Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How clumsy are modellers?

Look at this. It's a Hornby Skaledale garden shed. Below it is the packing this tiny building arrives in.

The cardboard box contains a brick of polystyrene. In this, wrapped in a plastic bag, is the shed.

Now, the shed is made of resin and pretty strong. It may be hollow but there are very few small projecting bits to knock off.

More to the point, when you buy a much larger building from the same range, the packing isn't commensurately larger than this. In my experience, the thickness of polystyrene isn't any greater for the larger, and presumably more fragile, model.

So, is it that we modellers can't be trusted to get out purchase back home from the shop without breaking it?

Maybe it's an acknowledgment that most railway modellers buy everything through the post anyway even if they have a local model shop, so the product might as well be packed to survive the efforts of the Royal Mail.

Or maybe I should shut up and just accept that landfill is going to get a little fuller very soon.

Go on, someone must have an idea why this is like this.


Christopher said...

My guess is that there is possibly a "standard form factor" to aid in packing into larger (cardboard?) boxes, so that different buildings might have the same size of box?

I agree that the amount of polystyrene seems excessive, but it would be useful for scenery. (Collectors look away now!)

Mark said...

Yes, Christopher has hit the nail on the head; it's a packing issue. I've had the same conversation with a number of people in the past, and there are two related things going on. Firstly the main shipping boxes (which might contain 50 or 100 items) are all roughly of a size to make them easier to pack together in a container or lorry. The outside box then dictates the size of the individual items, as they want to get the most items in "easily" without extra space for them to move around. While it would make sense for two small shed boxes to take up roughly the same volume it would make packing them harder, hence the waste.

Steve said...

Additionally the box probably needs to be of a certain size to fit all the marketing info, safety information, nut allergy warning, etc, on the back of it.

Paul B. said...

And of course the larger box takes up more shelf space making sure that its easily spotted by eager consumers...

Anonymous said...

In many areas expended polystyrene can be recycled so shouldn't be sent to landfill

Odds said...

Shame on any railway modeller who can't make a damned shed!