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Shipping a model airplane without it being damaged

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  • Member since
    November 2005
Shipping a model airplane without it being damaged
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 5, 2003 5:48 AM
Hello,

I met a former fighter pilot recently and I am working on a model of his P-47. He lives half way across the country from me and I would like some ideas on how to pack and ship the completed model to him without it looking like a kit when it arrives.

I know that I have seen this subject covered before in FineScale, but I can not find it.

Thanks for the help!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 5, 2003 6:57 AM
Im not sure which country you are in, but I would recommend consulting with a packing shop. Such as MBE(actually now UPS stores), or a local pack mail shop(I prefer these to the larger chain stores!). There are a variety of methods Im sure they can recomend. I would try that first.
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Panama City, Florida, Hurricane Alley
Posted by berny13 on Wednesday, November 5, 2003 9:17 AM
Through many years of having completed models being shipped around the world, here is how I solved my problem.

Get a box that is 25% bigger than the model you are shipping. Take two inch thick styrofoam sheets and build a box frame cradle to support the bottom of the model. The model should rest with the wings, nose and tail section making contact only. Make the cradle deep enough where the gear, prop and any thing hanging on the model will not come in contact with anything. My rule of thumb is two to three inches clearance. Trim and carve where the model will rest on the styrofoam. Make the carved out areas about 1/8 to 1/4 inch larger than the surface of the model. Line these areas with felt or foam insulation. Place the model on the cradle.

Using more styrofoam blocks build another box frame cradle to fit over the top. Make it where the top and bottom when joined will the the height of the shipping box. Tape the top cradle to the bottom cradle, when completed. You want the model to fit snug when the top and bottom is joined. Again make sure there is plenty of clearance for the vertical tail. When completed you will have a box shaped four sided cradle with the model suspended in it. The wing tips, nose, and tail section will be sticking out exposed.

Now the fun part starts. Place the cradled model centered into the shipping box. Glue the bottom of the cradle to the bottom of the box. Make sure there is plenty of space for clearance on all four sides for the model. Using more styrofoam blocks you want to wedge the cradle into the box. This to help protect it in case the glue should let loose. Do not place any styrofoam blocks directly in front of or rear of the model. You want air space there only. If the box is dropped, you don't want the styrofoam being driven back against the exposed areas. Once the model is securely trapped into the box, close up and ship.

By using this method, I have not had any models damaged at all during shipping. Not even a pitot tube broken off.

Berny

 Phormer Phantom Phixer

On the bench

TF-102A Delta Dagger, 32nd FIS, 54-1370, 1/48 scale. Monogram Pro Modeler with C&H conversion.  

Revell F-4E Phantom II 33rd TFW, 58th TFS, 69-260, 1/32 scale. 

Tamiya F-4D Phantom II, 13th TFS, 66-8711, 1/32 scale.  F-4 Phantom Group Build. 

 

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 5, 2003 5:11 PM
Thank you all for the great information!

I am sure that using this data, my model will make it to its new home in one piece.

Tom R.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 5, 2003 6:25 PM
just curious where you get the styrofoam at. ?
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Panama City, Florida, Hurricane Alley
Posted by berny13 on Wednesday, November 5, 2003 9:13 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by monsterarmor

just curious where you get the styrofoam at. ?



You can get styrofoam blocks at any crafts store. They have it in sizes from 1/4 inch to large 4-5 inch blocks. Get the white or blue kind, not the green. The green is too brittle and will not hold up. The white is the best and can be glued using rubber cement or a hot glue gun. It is also easy to cut and will not compress as much.

Berny

 Phormer Phantom Phixer

On the bench

TF-102A Delta Dagger, 32nd FIS, 54-1370, 1/48 scale. Monogram Pro Modeler with C&H conversion.  

Revell F-4E Phantom II 33rd TFW, 58th TFS, 69-260, 1/32 scale. 

Tamiya F-4D Phantom II, 13th TFS, 66-8711, 1/32 scale.  F-4 Phantom Group Build. 

 

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