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HeroScape General Discussion General discussions of packaging, terrain, components, etc. If it doesn't fit in any other official category, put it here.


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  #1  
Old June 20th, 2010, 12:46 AM
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Biodegradable figure storage (Flambeau 5008)

So I finally decided to spring for some dedicated utility boxes to store my figures. Thanks to some excellent threads on the site, I quickly narrowed things down to the classic Plano 3700ís and the newfangled Art Bin 9101ABís... and there I remained, unable to make a decision.

Fortunately, in the midst of my dithering, I discovered a third option. In terms of pure performance and value, itís no better than the current top two utility box contenders, and arguably worse (see below), but itís got a pretty cool wild card: biodegradability. Unlike most plastics out there (like, ahem, all these plasticrack artifacts weíve all spent so many dollars and square feet on), this will degrade completely after 5 years in the landfill. Behold, the Flambeau 5008 :



Pretty cool example of better living through chemistry, eh? Apparently the polymer chain that makes up the plastic contains various organic components that landfill microbes can break down. The landfill bacteria can colonize in and around the plastic, and their secreted enzymes can fully digest it. Although the plastic wonít degrade due to heat, moisture, mechanical stress, or UV radiation (ie, on your shelf it functions just like any other plastic box), all you have to do is place it in a microbe-rich landfill environment, and in 1-5 years youíve got the equivalent mass of rich soil.
And, hey, itís even made in the USA. Interestingly enough, it appears that Flambeau is the parent company of Art Bin, the makers of the 9101AB line.

As far as I can tell, the design itself seems to be a knockoff of the Plano 3700. Each box measures approximately 14Ēx8.5Ēx2Ē, divided into 4 rows, each of which can be further subdivided into compartments with the provided dividers. I think you get 15 dividers per box -- more than youíll need, anyway. The bottom row has a little less useable space due to indentations from the latches and handle.

I initially crammed as many figures as I could into each box, until I realized that the whole point of this exercise was to minimize the number of bent spears and rifles. Initially my Einar commons box could contain:
Quote:
Originally Posted by initial packing strategy
10th Regiment x4
Ashigaru Yari x4
Ashigaru Harquebues x4
Capuan Gladiators x4
Roman Legos x6
Roman Archers x 6
Earth Elementals x4
Deathreavers x3 (just to fill the last space)
Subsequently, I tried to make sure that no parts of figures were sticking up against the lid, and that a maximum of 2 squads went into each subcompartment. Now the same box could contain (if I actually owned all these figures):
Quote:
Originally Posted by revised packing strategy
Roman Archers x6
Roman Legos x6
Capuan Gladiators x6
10th Regiment x6
Earth Elemental x4


Sadly, the smallest compartment you can make is juuuuuust a little too small for a Heroscape base (at least until D2, I guess). You can fit most squads of 3 and even 4 medium figures in a compartment 2 slots wide, though. The frustrating part is that once any dimension of a figure is > 2 inches, you just plain canít fit it. This means that Protectors of Ullar, Deathwalkers 8k & 9k, Majors Q, Gurei-Oni, Zetacron, etc, wonít fit no matter what. It also means that 2 squads of Sentinels will fill a whole row. However, it turns out that you can cut away bits of the internal retaining walls to make larger compartments -- here's a pic of Gurei-Oni chilling out in his double-wide space. Hey, the chipped-out bits of the wall that I threw away are hopefully already biodegrading!



Theyíre not widely available, it seems, but you can get them for $4.69 each (plus shipping) at midwesthuntersoutlet.com. I canít comment on durability, etc, but itís worth noting that my initial order of 12 boxes arrived with cracks (small, but nonetheless present) in 6 of them.
The retailer was fantastic, though -- I called and a couple weeks later 6 new ones arrived, without a crack anywhere. They didnít even want me to return the cracked ones, so theyíve been put to use -- if the cracks worsen dramatically with everyday use, or if other boxes develop cracks as well, Iíll update this thread.

One last tip: head over to your nearest wine shop -- a ďrieslingĒ style cardboard box makes a nearly perfect case for 6 Flambeau 5008ís, and with any luck theyíll give you riesling boxes for free. The ends of the 5008ís stick out just a bit. Big thanks to Cavalier for the sweet labels!

Eagerly awaiting March of 2017 & August of 2019, when my little Grimnaks achieve the recommended minimum age for Master Rules...
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Old June 20th, 2010, 12:55 AM
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Re: Biodegradable figure storage (Flambeau 5008)

I have so many figures, I would need like 25 of these size boxes.

But this is a very good idea, good find!
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Old June 20th, 2010, 02:50 AM
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Re: Biodegradable figure storage (Flambeau 5008)

I chose to go with ArtBin because their boxes were huge! It came with the perfect amount of dividers so it works beautifully for my collection. They also sell a larger box that works really well for dragons and stuff.
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Old June 20th, 2010, 07:26 PM
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Re: Biodegradable figure storage (Flambeau 5008)

Cool, I recently set up a Plano system from walmart at 5$ a unit. Glad you mentioned these though I think I might switch things over as as my need grows. Thanks.
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Old June 20th, 2010, 09:18 PM
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Re: Biodegradable figure storage (Flambeau 5008)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkmage7a View Post
Cool, I recently set up a Plano system from walmart at 5$ a unit.
As did I.

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Old June 21st, 2010, 03:31 AM
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Re: Biodegradable figure storage (Flambeau 5008)

I have used the Plano boxes since '05. At present, I have 26 cases. By the end of this year, that will go up a few more. I was just looking at the Flambeau's the other day. The divider issue, I figure I'll just buy a couple of extra cases for the dividers.

If you are just looking to get into Scape, I have plenty of terrain to get you started!
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 05:01 PM
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Re: Biodegradable figure storage (Flambeau 5008)

I am using the Flambeau 7004R and I couldn't be happier. Except that my local store (Canadian Tire) has stopped carrying them so I bought the Plano equivelent which was a little smaller and while they are good quality and offer more versatility for making smaller compartment sizes the Planos just didn't work as well while the Flambeau was just the right size and I haven't been as happy with the Plano.
I also use the Spinnerbait Box 00550 to carry my armies to a game day or an event. Perfect size to hold 3 armies including cards (no huge figures though) and easy to use.

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Last edited by Eirikr; June 22nd, 2010 at 05:06 PM. Reason: Added my tourny box.
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