Friday, November 27, 2009

Packing model locomotives for postage

Packed BulldogOne job that I really hate is packing a model up and entrusting it to Royal Mail to transport across the country. After all my effort, having the local postie kick it around the sorting deport doesn't appeal at all, it's why I often try and deliver models by hand or have them collect at shows.

This isn't always possible though and so I've been taking a lead from Bachmann and their extensive foam box fillings. For the Bulldog I filled the box the kit had been supplied in with high density foam that I retained from a package of computer equipment years ago at work. The medium density stuff you can get in most towns under signs that say "Foam cut to size" will do just as well I'm sure.

The models profile is cut out with a sawing motion using a snap-off bladed knife extended all the way out of it's handle. Then the loco is wrapped in tissue to stop bits catching on the foam. Bubble wrap bread competes the foam sandwich and into the box it goes. A wrap of brown paper, half a roll of parcel tape and a very clear printed address label and I'm off down the Post Office. They charge me to next day delivery and insurance (7 quid this time).

And it works. OK so the next day delivery means next day delivery for a card saying "I couldn't be bothered to knock on the door, you can come and get your model from the sorting office" but at least the thing arrives (when collected) in good order.


Iain Robinson said...

I agree, packing models up for customers gives me the willies. I often pack the things up so extensively (they are usually structures, rather than locos) that I have to include instructions with the package on how to actually open it. And it usually takes me the best part of half an (unpaid) day to pack them up. Far better, as you say, to try and deliver them, but it's not always possible.

Phil Parker said...

It's a amzing how much time the non-modelling activities can take when you build a model. Customers generally don't want to hear about paying for half a day to pack something yet this and all the admin have to be factored in somewhere.