Airplane models don’t just make a collection. These are prized treasures, and possessions for any aviation enthusiast, and a sentimental piece for those gifted with it. Each custom airplane model has a high level of craftsmanship sure to be appreciated by all walks of life. It is not cheap, nor it is undesirable.
The ultimate question, then, stands, “How should I take care of my airplane model collection?” Do you put these on display in the living room, or do you just have these safely placed inside your closet?
We’re sure most people have asked the following questions, especially when they’ve just started with the hobby of collecting.
Caring for an aircraft collection
Collecting aircraft models is not a cheap hobby. Sure, it’s not as expensive as collecting actual, flying, private or commercial aircraft models, but it still needs a good capital. Once you have a number of pieces, you can’t help but break out in a sweat whenever someone touches it, with fear that it might be ruined.
But, as long as you know how to take care and preserve your aircraft models, there’s no need for any worry (unless of course if it’s a fortuitous event). Here are the steps on how your aircraft models would last for a long, long time:
- Create an inventory of items. This is not a hard task. You just have to have a pen, and a notebook or you can even work on your laptop or computer, and do an up-to-date inventory of what you already have. Do this every time you get yourself a new aircraft model. By doing an inventory, you’re not only recording how many model aircrafts you already own, you can also just back read and see where you got the “best model” ever so you can purchase from the store again, and you can review the models you don’t need to buy because you already have it. You can also note down a significant story about the custom airplane model. Was it used in a famous Hollywood film? Is it an imaginary aircraft designed by a friend? Is it your dream airplane?
- Cover well. Use acid-free materials, such as plain linen muslin, or acid-free tissue paper to prevent dust from devouring the custom airplane models, or the sunlight from “damaging” the item. Materials such as newspaper, bubble wrap, or form can also damage the airplane if it’s used for long term storage. Do this only for the models you don’t want displayed, or when you’re moving to a new home.
- Display in ideal locations. Avoid areas with frequent and rapid temperature and relative humidity changes. If you have an area in your house for just displays, that would be a good place to showcase your collection. But if you want to display it in the living room (which is directly facing the windows where the sun rises), the constant temperature movement might cause the materials to break and tear over time. You don’t need to have a fancy area or a mini museum. You just have to get the temperature right. Remember, custom airplane models are usually made with balsa and tissue, and these materials easily expand when hot, and contract when cold!
- Avoid solvents or adhesives to be used on the models. The reason for this is there will always be chemical residues which will continue to act on the model even after it has been wiped off. We understand the concern and pleasure in making the airplane model collection shiny and clean. After all, dirt is an enemy. However, cleaning it the wrong way may also damage it sooner than you imagine. If you are cleaning an airplane model, try vacuuming the dirt off first before cleaning with the Orvus paste compound. This cleaning tool can be found in most feed stores and quilting suppliers. It’s very gentle on the custom airplane models, so it’s best to use.
- Avoid touching it. It is best to use gloves when holding a custom airplane model. While it seems exaggerated, handling any objects acid in human skin, as well as other material on a person’s hand will be left behind on the object’s surface. It will etch into the object over time, and will cause damage.
Lock away or display?
Some people think storing and just keeping their airplane models collection is for the best. But in reality, it just boils down to how you can take care of, clean, and preserve these models. If it’s an outstanding collection, it would really make any place much more interesting, and beautiful. It’s no good being locked away inside the vault.
It’s meant to be appreciated, and admired on display. You just have to have the discipline and the knowhow to preserve your collection for a long, long time. And of course, you need to have the right cleaning materials to help you in your job.