Since die-casts lose most of their value when they don't have a box it is suicidal to get rid of the boxes your aircraft came in. They are also a must if you ever have to move house, although the experience of boxing and unboxing that many models is not a pleasant one! I am fortunate enough to have a substantial hangar space, which comes with a large workbench beneath which is a great storage area complete with doors. This is my primary box storage space but even so it has been busting recently.
Since I live in a relatively humid and damp environment (the new house is thankfully a lot drier in winter) I don't store my boxes in the open and instead utilise plastic box containers. These are mostly large underbed style storage containers since they provide a good mixture of accessibility and space. One of the annoying things I find is that the storage boxes, being stackable and plastic, are not typically square at the corners or sides. This can make storing rectangular boxes in them challenging and the shallower underbed boxes afford better space utilisation.
When you need to find a box for one reason or another you'll be really glad that you have stored them together in a methodical way - either by type or manufacturer. The latter makes sense since there is little standardisation of box sizes between the manufacturers. I know people like the specific and larger boxes from the likes of Gemini and Phoenix but when you have lots of models they become a real pain in the backside. The Aeroclassics boxes may be bland but they are smaller - a lot smaller. Usually nowadays Aeroclassics at least says what is in the box but I have hundreds of Aeroclassics which don't. I have had to label the boxes myself.
I had previously attempted to fit the model boxes into type specific plastic boxes but recent purchases had ruined this planning and space was at a premium. After all it isn't just the underbench area that has boxes stored in but also two ottomans (for oversized boxes), a wall cupboard and a chest of drawers.
The big reboxing effort involved purchasing a couple of new plastic containers and then going through all the ones I had and reorganising them by aircraft type and often manufacturer. Even this effort, which didn't involve any models being put into boxes, took me about 5 hours in total. Fortunately I didn't have to reorganise many of my 243 Gemini Jets as they were mainly in the chest of drawers and one large plastic box - and I haven't bought many Geminis in recent times. The main effort was directed at the 904 Aeroclassics. I was able to fit many types into one box and fortunately there was often some small space for future additions.
I was relatively fortunate that most of the time I was able to fit what I wanted in the same box. For example in the work in progress shot below the left hand box ended up with Aeroclassics and SMA 737-200/300s and eventually non-Chinese A320s whilst the right box was filled with Aeroclassics DC-9s, CV880/990s and 720s.
There was one additional benefit realised to this reorganisation - I rediscovered a model that had never got unboxed from the last move. Here she is now placed with the over 40 or so Braniff stablemates:
Finally I was able to pack the boxes away and everything is a lot better organised at least until a few months pass and new purchases flood in that need their boxes stored! How do you cope with the storage of your boxes?
I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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