the top and the front and uses velcro to secure these flaps. It is not inherently rigid, as is the Charon Scoutpack or Deluxe Skirmishpack, but rather relies on the velcro to be closed tightly around a full complement of trays. The case lacks a carrying handle as a result and so only a shoulder strap is provided; however this is firmly secured to the sides of the case. A front A4 sized pocket is provided for carrying rules etc.

In use the case is easily loaded, though to access lower trays the upper ones must be removed as there are no internal dividers.

Tray No. 12 was of limited use as the majority of the slots are extremely restrictive though I later got the revised tray for 20mm figures which is now being produced and is a substantial improvement. Whilst having usefully sized slots for 20mm vehicles Tray No. 13 is not double the thickness of the thinner trays and makes the stacks uneven. Fortunately the retailer advised me of this at the time of ordering and added an additional foam sheet to make up the difference. I presume Figures in Comfort do the same but cannot confirm this for certain.

The Multi works fine provided that you neither stress it or try to fit any irregular items into it (e.g. within egg box foam etc.) as the lack of rigidity can allow some figures to become dislodged. The cover is also less secure than the zipped arrangements of the Charon cases and so if items do "escape" they can get out of the case unless it is vertical. I found that with prolonged carrying using the shoulder strap the case would often deform. The lack of a separate carrying handle is understandable considering the construction but disappointing.

Overall, I found the Multi less satisfactory for transporting figures than the Charon or KaiserRushforth systems.
Figures in Comfort Storage Cases

Review: Charon Productions Storage Cases


The Scoutpack is one of the range of purpose made figure carrying cases from Charon Productions, a Canadian based company. The Scoutpack looks very much like an normal piece of luggage. It is made from a black fabric similar to a laptop case, with two external pockets, a carrying handle and a detachable shoulder strap. The interior is accessed by unzipping one size of the case. On the inside are a zipped mesh pocket, a foam cover sheet and five 'Slotafoam' trays. The Scoutpack is 370mm long by 300mm high by 180mm deep and weighs 1.2kg unladen.

Each Slotafoam tray is 355 x 265 x 28mm overall and has 32 slots, each 48 x 27 x 20mm. It is formed from a single piece of foam. This gives the Scoutpack the capacity to carry 160 25mm figures.

The Scoutpack is well constructed with reinforcement in all four sides to maintain the shape of the case. It is about the same height and width as a laptop case but is slightly deeper. Fully laden with 160 25mm figures it weighs in at 2.9kgs and so is lighter than some laptops to carry.

For a recent game the case was fully packed and taken by car, train and on foot without a single figure being displaced from its slot.

Only minor quibbles. The elastic mesh on the outside seems rather more decorative than useful and the outside pockets are simple slots and not zipped. The interior mesh pocket is not sufficiently large to take an A4 booklet and zip closed.

All in all the Scoutpack is well made and very functional. Unfortunately, Charon don't currently seem to have a UK distributor and consequently the shipping costs add significantly to the overall cost of this case.

Gamer's Satchel (and Satchel Inserts)

The Gamer's Satchel (and inserts) are other products from the range of purpose made figure carrying cases from Charon Productions. The satchel is supplied with a single satchel insert and a small basic calculator. The Gamer's Satchel is made from a black nylon type material and opens via a large top flap which covers the top and the front and is secured by a velcro strip. The flap contains a zipped pocket. The rear of the satchel contains a plastic reinforcing sheet. On the inside are two spaces to fit the satchel inserts, a full depth pocket secured by velcro tab, a smaller zipped pocket, two pen holders and a small mesh pocket. The centre section for the inserts (or books) is secured by a strap and plastic clip.

The inserts are self contained pouches with the Charon logo in which on the same black material. They are secured by a zip and contain a single slotafoam tray with a foam covering sheet and two plastic reinforcing sheets to maintain the insert's shape.

The Gamer's Satchel is 400mm long by 320mm high by 140mm deep (when full). The inserts are 385mm x 300mm x 50mm.

The Slotafoam tray is 355 x 265 x 28mm overall and has 32 slots, each 48 x 27 x 20mm. Unlike other similar trays the Slotfoam tray is a single piece of foam. This gives the Gamer's Satchel the capacity to carry 32 25mm figures with a single insert or 64 25mm figures with two.

The satchel can be a problem to close when it contains two inserts and care has to be taken with the inserts as they have no side reinforcement and can be squashed.

The satchel is primarily aimed at role players and so the balance between a single insert and space for rule books etc. works well. For wargamers the addition of a second insert allows figures for a sizable skirmish game to be accommodated.

Deluxe Skirmishpack

The Deluxe Skirmishpack is yet another of the range of purpose made figure carrying cases from Charon. Like the Scoutpack, the Deluxe Skirmishpack looks very much like an normal piece of luggage. It is made from a black fabric similar to a laptop case, with a single external zipped pocket, a carrying handle and a detachable shoulder strap. Unlike the Scoutpack all the varieties of the Deluxe Skirmishpack come with a large logo emblazoned on the front (in this case the "Northern Wasters" club logo - a result of them over ordering and Charon disposing of the surplus at a significant discount - we are in the process of disguising the logo as you can see from the pictures). The interior is accessed by unzipping one size of the case. On the inside are a zipped mesh pocket, a foam cover sheet, a divider and ten 'Slotafoam' trays. The Deluxe Skirmishpack is 580mm long by 400mm high by 200-240mm deep (depending on whether the external pocket is full).

Again each Slotafoam tray is a single piece of foam measuring 355 x 265 x 28mm overall and has 32 slots, each 48 x 27 x 20mm. This gives the Deluxe Skirmishpack the capacity to carry 320 25mm figures.

Like the Scoutpack the Deluxe Skirmishpack is well constructed with a frame which reinforces the case and makes it very robust. Fully laden with 320 25mm figures it obviously weighs in substantially heavier than the Scoutpack but is still easy to carry with the handle or shoulder strap as with ordinary luggage.

The Deluxe Skirmishpack does not close quite as tightly as the Scoutpack and occasionally figures can be displaced if it is handled roughly.

Again there are only minor quibbles. The exterior pocket looks light a bit of an afterthought, it doesn't seem to fit with the rather pleasant aesthetics of the remainder of the case (logos aside). It is on the underside when the case is opened and, whilst the sides are pretty rigid the front and back reinforcement deflects so the trays can be deformed slightly.

All in all the Deluxe Skirmishpack is another well made and functional product.

Charon Productions Storage Cases

Getting Organised

I've just taken advantage of the KaiserRushforth launch offer for their new aluminium cases as I needed some more figure storage. Knowing how much more space I'm getting has finally allowed me to sort out the figures in my other storage cases (a mixture of Charon, Figures in Comfort, KR and CDRowe) in to some semblance of order. I then went to the unprecedented lengths of actually labelling the boxes - woohoo! I may actually get around to popping up some reviews of the cases too.

Saturday 29 March 2008

Winter War Anyone?

Last weekend's gaming has really got me in a table-top gaming mood again. I was impressed with Lenin's desert Terrain Mat (which you can see in the photos). Having used TSS tiles, mainly for convenience, I've always found it difficult to reproduce more fluid terrain like sand or snow. You can see the difference between the TSS tiles on the .45 Adventure Dragon Bones game and the mat on the Back of Beyond and Medieval games. Having seen Lenin's mat I decided to take the plunge and order a snow mat to use with my existing Brigade Games Gebirgsjaeger and new Artizan late war Germans along with some Baker Company Finns I picked up on eBay.

The Finns got me thinking about the Winter War and so I ordered Finland at War 1939-45 by Osprey and William Trotter's The Winter War: The Russo-Finnish War of 1939-40 from Amazon. The former is a typical Osprey Elite series book which covers not only the Winter War but also the Continuation and Lapland Wars which followed. I'm only part way through Trotter's book but it a great read and has really got me excited about the period. Unfortunately the Baker Company Finns I have don't have quite the right mix of weapons or numbers to suit me and their standard packs would end up giving me quite a bit of wastage unless I was building a company sized unit. As a result I've started looking at Brigade Games' range (which are also in full snow kit) and Bolt Action's range (which are not) to see how I might best mix and match.

Since I'm reknowned for being a little frugal (in other words - mean!) I am also looking at what I can do to flesh out not only the Winter War but also the Continuation and Lapland Wars to ensure I can get the most out of my outlay. Now what I need is some snow based trees and a couple of small terrain pieces...

Monday 24 March 2008

Gaming Weekend - March 08

Lenin paid a visit this weekend and we managed to get plenty of gaming in. It might not have gone quite as planned (no change there!) but it was excellent fun none the less!

Before "discovering" the benefits of the .45 Adventure system we had tried one or two of the scenarios from the Dragon Bones supplement using Savage Worlds (another of our favourite rule sets). We decided to try them using the rules they were made for and the two games went very well. Strangely enough the results were the same as when we played using Savage Worlds!

We also gave my eBay copy of Quebec 1759 a go. It was the first of the Columbia Games block games and certainly has a pretty simple set of rules; however, the game gives you plenty of things to think about. I took command of the French and was utterly trounced by Lenin playing the British - obviously my usual dice luck had some effect but it was more down to some poor deployment on my part and a well co-ordinated two fronted attack on his! Now that I have some idea what I'm doing I'd certainly like to give it another go.

Next we improvised a Back of Beyond game using Lenin's superbly painted Copplestone figures (along with a couple of Pulp Figures) using Savage Worlds as the rules. More than anything it was a test to see if Savage Worlds could be used for a game of this type and size. Lenin has a very sizeable collection of figures for this period and we have tried a few other sets of rules but haven't been happy with them. The result was a Russian victory - having repulsed the Chinese attack on the Russian dig site - and a decision to use Savage Worlds for future games of this type.

Having majored on 28mm we swapped down to 20mm for the next game, a WW2 scenario using Nuts! A simple take the bridge and hold until reinforced for a small Para jeep mounted unit facing a unit of German engineers (who had been ordered to destroy the bridge) - with a few pesky refugees to get in the way! It was an object example of taking and holding the initiative taking the day with the Paras having it pretty much their own way (it also demonstrated the power of automatic weapons to keep people's heads down under Nuts! - the "outgunned" rules).

Our final tabletop game was another improved Savage Worlds game - this time using 28mm Gripping Beast Normans/Crusaders/El Cid figures. Having seen that Savage Worlds could handle a large 20th Century game, we really wanted to see if Savage Worlds could cope with a melee heavy scenario. We probably didn't have enough variety in the troop qualities and so melee did tend to bog down a little (but this wasn't entirely unexpected or a-historical) but overall SW proved that it could manage to cope. With properly prepared unit cards and a little more unit variety I think we're on to a winner again.

We finished the weekend off with a couple of board games - the Crimissos River (341BC) scenario for Commands and Colors: Ancients and the first two player scenario for Friedrich (The War in the West - France vs Hanover with a little help from Prussia). The C&C:A game was a pretty close run thing but finally going to Syracruse (though not by anything like the margin they enjoyed historically). Friedrich turned out to be a lot of fun with plenty of challenging decisions for both sides. The French were doing well but the Hanoverians managed to cut their supply lines; however the French recovered and went on to capture their objectives just in time. An excellent game that I can't wait to play 3 or 4 player.

I've posted a few photos from the weekend below:

Gaming Weekend - Mar 08

Figure Review: Artizan Designs Late WW2 Germans

I picked up a few late War Germans from Artizan Designs a little while ago and whilst he was down for the weekend Lenin dropped off the painted ones. As always with Artizan the figures are a nice mix of interesting poses and painted in a mixture of camo and winter smocks they look great. I've posted a few pictures below:

The Wargame Shed - Figure Review No. 4

Saturday 15 March 2008

Wargaming Weekend Prep

It will shortly be time for another visit from Lenin - so I'm in the process of working out which games to run. We usually work on 4 miniatures games per weekend (which nicely splits into two a piece) along with various boardgames to fill the evening and between game sessions.

I hoping Lenin will have had a chance to finish my Artizan WW2 28mm figures so that I can use them for a Nuts! game. I'm also trying to work out an urban pulp game for .45 Adventure. Since Lenin will be doing the hard work for the WW2 game that shouldn't need too much work (other than working out the actual scenario of course) but the pulp game is likely to need some building construction as well as scenario creation. I've made a start on developing some repeat characters for a series of games and bought some 6 x 4 index cards to use for them. The Pulp Figures miniatures and recent reading have given me some inspiration though.

As to boardgames, I'm sure that Commands & Colors: Ancients is likely to get an outing and I'd like to give either Bonaparte at Marengo or Napoleon's Triumph a go but it will all depend on what we fancy at the time (boardgames not requiring any preparation - which is alway a plus point!). Of course there's still Friedrich which I'd like to get to the table but whilst there is a two player scenario I'd really like to try the full 3 player game - I'll need to polish up my persuasion skills and approach my better half!

Wednesday 12 March 2008

Dark Ages

We've only played one Dark Age game since I started photographing them. It was a playtest of Strandhogg rules. So I dug out some of my Gripping Beast Vikings and Saxons along with some of their buildings and livestock and my Grand Manner fort. The rules have some neat ideas but some of the concepts, whilst nice, can be a little fiddly. We need to try them a few more times before making a final verdict though.

Dark Ages

Sunday 2 March 2008

Lord of the Rings - The Lost Tales

I managed to pick up a number of Vendel painted fantasy figures on eBay and so when the opportunity presented itself to use them I jumped at it. The Lost Tales is intended to be a series of short stories surrounding the Fellowship slipped quietly between the official ones from J.R.R.

The gallery contains a few images from the first tale - The Wizard's Tower:

Lord of the Rings - The Lost Tales

We ran the game using the Savage Worlds rules.

Saturday 1 March 2008


Typhon is a set of rules for gaming Greek Mythology. We tried them out with some of Lenin's beautifully painted Foundry 28mm figures with a Jason and the Argonauts scenario. We liked both the genre and the rules and so more figures and games are in the pipeline.