Friday, December 13, 2013

Prepare to defend yourself!!

One more stunning lady from the Underdark, courtesy of Raging Heroes!

This is one heck of an action pose for a one piece miniature!  That's one way to make a delicate miniature much more stable and sturdy.

Wait... she sees something.  Like only a Drow can...

Packing up...

As I was furiously constructing these boxes, Lyn Stahl of mini painting fame happened to ask me why I didn't just get boxes from the Post Office.  She then got a dissertation on my experiences of 20+ years of shipping artwork of all kinds.  Sorry about that!

So what do you do when you have to ship minis?  With recent changes by the Post Office, I have had to adapt my methods yet again... slightly.

I told Lyn that I construct all my own boxes for a variety of reasons, the first being strength.  You can see here that I have created these sections inside the box... which is also lined with a layer of cardboard.

Everything is glued together.  All of these extra pieces provide protection against vertical and lateral crushing, which is real important shipping these fragile minis! 

I also custom build them to avoid having lots of extra space inside the box.  Not only will it be more expensive to fill that will all kinds of packing materials, it will be heavier, and the figure inside has more chances to move around.  None of those things are good!

While most of our boxes are generously donated by our recycling minded friends, I also find giant boxes made of heavy cardboard out in the alley.  Or, I save them on the rare occasion when something heavy comes our way.
This board is perfect for those interior pieces!

Here is a box that I have specifically shaped for 2 pieces.  These days, you must have a box that is big enough to fit those computer generated labels that you have to print out.  Those are usually around 5 x 7 inches.

However, boxes of certain weights and sizes will whack you with all sorts of extra charges, so beware of that.

Here you can see the interior pieces being glued to the inside walls.

Getting there.  You can already see the mutual support these pieces offer.

Then it's time to pre-fit the miniature for the all important cross piece.  This is the one that really keeps the compression to a minimum from the top and the sides...

When one piece is a lot shorter than the other, I use white styrofoam to fill the void.  Light and soft.

This is what I use to cut all that cardboard.  It is my old mat-cutting machine.  A little sad that this is what it does 85% of the time, but the 2D art is mostly a thing of the past.  The other 15% is building terrain.

I used this to prefab a lot of the parts that went into the terrain making videos.

Once all the glue has set, it is time for the minis.  Those are wrapped in tissue first, making sure to fill the 'voids' between arms and weapons, etc.  Then some bubble wrap around the tissue.

Finally, if I have it available, I will use foam pieces to plug the additional gaps around the bubble wrap.  These were kindly donated by Phil!  Thanks!