Cold Storage!

Well, we’re into a new year and I hope that everyone’s had the chance to take it easy over the holiday period! I’m not a big one for either summarising the year just gone or planning for the one just arrived, but this post sort of includes elements of both of those things.

A couple of posts ago (see here) I wrote about how I’d had a look back through five years’ worth of posts and worked out what I’d been working on and, more importantly, what I’d been neglecting. Some of the latter were my Balkan Wars armies, with Russian Civil War forces not faring well either (although I subsequently did a bit more on them here). Having done this, I decided (somewhat hesitantly!) to take a more detailed look through my figure storage boxes to try and work out what sort of progress I was making in getting projects finished. In conjunction with this, some figures (although not many) got shifted about to rationalise storage a bit.

The picture above shows my figure storage boxes sitting in my bookcases, having been tidied up over the Christmas break. There are some other figure boxes stashed away and of the Really Useful Boxes shown above (bottom left of centre) only one contains figures (well, horse-drawn transport in practice), two being empty and three containing ships. Having tidied these up, it was time to put together a very simple spreadsheet (as you do)!

This lists the contents of 22 of the boxes shown above (it excludes five of the Really Useful Boxes and the two grey steel boxes on the right of the first picture) plus one other not shown. The three rows shown in amber are those that I intend working on a bit more this year if possible – Mexican armies for the French Intervention that I’ve recently started, Balkan Wars armies that have been neglected and Victorian Science Fiction stuff that’s been planned for years but failed to get off the ground properly. The bottom row is a box for alternative history 1930s/40s armies that I’d like to start but have so far not got anywhere with (as evidenced by there being no painted figures in that box).

Given how long I’ve been wargaming (and the fact that these are 20mm figures) I haven’t really got that many figures, but enough for what I need. What I did find though, was that I’ve made better progress than I thought I had! Quite a few figures waiting to be painted have been moved back into their boxes for now, leaving not many spaces in the boxes to be filled. In fact, filling some of the boxes brings those armies in them to a nicely finished state.

The photo above shows 1918-20 period Polish and Romanian forces moved into their own box, filling it almost completely and therefore making most use of the space available. The Romanians were moved out of the Balkan Wars box to make room for the extra Greek, Ottoman and Serbian troops I need for those conflicts (see below).

The top row of compartments in that box was vacated by the Romanians and I’ve already moved in Greek and Ottoman figures that have been based and primed. I already have all the shiny metal figures I need to fill the empty compartments! I just wish I was this far on with all my tank and ship models!


  1. Hi John, this is a timely post as I was thinking about storage. I have a display cabinet that is almost full so some figures will now have to return to store boxes and the β€œdarkness”. Looks like your boxes come with compartments which are great for single basing but probably limited for my multi figure basing? Anyway I like your approach on completing your forces and the boxes are an excellent way to visualise the % done. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lorenzo! πŸ™‚ The compartmented boxes mean you always lose a bit of space, even with individual figures. The 4 litre Really Useful Boxes are good because they have an A4 internal footprint but they are too high for infantry figures so you lose space (although you can get compartmented trays to put in them that stack two high, so they might work for you). I must admit I’m pleased at having done this and re-shuffled the box contents because it does give me a better picture of where I am!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Very organised mate, I use a slightly different system, I know all my stuff is somewhere in the house….and that’s about it! (Unless I’ve sold it on and forgotten of course (that happens more than you’d think too πŸ˜€).

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Dave! πŸ™‚ I think you’re right, this has really helped me think about moving forward with projects that do appear to have ends in sight (although I did conveniently fail to point out that the boxes listed in the post still include space for over 400 figures)!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. So do you fancy popping over and organizing my collection? LOL! I have figures, bits, scenic stuff, more bits and other stuff all over the shop. I find it keeps me on my toes trying to work out where I left that one exact thing I need to finish a project…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha, thanks for the offer, Matt, it’d be a great chance to look through all your stuff, but my wife says I’ve got to keep my own stuff in order, and only an idiot would argue with her! πŸ˜‰ I find scenery to be the biggest headache for storing due to the variation in size and shape – I restrict myself to smaller buildings and use cut-down boxes for printer paper for everything (tanks get stored that way as well).

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t know what’s more impressive. The amount you have painted, the book collection, or the organized miniature setup. Very nice work, John and inspiring too. I have a lot of work to do in my newish place to get it looking anywhere near as good as you have it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Jeff! πŸ™‚ I’ve not really got that many figures compared to some people, but enough for me! Book space is limited and has to be periodically rotated into storage boxes or passed on to keep everything manageable. Available space drives organisation but I think I’ve now got the best idea I’ve ever had with what’s still to be done. You’ll no doubt get sorted over time as well!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Gotta love neatly sorted and organized miniatures. Chapeau!
    You see, 20mm miniatures are not just better to have huge armies, turns out, you can store them way better than my 28mm. Have you magnetised them?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Anthony! πŸ™‚ Have to agree, 20mm figures are much easier to store! They all have magnetic bases and the storage boxes are lined with steel paper. A long time ago I used to transport troops for games so I magnetised the bases – they never travel far these days but I still magnetise them!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Storage is one of those things I always struggled with. Your set-up looks neat and stylish. Also very practical and accessible! I got a foam-lined bag a few yers ago to store my painted minis that don’t fit in the display case. I think I may investigate those useful boxes. They seem great to store WIP projects dust free.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks mate! πŸ™‚ If there’s one thing I’m not though it’s stylish! πŸ˜‰ It wasn’t always quite so accessible, but by removing a couple of the shelves it’s given me a bit more room, enough to keep it all together (after moving some books around). The 4 litre Really Useful Boxes have internal footprints slightly larger than A4 paper and should be able to take 28mm cavalry and spear-armed infantry (well I hope they do, as I need to try and fit my 25mm Samurai and Ming Chinese armies into the two empty ones I’ve just bought).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I always find storage an issue but it looks like you have everything in hand, very nicely done. I must get some of those Really Useful Boxes, but then I’m left with the problem of where to put themπŸ€”
    82% complete is good going, John, look forward to seeing the other 18%😁

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Justin! πŸ™‚ Part of the rationalisation and tidying up has involved moving a lot more into one area, so apart from some scenery items, most things are now at least in the same room. I’m pleased with 82% so that’s only 18% remaining if I don’t add anything else!

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s