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Thursday, May 5, 2011
So, lets talk about Battlefoam's custom foam-maker-thingy...
Why Do Such a Thing?
In anticipation for the upcoming move from Gabon to Sri Lanka - which will involve a stop over in Dallas and Indianapolis (for GenCon '11) - I thought I could use some specialized foam to protect the bigger and irregularly-shaped pieces of my Warmachine army. As you may or may not know, I've been very happy with Battlefoam as of late (see the other posts in this series). Battlefoam's bags and foam are top notch and exactly what I am looking for in terms of durability and portability.
So, it was only natural I utilize their signature custom foam designer. This was precipitated largely because, while the standard Warmachine foam inserts are solid, they arent large enough to comfortably hold odd/large models. Behemoth and mounted Fenris are the too worst offenders. If I am to bring them to Dallas and Indy to play a slew of Warmachine, I thought having a special foam insert for them would be the best idea.
I used a 4'' deep piece of custom foam. The idea was to make sure the really odd moels would fit. Looking at the picture beblow, you can see mounted Fenris (in the fore) and the Behemoth (behind) - they fit pretty nice. Fenris will need to go on his side, but the Behemoth fits wonderfully with a topper covering that last little bit. I chose to put them all upright because I like having only the base touching the foam... its probably illogibal, but I feel better knowing that they arent rolling around on their sides. Plus, all the standard Battlefoam trays have the models lay on their sides, I wanted to see if an insert could be made that is both useful and allows the models to stand upright.
The template designer was easy to use. You play with their program on line, drop some geometry on some simulated foam, and you are good to go. In my case, I was looking mostly for a handful of large slots to hold a couple large figures, so the other stuff I added in was mostly just extra. That said, I could have done a better job utilizing the extra space. The little 1'' circles I thought would be a nice snug fit for tall models like the Thrall Warrior (with his big ass sword) or the Iron Fang standard bearer. Unfortunately, the little circle is too snug, and with a deep foam insert like I bought, it would literally pull the figure from the base if I put him all the way in there. So, those 1'' slots are going to be used for dice or holding magetized arms of 'jacks.
A general rule of thumb if I were to do this again (and I will) is add AT LEAST 1/2'' to the size you think would be appropriate. Another 1/2'' wouldnt be unreasonable either. The foam is cut with precision and the usual high standards are maintained on the custom foam.
If you are worried the custom foam wont be as sturdy or reliable as the standard stuff, as long as you dont go crazy and put too many slots (and degrade the integrity) - you will be fine.
So, the above pic is my tentative layout. Upper left is Beast. Upper right is the Behemoth. The other larger circles are all magnetized plastic Khador jacks with their arms removed. Fenris, obviously, is in the middle. In the medium circle on the bottom right is a Thrall Warrior. Above him is the IFP Standard Bearer. Overall, things fit nicely (excpeting those little holes, which I note above).
I do plan to do a little cutting of my own. If I remove a little foam between the prongs of the "x" in some of the slots, I can fit other irregularly shaped jacks like Drago and Beast. The other problem children are those damned plastic Detroyers and Juggernauts in the new box set. They are very wide and wont fit in anything short of those big circles or the big square. I have access to Juggeys and Destroyers through the magnetized 'jacks, so my motivation to find room for these guys is pretty low.
I am happy with the X-circles. That extra room fits some of the weapons that hang akwardly off some of the larger models and 'jacks, and will provide a useful spot to start when I make my own cuts. The X-circles also come filled with their own foam, adding to their utility (and the overall stability of the insert). I can cut those fillers as I see fit as well us use them to provide a more base (for foam stacked on top) when not in use.
- When you plan out the foam with the designer, always add at least 1/4'' for each model that is standing upright.
- Those little 1'' circles are pretty much useless.
- Dont be afraid to cut the foam you just customized to accomodate the really odd models.
- 4'' deep foam is deep enough for everyone but mounted Fenris standing upright and Behemoth.
- Really, just because its driving my nuts, the plastic Destroyer and Juggernaut from the battleforce box set are annoyingly large and wide. If you want to find them a nice home using the custom foam designer, go with the really largle slots. Ugh.
Oh! If you look closely at the pics in this Blog you will get a hint of the topic of "Moving Armies Part 4: Bigger Than a Breadbasket" (any guesses?)