Display Case Quality Considerations For Protecting and Displaying Scale Models

Jul 25, 2009 | Blog

Model Ship Display Case Quality Considerations

When we collect, build or find that one of a kind item (for me that means building the really great scale model), it seems only appropriate that the quality and pride of ownership be preserved in how we show it off to others. I’ve built some pretty good scale model ships after lots and lots of attempts and failures. I now want to display and show off my work to others…mostly to get some ooh’s and aah’s. It’s a real morale booster, believe me!

With that said, when you decide to display your cherished piece, you should put the same pride into the environment you place it in. I build model ships, and I’ve tried using those all plastic, molded inexpensive cases you can find at some hobby stores to show off my work, and when displayed, these just seem to take all the hard work and pride from my work. It might be a personal thing, but I want the same quality in the case as I put into the model build.

That’s where I decided to make my own custom display cases using only the best materials to show off my work. I build these cases now using only optical grade acrylic sheets, which offer greater protection factor from UV exposure and fights yellowing over time. It is also cleanable and is resistant to scratching. If it is scratched, a quick polish will clean and brighten it with a little acrylic polish like Novus Plastic Clean & Shine Number 1.

The base I choose to use is always a hardwood, always solid with no plywood or veneers, and my choice of wood is usually red oak. The grain patterns and depth of grain gives the base a beautiful furniture quality. I stain these to the color that best matches the surround display area and finish it with a polyurethane topcoat for protection and quality. The base is routed with a decorative edge to give it that quality look that begs to be displayed proudly.

Quality over cost is sometimes difficult to deal with, but when one considers all the hours and revisions when building a scale model, it is well worth the investment to incorporate the same quality in the case it will be displayed in. It just makes sense to show your work in the best environment possible. I hope you can use these tips to construct your own display case or use it as criteria when evaluating other display case providers.

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