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Friday, August 20, 2010

Storing Model Kits for a Year or 2 from Martin K.

Q. Thanks for your quick reply Debra.
 Perhaps you might be able to assist me with some general information regarding long term storage / collecting.
The reason for my purchase is the following:

I am a collector of model kits (Example:

Here is my plan of collecting:

I currently live in a smoking home and plan to store these model kit boxes in the closet of my bedroom (in which I don't smoke). In about a year or two I plan to buy my own place in which these kits will be displayed in the open, however, until that time, I need to keep these in mint condition along with some books I collect and prevent cigarrete smoke from damaging the items.

I was planning to wrap each box in your archival tissue and place the wrapped box inside a large size ZipLoc bag, sealed and placed inside a large, airtight Rubbermaid tote to prevent damage from cigarette smoke. I have read your FAQ and noticed that you do not recommend contemporary Ziploc bags. Would you be able to recommend a alternative solution to Ziploc bags?

A. Since we are not talking about long-term storage here, I think you can go ahead and use them.  The PE film that Ziploc bags are made of does deteriorate and crumble over time.  If, however, you store the Rubbermaid boxes as you propose to - in a closet in a climate-controlled area for a relatively short time, you'll be fine.  The archival tissue will act as a buffer for environmental contaminants (including the smoke) and will reduce the possibility of moisture damage.

Cigarette smoke is insidious - and PE film is not the greatest gaseous barrier, so you might want to use the freezer variety or double-bag the regular type.  When your order ships, I will see if I can scare up some PP film or Mylar bags for you - the PP sleeves we carry now are probably not large enough - but we used to carry larger sizes and there may be a few I can locate.

Many collectors use silica gel packets to guard against odor - and we do carry those.  If you use them. Use just one or 2 per model, as it's never a good idea to dry paper products out too much.  Activated charcoal in a closed container (find online or in aquaria sections of pet stores) works quite well as an after-measure - in case you already have a few that are aromatic.

Let me know if you have any further questions.