It turns out that the warping (and attendant framing that was required to straighten it) was a blessing in disguise. I had originally devised a complicated way of stacking the parts of the model for transport. With the presence of the wooden frame at the edge of each panel a far simpler (and sturdier) method presented itself. Make the baseboards into the sides of their own crate! see below:
with the simple addition of a small sheet of thin plywood on each side
the baseboard become part of their own crate
yes, I think that I am a genius!
the whole shooting match crated up and ready for deployment