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Packing Models the Organic Way
by Lee Rouse

 

Last week I was searching for Easter Egg grass. Never mind that Easter is still months away. I needed some good packing material for my models which I was taking to the IPMS Air/Arm Contest in Salisbury. What to do? When I mentioned my dilemma to my wife, she tongue in cheek suggested a bag of peat moss. I said "no thank you, my models are weathered enough". We had a good chuckle and I promptly forgot about it. Still, what to do? Maybe I could find some Easter Egg grass at the local Big Lots- they're known for keeping an odd assortment of merchandize. So off I went. No Easter Egg grass- at least none that I could see and I was not about to ask a sales clerk for Easter Grass in November. Well, I found myself in the back corner of the store with the plastic flowers and some really ugly flower pots. That's where I spied several bags of Spanish Moss. U-m-m. Could this stuff really work? I looked at it closely and squeezed the bag. It did seem to offer the potential for a good cushion. It smelled a little but otherwise seemed clean. Why not?

So I bought a couple of bags, along with a cheap plastic storage container, and took my purchase home. On opening one bag, I found that the moss was rather compressed and needed to be separated out and fluffed up. Once this was done the moss was put in the storage container. To make a long story short, I found that it provided excellent protection for the models. It offered a great cushion, but additionally, its open and fibrous texture provided a very secure base for the models, resulting in them not slipping and sliding at all during the 4 hour trip. The only drawback I was able to find was that one has be careful removing the model from the moss, as little pieces of moss can catch on underside thingies like landing gear or ordnance. Still, a couple of seconds of care and all models were removed and set up on the competition tables. I had been concerned that packing models in moss might result in some moss "dust" settling on the models. However, they appeared as spotless as when I had taken them off the shelf at home. It just goes to show that you can find modeling supplies in the most unlikely places.