In Focus: Charon Productions
In Focus: Charon Productions
Storing your miniatures properly is a must, and a shoebox or toolbox with a few slabs of foam will handle the task in some instances, but you’re missing out on the proper protection and means to transport them to and from gaming sessions, events and conventions. Charon Productions offers a variety of products designed specifically for the miniature gaming enthusiast who has protecting and transporting their miniatures in mind.
Deluxe Skirmish Pack
The Deluxe Skirmish Pack is one of their largest offerings. Actually they do make another case that’s larger called the BattlePack, which is about 1/3rd larger in terms of overall volume, making it a monster of a case, but for most miniature gaming enthusiasts it would be overkill unless you need a case to hold 3,000-points or more of Warhammer 40k stuff. The Deluxe SkirmishPack is as the name states, a deluxe version of their best selling SkirmishPack. The biggest difference is that it’s tougher all around, as previously they used a wire frame to make it durable enough to withstand airline travel (checked luggage). This Deluxe version has a one-piece honeycombed aluminum form finished in layer Kevlar body. That’s right, Kevlar, the same material used in bulletproof vests and body armor. They don’t claim that it’s bulletproof, but it’s definitely a very sturdy and durable design, one that seams more durable than anything I’ve seen yet from the competition, aside from maybe the BattleHive, but it’s a lot smaller than the Deluxe SkirmishPack.
The case is outfitted with their figurine clamp and vehicle clamp foam inserts, which are interlocking eggshell-like pieces of foam. In use this design works well, as it has been able to handle everything from GWs’ Warhammer 40k, GW’s Lord of the Rings, and HeroClix to much larger pieces like Warmachine and Mechwarrior: Dark Age, all while keeping them protected during transport to and from gaming events. Even after a few violent shakes and throwing the case around a bit none of the figures were damaged, nor did any collide with each other, which definitely proved that this is outstanding design.
Larger vehicles like Warhammer 40k Rhinos and LandRaiders are also easily accommodated by the vehicle clamp foam inserts, which are essentially the same as the figuring clamp inserts, only they allow for more space in between by offering larger foam teeth. The case itself is split into two main compartments, so on one side you can store your figures, and on the other a few larger vehicles, or even much larger oversize figures. On the inside of the case lid is a large zipper pocket, which encompasses the entire length and width of the case, making it large enough to store just about any rulebooks and other essential gaming documentation. On the back exterior is another zippered pocket, which is also large enough to accommodate most any rulebook, codexes, etc.
In terms of other exterior features the case opens via a dual zipper, which when they meet can be padlocked via tiny padlock that they provide (which even comes with two keys). The handle is very sturdy. A removable shoulder strap and even travel tag via a little see through pocket up top with an insert for writing your name, address and phone number is provided. The shoulder strap can also be attached for vertical or horizontal carrying of the case, allowing for maximum flexibility. The Deluxe SkirmishPack retails for $72.95 US.
It doesn’t get much better than this in terms of case design. The clamp foam trays do a fantastic job at protecting miniatures, and even larger vehicles, plus in terms of overall volume, I’m yet to see a case that can accommodate as much as the Deluxe SkirmishPack. In addition to the default foam trays, they also offer what they call Slotta-Foam trays ($5 each), which are one-piece design foam trays, with thirty-two individual compartments that fit most 25-28mm miniatures well. The Deluxe SkirmishPack could easily accommodate ten Slotta-Foam trays, which equals enough space for three hundred and twenty 25-28mm miniatures, by putting five trays in each compartment. Sticking with the vehicle clamp foam on one side and Slotta-Foam on the other you’re still talking about one hundred and sixty 25-28mm figures, and some larger figures and a small variety of vehicles on the other side, easily adding up to a 2,000-2,500-point Warhammer 40k army. As you can see, by design flexibility is the Deluxe SkirmishPacks biggest plus, aside from durability.
Games Workshop SkirmishPack
This is essentially the original Skirmish pack, with a Games Workshop Warhammer 40k Imperial Eagle logo on the front of it. At present the Imperial Eagle is the only design that they have to offer, and these are only available via mail order in Canada and the UK, but if you’re an Imperial 40k player, this case is an absolute must!
While it’s not as sturdy as the Deluxe SkirmishPack, it still offers the same volume in terms of figure capacity, just minus the aluminum and kevlar inner shell design. Nonetheless, this design is also durable and sturdy, as this is identical in design to a regular Charon SkirmishPack, which is a very popular case, just with the addition of the Imperial logo. An exterior pocket on the back to accommodate gaming rulebooks and documentation, a removable shoulder strap, an interior zippered storage compartment for more rulebooks and documentation and a tiny padlock round out the features offered. The regular SkirmishPack retails for $62.95, while the GW version runs about $70 US. Since they’re only available in Canada and in the UK at present you’re talking $100 CANADIAN for one for all of you lucky Notherners.
Here’s another all new design. The Scoutpack at a glance is designed for taking a small to medium sizes army to and from gaming events, think of it as a 40k in forty minutes case, as it can easily accommodate about 1,200, maybe even 1,500-points worth of Warhammer 40k figures (depending on what army you field), and even a vehicle or two. The ScoutPack offers the capacity and volume of one half of the Skirmish and Deluxe SkirmishPack cases, essentially one side of the inner compartment of either of those two larger cases. On the inside of the lid can be found a netted zipper compartment for rulebooks, codexes, etc, and two exterior pockets can be found on the front of the case, one big enough to accommodate a rulebook or codex, the other for maybe a calculator, pens, paper, etc. A shoulder strap, and somewhat of an elastic exterior pocket (criss-crossed elastic cords) to hold a calculator round out the exterior options offered by the ScoutPack.
This is a fantastic little case, as it’s not too big, or too small, and the inner shell consists of hard plastic inserts all around underneath the primary fabric of the case. By design it also accommodates the same Slotta-Foam and Clamp trays that fit the larger cases, so once again, if you own one of the larger cases and don’t need to carry that much stuff on any given day, you could easily take the trays or inserts that you need, and toss them into the ScoutPack for a gaming excursion. The ScoutPack retails for $38.95 US and comes with one figuring clamp and two vehicle clamp foam inserts.
This one is designed primarily for the dungeon crawler, as it’s not at all a large case, but it offers a single Slotta-Foam tray, accommodating up to thirty two 25-28mm miniature figures, and enough room to carry a good variety of rulebooks, a DM screen, some dice essentially all that’s needed to take with you to get into a role-playing game. It’s not a hard-shell design like the other products that Charon offers, but it’s a case within a case, as the Slotta-Foam tray is enclosed within its own fabric enclosure, which slips into the Gamers’ Satchel case, and in use it does a fine job at protecting the miniatures on the go.
While it’s not the ideal solution for the diehard wargaming enthusiast, one could easily toss enough pieces in the single Slotta-Foam tray for a small game of Games Workshop’s Lord of the Rings, Black Orc’s 100 Kingdoms, or Devil Dog Design’s Dogs of War. So it can be a useful transport for small skirmish games, and role-playing games both. A shoulder strap, a variety of exterior pockets and even a calculator is included, which round out the features offered. At $29.95 US it’s priced reasonably as well.
Charon Productions seams to offer a little something for every miniature gaming enthusiast. The only thing going against them is the lack of a larger US presence, because while one could easily order their products from a variety of US retailers who stock the different Charon Productions cases; ordering direct from Charon means ordering direct from Canada, and at present the cost of paying for shipping from Canada to the US for the larger cases can be a bit expensive. So they do have a web presence and gamers can order any of their current products direct from them online, but it might be best to find a US retailer who carries the products to save on shipping. That aside, there’s no reason not to recommend any one of the cases mentioned in this article, as they’re all high quality and they all do what they’re designed to do, which is making the task of transporting and storing miniatures a safe and worry free task.
It should also be noted that Charon is continually improving their designs, and the Deluxe SkirmishPack, Deluxe BattlePack and new products like the ScoutPack and Gamers Satchel shows that their committed to putting together the kind of products that miniature gaming enthusiasts not only want, but can make good use of to help keep their miniatures protected and safe while storing or traveling with them.
Charon president Andy Lucas shared with us that the chance exists that we may eventually see other Games Workshop logos on the GW SkirmishPack cases. Actually they’re game to put logos on the cases for other companies as well, Lucas also shared with us that they did a run of one hundred Deluxe SkirmishPacks for a large Irish gaming club called the Nothern Wasters, personalized with their name, logo and all.
Other gaming properties are also a possibility, as Charon is definitely open to suggestion. A case with a Warmachine, Mechwarrior and other gaming property logos would certainly appeal to gaming enthusiasts, as I know that this reviewer would be first in line to get a Warmachine, Dogs of War or Mechwarrior case if they were available. Just to clarify, none of those properties were mentioned, as I was just using them as an example. However, if the Imperial Logo cases go over well, and I hope they do, many of us Chaos 40k players may eventually get a case that we can really enjoy showing off, that much is a given.