Saturday, February 6, 2016

Games Workshop Crusade Case

After some years getting back into the hobby, I've been finding the urge to tidy up my tiny workspace and better organize my armies for storage or battle. 

As mentioned before, I have a variety of storage options, from GW (the old, flat cases) to Battlefoam (Pack 1520 - no longer in production) to recently throwing together some homebrew solutions (plastic boxes stacked and transported in a suitcase). 

For a previous storage wars post, I asked people to share how they store their miniatures. Here is the updated information as of the other day:

After 187 votes the results, in order of popularity:
  1. DIY/ Made it myself: 36%
  2. Games Workshop: 27%
  3. KR Multicase: 16%
  4. Battlefoam: 15%
  5. Sabol Designs: 6%

This Christmas, I decided to try out the new GW cases. The army I have wanted to tidy up has to be my Black Templars. They have a good mix of infantry, bikes and larger models (x2 landraiders, air support, speeders, Predator tanks and Rhinos/ Whirlwind launchers). To date, I have kept the infantry in a smaller GW case, and vehicles in cardboard boxes.

The size of the army meant that if I was looking at GW as an option, it had to the Crusader case. This was the largest. 

So what do I think after one month of trying to fit stuff into it?

Overall Build Quality:

The plastic feels tough, the ribs serve to strengthen the case, and strap feels solid, with metal clips. The clasps could be bigger and chunkier, but so far I have no reason to think they are going to break or flip open unexpectedly (although the old GW cases had larger, tougher-looking clasps)

A nice touch is the little depressions around the case that help to make the unit stackable with other crusade cases.

The "Channel Foam" itself is of a good quality, but like some other foams it can rip and tear, or have parts gouged out of it.


My first impression was that the case is a bit...small! 
That could just be compared to the Battlefoam 1520, but I was surprised at the relatively compact size. 
Width: 19" (48.5cm)
Height: 9" (23cm)
Depth: 12.5" (32cm) including the lid pins

That isn't necessarily a bad thing - for the vast majority of players a 1,500-2000 point game is probably the norm, and I think that this case should carry that number of points without any trouble. I'm not embarrassed to lug this around town on the train.

However, if your primary goal is to store large numbers of large vehicles AND infantry, a Crusade case alone may not meet you needs.

In my case (geddit?), I was able to get the following in, in varying combinations:

Top Trays: 94 models

Left: x48 infantry

  • x16 Sternguard
  • x1 Chaplain Grimaldus and x4 servitors with relics (all prone)
  • x1 Helbrecht (prone) 
  • x8 Assault marines
  • x18 Tactical Marines
Right: x46 infantry

  • x1 Chapter Master
  • x1 Standard Bearer
  • x1 Emperor's Champion
  • x10 Neophytes (Scouts)
  • x33 assorted infantry (Sword Brethren, Initiates)

Middle Trays:

  • x1 Predator (with separate turret)
  • x6 Terminators (including Chaplain)
  • x8 Bikes with separate
Right: (Airwing)
Black Templars airwing

  • x1 Stormtalon (with separate base)
  • x1 Dreadnaught
  • x4 Landspeeders with separate bases

Bottom Trays:

x2 Landraiders
x1 Landraider and x2 Drop pods

(Tip: you will be better served by this case if don't glue vehicle turrets in place. I have a couple of Predators with fixed turrets and commanders. This seriously impacts the storage as the layers above won't fit on top of the lower layer properly)

x2 Landraiders

x2 Drop pods

Foam Quality

The "Channel foam" as GW calls it definitely has some pros and cons. 
The Landraider at right shows just how much this foam will flex!

On the positive side:
+ You get a LOT of flexibility, both literally and figuratively (see what I did there?). The foam is very flexible, and deforms a lot without tearing or ripping. It will mould itself neatly around your models, compress them, and keep them snug.
+ This foam takes the worry out of trying to plan and get custom foam and all the hassle that can be on vendor's websites. I have spent literally hours and hours on sites like KR Multicase and Battlefoam trying to work out what trays I need, and invariably I gave up. (NOTE: this is not always a problem with those sites - I just don't have the patience)

However, be aware that there are negatives:
For infantry in particular, you have to play around a LOT to get stuff in the way you want it. What do I mean?

- For maximum numbers of models (e.g. you want to store everything) some of them will rub against each other if you pack them in. Remember, each individual model is not completely walled-in (as you might find with custom foam or compartments.) This is especially true for infantry. 
- Packing and unpacking can be a long and finicky process. You might think it would be faster with foam that works with everything, but as you don't have a special size slot for a model working out where it will go actually takes longer!
- For maximum protection, be aware that models may still move around a fair bit. You will need to spend time making sure you get things just the way you want them to protect certain special models.

Cost performance

The Crusade case is 75.00 Pounds on the GW website (14,500 Yen or approx 80 GBP in Japan). You will find them at online retailers for around 65 GBP if you look. 

Should you buy this case? 
If you are in the market for a hard plastic case and don't want to make your own, then I think this is a reasonable price for what you are getting and seems competitive with other manufacturers. The quality is fine for everyday use, the foam works well and it will store quite a large number of figures. Other manufacturers have many more case styles and options to suit all budgets, but I don't think you can go far wrong with this.


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