Heroclix Map Storage

The above pic  baffles me.

How do you even start fixing a FUBAR like that? If I were the Captain on that ship, I’d promote the first mate on the spot,  jump in a life boat and paddle to Cuba. F*ck it, I’m a fry cook now.

Anyway, no custom figures or whatever in this blog entry. Like the photo above, this post is all about storing big, unwieldy things like 3-D HerClix maps. Specifically…

That’s one of the custom Heroclix maps I’ve whipped up (more on it here). When not getting splashed with beer by the goons I game with, it gets packed away so freeloading house pets can’t go all Godzilla on it.

Target, Walmart, Home Depot, big plastic storage bins like this are easy to find.

FUN FACT: If you buy duct tape, nylon rope and some free weights when you pick up one of these, the store manager will send the security video of you making your purchase to the local authorities.

I needed something large enough so the fragile parts of the map (like buildings), weren’t pressed up against the side of the plastic bin. That way the walls of the bin had some give without kiboshing the loot inside.

EGGS ON TOP! The top layer of the bins are all the super fragile junk, bottom layer has all the more durable elements of the map. Of the two bins it takes to store the map, one has all the board tiles on the bottom, the other has a Tetris-like stack of Tupperware containers…

These hold all the smaller map items: trees, telephone, cars, all that fun stuff. Aisle hunting in craft stores and supermarkets has led me to some great little containers. Take this box — small, handy, and some masking tape labels makes finding what I’m looking for a snap…

The stackable nature helps keep item-types separate so you don’t have to fish through a hundred small bits for that one piece you need. I had my fill of that when I was seven and looking for that one clear Lego brick. I JUST SAW IT, WHERE DID IT GO?!?

I had a rough childhood.

Back to storing Heroclix stuff:

Bubble wrap. A couple sheets line the bottom of the box and fold over the top. This keeps the items from banging against the container and chipping paint.

Also, get used to saying this to your gaming group: “STOP POPPING THE F*CKING BUBBLE WRAP!” No one else gets to have any fun until I find that goddam clear Lego brick.

Keep the receipts when you buy these containers. It’s not always easy to eyeball which will end up being just a hair too big/small for your needs. I’m sure there’s a way to mathematically figure out what size box you’ll need for a dozen miniature gaming trees, but it’s beyond my skill set.

The bubble wrap can also help map items from damaging each other. I needed a container to hold two different kinds of model trees…

“Dead” trees, with foliage-less plastic limbs that, for fun, were made so the branches are as sharp as needles. As entertaining as it it watching absent minded players impale their fingers, they also tend to tear the foliage off the “living trees.” A quick layer of bubble wrap under these bare branch buggers protects what lies beneath…

The friendly trees, those that don’t feed on human blood, form the bottom layer.

Paper towels work almost as well as a box liner.

As an aside, if I ever get pulled over on the way back from gaming, the above container is the one the cop would open. Those hindering terrain markers are some weird, medical marijuana looking sh*t. How do Heroclix players rank in prison society…? I’m not certain it’ll help, but I’ll be sure to question an inmate’s line-of-sight when he’s stabbing me in the shower.

For some of the heavier board pieces, like die cast cars and whatnot, I went with sturdier containers. More bubble wrap between layers of items keeps paint from scuffing and scratching.

Some map items, like the custom flight stands my buddy Davis built, needed special care. Those flight stands are a variety of odd sizes, and while sturdy enough, just the right amount of pressure and KRIK!, they be toast. The weird, flat Tupperware above, with a pillowy layer of bubble wrap, keeps ’em all safe & sound.

And, well…that’s it. This whole post essentially boils down to “buy some boxes and bubble wrap.” But the real point is if you go to all the trouble of customizing stuff, spend the time & money to keep it safe.

For a list of blog posts on custom maps, click here. For custom barriers, click here. Flight stands, click here.

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5 Responses

  1. This post was a nice surprise when it showed up in my reader! I subscribed many months ago not realizing the last post had been many months before that. Went through your archive of material though and am really impressed by the way you have cranked out all these modular environments while thinking outside the traditional wargames terrain box. Great post here. Organization is high on my list of priorities when tackling a project and I tend to plan the box the terrain will be in before I start.

    • Heya SpookTalker.

      I hear ya’ — it was definitely a “Uhhh…crap” moment after I finished my first ‘Clix map and it was time to put it away. Foam core, which I use for all my maps, seems to be a cat’s favorite thing to use as a scratching post — finding a way to keep furry vandals away became imperative.

      Every map since has had “where the hell do I store this thing?” factored into the mix.

      (And I’ll have more posts up eventually — I took photos for the next three posts, I just gotta find the time to write ’em up.)

  2. I love your work. I won’t lie…I gave up on the 3d maps and cheated by buying TerraClips. I store them in Scrapbook Totes from Michael’s.

    I definitely agree storage is a major component, and I think to gaming in general (lest it consume the entire house). I also still wish I had the skill to make the maps like yours!

    Cheers and Happy Holidays!

    • Hey JD.

      Nah, it’s not cheating…some of those pre-made maps are slick as pig snot. (Also, “slick as pig snot” is an awful saying, but I’m going with it.)

      If you have any pics of good ways to store ‘Clix stuff, swing by and post some links!

  3. Very nice maps and organization. I like how you take the time to post all those pics.

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