Saturday, 29 July 2017

Suitcase for BOYL

Hey ho,

Couldn't be arsed blogging for a while, but hey, I'm back :)

Here's something I put together for my trip to BOYL that I thought might be of some interest....a "custom" mini case. I had to figure out how to transport all of my mini's, my Hovertank and Walker overseas, without them being trashed on the journey. All I have are those K&R cardboard cases, which are fine for mini's, but not for large toys. Luckily for me, the wife's handle on her old carry on case broke off about a month and a half before BOYL. So I claimed it and set to work converting it into a custom mini case. I also decided that while I was at it I might as well go ahead and try and sex it up a bit too, coz why the hell not hey?

I forgot to take a "before" shot of the suitcase, but we all know what a plain old suitcase looks like anyway, so your not missing out on much.

First thing I did was to gut the interior i.e. all the pretty padded lining. Then came the design part, figuring out how to mount the vehicles inside, securely. I didn't want to just wrap them in foam and hope for the best. So I decided to use polystyrene, as it's light and relatively strong. I began carving out an accurate negative form for the Hovertank chassis. I also made a simple circular recess for the Walker base too. I then used acrylic caulk & plaster screws to mount them both into the recess on one half of the case. To cover up the screw heads that were now protruding through to the exterior of the case, I glued a couple of thick pieces of card over it. I had cut holes in the card beforehand in the position of the screw heads. Then I applied some filler over them to make it all nice and flush.

In the opposite half of the case I glued in a polystyrene form to fit the positive shape of the Hovertank & Walker. I also glued some small foam padded sections to the locations that would contact the toys on the polystyrene as well. Hopefully, in theory, when the case was closed up, these two polystyrene forms would sandwich the toys with enough clamping force that they wouldn't be able to move about. My miniatures would be packed in foam in the empty space surrounding the vehicles.

Here's a few detailed photo's, in case my words confused you:

The next part was to decorate the exterior, which I didn't actually have any plan for. One idea was to cover it with some pictures from my collection. The one's I had cut out from my WD & GM magazines back in my youth....yep, unbelievably,  I STILL have that lot with me! Sticking a lot of pictures onto the case would take far too much time though. So I came up with something else instead. I'd been lucky enough to get hold of an RBT-01 box a few months prior to this project commencing. And seeing as I'd only be playing RT type games while I was at BOYL, I thought it only fitting to go with an RT theme. So I decided to plaster the case with the RBT-01 box images.

I scanned both sides of the box, blank cardboard showing and all, and printed off a few copies in high-res. After carefully trimming the printed images, but before I began applying the images, I gave the case a light scuff with a Scotch pad. With my Decoupage hat firmly on, I went to town with a weak PVA mix. And after a couple of days, when it was completely dry, I masked up the handle and zipper area and hit it with about ten layers of clear gloss coat. I hoped that be enough to protect to the images on the case from being damaged.

Here's an exciting picture of the High-res images I printed off.....exciting huh :(

And here's the final product, with a new handle as well...the wife will never know :)

Half way through the clear coating process my son asked me if I'd like to stick a good luck charm that he had drawn for me on it? "Of course!" I said. Besides the fact that it's a cool little drawing, he had the good sense to put a chaos god symbol on it too, unprompted and all! That's my boy :)

Ain't nobody gunna get confused at customs with this name tag!

I completed this case about three or four weeks before departing and the post was finished about a week before now, but I decided that I'd only publish it once I'd arrived for BOYL. I didn't want to jinx myself and have it possibly fail in some way on me beforehand. A little superstitious and a tad crazy on my behalf I know :) Anyway, here it is. What do you guys think? Was it worth making?

Cheers :)