Disaster Strikes

Last weekend a disaster struck. A massive majority of my miniature collection has come crashing to the ground thanks to the adventuresome behavior of my cat, Turtle. You see at the moment my miniatures are being housed in an old bedroom TV cabinet as I am working on “figuring out” an improved method of widespread storage. In reality I have been continuously making it worse by stacking an increasing number of boxes and containers on top of each other just waiting for the day something shakes the whole tower down.

Well that day happened. On Saturday I heard a large CRASH and was terrified it was my curious toddler. I go running and immediately feel two emotions. First I am absolutely relieved to find that no child or animal was hurt. Secondly I felt my heart sink to my stomach as I saw the devastation the laid before me.

Miniatures lay in pieces scattered over the floor as hundreds of models crashed on top of each other, into other boxes or just spread out. The largest damage of which is my painted miniatures of 2021. Over half of all models painted in the last year lay in pieces. 

Trying to Piece it Back Together

I then proceeded to spend a large portion of my time to see if I can glue as much of the minis together. While I was trying to piece much of my hardwork of 2021 I had an inner dialogue of problems and perhaps ways I can fix them and should focus on for 2022.

Cutting mat with broken miniatures and superglue to repair the models
The surgical field, to glue models back together.

Trying to Solve the Problems

Actually Utilizing My Storage Solutions

“Carrie, why in the world did you wait this long to try to organize your models?”

Voice in my head

You see this is actually ironic because last year I spent a long post series on organizing my collection & hobby space: Storage Wars. I even went as far to develop a new storage tray system for my models (Storage Wars: Part 3 Miniature Storage Trays). Yet in my haste towards the end of the year I did not fully utilize system. The biggest issues that I have is that I have no way to display or store models I’m using that are completed.

Solution: Actually utilize my storage solutions! Take the time to put models away. Find a way to store finished models safely or on display.

Experiment with New Materials

The harsh reality of it is that resin from 3D printing can be extremely brittle. Depending on the material used, duration of cure times, or even staying in storage exposed to UV light can increase this brittleness in your resin models & terrain. Towards the second half of last year I began to use harder resins which are more impact resistant making them more likely to just break rather than shatter. This was definitely noticeable in my Dwarven Frostgrave army printed mostly in 2020 rather than my husband’s necromancer undead army printed later 2021. When the newer models broke I could find most of them to try and glue back together. However some of the original resins used that were basic resins without additives such as ABS-Like or Hard were more likely to shatter rather than break. Let this be a testament on more durable resins being valuable! However in truth and with all the benefits of 3D printing the brittleness of the models definitely is a very strong negative about the 3D printing hobby. I had no reaper bone model damage, metal model damage and very little hard plastic model damage. 

Solution: Prime all printed models to prevent more curing from storage & investigate and start a series of experiments with flexible resin additives to give models more give and capabilities to stay intact.

Begin Cataloging My Collection Again

Last year I started a database of my miniature collection as well as a visual catalog. While it is still a long way to go it is a start. One major downside to this is that in December I sold off a large portion of my collection and did not update my spreadsheet or visual. I need to go back through the list and update the data before I can continue to grow again.

Solution: Update the Spreadsheet, visual catalog and actually track the known vs unknown.


I recognize that finding better systems to account for ever curious toddlers and adventuresome creatures is a much needed thing. I wish I could have shelves to hold the things I love and have spent time on but just do not have the space for it in our home. If you have a precarious pile of models this is my warning to you to make it safer.

How do you keep your hard purchased or crafted items for your tabletop games safe? I keep telling myself that this is the moment where I learn my lesson, but only time will tell.

Happy Hobbying!

Carrie aka crazmadsci the Crazy Mad Scientist

Past Writings

11 thoughts on “The Shattering Reality of my Miniature Collection

  1. I’m so sorry this happened to all your hard work. That’s awful. I appreciate your lessons learned and moving forward, but it still all sucks. I’m hoping you can repair as many as possible. Glad it was not a tiny human that did all this! Hang in there and carry on!

  2. An unfortunate accident but only the minis were damaged so that’s good. An excel catalogue has definitely helped me get on top of painting through my collection, though every so often I find an old model that didn’t make it on there!

      1. I have to say I started this when I was less skilled in Excel than I am now, but my approach was to:
        – have a tab for each ‘category’ of miniatures (Fantasy, SF & Steampunk, Terrain, and I later added one for Bones)
        – have a summary tab showing progress within each category and overall, including the number of miniatures remaining to be painted
        – within the tabs I had various listings, which I would do differently now, as I have things like Rohan army – 154 figures, rather than being listed in more detail
        – I then have a newer tab showing my progress through each of my trays of miniatures, and plans for the next trays

        That keeps me on track overall, but I have set myself up for double entry with tray progress as I might paint say 8 goblins and a nazgul on one tray, but in the fantasy tab they are just part of a larger entry for misty mountains and mordor. If I had my time over I would spell out the models to avoid having to make two updates (one to tray progress, one to overall progress) when I finish things.
        – almost forgot, I also have a tab showing miniatures painted by year, and miniatures bought by year – this only started in 2019 when I decided to get my collection finished. Tracking my buying helped me reconsider a few impulse purchases as I could see the impact it would have on my progress.

      2. That is definitely a problem with me for digital files. The fundamental question tends to be if it isn’t printed does it really exist in the “purchased” category? In reality it should but digital purchases can be so skewed in number for example on creator produces about 30-50 digital models in a month for me for about $6. It doesn’t carry the same weight as say my purchase blood bowl team of snotlings. Because then my purchased minis is in the thousands then.

      3. My feeling is that if it’s not printed out then it doesn’t count – it’s a potential future model but not a model today.

  3. A heart rending incident that I know I have feared, sorry to hear it has happened to you but glad no living being was injured at least. This hobby is two steps forward, one step back all too often but you seem to be keeping your chin up and you have my respect for that.

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