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.



10 comments on “Packaging AFV models for Shipping

  1. Wow! You’re really going to great length to ensure your customer recieves his new toys unscathed. Now, that’s what I call customer service. Thank you for your little guide. It might come in useful at some point.

  2. Interesting! Insurance is never going to be adequate to replace any damage so best to take every precaution.
    The other question I haven’t really solved yet, is how to transport this sort of stuff to a mate’s place for a game!

    • I’ll pop up a pic of a set up I used to take modern tanks on a road trip to a convention. It’s a bit rough as it wasn’t meant to be a permanent travel box but the base they’re on I’ve used in the past for micro and it works really well, stops them floating around. If I was going to build something for my 20 or 28mm it would use that style of base but with better sides and a top.

      • Cheers I’d be interested to see as I’m currently considering what to do to transport all my fantasy and 40K stuff around as I’ve been playing quite a few games recently. At the moment most of it isn’t painted so I can be a bit rough, but as I get each unit painted, I have to start taking care of it….!

      • Posted the piccies. The vehicles sit into a recess which can easily be made a little deeper if required. I made it that way as I didn’t want to push them into foam holders due the fragile bits and paint rubbing issues.

  3. Brilliant explanation.
    Speaking as a recipient of one of Brent’s recent packages, I can only say the expertise, ingenuity and attention to detail in his modelling and painting,is fully reflected in his meticulous approach to packaging! Houdini would have been impressed!

    PS. Dingo crew safely received – thanks Brent 🙂

    • Hey Richard !

      Thanks matey, I’d even like to see them being unpacked !
      ps sorry for the delay, been staying in hospital with Leia and only get home for a couple of days during the week – just playing catch up …


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