Monday, July 30, 2012

Collection Storage

My wargame table is designed with shelving underneath. I put underbed storage boxes under the table on the shelving.

I use a 41 quart underbed storage boxes by Sterilite to hold most of my collection. First I put in a shelf liner, it is a sort of plastic mesh, then on top of that I line the box with corduroy fabric with the lines running parallel to the length of the box. The shelf liner keeps the corduroy in place. The corduroy lines keep the vehicles from rolling around in the box. I put a 3X5 card with the contents marked in large marker at the end of the box, in letters large enough to read from ten feet away. I have over 100 of them.

I also use the taller, 56 quart box. It is much taller and it allows me to store my larger buildings and much of my 60mm stuff goes in them too. These are lined the same way as the underbed storage boxes.

A couple years ago I got two resin/plastic storage sheds with extensions, they are outside the house on a concrete driveway used by the previous owners of the home for their motor home. I weigh each box and place the weight in pounds on a sticker and it goes on the outside of the box, near the
label of contents. Boxes are stacked with the heavy ones on the bottom and light ones on top, no more than eight high. No box is more than 15 pounds and most are about 7 pounds.

It is a lot of work and expense to get it all set up, but it keeps the collection insect, spider and rodent free. I used to use cardboard boxes but after several water leaks, mouse attacks and spider and June bug invasions, I took the plunge and my whole hobby budget for the year went to upgrading
the storage. It was well worth it, and because I store on site I don't have to go anywhere to get anything and I don't have to pay a monthly fee either.

It also makes finding the collection much easier. I am still working on the project, I need a few more boxes. Usually I have purchased them on sale at Target or similar retailers, the corduroy I got on sale from Joann's. The storage sheds came from Loews, my wife and I put them up in a day. It does get hot in there, I am investigating solar powered fans to keep the air moving.

My tens of thousands of unpainted soft plastic figures are in Tupperware type plastic boxes in my attached garage. They are kept inside a chest of drawers and cabinet designed specifically for that purpose. Despite being kept away from UV light and temperature extremes, some of the older figures
have still gotten brittle. Mostly Airfix, and Esci, in the 30+ year old range.  Some of my older figures are just fine however, even cheapies like Giant of Hong Kong that are 40 and 50 years old. I suspect it is as much in the plastic formula used as it is in their storage.


Uncle Brian said...

Your theory about the brittleness of plastic figures being due to the formula has much merit, especially for Airfix figures. The research done by a Airfix collector based in Christchurch strongly points to Airfix having diluted its plastic mix as a cost saving measure. As I remember it, the story runs like this. He provided a material engineer (that he works with) with samples of brittle figures. The engineer did some 'back of the envelope' testing, and came to the conclusion that clay had been added to the plastic mix in order to stretch it out. I hope you found this of some interest!

Bunkermeister said...

Clay, that is interesting Uncle Brian. I have had brittle figures from MPC, Tim Mee, Airfix, Esci, and Revell. I have had figures from Giant of Hong Kong that are at least 50 years old that are as good as new. They were supposed to be the cheap knock off figures!