I’ve been playing miniature tabletop wargames since high school, which means that I have a good 15 years of gaming under my belt. I started playing Warmachine in 2006, shortly before Superiority was released. Miniature storage has always been one of those afterthoughts, because why spend money on an item to lug your miniatures around when you could buy more miniatures instead?
It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve begun thinking more about storage and transportation. I have several pieces of Sabol foam, which serve well to hold about a third of my collection. It’s just enough to carry a selection of my most-used Khador models to the game store, and since I know how to sew, I put together a very rough and tumble messenger-style bag to put the foam trays in. The bag isn’t the greatest in the world, and I worry that one of these days it’s going to snap a shoulder strap and send a few hundred dollars worth of miniatures crashing into the concrete.
I’ve been eyeing the miniature transport bags that Portable Warfare makes ever since I first found out about them. Their bag is called the Sergeant, and although I don’t own one, I’d like to talk a little bit about the bag. Early last year, I had a brief email conversation with Chris Strecker from Portable Warfare. I value great customer service, and Mr. Strecker was incredibly courteous and helpful in answering the questions I posed. Though there are other options in the market for miniature transport, I am inclined to put my faith in Portable Warfare thanks to that particular experience.
The Sergeant measures 12″Hx13″Wx7″ and comes in 4 colors: Gunmetal Gray, Army Green, Chaos Pink, and their newest color, Tactical Orange. From the pictures on their website, http://www.PortableWarfare.com, it looks as if the bag is made from a durable nylon material similar to the stuff used in hiking packs. In addition to the main compartment meant for holding your foam trays, the bag has a front pocket for holding several rule books or card binders, and two velcro pockets in front of those. The two sides of the bag have mesh for holding drinks.
Portable Warfare offers two different foam build-outs for the Sergeant, as well as offering the empty bag if you already have foam. The empty bag is $40, and the two foam load-outs are $77 and $86, respectively. Although as I said I have no personal experience with their bags, the Sergeant seems like it would be perfect for taking several army lists worth of miniatures to the local gaming store in safety. 13″ worth of foam should be enough to transport a generous selection of warjacks, infantry, and other miniatures for a fun night of gaming.
The Portable Warfare bags come with Blü Foam, if you don’t choose the empty option. From what I understand, the foam has a more rigid bottom layer, making it a little easier to pull out of the storage bag. I’m always worried when I lift my current foam trays out of my homemade bag that I’ll spill miniatures everywhere, because they do much better with two hands of support under them. The $77 foam load out comes with more 2″ trays, while the $86 option has a lot of 1″ trays for infantry-heavy armies.
I haven’t been collecting many miniatures in the last few years, since money is tight, and that’s part of the reason I sewed my own transport bag – two yards of fabric was easier to justify than a transport bag – although I have to say that out of the available options out there right now, Portable Warfare’s product seems like the best choice available, and I can’t wait until I can pick up one of my own. The Tactical Orange in particular seems like a great option, because with a bag that color, you will never misplace it.