Saturday, February 11, 2012

Steampunk Saturday - KR Multicase Review

We're debuting a new weekly feature on the blog- Steampunk Saturday! Many of our contributors enjoy Warmachine/Hordes in addition to GW games, and while we've featured articles about the game we've never made it a regular part of the blog. But no more!

For my first Warmahordes post, I wanted to focus on the case I just purchased for my Trollbloods, from KR Multicase. For those who are unfamiliar with Trollbloods, they're a race of heavy-drinkin' tribal blue-skinned dudes who best represent the 'good guys' in Hordes. They're known for being melee powerhouses that can be very hard to kill (ask Muggins about my Trollkin Champions, for example). They're a very synergistic army, relying on buffs from other units or solos. What they're also known for is that nearly the entire army is medium-based or large-based. While that provides some interesting advantages and disadvantages in game, it make transporting them much more difficult.

Why this case?: After exploring my options, I ultimately went with KR Multicase, specifically their Kaiser 2 case. First, I like the idea of soft foam- much easier on paintjobs! Even with multiple layers of sealant, hard foam will scratch eventually. The modular nature of their card cases is super useful as well. I can store armies in different card cases, and just swap them in and out of the bag as needed. In addition, the people over at KR's USA branch were super nice in fielding some emailed questions I had before ordering. Finally, KR have been very generous sponsors of numerous tournaments and painting events, including a painting challenge I took part in at the Something Awful forums. So once I made my decision to go with KR, it was easy enough to select the Kaiser 2 and fill it with their preset foam loadouts. Delivery was super quick, though I'm in the same state as the US branch so I was lucky in that regard.

Exterior: The case itself is sturdy and well-made. The material (canvas?) is the standard type of material you'd see a backpack or softsided case to be made of. There are quite a few zippered compartments of various sizes on the outside, as well as mesh pockets. There's a sturdy handle as well as an adjustable shoulder strap.

Interior: The interior compartment holds two of the modular cardboard cases. The cases can be carried horizontally or vertically. I'll be storing them horizontally to minimize jostling of the minis.

Card cases: These cases are not cheap, flimsy cardboard. They're thick, sturdy stuff that seems to have a waxy coating that would help prevent damage from rain, etc. The interior comes packed with the soft blue foam mentioned in the introduction above. The foam trays can be ordered in all kinds of permutations. Unfortunately, the naming system and website can make it a bit difficult to figure out exactly which trays to get. Luckily, KR provides pre-set foam options when ordering a case. For Trollbloods, two loadouts are suggested. I ordered one of each.

Storage: The pre-cut infantry trays I got (the F3H design), while likely useful for most infantry, are not great for Trollblood models. Most Trollblood models are medium-based, meaning 40mm bases. But the pre-cut tray slots are 32mm wide and 32mm deep. This means the base rims jut out. Not a big deal, particularly if you keep them on the top layer of the case, thanks to the soft foam. More importantly though, the width of the slots means many models just don't fit well. Anything but the most static-posed models tends to be very crammed in:

As you can see, most of the models fit poorly. Three models had arms or shields pop off just in test-fitting them in the foam. Frustrating for sure!

The deeper pluck-foam trays work well for beasts and oddly-shaped infantry models:

Interestingly though, the pluck foam is only cut such that you can remove it in 1x3 or 2x3 sections. There are also lengths of foam running across that are not 'pluckable'. (Is that a word? It is now.)

Neither is a huge deal, but it's also limiting. For example, getting the oddly-shaped Dire Troll bomber to fit meant cutting some of that foam wall down in one of the pluck trays:

You can see the bomber in the bottom tray.

Customer Service: So as you can see, I was somewhat disappointed with the infantry trays. I should note here that the dimensions are available on the website, but are not displayed through the bag-ordering menu. So I didn't do enough research to be sure, but nonetheless the suggested loadouts really didn't seem to work for me. So, I sent an email to KR explaining my disappointment and a suggestion for a different kind of foam to be offered. I got a very nice email back very quickly, and to my surprise was offered replacement foam!

After a bit of discussion, we hit on the J3H pluck foam as being my best bet. While these trays hold less models per tray, they allow the models to fit much better. I got the trays in two days, and the whole process could not have been easier. In addition, they will be looking into offering another pre-set loadout using some of the foam trays I was sent. So the customer service could not have been more excellent!

Picture of the J3H foam:

Conclusion: To wrap this review up, I want to be clear that I think KR Multicase offers a fantastic product. But anyone with an army like mine, such as Hordes Trollbloods or a terminator-heavy 40k army (mmm Draigowing...someday...) should be very careful to find just the right foam solution rather than necessarily using the suggested default loadouts. Their pluck foam is a bit different that I'm used to from say, Battlefoam or Sabol as well so if you have a lot of irregularly shaped models, be ready to break out the hobby knife to get them to fit. Finally, I'd recommend to anyone with a decent-sized army, get at least a Kaiser 3. I'm already filling up a big chunk of the case, though of course with so many medium and large based models this is going to happen much quicker. Still, these are minor concerns overall and I definitely recommend the product. Big thanks to KR for being super helpful! I look forward to using their products in the future.

1 comment:

  1. I do love my Kaiser foam, but it's not much cop for dealing with 40mm bases. Doesn't help that I'm tied to refilling GW cases (since I own them and nobody wants to buy them without foam), so I can't get at all the trays, but still!