Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Top Tip: Army Tray(s)

Sunday’s post about what you can win for 10$ got me thinking a bit about, well, 10$ -funny how that happens (oh, and if you’ve missed the Alacrity Raffle, click here... Shameless. I know).

And so today I would like to share a quick top tip that I have found both attractive and functional over the years, and which I have found readily available for somewhere between the 10$-20$ mark. Let me first say that I believe in the Container Store. I submit, wholly, to its vision of the universe: ordered, concise, shiny, and compartmentalized. Mere seconds in that store will invariably reinvigorate my faith in and my dreams of a meritocratic, plastic, and smooth acrylic future. I dream of a life in which all my brick-a-brack, dice, brushes, paints, bits, randoms, tins, other dice, markers, dice, scenery, and even armies have an appropriate home –preferably with drawers and possibly with wheels when appropriate.

Well. If they haven’t been relegated to the basement, I keep my armies on a set of bookshelves specifically designated for all things hobby. As Pitmann and I do almost all of our gaming at my house, Pitmann’s Iron Warriors usually camp out there as well. Early on in this arrangement, we found it a bit tedious to remove individual models from the shelves and then replace them in an orderly manner. Moreover, as certain selections or organizations of our particular armies are constantly rotating in and out of vogue, we were looking for a cheap and cheerful method for smart storage, clean presentation, and simple accessibility.

Here’s where the Container Store comes in. While there years ago, the reason escapes me (but then again, I never leave that place with what I intended upon arrival), I found these plastic picture frames. Frames? I said. Pishposh. That's a tray. Clearly (ahem). They are modern, sleek, and you can find a sampling here

I have no use for picture frames, but these trays make an ideal army tray for the day-in-day-out rigors of our small corner in the 41st millennium. We have organized a number of forces in them and can pull out what is necessary in a flash. The Onorevoli, for example, fit entirely in one frame/tray. Pitmann’s Iron Warriors require two, which he has organized according to unit type: Troops and HQ in one, Fast, Elite, and Heavy in the other.

Above, you can see my budding Orks at rest, with a gaggle of Space Hulk gear loitering on top of yet another plastic organizer (which holds some small surviving remnants of my SH gear), as well as a separate smaller tray for an emergent IG Special Operations Group (more Killzone!). There are some new models in that bunch, who we will discuss a bit more this week…

So that’s today’s top tip. I thought we needed a respite from memory lane, but I promise to return to those Assassins in coming days/weeks.

The next post will be on Thursday, in this slightly interrupted week.


V.Reyes said...

AWESOME!!! It was something I was thinking about getting for my army but didn't know what to actually get and for cheap. Thanks :)

Derina said...

I dont know if its ok to list my squad here...

Iron Warrior Khorn Bezerker Squad, 1 Rhino and a 9 man Havoc Squad.

TriteTurntableUmbrella said...

Actually, I use those, not for carrying armies, but as a work tray. I think it's a great idea though!

Brian said...

@ V. Reyes. I am pleased this was helpful. We've been enjoying these for years now, and I find myself returning every now and again for more. It's an idea with traction.

@ Derina. As good a place as any I can think -though you may also want to have a peek at the Killzone forum (see Jim's site). At a glance, you may want to consider an upgrade or two. I've found this an ideal way to push some personality into a team.

@ H.C. 118. Great idea. I presume that you are shuttling your work around from place to place. Brilliant stuff.

Cheers for stopping by, one and all.

Karitas said...

In my household, small blue plastic kitten litter trays fill this void.

Your solutions is considerably more comely.

I do however use mine for paint also (particularly airbrushing and priming) and moving painted but tacky models around the domicile.

I might need to look into this, much more attractive option, for painted models.

Cheers :)

Wildeyedjester said...

I use wooden cheese trays left over after the lackluster Christmas gift has been disposed of. Not as nice as your frames.... Er, trays.