Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Story

Eventually we were able to repack the majority of the hobby boxes.

After a couple days work we were able to get most of the underbed storage boxes and plastic bankers boxes into some semblance of order.

Another day of working and this is what we had.  Later, we got two more rows into this shed, that's 216 underbed storage boxes.  We had more in another shed for a total of over 300.  Note each one is labelled, weighted, and the lighter ones are on top of the heavier ones.  The only exception is a few on the very top have broken lids and so can't be stacked for now.

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Story

While picking up a box and twisting to the left I injured my back.  Of course, it was late night on Friday and I had to wait to see the doctor on Monday.  I spent the next four days in terrible pain, unable to do much of anything apart from sleep, and visit the doctor.

After several doctor visits I was able to walk around for short periods and MRS Bunkermeister and I returned to working in the sheds.  She worked and I sat on a box and watched her, for no more than about 20 minutes, every other day.

It took a month for me to get better.  On top of that we both got terrible colds, MRS Bunkermeister was the worst and we got very little work done.  In the meantime, we worried that models and other stuff was being crushed by the weight pressing down on them!

A special Thank You, goes out to my readers in South Korea!  Thank you for reading.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Story

I told them we had five sheds that were paid for but had a sixth reserved if we needed it.  They managed to pack everything into five sheds.  They managed that by packing the 10 x 10 x 10 foot sheds as a solid box of stuff that would not hold another 1/72nd scale plastic figure.  They packed underbed storage boxes from floor to ceiling with some stacks being over 200 pounds.

I know they were that heavy because I personally weighed every box once it was packed and wrote in black numbers on white tape on the end of each plastic box the weight in pounds.  Most were in the 6 to 12 pounds range but the heaviest was nearly 30 pounds.  Still, if you stack 20 of them on top of each other you get a lot of weight on the bottom box.

MRS. Bunkermeister and I spent the next several days using the 6th shed to repack boxes.  I found about 20 underbed storage boxes and a few other boxes that were crushed by the weight put on top of them.  I don't think any of the models were damaged, but I have not made a careful inspection of the contents, yet.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Story

So we and the collection arrived in Scottsville, Kentucky and had to unload.  We started with four crew and two trucks.  They driver said they were past Nashville and would be in Scottsville early the next day.  So we drove eleven straight hours to get about where they said they would be and got a hotel room.  How they could have passed us and got 300 miles ahead of us we could not figure out.

The next morning we agreed to meet the trucks at the storage sheds in Scottsville at
about noon.  They were not there, and said they were still the other side of Nashville.  How they got behind us an 50 miles farther back is also a mystery!  They arrived several hours late, and with only three crew instead of four.  Their stories varied about how they lost crewman #4.

Two of them unloaded the trucks, while one packed the sheds.  One of them managed to fall down over one of the hand trucks.  The crew leader managed to fall four feet off the moving lift gate and hit his head on the asphalt below.  I guess that's why the instructions say, don't ride on the lift gate.  Both of our wounded claimed was only a flesh wound and continued to work.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Story

So, in our journey from California to Kentucky, we did stop at one great museum.  The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is totally awesome.  It's all about American nuclear weapons and their delivery system.

I love it.  First of all, it's a well run museum.  It's clean, it's well cared for, all the exhibits are in good shape and well displayed.  I hate going to a museum and seeing the place run down, and covered in dust or not having proper placards explaining what exhibits are showing.

They have the sail from a US Navy nuclear submarine, an atomic cannon, and lots of US Air Force nuclear capable aircraft and rockets and missiles.  They even have a very nice display of the Davey Crockett tactical nuclear rocket.  We just found it on a whim, just driving by and stopped in for a look, in New Mexico.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Story

Despite these problems, the actual models seem to have made it 2,000 highway miles with minimal damage.  I think the key is the manner in which I packed each box.  First the plastic boxes were lined on the bottom with bubble wrap, usually the small bubble kind, but certain heavy items got the large bubbles.

Then each vehicle, building, or other item was placed carefully on the bubble wrap.  Then the box was slightly over filled with biodegradable packing peanuts.  The lid was snapped onto the box and I used plastic film near both ends of the box to keep the lid on.  I overfilled the peanuts so that they would create enough tension to prevent the contents from moving around or shifting in transit.

I used the plastic film to insure the box lids stayed on, despite the tension from the packing peanuts.  I used over 300 cubic feet of packing peanuts.  Not a single box popped open during loading, transit, or unloading!  I got my supplies from a place called Serv-all, in Santa Ana, California.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Story

We spent a long time looking for movers.  Eventually we found a small moving company that used two 26 foot long trucks to move our stuff.  They had the same crew load, ship, and unload the goods.  I liked this because it meant great accountability for the collection.  The unloading guys could not pass blame off on the driver or loading crew for any damage.

I also liked the idea of having the collection in two separate trucks. If one of them drove off a bridge into the Mississippi River, it's unlikely the other truck would also do that.  That provided better protection for the collection.  Even though the shipment was insured, money would not have been enough to replace the lost collection.

I briefed the movers on the importance of loading the collection carefully to avoid crushing the boxes and of keeping the underbed storage boxes level.  Still, at least 20 boxes were crushed, and at least three were loaded vertically and much of the load rattled down to one end of the box!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Story

After about 30 days we sold the house I have lived in for over 30 years.  I began packing the hobby collection over six months before we put the house up for sale.  Ten years ago, I transitioned the collection from mostly cardboard boxes to all plastic boxes.

I got over 300 plastic underbed storage boxes.  I got over 100 other specialty plastic boxes, some quite large.  The GI Joe vehicles take very large boxes.  I moved from cardboard to plastic because I had issues with cardboard storage.

My water heater broke and flooded out a number of boxes that simple disintegrated.  The cardboard were not well sealed and so they had a lot of insects and spiders inside them.  The spiders included the poisonous black widow.  The spider waste was difficult to remove from the models.  Moving to plastic, while expensive, was cheaper in the long run since the plastic boxes lasted longer and did not have the other issues of cardboard.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Story

Eventually we looked at Kentucky, my dad grew up on a farm not far from Tompkinsville, Kentucky.  He joined the US Army and left to defend the Eastern Seaboard from Nazi invasion.  Eventually the war ended and after several adventures, he moved to California.  As a young man he used to plow fields, using a mule to pull the plow.  As a middle aged man, he worked on the Saturn V rockets that took the Apollo astronauts to the Moon.

I was born in Southern California and at age three I got my first army men, MPC ring hand figures.  I still have two of them in my collection.  Unlike many young men, I never gave up collecting toy soldiers, and when I went to college, I lived at home so my mom could not toss them out.  When I went to the Army, I was living with my wife and she knew better than to toss them out!

After over 55 years of buying, making, and collecting my armies, they were taking up a lot of space. It filled a two car garage and three on-site storage sheds.  I knew retirement would require either a massive downsizing, or a massive new location.  My plan was to be able to store the whole collection under one climate controlled roof.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Story

So two years ago, MRS Bunkermeister and I realized it was getting close to retirement time.  We also realized we would not have much money in retirement.  We spent over a year looking for places that were less expensive than Southern California.  That ruled out Tokyo, Manhattan, and Hawaii.

We did Internet searches for weather, cost of living, home prices and many other things.  I have the giant wargame and toy soldier collection, so I wanted a large room or separate building for the troops.  For the last 40 years I have been a firearms instructor so I do have a few guns and would like to be able to keep them.

We visited Prescott, Arizona.  Nice place, they even still have cowboys there.  Still, they have had a bit of a housing boom and home prices were a bit high.  We then visited Missoula, Montana.  A great place and not too much snow.  It's in a bowl formed by mountains and the snow gets dropped on the outside.  However, the government built some big laboratories and created a housing boom, too expensive.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

More News Updates

Some of my computer stuff is still stored in the storage sheds.  The movers were supposed to hold 10 boxes out so we could get on with our lives once we arrived and instead they packed them into the shed, so they are buried in the back.  Our hope is that we can retrieve them tomorrow.

We have two movers coming who will remove stuff from the sheds and repack it for us.  We don't have much in the motel room, but when we move into the apartment this weekend we should have a lot more.  That still won't be anywhere near all our stuff, but at least I should be able to get the rest of my computer.  I am typing this on my wife's laptop, but I can't upload photos from my camera, phone, or desktop right now.

My hope is that in less than a week I should be up and running at full speed with full Internet access and a fully functioning computer.  Thank  you all for continuing to read Bunker Talk and be sure to let all your friends now that I Have Returned.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Back in Business

I finally got the computer working and so I can begin blogging again.  Despite the fact that it's almost Pearl Harbor Day, I am going back and play catchup.  I will fill in all the missing blog postings.

It will take a while, but check back again daily now because I am back in business.

My wife and I have been planning our retirement for a few years now.  California is a land of increasing crime, high taxes, over-regulation, and overpriced real estate.  So we  have been looking for a place to live that does not have those problems.

We actually travelled to Arizona and Montana to check out some property, the cost of living and other factors, but in April of this year we visited rural Kentucky.  For those who don't know, Kentucky is in about the middle of the USA.  We liked it so much we decided to move here.  So we retired from our jobs, sold our house, packed our stuff and moved here.  It was 2,000 miles from California.  It took well over 200 boxes to store the hobby collection.  Most of our stuff is in storage sheds while we live in a motel.  We have leased an apartment; they are turning an old school into apartments, and our unit is not completed yet, we hope to move in this weekend.

While we live there we are negotiating the purchase of land and building a new home.  I am hoping for a large wargaming room.  I will keep you all updated as things continue.  So far we are very happy, the people are very nice and friendly.  Not much hobby stuff here, but I have brought a few models to work on while we wait.

Monday, November 6, 2017


MRS Bunkermeister and I have retired and moved to Scottsville, Kentucky, USA.  Right now we are living in a two star motel, and the collection, as well as our household goods, are in storage sheds.

My computer access is wonky so I have not been able to post for the last ten days or so, but I finally managed to get the computer up and I hope to be able to post photos again soon.

Prior to leaving Southern California, I stopped by both Pegasus Hobbies, in Montclair, CA, and Brookhurst Hobbies in Garden Grove, CA.  Both of them gave me some smoking great deals on my very large "goodbye" hobby purchases.  I have been going to Brookhurst since 1974 and Pegasus Hobbies for at least 25 years so not having direct access to them will be a huge change.

I also picked up a few items at the Dinosaur Farm, in South Pasadena, it's right on Mission Street, across from the Police Department.  I managed to pick up a few flying reptiles and you can bet they will appear here soon.  I already took a few pictures but transferring them from the camera to the computer is a bit sketchy right now, my cables are packed someplace!

Thanks for all the great comments, hope to have more for you soon.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

WWII and Post War US Army

American WWII M7 Priest self propelled guns and the rest of the battalion.

It takes a lot of ammo trucks to keep these guns supplied.

I got a few of them right here.

Armored infantry battalion, mostly Roco M3A1 halftracks.

Many have the 37mm anti-tank gun.  Not that great for tanks in WWII but pretty good against everything else.

Many of these are loaded down with ladders, boxes, crates and other junk.

It takes a lot of supplies to keep an army moving.

That's true post war also, here a modern towed 155 howitzer unit, with a few MLRS in the background in resin.

This group included Fidelis Models supplies, Roco vehicles, Hot Wheels, some generic toys and some long out of  production resin kits.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Renault FT

World War One US Army tank goodness.  About 64 Renault 17 tanks.

A two man tank made by Renault in WWI and by the US also in the First World War.  We had hundreds and hundreds of them in the inventory and they were active until 1932.

Then they were placed in war reserve status and held there until about 1940 when they were sold to Canada for the price of scrap, even though most were operational.  They used them for training; a bit of sneaking around to avoid those Neutrality Laws.  That also means that had the Germans or Canadians for that matter, invaded the USA, prior to 1940, the good old Renault FT could have served in combat again!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Ruins and Construction Equipment

Ruins.  They have to be packed as carefully as the other models.

After all, you don't want the ruins to get broken!

One of my lost world boxes.  Many of my underbed storage boxes have boxes within boxes.

It helps keep the smaller pieces together and also keeps them intact.

A few years ago 99 Cents Only stores had a sale on Boley vehicles.

I picked up some construction equipment.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Cold War US Army

As I pack the boxes I am getting a chance to see some vehicles that have been in storage for a while.
US Army Roco M113 and various M48 series tanks.

Trucks, Gamma Goats, and M114 recon vehicles.

An M113 armored infantry battalion.

These are scheduled for some repairs, upgrades, and organization in late 2018.

One project is to make a few vehicles that saw little or no service.  The US Army experimented with many different versions of these vehicles during the Cold War.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Starting in about April, 2017 I began packing my collection.

I have purchased over 1,000 feet of bubble wrap, in two different sizes.

I got over 300 cubic feet of packing peanuts.

Most of it I got at Serv-All packaging, great folks, great prices.

Some of my Christmas buildings, each one gets individually wrapped.

Then packed up or down to fit snugly into the plastic box.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Lido / BMC Troops Visit the Museum

The docent let me use the vehicles for a base for the troops to pose upon.  Here are the former Lido, now BMC 60mm GI's on the hood of a Jeep.

Also on the fender of a Jeep.

 Posed on a command car bumper.  Figures stood up just fine.

Closeup of the command car bumper.

P61 in the background.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Lyon Museum

Another view of the Japanese motorcycle at the Lyon Museum.

Interesting motorcycle combination.

Standard Jeep.

A block from the museum was this army truck.

There is a private company that takes Deuce and a Half trucks, cuts down the bed, removes one axle and substitutes a trailer body for the rear bed to make a sort of giant pick up truck.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Special Announcement From Bunkermeister

After having been born and raised in Southern California, MRS Bunkermeister and I have retired, sold the house....

Packed up 100 boxes of terrain and buildings, and GI Joes....

And three hundred boxes to troops and vehicles to move to a New Life in the Off World Colonies.

Cars at The Air Museum

Despite being an Air Museum the Lyon has a lot of vehicles.  This is an old Helms Bakery truck.  Here in Southern California they used to drive up and down every neighborhood and tooting their horn.  People would go out and buy fresh baked goods.  These little vans were gun but they had small trucks when I was a kid.

Mercedes Gull Wing.

From 1955, like me.

Kettenkrad, halftrack motorcycle.  They towed trailers and light anti-tank guns.  Some had the front wheel removed and just operated with the tracks.

Indian Motorcycle.

WWII Japanese motorcycle.

WWII German motorcycle...

And the Soviet copy!

American Army bicycle.