Packaging AFV models for Shipping

Packaging fun ….

So while shipping off several large commission vehicle groups recently I thought it might be interesting and/or useful to show how I go about packaging up my vehicles for shipping.

Anyone purchasing a made up or completed kit has two things they should consider, firstly they have a right to expect their purchase to arrive well packaged, safe and undamaged, secondly what they’ve purchased is a fragile item and incredibly difficult to package to achieve the first requirement.

For the sender the issues include how to physically pack the item safely but also the realisation that they have absolutely no control over the handling during the delivery process, and this is the major point for all to accept, both customer and sender have zero control over how the item is handled during shipping.

While most parts of the mailing/postal process is designed for reasonable care and most individuals involved are very helpful and as careful as time allows, we’ve all seen Utube vidoes of parcels being tossed about like footballs in the rain. Also while applying “this way up” and “fragile” labels might give some peace of mind there is no requirement in the industry to follow such labels, as stacking density is the primary goal of shipment.

So for myself I package my vehicles based on the assumptions that the package will be knocked, dropped and shipped upside down. Another side issue many purchasers might not realise is the time and process involved in packing up, with a large order regularly taking 3 or more hours to completely pack and this time and materials often aren’t charged for as part of the job. All of this is done to the best of my ability but even then the shipping part of a commission is usually the part with the most worry involved as the full combined time, effort and value of the project is now passed on and transits completely out of your control.

Basic process

The vehicle is protected with foam where small projections such as MGs require it and wrapped with layers of tissue. Sometimes items such as turrets are removed are packaged separately.

Sub package
The wrapped vehicles are secured to a foam-core base and fixed down with double sided tape. At this stage the wrapped vehicles can be tipped and shaken and still remain fixed in their wrapping and to the base.

Box fill
Although secured to the base the vehicles are covered with foam beads (bean bag fill). Vertical foam-core risers create compartments and provide protection against top crushing. The compartments and beads work to prevent the vehicles from coming loose if the package is shipped upside down.

Most packages receive a top layer of foam-core and sometimes either interior side or external side cladding is also added to provide extra stiffness if the main box requires it. The box is completely taped to waterproof it and printed labels attached and sealed under tape.


28mm Vehicle Packaging










Land Raider Packaging





20mm Vehicle Packaging







Cat Help ….. not !


Updated …. Modern Transport Box.
Not permanent transport case as it was just for a one-off transport to a convention. The foam-core insert comes out and the vehicles sit into recesses that stop them sliding around. With better sides and top the base would work to transport vehicles around as long as they aren’t tipped up over about 30o.



Commissions ……. and Cancer

Two C words …..

It is with some regret that I have to announce that after I finish the current few commissions I won’t be taking on any more for the foreseeable future. I will be maintaining the blog and still modelling but due to a bunch of reasons, some me and some out of my control, I am unable to concentrate enough to finish commission work in the timely and professional manner they deserve.

Why? Well for many years I have had a series of health issues including the ups and downs of dealing with depression. Last year I got a very serious infection and this took most of the year to control and get on top of. As I’ve dealt with my own issues commissions have been delayed, far more than they should have and this is unacceptable going forward, mentally for me but more importantly for my long suffering customers, many of whom are friends. More relevant and serious than my minor problems however is the recent diagnosis of my 12 year old daughter Leia with Cancer. She has been ill for some time and it has taken the better part of 5 months to get the health department here in NZ to take it seriously enough and get specialists involved, fortunately (hopefully not too late) things have moved very fast ever since.

I don’t wax on about personal life much (if at all) here on the blog or in any public forum but I feel Leia deserves to know how much we love and support her – she’s been a real trooper and dealt with the situation and possible outcomes in a much better way than I have or would. So my decision, a difficult one in some ways would you believe, is to be there to give her (and with the rest of the tribe) the extra time and support she deserves ….. Lele this is for you babe ๐Ÿ™‚

Q – Brent

Off to Starship Childrens Hospital …. look out staff !!!!



Empress Miniatures โ€“ T90A conversion wip15 and Navy Combat Divers

A little more …

Small steps closer to finishing. Base weathering started and crews greenstuffed and base painted.


And a bit of fun. As a change from basic black I decided to paint the Empress Navy Divers up as French Commandos from Operation Pork Pie. So officially they are French Commandos, disguised as Navy Seals, disguised as retro French Oceanographers, and all to try and fool the NZ Police Force (which they failed at by the way). Now I need a few 28mm Zodiacs ….





A Bridge Too Far โ€“ Finished Project

1/56th Bridge Too Far finished project pics ….

Finally processed the finished project pics, now packed up and ready to ship.

As a recap the project for Bolt Action Gaming purposes represents the 9th-SS Hohenstaufen SS-Aufklรคrung-Abteilung (Recce Battalion) and with a little historical licence comprises;

1x Humber A/C โ€“ Grabners Humber
1x Schwimmwagen โ€“ Recce/command (4 troops)
1x 251/8 โ€“ Medical (2 medics, 2 troops )
1x 251/7 โ€“ Engineers (9 troops)
1x SP Flak โ€“ Opel Blitz and SPAA Quad20mm

AC Platoon
1x 222 โ€“ 20mm light a/c
1x 232 โ€“ 20mm heavy a/c

Recce Platoon
1x Luchs โ€“ 20mm recce light afv
1x 250/1 โ€“ SPW (5 troops)
1x 250/1 โ€“ SPW (5 troops

Heavy Support Platoon
1x 250/7 โ€“ 81mm Mortar
1x 250/8 โ€“ 75mm SPG

Infantry Platoon
2x 251/1C โ€“ 20 troops
1x Opel Blitz โ€“ 10 Troops

And the gaming kits used were

Warlord Games
Opel Blitz with open canopy
Opel Blitz and 2cm Flak
SdKfz 251/1C SPW (Plastic kit) x2
SdKfz 251/8 Ambulance
SdKfz 250/7 Neu 81mm Mortar
SdKfz 250/8 Neu 7.5cm SPG Stummel
PzKpfw II Ausf.L Luchs Recce
Flakvierling 38 20mm
SdKfz 222 Armoured Car
Grabners Humber Armoured Car

BlitKrieg Miniatures
SdKfz 231 2.0cm 8rad Armoured Car
SdKfz 250/1 Neu SPW x2

SdKfz 251/7 Engineer SPW


BTF 000 cvr 1350

bft ref bridge to far 2

bft ref 012 Arnhem bridge2 18sep