Making Magna-Case, Lord of Miniatures Storage

It's been awhile since we've blogged due to the beginning of the school year. Projects have slowed a bit, but I recently decided to completely revamp my miniatures storage by going fully magnetic.

I've long been faced with storage problems for my miniatures. It wasn't quite as big a deal when I'd drifted from the hobby, but now that I'm back, painting, collecting, and buying, it's become a problem. My place isn't huge and storage has been some drawers of non-rotation stuff and some wall shelves which get insanely dusty.

I made the decision to completely redo my storage around early August. The initial idea was to go full foam, but foam is outrageously expensive as it piles up and doesn't really solve the space issue as much as I'd like. I snagged a case off of eBay for about 30 bucks; once I realized it was a cheap one, didn't hold many miniatures, and still took up too much space, I was pretty done.

My friend Casey turned me on to DIY magnetic storage and, after consulting him and poking around online, I came up with a pretty solid magnetic solution.

First thing was to get storage. For tanks, I went with some IRIS brand stackable plastic tubs. They're solid and snug when they're stacked. For smaller figures, I went with cheap plastic jewelry trays--two sizes, 2" and 3". The 2" are very nicely stackable; the 3" are not but I had a solution (more on that in a moment). I really can't recommend Gems On Display enough; they have bonkers cheap prices and good bulk buys, and were really responsive to some questions I had.

Once I had my storage, I needed to magnetize. For that, I leaned on Litko Game Accessories and Wargame Accessories. Wargame Accessories sells magnetic sheets, which I glued to the bottoms of my storage containers. I only did one of the IRIS containers with magnets; the ones without magnets, I used some of that non-slip kitchen liner stuff for tank storage. No way do I feel like messing with magnetizing tank treads, but the combination of weight, non-slip, and careful packing will do the job so long as I'm not stupid.

With my trays magnetized, I bought an array of flexible steel base bottoms from Litko. These adhere right onto the bottoms of your miniature bases, are cut in a variety of standard sizes (though I did screw up and buy 30mm instead of 32mm for my Space Marines, which turned out to be only a small problem with a bit of super glue), and adhere right where needed.

The last thing I did was buy a large rolling jewelry case. They're made for dealers and you can get a decent aluminum one which holds 24 2" trays for about 100 bucks. Best of all, they're fit to a jewelry tray standard width, so those non-stackable 3" trays suddenly become quite modular with my stackable 2" trays.

The idea is to fit more or less my entire collection in this case and, so far, I'm on target for that happening. Now, I'm not the handiest guy in the world, so I probably spent a little more than needed through carelessness (multiple orders from the same place when one larger one would do, screwing up base sizes, mis-cutting magnetic sheets, initially buying business card magnets which are in no way strong enough to really do the job). You can do better. But even there, this has been worth the cost and time. I'm still not quite done but I'm getting there. It looks good, is effective storage, and I can take my entire collection with me extremely easily.