Axian vs. Arrow Hobby Totes

Pastor John Jan 8, 2021

  1. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

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    This has probably been discussed before, but I did a search with little success. Anyway, I'm looking to buy some storage to begin boxing up Dad's collection. I have some original packaging but, at least for the short term, we need to get them off the layout.

    I've seen some folks recommend the Axian Technology system http://www.axiantech.com/ModelRR.html for transport and storage, but I've also seen the similar system sold by Arrow Hobby. https://ppw-aline.com/collections/a-line-hobby-tote-system-ho-n-scales

    Has anyone seen or used both? Arrow's is a little cheaper but it isn't a huge difference. Can you offer pros and cons of each system?

    Thanks

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  2. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I know this is not much help, but I used TrainboxesPlus from Texas, but they have since gone out of business. They compared pretty well with Axian, but the Axian users I know feel they're more durable than TBP.
     
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  3. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    Another thing to consider is how the models are stored. The Axian design lays the model on its side, while the Arrow tote sits the car upright on its wheels. With either design, I would be worried about damage to the models. Sometimes sitting a model on its side will damage grab irons or other protruding details. Hopefully the foam in the Axian box is soft enough to prevent this. The Arrow box says the dividers are chipboard. Again, that's a pretty hard surface, I would be worried about the models scraping against it or impacting it during transit.

    If you are just using the boxes for storage under the layout or in the attic, the Arrow Hobby box is probably fine, but the Axian box has foam on the top and sides too. If I were transporting cars to a show (bumpy ride in a car), I would want that one.

    I don't own either of these, I am just examining the pictures and seeing how they might work, so take these explanations with a grain of salt.
     
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  4. Sepp K

    Sepp K TrainBoard Member

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    Well, I don't have any experience with the Arrow system, but I have some Axian boxes that I have been taking to Ntrak shows for 25+ years. They still seem to have years of use left in them. They have protected the rolling stock well. Only one incident of damage occurred when a box fell several feet onto one end. Only some couplers were broken.
     
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  5. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

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    Okay, I bit the bullet and ordered five N-scale boxes and a carrying case from Axian Technologies to begin the process and sorting and storing Dad's empire. I'm not sure how much of a dent five boxes is going to make on Dad's fleet of rolling stock, but I have to start somewhere. Thank you everyone for your input.
     
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  6. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

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    Are we talking N-Scale or HO or What?
    Just looking for storage? Right? Since I'm one of those N-Scalers, this scale is what I am talking about.
    I was give several empty boxes that were used for frozen meat pieces. You know the steaks, chicken and pork cuts wrapped/vacuum sealed in plastic. MTL, Atlas cars in jewel cases fit right in the boxes. These are just used for storage, NOT transport. Something to hold rolling stock and power. You can line the boxes with shelf paper, thin pieces of stryo-foam [used for shipping] or bubble wrap for protection. I use AXIAN boxes for storing my collection of SPECIAL-RUN cars, and when transporting equipment.
    The cardboard food/meat boxes don't smell and were priced right ie FREE. I have been called THRIFTY........But I know I'm just CHEAP.......I've worked too hard for my money. Don't spend a dollar, when a quarter will do!!!!
     
  7. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

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    For the moment, yes, I am talking about N-scale. And yes, I definitely tend to do DIY and cheap as a significant preference. However, while we have been searching through Dad's stuff for some time, the number of original packaging (ie. crystal cases) found does not remotely approach the number in the fleet. I want to sort, organize, and inventory what's there before we decide what to do with it so it needs to be packaged up in *something*.

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  8. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

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    For sorting and organizing, I would look at COPY PAPER BOXES. They would hold a lot. Put a layer of cars, engines down, put a layer of bubble wrap, and then another layer of cars, and so forth. Boxes have lids also.
    Check out Office Depot, Staples, any place that does printing or copying. Lots of times they are happy to give away boxes.
    Axian boxes are GREAT, but you pay for what you get. And they can be a little PRICEY for just organizing and cataloging.
     
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  9. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have been using the Deluxe Innovation storage/transport boxes for several years. They have adaptable pre-cut foam inserts which can be removed to fit rolling stock or locomotives snugly. Whatever foam pieces are removed should be saved in case you have different rolling stock sizes to accomodate. There is sheet foam on the bottom and top to protect from all sides. The box itself is a predetermined size which is square... so multiple boxes will fit inside plastic milk crates.

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  10. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

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    Interesting. I have a LOT of plastic milk crates. Do you have a link for those?
     
  11. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Look up Deluxe Innovations N Scale. The do N scale trains every so often as well.

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  12. Pastor John

    Pastor John TrainBoard Member

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    Found it. Thanks.
     
  13. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    Deluxe Innovations is out of business. I know some tooling got transferred to other manufacturers, but did the packaging system move too? I suspect this would be the first product to be lost, as I don't think many companies would want to produce these.
     
  14. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Oh no say it ain't so!
    I have not needed to buy any more of those boxes for several years, but I had not heard they were out of business. These were a much better product than the Axian boxes.

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  15. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, there was some information on other threads and forums, and there is a status update on the old site (which is still up). Most of the tooling went to Fox Valley, but it looks like some of the container and trailer tooling may be lost in China.
     
  16. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Oh... and Fox Valley is represented by Intermountain Railway Co... so I am not sure how well Fox Valley products are being produced and distributed. I do not believe that IRC has the storage boxes listed either.

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  17. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    I too like the Deluxe boxes but Deluxe actually quit producing them before they sold the business.
     
  18. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Must have been about 5 years ago that they were discontinued. I only bought 5 of them because they were only to be used to transport unit trains (coal hoppers, reefers, tank cars... etc) to the train club for quick set-up and take-down at open house. I always keep the individual plastic cases of each railcar. One alternative was using the Deluxe Innovations boxes for some models that were in cardboard boxes which were not as good as the plastic cases.
    I think someone should consider creating new versions of the DI boxes.

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