Shipping models?


Active Member
Hey all, I might be selling a miniature I built with some very delicate parts. I was wondering if anyone has any experience shipping models. I'm assuming not to use ground shipping, and I've heard not to use "Fragile" stickers, but if anyone has some packing advice I'm all ears. The whole thing is about a 1'x1'x1'.

Bubble wrap and styrofoam peanuts are your friend for packing. (Even though I hate styrofoam peanuts otherwise.)

You want to pack with the assumption that it WILL be turned upside down, and it WILL be dropped, and it WILL be tossed around. You need to isolate the model as much as you can from the outside world, which is a dangerous and scary place where clowns exist!

So you want to stabilize any parts that might come loose by their own inertia if the box gets dropped. And then you want to pad the whole thing so any shock to the outside of the box won't be transmitted to the model inside. I've even double boxed some delicate things. I'll pack the model in a box, and then put that box in a larger box with peanuts all around it. It is important that the inner box doesn't have room to bounce around inside the outer box.

Good luck!
Just shipped one last week. Didn't have a whole lot of fragile parts thankfully. As Duncanator said, lots of bubble wrap and styrofoam peanuts. I also had a ton of walmart plastic bags I stuffed in. A good way to test this is, once packed, close the top and lightly shake it. If it sounds like something is moving around, pack it more.
And yeah, I had a friend that worked at the post office awhile back, but said if they saw fragile, that they would throw it extra hard.
So good luck.
We use foam, like in camera suitcases. It's cheap, supportive and insulates vibration and rattle damage. Take a piece bigger than your prop/model and carve out a suitable space for it.
I've successfully shipped both large and small models all over the world. If you want it to arrive safely, pack it like it's your most valuable possession.

First, surround the model on all sides with at least 2 inches of convoluted (aka "egg crate") polyurethane foam (like the stuff in cases made for expensive cameras and other custom gear). Make sure the model can't move around.

Next, build a strong and rigid crate around it. You can make very nice crates using 3/4 square lumber and cheap 5mm plywood "underlayment" from Home Depot. It's the cheapest plywood I have ever found, lightweight, strong, and perfect for making crates.

Finally, pack the crate inside a cardboard box and secure well with packing tape.

TIPS: If the model has delicate spikey bits that will break if touched -- even by soft foam -- you'll need to get very creative in finding ways to secure it and keep if from moving inside the crate. Place foam wherever you can and try to pack it so the model doesn't move and nothing can touch the most fragile parts.

Most important! There should never be ANY direct contact between the crate and the model. For example, if the model is mounted on some sort of stand, make sure that stand is completely isolated from the crate.


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Thanks so much everyone.

I wonder if they will rotate it less if I go with the wooden crate method and ship it Freight. It's definitely given me a lot to think about. Luckily I have a while to figure it all out!
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