As part of my quest to furnish my wargames table with lots of lovely terrain items in all of the different scales that I use (currently 10, 12, 15 and 28mm figures) I decided that I would need a more permanent and quite frankly more practical solution to storing the numerous batches of linear terrain items that I have been creating of late.
To this end I decided that whatever system I used it would have to fit within the shelving areas I had under my wargames table and on the shelves around the wargames room. Very fortunately I had been given a whole load of old file boxes (about 80, thanks Nick!) that just needed a slight amount of sprucing up that would very nicely accommodate my terrain requirements and also fitted very nicely onto my shelf areas. With this in mind I made sure that although the lengths of linear obstacles that I used needed to be of specific lengths that I could indeed make them also fit into a file box without wasting any valuable storage area.
All this is fairly basic common sense really and has obviously been done by many other wargamers over the years, however as most file boxes are around 3 inches deep I thought that at least half the vertical space was wasted as most linear obstacles are only 1 inch or less in height. I then had a Eureka moment and decided it would be a good idea to utilise this dead space but I wanted a simple and inexpensive solution and here it is.
Basically I cut a layer of double walled corrugated card from a fruit box (which you can for free from most supermarkets) to fit inside the file box leaving space around it so that it can freely be dropped in and out of the file box, this was going to be the top layer. In one short end I cut out a 'V' shape which would be used as a way of getting a finger under the card so that it could easily be lifted out later. Once done I decided that the underside needed some padding that would stop any scraping of the top layer against the terrain underneath and also help to stop the pieces beneath from moving around unnecessarily. Again freebies from the local supermarket came into play as I used bubble wrap (again from a fruit box) which I decided to glue to the card with carpet tackifier (latex glue), I then trimmed the bubble wrap to size and left the top layer to dry for a hour or so.
While the top layer was drying I decided that it would be nice to have labels so I made some and printed them onto self adhesive paper, although normal paper and PVA glue would be just as good. Once the boxes were totally finished they were filled with two layers of terrain and do a great job of storing and transporting my linear terrain items. Even if I had paid for new boxes the whole cost would only be around £2.00 or so as file boxes are quite inexpensive and the other materials are basically free. Here are some photo's to show how they look, as you can see some have 10 -15mm terrain and some have 28mm terrain in them.
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Stephen Wylde BA (hons)