Wednesday 6 February 2013

Review: Battlefoam P.A.C.K. 432 - Stormraven Gunship Inside!

This week I will be taking my army to the skies for a trip home to Australia and a game with a long time friend and 40k nemesis, Leigh. Instead of my usual Orks vs. his Space Wolves or Dark Eldar, I will be bringing my Blood Angels and Imperial Guard which I have been collecting for the last 18 months. In order to survive the trip across the Pacific Ocean (miniatures don't travel well from hobby station to light box in this house) I will be using a Battlefoam P.A.C.K. (Personal Army Combat Kit) 432. Designed with air travel in mind (both in dimensions and lightweight construction) it has enough room to carry infantry and my new Stormraven Gunship.

Don't try this at home! The strength lies in the hard plastic edges, as tested here to 85kg!

The key to maintaining small dimensions is the use of only three large trays, minimising wasted 'edge' space where the foam can't be plucked from. Unfortunately it means most of the trays for other Battlefoam bags don't fit into this bag for easy army swapping, but as I have a relatively small collection this hasn't been an issue so far. It also makes for an interesting 'unzipping' method, effectively lying the bag on its back and opening two panels over the rest of the bag:

The PACK 432 is supplied with three 'pluck foam' trays or your choice of 'custom' load out.

The 1" tray holds around 56 models, including a foam 'topper'

The 2" tray is perfect for models with weapons/wargear that protrude.
The two top rows here have Jump Packs attached with plenty of room to spare.

The 3" tray is perfect for 60mm Heavy Weapon Teams and vehicles.
A Drop Pod is too big to fit in this tray!

The '432' from the name supposedly comes from its ability to hold 432 models, with the correct custom trays I presume. As I am able to fit 56 troops on the 1" pluck foam tray, and with an apparent 7.5" of foam according to the product description I guess this is about on the money, but with the base and foam topper for each tray taking up room as well each tray swells by 1/2". With 7.5" of space including foam toppers, I could fit three 1" trays (4.5" total) and a 2" tray (2.5") for a total of 224 models, with 1/2" room to spare for rulebooks etc. I guess that's marketing for you, but either way I end up fitting quite a lot of models inside the standard plucked foam loadout!

All the models in the above trays, around 2000 pts of 6th Edition foot-sloggers and flyers!

While on the subject of rulebooks, I should mention the PACK 432 is perfect for the 6th Edition "Big Yellow Book" provided you are only using one codex. Two Codices makes things a bit of a squeeze and the likelihood of damage to the pages when storing them increases. The whole bag ends up quite 'front' heavy once you have put your tape measure, dice and so on in the pockets, but it includes a carry strap for those with neck muscles of steel. I prefer to throw mine in the car and just use the carry handle.

Yes the 6th Edition hard cover rulebook does 'fit'.

Overall I would rate the PACK 432 by Battlefoam a 4/5. It is light, durable, relatively inexpensive given the value of protecting the contents and general cost of the hobby, but lacks flexibility once your army outgrows the size of the bag. I have had to leave the Assault Terminators at home, but who needs them when you have thirty 2+ save guardsmen when going to ground behind the AEGIS Defence Line? If you are wondering how I managed to fit a Stormraven Gunship inside the PACK 432, a little careful magnetising goes a long way.

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