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Packing & Moving Your Built Models
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Tennessee, United States
Member Since: December 21, 2002
entire network: 7,772 Posts
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Posted: Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - 05:54 PM UTC

Every now and then posts the question how do I pack my models for shipping or traveling?

Three years ago I packed up my favorite models for a cross-country move. Movers, moving trucks--all that fun.

Now, after being entombed for 3 years, 3,600 miles, and 3-5 changes of locale, I am unpacking on of my tubs. Before you see the photos, here's how I packed them (Siderius, you've been waiting for this day, too!):

  1. Create a foundation of styrofoam peanuts. Place the models so that they will not touch. Add more peanuts. Use bubblewrap, etc., to separate layers of models.
  2. Small / medium models, 1/72 biplanes, figures, 1/100 jets with lots of external stores, the 1/48 Buffalo with its antenna and wire: bag 'em! I put them in a zip lock bag. This protects the model from becoming entangled in the packing product. The key is removing the air. I open the very end of a baggie just enough to insert a straw, suck the air out, then quickly reseal the bag. This keeps the model from sliding around inside the bag. Any pieces that comes loose is contained with the model.
  3. Parts that may come loose, I remove them and seal them in with the model, or for unbagged models, in a separate baggie.
  4. Larger models, 1/48 P-51 and torpedo plane: place in a sea of peanuts.

The conveyance

Hey, where's Al Capone's treasure???

Shangri La sees daylight!

Nothing, not pitot tube nor gear doors, came loose.

1/100 F-104 -- only the horizontal stabilizer came loose.

The Buffalo -- antenna mast and wire undamaged.

To remove the models without worry of snagging something (don't have to worry if it is bagged) while brushing away peanuts, just take a breath, and blow the packing away (see video)!

Pardon the poor video--I was not planning to video this until after I started. I tried to change positions to attenuate the glare, while showing the model was not damaged.

The Video
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Washington, United States
Member Since: November 05, 2005
entire network: 4,950 Posts
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Posted: Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - 06:07 PM UTC

The bags have the added advantage of catching the fiddly bits that manage to come loose during transit.
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Victoria, Australia
Member Since: August 17, 2009
entire network: 190 Posts
KitMaker Network: 18 Posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - 10:27 PM UTC
Having moved a few times, I would actually encourage wrapping your completed kits in plastic.

I have used the snap lock bags for small stuff, and have used plastic shopping bags for larger stuff.

Because the plastic will not only catch any loose bits, it wont rub off finished paint, like wrapping/ tissue paper can.

unless one of your secret joys in life is repainting your kits, and hoping to get the shades to match.......

Still, good stuff, thanks for sharing!
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Louisiana, United States
Member Since: March 06, 2010
entire network: 3,128 Posts
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Posted: Thursday, October 07, 2010 - 04:30 AM UTC
Being an old guy who has moved his around and stored some for oh, maybe 35 years...

I used to pack models in booze bottle boxes with the inserts- bag them in plastic (either a bag or "saran wrap") (to keep the pieces, isolate from dust, stop snags on paper and the like) and insert them into those bottle-dividers (some cut to fit for the larger models). I stood planes on a wing-tip, tail, or prop-spinner so that the wheels and top aerials and such are not pressed on. I loaded bagged tanks in like shells into a rack with all "tread-down" towards the same side of the box. I added a modest amount of "popcorn" or paper-shreads and, voila! No rattles? Good to go! I labelled the boxes to keep them oriented top-up for planes and track-side down for the tanks, during trucking and storing. Some of these boxes lasted 5 and 6 cross-country U-Hauls and 35+ years of storage without warpage or lost parts or scraped-off paint...

My now pack bagged models in flat plastic clothes tubs with perforated lids - track / wheels down (Planes with a support foam bit beneath the body/wings to keep wheels light), separated by foam-board walls with a little foam "popcorn". One layer of models per tub. The tubs stack nicely and tend to be pretty rigid against modest crushing. And, as they are tubs, they don't get accidently placed beneath boxes of books, etc.! And the plastic does not collect humidity and mold or soften like the cardboard boxes do...