I may be moving at some point in the future. Any suggestions on how to safely pack up my models so they don’t arrive as a pile of plastic parts? I don’t have an issue with my cars, i just roll them in some bubble wrap individually and stack them in boxes since there are no small bits to break off on the outside but aircraft are another story with their radio antennas, pitot tubes and landing gear. I was thinking of getting plastic tubs and foam. cutting the foam to fit the tub and then cutting the shape of a plane in the foam but that does nothing to protect the antenna masts from snapping off since they extend higher than the plane. especially if i want to stack a couple of layers of models in a deep tub. i would spend a fortune in tubs if i only fit two aircraft per tub. i suppose i could use boxes.
A couple of things worked ok for me a few years back. One was to cut squares of foam to fit inside a box. Cut an opening in the center of the foam, large enough to clear the landing gear and any stores, but small enough to rest the nose, tail and wing tips on the foam. Cut a mating piece of foam with clearances for the elevators and rudder. Worked good for transporting 1/72 single engine aircraft halfway across the US.
The second was to put larger aircraft in gallon baggies, tie them shut and place them in a file box surrounded by plenty of packing peanuts. That way of any of the parts got dislodged, they were retained in the baggie for future repairs. you could get multiple aircraft into one box.
Your cars have no side mirrors or antenna? I guess it depends on the era of car as many of my kits have side mirrors and a few have spoilers which would snap off if I rolled mine up. I find the small plastic cases designed for storing them or sturdy shoeboxes are good for cars and armor in many cases.
Planes and ships are tricky because of all the antenna and masts and other tricky bits, so when I was shipping built kits on eBay I basically had to make a box for each one. But as careful as I was (I have prior shipping experience from working for a small manufacturing company as the shipping clerk) a few antenna here and there got snapped; nothing major or unfixable though. Still, always a nailbiter once you hand it to the postal workers.
It amounts to taking that foam the way you describe and building a foam shell around it. This is space-intensive and it is hard to fit multiples as you have seen. Since I build 1/32 exclusively plastic tubs for each one would bankrupt me especially seeing as I have a B-17 and B-24 at that scale. How expensive is a tub large enough to set one of those down in?
How many kits are you having to box up? And would you be transporting them yourself or using a service? If yourself, you could just do a temporary pack-up and carefully drive to your destination and put them in a safe corner until you can unbox.
For planes I bought a bunch of that cotton candy like pillow stuffing from Hobby lobby or Michael’s, I laid a bed of it in a cardboard box,I placed the plane on top of it so its off its gear,then gently added more stuffing on top of the plane until it fills the box and effectly traps the plane between the two layers of stuffing, because its fluffy and springy.It was a 675 mile move by movers,and I didnt lose one open canopy pitot tube,missle or bomb.
I just packed up a 1/48 model to mail to my son and I used the same method md72 mentioned. Basically carved out a space for the model to sit in the foam and used corresponding pieces to lock it in. I won’t know if it survived intact until next week, fingers crossed. You might not need that level of security if you moving the models yourself.
this is a good idea mark and i probably will do something like it. i guess foam may be a little cheaper than the tubs. the boxes my wife can get at work. I may combine it with tojo’s method. i like the idea of wrapping them in a baggie too.
most of my cars are stock cars that have nothing on the outside to break off although i do have a few street cars. the mirrors may snap off, yes, but the antennas i don’t glue into the drilled hole just for the reason of transporting. I have about 20 aircraft mostly 1/48 fighters and about 50 cars, no armor. i plan on transporting myself but still there is always a risk of a dropped or crushed box. by the time i move i may have a couple larger builds. i am finishing up a B25 now.
what i do when going to a contest, and i am fortunate since they are within a 30 min drive, was to cut slots in two narrow pieces of Styrofoam for the wing tips to slide into so the planes hang suspended by their wings and there is no pressure on gear and antenna. since the contests included cars too i got a big enough box that i could fit the cars in around the planes. work well, no major mishaps.