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Inexpensive model building trays

Keep your model build clean and organized 

I regularly find myself building several 1/43 models at once. It has been a constant hassle to keep the kit and its finished assemblies separate and undamaged. I looked into having trays built but costs were silly. Then I found some inexpensive model building trays posing as jewelry displays.

If you’ve ever purchased jewelry at a bespoke store, they will lay out their wares on padded trays. This both displays and protects their valuable contents. 

Which makes them perfect for my model builds because the liners are velvet.

Plastic jewelry trays 
Inexpensive model building trays

They come is many sizes and shapes. Pick your tray color as long as it’s one of the available few. In the end the price is less than two folks chowing down at McDonald’s. Way less.

This “half-size” stackable tray is 7 1/4″w x 8 1/4″d x 1″h and costs under $3 each. I use this size because I’m somewhat space limited. Inexpensive model building traysHowever, I have space to stack them so I extended the side heights with some 1/4″ foamcore board cut to size. I drilled 2 holes through the top of each side and glued in some 1/16″ brass rods as “spikes” to hold the foamcore securely in place. I ran a bead of glue under the foamcore as well for more rigidity. Run the spikes all the way down to the bottom of the tray with enough sticking out the top to ram the foamcore onto.

Inexpensive model building traysOr you can purchase the larger 2″ deep trays and save some work. These measure 14 3/4″w x 8 1/4″d x 2″h. They will definitely work better for larger models as well. Under $8 each. They can be height-extended for stacking in the same way as above for those larger models.

Inexpensive model building traysLine it with velvet

Providing serious padding for your model babies will mitigate against scratching or other surface damage.

Just a few bucks each regardless of size or color.

They’re softer than a puppy dog and never need to be walked.

Inexpensive model building traysParts bags

While you are shopping, consider a massive supply of parts bags. They’re in packs of 100 and cost pennies per bag. Available in a nice array of sizes for easy storage for miscellaneous spare parts or efficient sorting of your new kit.

Clear or frosted, writeable or not. Still inexpensive.

Where to find inexpensive model building trays

I found them all in one place.

You can find the trays here.

The velvet liners are here.

Parts bags can be found here.

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