Transporting and Storing Your Models

I have lived on two continents over the last ten years, North America and Europe, and Iíve been very active in this hobby during this time. When I moved back to Europe, I was left with a singularly vexing problem: how on earth am I going to move my precious models back? I would like to show you the solution I've come up with. Since the models survived a transatlantic trip in a shipping container and have been kept for seven years like this, I think it's safe to say that the method is sound. I recently decided to finish up all my previously started models that have been waiting for me for all these years in my mother's attic, so I finally started to unpack everything. For the purposes of this post I've chosen the Pz I-Pz II models I wanted to deal with first. (Both are Dragon offerings with full interiors, by the way.) They survived the final leg of their journey to the UK like this, where I currently reside. It's also a cheap way to store the models if you don't have a display cabinet, or don't want to buy an expensive display case (which CAN be expensive in 1/35 size.) After opening up the box, I "reverse-engineered" the steps; the photos were not taken during the packing, so they don't depict step 3 very accurately. (Disclaimer.)
First step
Get a plastic shoe box, pre-cut foam and white glue. You'll also need packing peanuts, or preferably, shredded paper designed for packing. (More on that later.) Shoe boxes are not an absolute requirement; I've chosen them because they were cheap and sturdy. If you want to send something by mail, for example, you can use a sturdy cardboard box just as easily.
Second step
Cut and shape a "cradle" for your model. You cut a layer of foam as the bottom, and several others in similar size, so that they fit into the shoebox on top of each other. You should glue these into the box with white glue, but itís not an absolute necessity. Place the first layer on the bottom of the box, and then build up the sides with the approximate sized hole cut in the middle, where your model will fit. It does not have to be perfectly snug; you can always put pieces of foam in to fix the model in place.
Third step
Place the model in its nest and secure it in place using small pieces of foam between the sides and the model. Use strips of foam across the top, fixing them to the sides of the box (not the model!). This will hold the model in place securely. (Choose an area where you don't have many small, breakable parts.)
Fourth step
Fill the box up with peanuts/paper strips. For long term I would suggest using paper for one reason: it seems like the Styrofoam peanuts have a tendency to stick to the surface of the model after a while (we're talking about years here). The issue with the biodegradable, starch-based peanuts is that they might start degrading while in the box, so these are also less than ideal. So best be safe -and environmentally conscious. Tape the sides down securely. And that's it. The model is relatively safe to transport. It can be dropped like this, it can be turned upside down, and it should suffer no damage. Disclaimer: it needs more peanuts... you want the box full.
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About the Author

About Andras (spongya)

I am a biologist by trade, and as a hobby I've been building scale models for the last twenty years. Recently I started to write reviews of the models I bought. These reviews are written from the point of view of an average model builder; hence the focus is on quality of the model, how easy it is to...