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Sending a built model by ... post mail


toniosky

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Hello,

 

I would like to send a built model from France to the UK, but I expect the probabilities of not breaking anything rather low. I would like to know if any of you had any experience with sending a built model by post mail and if you have any tips/recommendations (other than "don't do it" 😄 ).

 

Cheers,

Antoine

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Make sure it is well packed so much so that any delicate areas are not prone to damage. Easy to say but it requires careful thought and plannning. And keep a  eye on weight for postage shipping costs.

I successfully  sent a model to the US recently with no damage reported.

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55 minutes ago, Paul J said:

Make sure it is well packed so much so that any delicate areas are not prone to damage. Easy to say but it requires careful thought and plannning. And keep a  eye on weight for postage shipping costs.

I successfully  sent a model to the US recently with no damage reported.

Oh, so it is possible ! Thank you Paul.

Do you have by any chance a photo of the setting that you used, for inspiration ?

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I would use a box of the strength of a shoe box, use shredded paper to "nest" the kit in and also put the kit in a closed plastic bag so anything that does become detached is not lost. I used to sell a few of mine on that auction site with no problems  - the money reinvested in other kits of course!

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I used to sell a lot of built kits on eBay. They often went as far as the US and Russia and with the exception of an undercarriage door or two, all arrived intact. The biggest was a 1:48 Ju-52 which went from UK to New York completely intact in a huge box.

 

Use the stoutest cardboard boxes you can find with at least 100mm clearance all around the model.

Seal the edges and joins of the box very well with parcel tape. 

|Fill the box 3/4 full with the expanded polystyrene balls which are sold for filling bean-bag chairs. (Diameter about 5mm)

Sink the model into the balls which will flow around it like a liquid, filling any voids like undercarriage wells and bomb bays.

Be sure that the model does not sink too low and touch the bottom of the box.

Fill any remaining space with the balls and give it a little shake.

Close the lid. The trick is to have enough balls in the box that closing the lid locks them all in place preventing any movement and keeping a small pressure on the model in the centre so that cannot move. Any shocks will be absorbed by the balls.

If you shake the box when it's sealed you should not hear of feel anything moving.

Use a vacuum cleaner to capture all the balls which will have escaped into your house!

 

I used to write instructions for opening the box on the outside, but one customer opened his outdoors on a windy day and spread thousands of polystyrene balls across the Texas plains. 😁

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Bertie McBoatface said:

I used to see a lot of built kits on eBay. They often went as far as the US and Russia and with the exception of an undercarriage door or two, all arrived intact. The biggest was a 1:48 Ju-52 which went from UK to New York completely intact in a huge box.

 

Use the stoutest cardboard boxes you can find with at least 100mm clearance all around the model.

Seal the edges and joins of the box very well with parcel tape. 

|Fill the box 3/4 full with the expanded polystyrene balls which are sold for filling bean-bag chairs. (Diameter about 5mm)

Sink the model into the balls which will flow around it like a liquid, filling any voids like undercarriage wells and bomb bays.

Be sure that the model does not sink too low and touch the bottom of the box.

Fill any remaining space with the balls and give it a little shake.

Close the lid. The trick is to have enough balls in the box that closing the lid locks them all in place preventing any movement and keeping a small pressure on the model in the centre so that cannot move. Any shocks will be absorbed by the balls.

If you shake the box when it's sealed you should not hear of feel anything moving.

Use a vacuum cleaner to capture all the balls which will have escaped into your house!

 

I used to write instructions for opening the box on the outside, but one customer opened his outdoors on a windy day and spread thousands of polystyrene balls across the Texas plains. 😁

 

 

Very good method. For the one I sent I used foam spongey blocks cut to suitable shape and size

 And gave it the shake test as you did perfect. 

I think I may have pics of it somewhere that I took.

 

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11 minutes ago, Paul J said:

Very good method

 

Thanks. The shake test is the thing.

 

I used it to transport my delicate models during a house move and the only problem I encountered was the ability of the little balls to get everywhere, including behind rudder pedals etc which made them difficult to remove. Once I knew about that I blocked off likely 'ball traps' with a piece of Kleenex.

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My method is similar only I fill the box with pillow stuffing from craft stores,looks like cotton candy,lay the plane on top, off its gear then add more stuffing to the top until the plane is in effect locked in and can't move,works for armor too

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DO NOT use UPS. I sent my built and well secured 1/24 Take me home Huey model to Arizona to a Vietnam vet and now it's a wreck. Ups won't pay any insurance either. Do not use them. Other modellers will say the same. I don't have a problem with their employees fighting for better wages but I don't know why their workers also don't give a .... Guess the apple rots from the inside.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I generally make a box from heavy duty corrugated card to sit the model in. I then make 4 supports from 1" thick sponge type foam, cut and shaped to go around the fuselage and the wings. These supports go the full width and full height of the box. Each support is in two pieces, I then glue the lower foam support to the cardboard so nothing can move and fit the upper foam over the top and tape it to the lower parts. Then the top of the box goes on. The model is held securely, it cannot move and small parts are not touching anything. I guess if someone decides to play football with it the model won't survive but to date I have probably sent 10 or so models this way without complaint but with praise.

 

Downside, it is very time consuming to do it properly.

 

I know a picture paints a thousand words but unfortunately I don't have any pictures.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not what you want to hear but I recently bought a 32nd scale Spitfire which came incredibly well wrapped and supported but it still had one of the oleo legs broken off and the other distinctly wobbly, so if you are sending then remove as many parts as you can that protrude and allow the buyer to affix them at their end. Aerial masts, pitot tubes, rear view mirrors etc.  and other vulnerable items will be fairly straightforward for the buyer to attach with modest skills so best to sell on this basis to avoid disappointment and possible refunds. Plus if you can retract the u/c as well and perhaps provide the sliding element of sliding/open canopies as separate items this should also help.

 

To be fair to my seller he accepted the return but from a buyers perspective having to then re-package to return and avoid even more damage was rather onerous.

 

HTH.

 

Pat.

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  • 1 month later...

Interesting hear the different methods, I'm still wary of giving it a try though but would like to sell some of my older builds to make room for new ones.

 

Duncan B

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I was told by a ship model museum that they had a built sailing ship sent to them. The sender sent it in the clear display case that was meant for it but didn't cover it with a box etc, just wrapped it with some shrinkwrap. It arrived fine, I guess the shipper saw what was in it and was more careful, that or they had one good employee who likely has since been fired. On a side note if you see my earlier comment, I have the Huey and all the parts back here and will rebuild it soon. Went in one box, came back in three. My friend Dave will come from Arizona to pick it up himself this time, make a vacation out of it as well.

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