Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Tale of a Frugal Gamer - Episode 2

One of the issues that seems to be common among those of us that play with space ships, planes, and aeronefs is how do you keep the stands from breaking off when transporting.  Most of the stands are glued onto the model.  Sometimes you can use pegs that fit into a whole, but that has some limitations as well.

I wanted to have stands that could be attached to the model, but could then be removed for transport and storage of the models.



CorSec Engineering has a line of products called Omni-Stands.  These are a collection of bases, mounts, and rods that thread into one another and are easily removed.  A few months ago, I ordered 30 bases, 30 pegs, and 30 mounts to use with my new Brigade Games models for Imperial Skies.  I spent about $80 for these.  These are a very nice product, but they are very expensive.

CorSec Engineering base, peg, and mount.


Many of the ship models I have cost $.75-1.50.  I don't want to add a base that is 3 times the cost of the model.

CorSec suggests you buy a mount for each model, but you only need enough bases and pegs for the largest fleet you plan to play.  Since these come apart, you don't need a base and peg for each ship you own, only for the ones in your fleet. 

Not a bad idea and their product is pretty nice, but this is a story of a frugal gamer.  So I started thinking about how I could do something similar on the cheap.

So I stopped by my local home improvement shop and found a 6-32 threaded rod and some nylon lock nuts as well.  I went with the lock nuts so that I wouldn't tighten the rod into the base and break the base/model away from the nut.  The nylon will stop me from threading the rod too far onto the nut.

I have a pair of wire trimmers that allows me to cut the threaded rod so I didn't need to purchase that.

Wire trimmers to cut the threaded rod.


I cut a length of threaded rod about 1" long (you can cut the rod to whatever length you like).  I also bought some 1.25" fender washers.  For a little more money you an use Litko hex bases of whatever size you like.  Whatever you decide to use, glue a lock nut to the base and another lock nut to the ship model.  (Try to get the nut glued to the center of gravity to help keep the model stable.)  I thread the rod into the two nuts and I now have a stand that comes apart for transport/storage.  And is very cheap.

Fender washers, nylon lock nuts, threaded rod, and aluminum tube.

My cheap flight stand with a CorSec mount.

A nylon nut glued to the ship.

My cheap stand works well for ships of different sizes.
You can paint and/or texture the bases if you like.

If you don't like the look of the threaded rod, you can "hide" it fairly easily.  Also from my local home improvement shop I picked up a 3/16" aluminum tube.  Cut it to length with a hacksaw and you have a sleeve to go over the threaded rod.

You can use some aluminum tube if you want to hide the threaded rod.

Just cut the tube to length and slide it over the threaded rod.
My cheap removable flight stand
Fender Washer 1.25" (pack of 30) - $3.69 or $.13 each
Threaded rod (36" rod cut into 1" lengths) - $3.99 or $.12 each
Aluminum tube (36" tube cut into 1" lengths) - $2.89 or $.09 each
2 nylon lock nuts (purchased in 100 packs) - $3.49 or $.08 per pair

Total Cost - $.42 each

CorSec Engineering's Omni-Stand
Omni-Stand 1.25" Hex Base - $.75 each
Omni-Stand Small Mount - $.45 each
Omni-Stand 1" Rod - $1.29 each

Total cost - $2.49 each

Just to be clear, CorSec Engineering's stands are great and I will continue to use the ones I have purchased.  They have some cool features that make them worth the money.  And they have some interesting additional items that can give you some additional options to your modeling.  However. for most of my ships, I just don't want to spent that kind of money on the stands.  

In addition, I used 6-32 threaded rod so the nuts and pegs are all interchangeable between my cheap stands and the CorSec stands.

If you only need a couple of stands, then maybe you should go with CorSec's stands, but if you are like me and have a couple hundred models, then this might be a worthwhile alternative.

What do you use for your flight stands?  Have you come up with any clever solutions?

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