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Transport of a ship

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Hello fellow modellers,


I have built a model of the frigat L´Hermione for my father.

I live in Denmark and he lives in France.

My question is:

How to transport safely and securely a shipmodel over a long distance?

any ideas?



Thanks for your input :)


Best regards 


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I like Danny's idea best1  I have shipped as far as US to Europe on several occasions but the recipient always paid for the crating which was done by professionals.  Even then be careful that they know what they are doing.  The first time I did this the fellows that came to pick up the model asked if they could take off the masts!!!!  I was not home, but the admiral told them to leave and called me.   I called the freight forwarder and the next crew knew what they were doing.  I did see this particular model some months later on display in a beautiful custom case and it was in perfect shape.    



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In support of Dan's answer.  My son made a 12 hour driving trip from North Carolina to New Jersey with 2 ship models in the back of a Mustang. One was on the back seat secured by seatbelts and the other was on the back seat floor surrounded by pillows all around to prevent any movement.


Some other important points.  The models were secured to stands with screws into the hulls.  Further, the stands were also secured to the bases of their display cases with screws. There was absolutely no damage at all. 



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I was only half-kidding with my reply ;). The main idea was to visit your father.


Personally, I've transported both my "HMS Vulture" (twice) and "HMS Victory" (4 times) on the back seat of a Mitsubishi Lancer. "Victory" also travelled on the FRONT seat of my Toyota Hilux pick-up truck (only just - there wasn't much room for gear changing :D ). No damage was sustained on any occasion.


As Jim suggested above, I packed the hull away from the back cushion to avoid damage to the yards. And .... I made sure the bowsprit wasn't crushed by the door handle when I closed it.


:cheers:  Danny

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Thank you all for your input on that matter.

I think the best and cheapest way will be to take a road trip to France

with the beast well packed on the back seat of the car.

And I will get to see my dad at the same time, Win-Win situation :)


Have a nice day !



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I found that some of the professional movers are not so professional. There may be a considerable difference between what their sales rep promises you (and charges) and what their workmen actually do. Their appreciation of your spiritual and monetary valuables may vary quite a bit and their sense of convenience may override their sense of care for your possessions. I had very good and very bad experiences - during my last move from the Netherlands to France almost every piece of furniture was somehow dented - in spite of the promised 'export wrapping'. I could tell you wild stories of how they handled my stuff. On another occassion, I went with foreman of the gang through all the special objects, including the glass-cases for my models, and discussed with him their special needs for wrapping and handling - the standard reply is "don't worry" (which usually makes me worry ...); later that morning I was able to prevent by a second the apprentice from loading a large glass-case (boxed-up and marked with 'upright' arrows) onto a sack-trolley and going down the stairs with it ...


Therefore, I would also recommend to take a delivery-trip in a car. There are two things to consider, when transporting models in a car: a) to prevent the load from shifting around in the car, e.g. when breaking, and b ) to prevent the model from touching anything.


I always secure models on a base-plate, so no loose stands. This base-plate then can be fastened to a board that is larger than the model by say a couple of centimetres on all sides. Around this board you can construct a light-weight box or crate from e.g. plywood (more expensive) or high-density fibre-board. The box should have a bottom as well, so that you can slide in and out the board on which the model is fastened down. Depending on the size of the model, you may need to provide some handles for carrying the crate. This is a safe, albeit perhaps somewhat expensive method.


If you don't want to construct a crate, I would at least mount the model on the board as described above, because this allows you to attach fastening straps etc. for securing the model in the car.


Keep in mind that a sailing-ship model is quite top-heavy, so it may break off its stand that is securely fastened, say to the back-seat, during a serious breaking manoeuvre.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Wefalck makes an important point: It's not just crating and securing the cased model properly that is important. (Hopefully, every model is properly cased... we won't even begin to talk about cleaning ladies with feather dusters...) Jarring shocks can damage even well-secured models, particularly their rigging. Hitting a pothole can often pop a shroud or a brace or the like pretty easily.


It even happens to the pros: http://minneys.blogspot.com/2016/06/blow-out-one-hundred-damaged-ship-models.html



Edited by Bob Cleek
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We can all be very glad of an accident of history: the waist of most sailing ships has very few delicate protuberances. So it’s relatively easy to pass a securing strap or ribbon across the center of the deck and the bulwarks prevent it from squashing cannons or whatever. So many models can be snugged down via a single strap athwartships and this provides more security than relying entirely on the pedestal mounts or cradle the model sits on at home.

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  • 1 year later...

I recently had to move a model in a short, 15 minutes driving distance, and creating a proper crate was not considered as an option. Not being the safest method, I'm not recommending this to anyone, but here goes my solution. I used cable ties to fix the base of the model to a large cardboard sheet. This prevented the model from being capsized, and any movement was absorbed by the space around it. I drove pretty careful, and the mission was succesfully accomplished. The ship shows some damage, but this comes from being abandoned 12 years on a shelf, not the transport operation.




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