Home Forums General General How do you keep track of your collection?

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  • #56044
    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    I’ve never really found a satisfactory way of keeping track of the models and figures that I have. I’m seriously considering writing myself a web app to do it, but I’d rather not spend the time and effort if I can avoid it.

    As well as details of the individual models/figures, I like to keep track of the various units that they can be organised into. Obviously I could just write a list and manually update it, but does anyone have a system that automatically updates (using a spreadsheet or database, for example)?

    Military history author
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    #56049
    Phil Dutré
    Participant

    I keep everything in a spreadsheet. Works for me. I have columns for a description, number of figures, manufacturer (if known), link to a photograph if I have one, and some notes for use in games or painting. What I do not keep track of is game-specific information. Several years from now rulesets will have rotated out and others in, but the miniatures will still be there.

    For something like this, you also have to keep an eye on maintainability. You want something that’s easily accessible and of which you’re sure it will still be accessible 10 or 20 years from now. Writing a web app yourself is the best guarantee it won’t work anymore 5 years from now 🙂

    It also depends how many figures you’re talking about. A few 100? A few 1000? More than 10000?

    And it also depends what you want to do with all that info. For me, it’s a help for writing up scenarios. What I do not are database-like queries. It’s not I have to ask myself “Let’s see if I have some WW2 Russians in my collection”. I know I have them. But I don’t know exactly how many. So that’s what I want to know, and how I keep my info.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by Phil Dutré.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by Phil Dutré.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/

    #56050
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I’ve never really found a satisfactory way of keeping track of the models and figures that I have. I’m seriously considering writing myself a web app to do it, but I’d rather not spend the time and effort if I can avoid it. As well as details of the individual models/figures, I like to keep track of the various units that they can be organised into. Obviously I could just write a list and manually update it, but does anyone have a system that automatically updates (using a spreadsheet or database, for example)?

     

    I wish, started an excel (I know using a spreadsheet for a database solution, sigh, but 30+ plus years in the Federal government I quit trying to explain to my bosses) spreadsheet but went back to manual records.

    No Holy Grail siteings from me I regret to say.

    #56055
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Don’t.

    Is the honest answer. I started in the early 70s and as I moved around with work I put the current set of figures in large boxes into storage and moved on each time. About 15 years ago I settled into one place (or so I thought) and recovered most of the boxes in store! Yikes! One more move 9 years ago meant I started going through the things in the loft/attic – still going! I sold a shed load of 25mm Napoleonics, 16th century, Ancients, 7YW, Medieval and tried recording the others as I found them/identified them. Plus the new acquisitions. I have the list but I still keep finding unremembered purchases squirreled away.

    My collection started pre-computer era, so that is my excuse for my failure. I did start a database in the mid 90s but technology moved on and I can’t remember where the floppy disk it is on is, even if I could find a compatible system to read it. The thought of sitting down and putting them all on a database now makes me shudder. I’d rather be playing/painting/reading/writing.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by Guy Farrish.
    #56057
    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    I keep everything in a spreadsheet. Works for me. I have columns for a description, number of figures, manufacturer (if known), link to a photograph if I have one, and some notes for use in games or painting. What I do not keep track of is game-specific information. Several years from now rulesets will have rotated out and others in, but the miniatures will still be there.

    I’ll probably end up with something like this. If nothing else, keeping it simple is a good thing. I’ll probably keep wondering about ways to make it better, but if I can keep that urge in check I should be OK 😉

    Right now, my collection is pretty small. About 10-15 years ago I decided I wasn’t going to be wargaming any more, and gave everything away. Last year I finally accepted that I’d made a big mistake 🙁 So, if I’m going to do it, now is the best time, before my collection grows much more.

    Military history author
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    #56058
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    What is this “khiptrak” of which you speak?

    #56073
    McKinstry
    Participant

    I using a combination of failing memory and moving into new houses every decade or so and finding all I forgot.

    The tree of Life is self pruning.

    #56088
    Etranger
    Participant

    Memory! I’m usually pretty good at remembering what I’ve bought in the past & where they’re stored. As everything is packed into boxes in the garage of a rental property while I build it can be a challenge. Occasionally I get a pleasant surprise though!

    I’m also pretty good at remembering articles, photo locations etc so I usually don’t have too much difficulty in researching topics either, although again almost everything is packed away currently.

    #56135
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    Having done this professionally, I agree with Tim. Database design and development is a lot of work, and data entry is way more than that. It’s a hobby in itself, if that’s how you like to spend your time.

    I have no system of record at all. I organize my collection into boxes, grouped by subject, and label all the boxes. Built and unbuilt toys are kept under the same system. Boxes are stacked on shelves with their labels visible. As the inventory grows, I have to add boxes. Sometimes I reorganize and relabel. That’s some work, but it’s worth it.

    I can pretty much find whatever I want with a little rummaging. Every so often I look around the storage room, feast my eyes, pop a few boxes and refresh my memory of what I have. Sort of like Smaug the dragon, lying on his treasure hoard…

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #56137
    Patrice
    Participant

    I don’t keep track of my friends.

    I know all of them! 

    Um, it’s true that I often forget some of them… but then I’m happy when I meet them again.

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #56153
    Norm S
    Participant

    I use different types of boxes and different colours and then group them by type.

    A friend of mine has a big collection and he has done a spreadsheet simply so that when he dies, those that handling his stuff will have an idea of stock and value for disposal reasons.

    #56414
    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    Thanks for all the replies. I think for now I’ll just keep a simple list 🙂

    Military history author
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    #56418

    I stuff it in my closet and periodically peek through it. That way, it’s kind of like going to a game store: I am always finding stuff I didn’t know I had!

     

     

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #56482

    I have a photographic memory and a brain like a sponge – I know where everything, what state it is in and exactly what I have.

     

    #56490
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I have a photographic memory and a brain like a sponge – I know where everything, what state it is in and exactly what I have.

     

    Related to SpongeBob Squarepants?

    #56491
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    We’re supposed to keep track of them? Oh. Ah. Well. Humm. …. Later.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

    #56492
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Um…. no idea.

    #56495

    I have a photographic memory and a brain like a sponge – I know where everything, what state it is in and exactly what I have.

    Related to SpongeBob Squarepants?

    It can be a hinderance as when I think of things I need to finish remembering everything and its detail is overwhelming.

     

    #56528
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I have a photographic memory and a brain like a sponge – I know where everything, what state it is in and exactly what I have.

    Related to SpongeBob Squarepants?

    It can be a hinderance as when I think of things I need to finish remembering everything and its detail is overwhelming.

    Touche’ – I used to have that trait but 37 1/2 years of military and federal service “fixed” that.  Absolutely nothing to do with old age and four children… 

    #56538
    PatG
    Participant

    Try this one: http://collectioncalculator.com/

    #56592
    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    Thanks for the suggestion. The big problem with Collection Calculator (for me) is that there’s no way for me to download/backup my data. I get paranoid about trusting my data to other people and not having my own copy, so I’ll stick with a simple list.

    Military history author
    Website : Twitter : Facebook

    #56597
    PatG
    Participant

    Good point Russell

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