Chainmail Dice Bags

No, it’s not the top view of a chainmail yarmulke.By The Chainmaille Wench

First-Class Maille

In the beginning, God created Crown Royal sacks that could be press-ganged into dice bags. But Gamer Bling didn’t have access to one of those sacks of purple-and-gold, so instead he nabbed a black zippered vinyl calculator case (with belt loop) from his older brother. It has served well, although now it’s thirty years older, somewhat faded, and missing a few teeth. Much like Gamer Bling himself.

Today, that old calculator case is experiencing an extended vacation with Mr. Trash Can. Because yesterday was the happy day that Gamer Bling got a new dice bag from The Chainmaille Wench. (Disclaimer: at no time would Gamer Bling ever consider applying the tag “wench” to a woman. At least not out loud, unless perhaps there were enough witnesses nearby to afford some semblance of safety from immediate retaliation.)

As you might guess, The Chainmaille Wench makes dice bags out of wicker cinder blocks chain mail. But this is not your heavy medieval wrought iron chain mail; this is a high-tech work of art made of the sort of stuff you might find on the space shuttle. I mean, they had to do something with all those leaky o-rings…

First, Gamer Bling must admit that he was suspicious about the use of metal rings in a dice bag. He spent some time in the SCA and has seen some of the material that has passed for chain mail, e.g., metal wire wrapped around a dowel for shape, then cut with wire cutters and roughly twisted into an interlocking mess mesh. The unfortunate downside of such chain mail is that it features lots of little barbs on the cut edges of each individual ring. Barbs that could scratch and claw and slice your nice little dices into pieces and pieces, yessss…

Gamer Bling’s new dice bag is a large red-and-black affair.

The red rings are made of anodized aluminum, which means aluminum that has been subjected to a kind of electric chair: it gets electrocuted until it dyes. And while each ring has been cut (and not welded back together as are some other items), the rings are nicely and tightly closed with little or no gap. We’re talking professional work, here. Gamer Bling seriously doubts that dice would get marred by being carried in these bags, even for an extended period.

The black rings are EPDM o-rings (and here you thought Gamer Bling was joking about the space shuttle). They add a little flexibility and do a great job of keeping your aluminum rings from rubbing together, thus saving their finish and quieting the swishing sound chain mail makes. They also help protect your dice from any abrasion that might happen to be caused by the aluminum (and vice versa).

EPDM, by the way, is a GFLA that stands for Ethylene-Propylene-Diene-Monomer and not, as some may have suspected, Engineering Product Data Mapping or Elves Pestering Dangerous Mongooses.

GFLA stands for gratuitous four-letter acronym.

A chain mail dice bag holding (for some reason) a large styrofoam ball. Or maybe one of Zocchi’s megalithic new d1000s.The end result is a happy union of aluminum and rubber that has an interesting shifting duo-tone look; the red aluminum stands out and the black EPDM is practically invisible, being part of US stealth technology or something.

The bag is made of a series of bands of chain mail (thus is banded chain mail), expanding from the single bottom ring to the maximum diameter, holding that count for a few rows, and then curving slightly smaller again. The result is a pleasant spherical shape when the bag is full of dice.

The plenty-long-enough drawstring slides through eight rings in the large bag (7 in the small), giving it a nice, even ability to draw without saggy gaps or puckering. The drawstring itself is made of parachute cord, although it must be noted—for those Darwin-award aspirants who need warning labels telling them not to use toasters in the bathtub—that despite the presence of a parachute cord, the dice bag itself does not make a good parachute. It’s a little too porous.

The drawstring slides through a nice thumb lock and terminates in an elegant knot that has had its loose ends fused together in eternal nylon bliss by some sort of Texas branding iron. This hyar knot ain’t coming undone, pardner. It’s a nice finishing touch to a quality accessory.

Weak Points

Gosh, it’s hard to come up with some.

One weak point is that we don’t see women like this wearing dice bags for their bikinis. The Chainmaill Wench needs to look into alternate marketing strategies.Those who have those tiny novelty dice are well advised not to use these bags unless you’re trying to leave a trail of tiny dice like Hansel and Gretl.

They probably interact poorly with metal-clad dice. This is a theory of Gamer Bling’s and one he is loathe to test with his own personal metal-clad dice.

Gamer Bling will have to test whether or not these set off airport metal detectors. Preferably by sneaking one into someone else’s luggage.

And, being hand made, they cost more than, say, a Crown Royal dice bag. Unless you’re buying a Crown Royal dice bag with a bottle of Crown Royal in it.

The Bottom Line

It’s retro-techno. It provides a +5 bonus to AC. It holds the essential gamer tool in style. And it’s hand-made.

Get one. Especially if you’re still using a disco-era calculator case as a stand-in.

Summary

Bling Factor: 8
Quality: 10
Utility: 8
Price: $35-$45
You Need: 1, unless you really love dice

E-tail

Chainmaille Wench is not a widely distributed manufacturer, being a sole proprietor and stylish hand-twister of small rings. It’s not like she has cases of stuff lying around. Or if she does, she has far too much spare time on her hands.

That means that if you are a player (albeit not necessarily a playa), your FLGS may not stock these bags. And it you’re a retailer (albeit not necessarily a retaila… whatever the heck one of those is), your distributor probably does not carry these bags. In fact, if anyone carries these bags, it’s probably a bellhop at a swanky hotel. They always carry bags.

However, the Chainmaille Wench inexplicably thinks Gamer Bling is kind of cute or something, so she has offered readers of this site a special bonus:

Individuals who mention Gamer Bling when placing their first order will get a free zipper pull or key chain. Retailers placing their first wholesale order get a buy-four-get-one-free deal on any one item. Does this offer support Gamer Bling, or help him keep his website afloat? No. But it helps a small craftswoman, and that’s good enough for GB any day.

So order direct and use the secret “Gamer Bling” code word, or send your FLGS owner to do the same. You’ll be glad you did. And the Chainmaille Wench will be even gladder. Or more glad. Or more gladder. Whatever.

The Future

Huge dice bags? Gamer Bling supposes it could happen. There are a lot of gamers out there who have an awful lot of dice…

But there are also other items that The Chainmaille Wench does. They’ll be reviewed soon.

Products

The Chainmaille Wench can create your dice bag in a variety of colors and materials.

And The Chainmaille Wench promises good customer service. On the dice bags, that is.

Large Dice Bag

If you have a lot of dice, these are a good bet. They hold roughly 70-100 dice (depending on size) and cost $45. Once filled, they are the size of a large grapefruit.

Small Dice Bag

For the budding young blingmeister, the small bags hold roughly 40-60 dice, costing $35. Gamer Bling can fist his fist into one, and it extends halfway from his knuckles to his wrist. That’s how big they are.

Fortunately, the SMALL dice bags don’t fit all the way around Gamer Bling’s fist. His ego would have been severely bruised.


One Response to “Chainmail Dice Bags”

  1. I just received my large bronze dice bag ordered as a result of reading your review and checking out Heidi’s site. It’s awesome! A wonderful product that is beautifully made and finished. On top of that, Heidi is a very nice person. Thanks!

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