Foam or as I call it: The Stuff I Hate Buying

Severus here, and I would like to take a moment today to talk about my least favorite thing to buy.  Foam.  I can get excited about new dice, templates, paints, models (obviously), books, cards, whatever.  I hate buying foam.  It’s one of those things you probably need to take good care of your models.  I always feel like I could be spending my money in better ways though.

Back in the dark ages (read: early 2000’s), I tried to go foam free.  I had fishing boxes lined with paper towels and old rags.  My models where in poor condition, so I didn’t really care about there transport method.  When I returned a few years ago (and I started caring about the quality of my minis) I decided to pony up and buy some foam.  I shortly ended up with two small black GW cases and 1 large green one.

I am torn about those cases.  The foam kind of sucks, but I got them all second hand and cheap as dirt.  So, I guess I don’t hate them.  I would not pay full price for them.  Some days I wonder about buying third party foam (KR or Battlefoam) to go into them, but then I would end up with excess foam.

That leads me to my next problem, something to carry the foam in.  Later I ended up with a few custom KR cases for some of my tau and my iron hands.  They worked out well, and were decently priced for custom foam.  Problem was I got the card stock boxes for them.  Works okay on a short trip from the house to the shop.  I really want a hard case to store them in for any bigger trips though.

Hard cases can be expensive.  Which brings me to my point.   When working with a limited hobby budget, it feels like a huge drain on your collection when you blow a lot of money on foam and a case.  Granted this may be the most important piece in your collection.  So, here I sit, with tons and tons of models on shelves, and foam for about 25% of them.  Of that foam I have hard cases for 50% of it.

Then we get to vehicles.  There is no nice way to say it, vehicles can be horrible space inefficient in some cases.  My orks could take up a whole double sized GW case with just there trukks, battle wagons, and dakka jets.  So my vehicles currently ride around in a big plastic tray (that I have to be extra careful with).

Customizing foam gets me a little annoyed as well.  I want my foam to be multi-purpose.  I am the kind of gamer that likes to be able to switch out which models he is playing with.  It would be insane to have foam for all my stuff.  So foam that can work for multiple armies works best for me.

How do you guys handle all that?  What do you do?  Splurge on custom foam for all your models?  Use pluck and infantry trays to be able to accommodate multiple forces?  Say screw it and use a shoe box?  Don’t even get me started on my fantasy minis.  I have found nothing that works well for my mortis engine and terrorgheist.  Until then, this is Severus (with a headache looking at all his foam options) saying have a good one and take it easy.

One thought on “Foam or as I call it: The Stuff I Hate Buying

  1. I definitely felt the same way, but in the end I decided to pony up like you did for the “best of the best” Battle Foam. And while their cases are nice and I’ve grown to love them, there is the extremely annoying issue of what happens when you want to increase your army size and when you need to add new units to the foam.

    I bought some pre-cut and pluck foam becasue it was cheaper, but custom foam would probably be a better fit. The real problem is I bought a case that was just perfect for my army, and now that I want to add an extra walker or vehicle, I have no room.

    The stuff is so expensive that buying a second case or upgrading to a case that is double the size (to future proof it and give me twice the needed space) means the case becomes huge and cumbersome, and I’m down the $120 or so I spent on the first case.

    I don’t mind spending a lot of money, but having old purchases become wasted cash or having to lug around and store multiple army cases is a huge turn off for me. I don’t really know what I’m going to do.

    One option some people may like is using KR’s cheap cardboard case system as a home storage, and only use the pricier foam bags as their main army transport. BF is trying to edge in on this market, as they now sell cardboard boxes that fit their trays (at a whopping $25 or so per box) so you have a home storage option now too. I’d prefer to bring all my models with me to the store though, allowing me to play different builds. I only have one army and not a very large collection so that works for me, if only I had thought my options through better.

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