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Getting your builds to Nationals

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  • Member since
    February 2015
Getting your builds to Nationals
Posted by Billmc on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 1:43 PM

I will be attending my first build in Phoenix. Flying in, what is the best way to get your builds there.

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 4:43 PM

The most important thing is to pack your model such that no part touches the container.  Even light contact can cause paint to scuff or parts to get bumped off.  Cut up sponge foam and block up your model.  Something like a car is easy, just a collection of foam sheets that form a block with a rectangular hole, with a separate fitted foam lid to protect the roof of the car.  Things like armor with sticky-up bits will need foam block stand-offs between some broad area like the hull top and the lid to keep the model from shifting upwards, should the box turn over.  (It could happen so plan for the worst!)  Airplanes need to have holes in the foam to prevent things like landing gear, antennas, etc, from touching anything, including the foam padding.  Like armor kits, they will need foam stand-offs on the tops of the wings and areas on the fuselage without breakable items.

The container is somewhat less important, it just has to be durable enought to handle knocks and have a lid that won't fall off.  I have been using a shoebox with an old belt(!) for several contests and it works well.  And if you are flying in, make sure you can carry it aboard rather than checking it in.

Good luck with your build, and enjoy the Nationals experience!

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 5:27 PM

Heh ... no matter how well or how carefully you pack your build securely, somehow the ol' Murphy's Law will find a way to damage the kit by the time you arrive in Phoenix. Your build will jostle no mater what. As the above poster mentioned, prepare for the worst.


  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Thursday, January 25, 2018 8:03 AM

Real G has it covered pretty well. Use a clear plastic container to make it easier on the TSA to look at and restrict touching.

My friend travels to ALL the IPMS Nats yearly and usually takes something. It will be not an easy task to keep your entry safe from damage. He carries a small "first aid kit" for  repairs which happens most of the time. He builds strictly 1/72 scale so most are small models.

With that said, I wish you good luck and safe travels. Entering the Nats is fantastic and even greather if one wins. 




Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    April 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Thursday, January 25, 2018 11:27 AM

I learned from my long-distance relocation that no matter how well I pack things, something will get broken!  I cannot understand how some of that damage occured- but it did.  It shouldn't have, but...

Gimme a pigfoot, and a bottle of beer...

  • Member since
    February 2015
Posted by Billmc on Friday, January 26, 2018 3:37 PM

Thanks guys, i always bring a bunch of builds to shows, so having to narrow it down to one or two will be tough, and to leave out my bigger builds will be sad. Well, more room to take stuff back.

  • Member since
    February 2018
Posted by Paul D on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 8:23 PM

one thing to keep in mind when making airline reservations....many airlines now restrict carry-on bags with their economy fares.  If you buy the cheapest ticket, double check the fine print, some tickets will restrict your carry-on to just one personal item like a purse or laptop bag.  If you show up at the airport with a box of models they might demand that you upgrade your ticket ( $$$ ) or send the box as a checked bag.

Paul in Portland

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Thursday, February 22, 2018 7:27 PM

The first aid kit is essential.  I think FSM did a pretty good article on stuff to include in a first aid kit.  

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posted by ridleusmc on Thursday, February 22, 2018 7:37 PM

Actually, I can't find it.  CA glue and tweezers are good things with which to start.  You might want some appropriate paint with a disposable brush.  It's pretty typical to lose an antenna, pitot tube, yardarm or something of the like.       

  • Member since
    September 2010
Posted by retdfeuerwehr on Sunday, April 29, 2018 4:04 PM
A quick transport story: prior to a trip to Las Vegas for a show I had washed and waxed my car to a high gloss...the models had survived the trip to the show unscathed..I opened the trunk and placed the box on the hood of the car, then went to close the trunk lid...walking back to the front of the car I watched in horrified slo-mo as the box of models slid ever-so-slowly onto the pavement. I can still hear the heart-breaking sound of broken parts filtering down to the bottom of the box.
  • Member since
    February 2015
Posted by Billmc on Sunday, April 29, 2018 9:55 PM

Omg, yikes. Ya that jappen to me at a show but from a cart. The box landed up right, with the lid still on. I open with hope!, but i open and it was a mess. Never got to show it.

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 5:13 PM

Note for your future... NEVER place a box of model kits on a newly waxed car hood. I knew what about to happened when you mentioned “newly waxed car”....

  • Member since
    February 2004
Posted by koschrei on Thursday, May 10, 2018 12:19 AM

I would suggest the better maxim is, Never Place a Model on a Car - I have lost two finished models to the smallest gusts of wind, which easily get under the model on a smooth metal surface and send it to the ground.

Based on experience I put the box on the ground if I need both hands.  A little dirt on the bottom is a lot easier to deal with.


Tags: Safety First
  • Member since
    July 2013
  • From: Chicago area
Posted by modelmaker66 on Monday, July 2, 2018 2:30 PM

I wonder that.

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, July 2, 2018 5:08 PM

Yup, put stuff on the floorboards and the ground... not so far to fall... gravity always wins in a fight.


F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton




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