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Model Railroading > DIY Locomotive Foam Packaging?


Date: 09/14/20 04:26
DIY Locomotive Foam Packaging?
Author: funnelfan

I've been very frustrated as some manufactures (Atlas, Bowser, ect) have moved away from the clamshell style packaging to the screw to a base packaging for Locomotives. That leaves us without a good package to store the locomotive in. So I've been toying with the idea of a custom foam packaging similar to the instapak method of urethane spray foam in plastic bags.
The idea would be to first wrap the model in saran wrap twice for protection. Then cut out two sheets of saran wrap much larger than the box. Place the first sheet in the box and push it into the edges and corners. Spray some foam in a can (Great Stuff) around the bottom edges of the box. Gently lay the second sheet of wrap over the foam. Then place the wrapped model into the box and then put a sheet of cardboard over the box with a book or something of weight to hold it down. Allow the foam sandwiched between the two sheets of wrap to conform to the model and dry. After drying, trim the excess wrap and unwrap the model. That should give you a package perfectly formed to the details of the model. Any thoughts on this?


Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA




Date: 09/14/20 04:41
Re: DIY Locomotive Foam Packaging?
Author: SPDRGWfan

Would the pressure of the foam expanding to fit the model be enough to break fragile parts?  I see a vase can handle it but model trains with bitty plastic detail parts?  Of course you can try it with your models and see if the hold up with your suggested method.

The idea with the clam shells is that pressure points are selective to parts of the model that can handle it and other areas do not touch the plastic.



Date: 09/14/20 06:57
Re: DIY Locomotive Foam Packaging?
Author: tramfan

There are a number of foams in a can with different rates of expansion. Some do expand more than others and could damage delicate parts.



Date: 09/14/20 07:31
Re: DIY Locomotive Foam Packaging?
Author: pennsy3750

Having used Great Stuff around the house, I'm not sure this would work as model packaging without expanding to the point of crushing the model. 

Maybe start with something cheap like an old Bluebox freight car or two and see how it works?



Date: 09/14/20 08:22
Re: DIY Locomotive Foam Packaging?
Author: railfan400

Perhaps one could cut a piece of pink/blue foam insulation board or wood to the locomotive's basic dimensions then use that while forming the cradle. Using something other than the locomotive model in forming the cradle would eliminate chances of breakage or getting uncured spray foam on the model.



Date: 09/14/20 10:10
Re: DIY Locomotive Foam Packaging?
Author: RailBaron84

Why re-invent the wheel?

https://www.grandcentralgems.com/engine-boxes/

I have a few of these boxes from Grand Central Gems and they work great and come with a protective wrapper for the locomotive to seperateit from foam contact. The Extra Large Storage box fits two 6-axle slocomotives, end-to-end.

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/20 10:11 by RailBaron84.



Date: 09/14/20 14:20
Re: DIY Locomotive Foam Packaging?
Author: funnelfan

People have brought up some good points, but I don't think the idea is dead yet. First change would be to reinforce the handrails with some foam backing similar to what models often came with these days, before wrapping with saran wrap. Second change is that I would also let the foam finish expanding before placing the model into the box, therefore not to exert undue force on the model or box. The box I'm talking about is the one the model came in originally, but in the case of some other models that I have to do not have the original box, I may attempt the same in a old Athearn blue box.

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/20 14:20 by funnelfan.



Date: 09/14/20 17:41
Re: DIY Locomotive Foam Packaging?
Author: tramfan

RailBaron84 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why re-invent the wheel?
>
> https://www.grandcentralgems.com/engine-boxes/
>
> I have a few of these boxes from Grand Central
> Gems and they work great and come with a
> protective wrapper for the locomotive to
> seperateit from foam contact. The Extra Large
> Storage box fits two 6-axle slocomotives,
> end-to-end.

I have a few of these as well. They are the perfect size for weight and carrying locomotives. PPW storage boxes are too long and can be easily overloaded with locomotives.

But I thought the owner passed away recently. Are they still available?



Date: 09/15/20 09:36
Re: DIY Locomotive Foam Packaging?
Author: genevasub

Check out Uline's Pick and Pack foam on their website. Might seem a little pricey but not bad for a one-time investment. And, no, I'm not affiliated with them.

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/20 09:46 by genevasub.



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