Tabletop Tyrant recently released their new range of miniature cases, the Ranger series. I found out about them when they were on pre-order at reduced prices, down to half the regular price for some cases. For that price I couldn’t resist picking up a few to try out. I had previously looked at KR Multicase as a storage option and the Tabletop Tyrant offering had the potential to be a less confusing alternative. Seriously, as someone without prior experience of the range, visiting the KR Multicase site and trying to price up some options quickly gives me a headache.
What are the Ranger cases?
In terms of construction materials the Ranger cases are pretty much as you’d expect: a card box that contains foam to safely hold the miniatures. The top is hinged for easy access. One of the selling points of the Ranger cases is that the lid has a flap that magnetically closes to the front of the case, ensuring that the case closes securely while still being easy to open.
The Ranger cases come in three sizes: 40mm deep with a 25mm layer of foam, 55mm deep with 40mm foam, and 75mm deep with 60mm foam. The difference in size is made up by a 6mm layer of foam glued on to the bottom of the storage layer and a loose 6mm layer of foam to sit on top.
The range include several generic loadouts that you’d expect, such as simple rectangular infantry slots or a grid of pluck foam. Tabletop Tyrant also sell the Ranger cases with foam pre-cut for specific sets of miniatures and accessories though, including those from Shadespire and X-Wing.
It’s not clear from the site whether they are pitched primarily for storage or transport, but I would say they’re intended as a storage option. More on that later though! For now, let’s talk about which variants I got my hands on and what I think of them.
What I ordered
I ordered cases in three different loadouts: two 40mm deep (25mm foam) infantry cases with 16 slots, a 40mm deep light infantry case with 20 slots, and a 75mm deep (60mm foam) pick and pluck case. These are all very generic loadouts and suitable for a wide range of miniatures. I don’t have anything that matches the specific pre-cut foam that they offer, so I can’t comment on the cut accuracy of those offerings.
Let’s start with the good features of the cases. The magnetic closure is, of course, one of the big selling features of the Ranger series. I’m happy to confirm that the magnets close the flap firmly, allowing it to be opened easily but preventing it from falling open. The magnets run for the entire length of the flap, making it much less likely that the flap might warp and cause the ends not to fully close as could happen if only the centre of the flap was magnetic.
The blocks of foam that fill the spaces in the infantry cases were completely detached, making them very easy to remove. In the past I’ve had foam where the pieces to remove were either not fully cut or were (accidentally or not) glued to the base layer in places, meaning that they had to be cut or ripped out. The blocks in the Ranger cases can be removed with much less chance of damaging the foam dividers between the miniature slots. There is also the potential to replace the blocks if some of the slots are unoccupied in the future, though it’s likely you’ll have disposed of or lost them by then. The blocks in the light infantry case were attached to the dividers by the smallest sliver of foam at each end, and I had no difficulty removing them. In the pluck foam cases, each 25mm×25mm was connected to its neighbour by a 2mm wide bridge that is very easy to tear, but has to be torn all the way down and that’s a bit fiddly in the deep case that I got.
The boxes themselves feel solid and I’m pretty sure they could take a beating without any risk to your miniatures. The sides of the case are slightly recessed, meaning that the other faces may take damage along their edges if the case is banged around, but this should be entirely cosmetic and not affect the function of the case. The magnetic flap forms the front face of the case, neatly completing the shape as per the back face and avoiding the presence of an obvious flap or closure.
As I mentioned before, Tabletop Tyrant also sell the Ranger cases with foam pre-cut for specific sets of miniatures and accessories, including those from Shadespire and X-Wing. They are very specific configurations, but if they match what you need then you can get some perfectly fitting foam.
While it’s best if you never need to contact the customer support at a company, I can say that they are responsive and I had no problems talking to them. Be aware that they tend to reply outside of office hours though.
The not so good
One issue with the cases that was immediately apparent on receiving them was that the finish is quite easily damaged. This mainly manifests in the colour fading and being scratched and, while it’s not visible at all angles in all lighting conditions (you may not be able to spot it in my photos here for example), in the right conditions it’s very noticeable. They were shipped loose in a cardboard box with just a block of foam down the side to take up the extra space and I suspect a lot of it was due to them rubbing against each other in transit. I found that something as simple as rubbing them with a cloth or a dampened piece of kitchen roll was enough to start damaging the finish.
On the design side of things, the penalty you pay for having cases in this form factor with a single layer of foam each is that you don’t get a whole lot of storage per case for the size. This isn’t an issue specific to the Ranger cases, it’s inherent in any single layer case. The ones I got, for example, can store 16 or 20 miniatures from your favourite 28mm scale wargame. Realistically you’re looking at the 16-space infantry foam and even that might not have large enough spaces for some Warhammer 40,000 miniatures, for example, due to scale creep and odd poses. This means that if you want to store an entire army then you’ll need a lot of cases. You might be able to throw a Necromunda gang in your backpack, but probably not much more.
Finally, as a small quibble for the infantry and light infantry cases, the foam dividing the spaces is only glued to the bottom layer in one direction This means that the strips in the other direction are more flexible and have the chance for bits of models to slip underneath.
Storage or transport?
The lack of a handle or strap on the Ranger cases means that they’d have to be transported inside a backpack or such. The simple box shape makes it obvious that these are more oriented towards storage than transport though. As these cases are, externally, a simple box shape they are very simple to neatly stack, something that can’t be said for bags or figure cases with handles and straps.
As I mentioned previously, one drawback that any single-layer cases have is the bulk relative to the number of miniatures they accommodate. If you’re storing a lot of miniatures then it might still be worth looking at a less storage-oriented solution that nevertheless packs the miniatures in more densely.
Overall, I feel that the Ranger cases are a good solution for storing groups of miniatures, such as a Necromunda gang or a 40k Kill Team. Other options that pack the miniatures in more densely, for example with multiple layers per case, may be better for mass storage. Tabletop Tyrant do offer a variety of other cases, including both box and carry bag style ones, so there may be good options for you there depending on your needs. It’s unfortunate that the finish gets scratched so easily, but it’s up to the buyer to decide if that’s an issue for them personally.