Magniature Cases is a new venture for sole trader Peteru Lesa who saw a gap in the local market for a customised, magnetised, miniature carry case. After failing to find anything suitable he took the initiative to design and build one of his own.
Peteru then brought along the prototype to his gaming group to a positive response. He then spent the next year re-designing and testing a case that would be more efficient to produce and assemble. His end results is what I am reviewing today.
I must note now that in the few weeks I have had this review case Peteru has made some improvements to the design and production. As a result some of the issues that I present as part of this review may have been resolved in future cases.
If you’ve been following ATGN for a while you may have come across the couple of articles I’ve written on miniature cases and my recommendations. What makes Magniature Cases different from others of its ilk and why should you care? Many things. I shall list these things. Here are these things:
Magniature Cases were designed specifically to house a large quantity of figures via magnets. Competitor magnetic cases are either DIY metallic tool boxes or a bloody expensive metal frame and shelves wrapped in a carry bag (think www.Army-case.com cases). Magniature Cases sit somewhere in between and are a reasonable choice when weighing up the cost with the amount of figures they can hold.
I’ve gone through some of my miniature collection just to see how many figures we can comfortably pack in there. Real world test shows that this style of case is much more suited to individually based figures as well as your big toys. I was able to carry my entire painted 40k Necron force as well as a bunch of 40k Thousand Sons figures to fill up the space. Even then there was room to move without over-crowding. I could easily transport my entire Malifux and Twisted collections and still have an entire tray free for when I eventually get around to assembling more. It has no trouble carrying an entire Star Wars Legion army as well as my Beyond the Gates of Antares stuff.
Thanks to the height of the case and the ability to move the trays to various levels, safely transporting a tank or giants is a big plus. From now on whenever you see the latest Games Workshop upcoming release and think “Now how the flip am I supposed to transport that kit?” a Magniature Case is your answer.
What I’ve found is that while it’s fantastic for these round based skirmish type games, it doesn’t do so well for your rank ‘n flank systems. This is all to do with the amount of real estate we have to work with for each magnetic tray. Movement trays and multibased units give very little choice with how to arrange them in a confined space.
Couple that with miniature overhang, and the amount of room allotted for trays to slide in the case, you end up with less room than you would think. I tried to squeeze in my entirely multibased Kings of War goblin army but had to end up leaving some behind. A horde of goblins almost take up half a tray, a horde of orcs just barely manages to fit. If either unit had fancy basing or any overhang, they’d be staying home. There is a generous gap between trays; if it was reduced a touch it might have been possible to fit in an additional shelf.
The trays are made of 0.4mm sheet metal with an anti-slip rubberised coating. Comparing the magnetic strength to magnetic rubber sheets, Magniature Case trays are super strong. Perhaps a little too strong. For this review I freshly magnetised some 40k miniatures using a single 3.5mm neodymium magnet. There was absolutely no worries about this thing coming lose even when dropped. Even so, please don’t drop the case.
There’s more chance of a model breaking to due trying to lift the figure off the tray than there is from a case drop. So if you intend to use this case I recommend testing your magnets first and swap out for smaller ones if able. This is goes for Malifaux players especially.
The trays are non-slip by design. This means removing a unit off a tray can prove difficult at times. Multibased units or movement trays have a much harder time releasing themselves from the magnets’ hold. This is another detractor for players of those systems.
When purchasing a case, consumers have a choice of ordering one pre-assembled or flat packed to reduce postage costs. The case I’m reviewing came flat packed. All the parts were packaged well and the instructions were clear enough though there was some fenagling and head scratching in some sections.
Remember, a mass-produced product this is not. There are going to be some defects. There’s not that machine precision you’d get from the super expensive cases. That said it only took me about a half hour to figure out what I needed to do, what needed adjusting, and how to assemble without stuffing up.
The finished product seems sturdy even though the case walls are made of corflute. It’s strong enough for most situations but doesn’t give that feeling of reassurance. I’m putting that down to the case being very light weight.
The carry handle fixed at the top of the case doesn’t sit flush, which means no stacking of cases atop each other. For the most part the case is held together using high-bond adhesive tape. There are also a few small screws in some places which don’t really grip onto anything.
I think the combination of adhesive and corflute is why I’m second guessing; they aren’t things you’d normally associate with solid construction. Again, this could just be my paranoia kicking in; I’m sure the case is perfectly protective for 99% of situations. Oh, and don’t submerge this thing! Seeing as there are construction defects abound, water is definitely going to seep through given the chance. Don’t let water get that chance!
As a little bonus, Magniature Cases come with a choice of many custom designed face plate images. Displayed on the webstore are faction logos from 40k and Age of Sigmar. There is also an option to have a custom design created for other game systems, wargaming groups and the like. The print quality of the review case image is quite good; nice and clear with decent colour saturation. How the face plate will stand up to the rigours of travel, only time will tell. I wasn’t about to intentionally scuff or scratch it to find out; I’m not a madman.
Unlike the other sides of the case the face plate feels a little more rigid. It is also detaches completely giving full access to the innards.
I have communicated some of the issues I found with the case to Magniature Cases and I’m happy to report that improvements are already in place. Construction and assembly should therefore be tighter going forward. It’s good to know how open to feedback Magniature Cases are and that improvements to processes come about as a result.
A Magniature Case is something you should seriously consider if you’re in the market for a miniature transport solution. If it’s just a dozen or so figures that need moving then a Magniature Case might be a bit overkill. multibasers and movement-trayers could also find more frustration than satisfaction when navigating the given shelf space. That’s something you need to assess yourself though as we all hobby differently.
For all the other round based army wargames, it’d be hard to pass up a Magniature Case. If build quality continues to improve then a Magniature Case might just be your first and only stop.
For those looking to pick one up, pop on over to https://magniature.com/ and check them out.
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Ben has been playing Miniature War Games since before he could walk. One might even say it's in his blood. If it has small figures moving on a surface he's probably played it at one point or another. He's also an accomplished painter of said miniatures and enjoys both casual and tournament play.