I have seen a lot of creative solutions for storing miniatures over the years. I’ve seen people use tackle boxes with models thrown into it, cardboard boxes with models stacked on one another, and plastic crates filled to the brim, to name a few.
Bad Miniature Storage
The thing those all have in common is that they’re a terrible way to store miniatures. Painting aside (I’ll get to that), the models can be very easily damaged using any of those methods.
With miniatures not secured, they’re bound to shift and move in the container. The result of that is broken pieces and damaged miniatures. Not good.
Sealing your models is a must, and it will help, but not taking care of your figures is a sure way to watch them die a real death.
Nobody wants that.
Spend Money & Save Money + Time
Often, I find that people who transport their models poorly tend to share a common view. That view being that money spent on foam trays and carrying cases is money not spent on models.
They’re right. If you’re spending $100 to buy a case packed with foam then you’re not buying a new kit for your army. However, what’s the cost involved in replacing the models you damage beyond repair because you didn’t properly care for them? What’s the value you place on the hours you spent painting your miniatures only to have the paint destroyed to neglect?
Now, unless you don’t care about the condition of your miniatures, then throwing them haphazardly into a tackle box is a fine solution. Yet, if you do, then the money you spend on good storage solutions for your figures is going to save you money in the long run; at the very least, save you some heartache and time.
There are some really affordable solutions out there. You don’t have to spend $100+ to get a bag and foam trays. In fact, I’ve got a list of great miniature cases for under $50. Pluck foam is a great and affordable way to get custom trays too, in case you need to fill those cases up.
It’s Your Call
Ultimately though, it’s up to you. I’ve been in the miniature hobby since 2006. In that time I have painted countless models, some of which I’ve put 30+ hours into (single model). If any of those models got damaged then I would be extremely upset.
So, I practice what I preach and have myself a bunch of foam trays I’ve made. I also have some of the Sabol pluck trays as well that I got when I started. Of course, I have a bag that I tote it all around in.
Guess what? I’ve never had a model so badly damaged that it needed replacing. In fact, the only issues I’ve had is fiddly bits snapping off, like antennas, but that’s kind of to be expected.
Never once in all those years have I had to fix paint jobs on any of my miniatures.
Do yourself a favor, get some foam trays, get yourself a carrying case for it all, and save yourself time and money. It sucks coughing up that cash for it, but it’s so worth it in the long run.