Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Not another brick in the wall

One of the tasks required for the Paradiso urban terrain was to create a selection of suitable buildings. I'm a big fan of the paper buildings from Microtactix, Fat Dragon and WorldWorks, so I was planning on using a mix of these to create Port Au Nice city.

But I had the nagging feeling that, despite the rationale that the city had been extensively rebuilt and modernised, I was really missing something of the Latin American/Caribbean flavour. So yesterday I sat down and did a series of Google Image searches looking for inspiration.

One immediate thing that struck me was the complete absence of any visible brickwork. Absolutely everything is brightly painted stucco or concrete. There's a smattering of old timber colonial style buildings, and a few very old stone structures like forts. Outside the cities, buildings can be very simple and primitive, little more than boxes with corrugated iron roofs.

Some of the paper buildings I've already done are now clearly inappropriate for the setting. I think there are still a few that will fit OK, but it looks like the bulk of the buildings are going to have to be scratchbuilt. I'm going to try building some using the Matakishi cork tile method, scaled down to 15mm of course.

In other news, yesterday I received a delivery of a KR Multicase and Aquila carry case from Kaiser-Rushforth. I'm very impressed with them. With 200 figure compartments to a Multicase it was able to hold the contents of a Games Workshop hardshell case, plus one and a half of the old single-layer GW cases, all in a box smaller than the harshell. The card feels a little less durable than I'd expected, and I wouldn't like to rely on it for weekly trips to a wargames club without putting them in one of the Kaiser outer carry cases, but since most of my gaming is going to be done at home and I'm using them mainly for storage rather than transport, they're the perfect solution.

The Aquila on the other hand, is perfect for carrying a small part of the collection to a game. It's made of a soft synthetic material, and holds four foam trays directly, for a storage capacity of up to 100 figures in a space smaller than the old GW single-layer eggcarton foam cases. That's enough for a typical skirmish game. I'm tempted to reinforce the bag slightly with more rigid inserts between the bag and the foam, but even without that it feels relatively sturdy for a non-rigid case.

While messing about with the now emptied GW cases, I made a pleasant discovery. Two of the foam layers from the GW hardshell case fit perfectly into the old single layer eggcarton foam case. Kaiser-Rushforth also do an upgrade set of foam inserts for the hardshell case which through smaller compartments and thinner layers can fit 200 figures to a case, an 85% increase in capacity. By upgrading my two hardshell cases, they should be able to carry my entire current 28mm VSF collection, including many as yet unpainted figures. And by refitting the old foam trays into the even older GW cases it ought to double their capacity while holding the figures much more securely (I find the egg-carton foam useless for figures based on anything less than a 25mm slottabase, and even then they're prone to some shifting around).

I think KR is going to become my preferred 28mm figure storage/transport solution, supplanting my old Intersponge cases, which take up twice as much space and don't do a great job of protecting raised swords, spears or rifles. It's a shame they don't offer a good solution for individually based 15mm figures, so it looks like I'll still be using slimline boxfiles with magnetic basing linings.

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