Part two: When the story is epic
In part one, we spoke about telling a story when you display your model collection. That story makes it more organized and interesting for you and any other folks. This also makes it easier to explain your hobby to casual viewers. Let’s discuss some more model car display techniques that make things even more interesting. Of course, any of these techniques can be utilized for any type of collectible display.
Have a game plan
Let’s assume that your kitchen or bathroom may not be the best place to admire or show your collection. Besides, your collection would take away all functions in those rooms. Find a space that will swallow a large portion of your collection. Assess where you spend most of your day (away at a job, in your home office or in your living room).
A display in your office might work. More likely you’ll want to put your display where you can see it during leisure time. Consult your significant other at this point. Taking over the living room may not sit well. This is sage advice.
Your next move is to guestimate how much display you are going to need and decide if you’d like a floor-standing solution or wall-mounted solution. Or a bit of both. If you like the display boxes in part one, you might consider floating shelves. They’re quite nice and can absorb several kinds of collectibles. Think about staggering the mounting of the shelves. Maybe one a little to one side of the other or “stair-stepping” up a wall. Offset the shelves with smallish framed art and now you’re on to something.
Surround your display with some related art (above left). Place some fun stuff on or around the display (right). Your imagination is the limit.
But Dave, my collection is waaay bigger than any of that will hold!
Don’t break a sweat on this. Consider ready-made displays/shelf units as discussed in part one from sources such as IKEA. There are several relatively inexpensive choices and some can be expanded. Search the internet for IKEA display hacks (doesn’t that sound a little illegal?). Some can be lit. LED lighting has come down in price. Be choosey because many common LED setups may be a bit too bright and may not have dimming capability. Also consider the size of the electronic drivers that power many better LED systems. They can be very large and ugly while hard to hide.
Wall-mounted cabinets can be great because they save space that can be occupied by furniture. Find an outrageously nice surface-mount bathroom cabinet of the desired size and modify as needed. They already have doors. Replace the mirror with clear glass. Be sure to gasket open gaps that might allow dust to get in.
Have carpentry skills? Go for it! Build the cabinet of your dreams with all of the features you can dream up.
Think ceiling-projected names of each car in the cabinet…..
How about ready made model car cabinets?
Most of the cabinets above are repurposed, originally intended for most any other thing but model cars. Let’s explore larger displays intended for what you actually have.
There are plenty of wood or acrylic model car cabinets that are basic but do the trick. You can find them on ebay, amazon or etsy. Be sure that any gaps around the doors are small enough to keep most dust out. These cabinets are generally pretty reasonable in cost.
Or consider model car cabinets by Racerhead (left). Cabinets made specifically for larger collections of 1/43 models; the larger versions allow for larger models too. Three wall-mounted models. A few different finishes. Using the same kind of wood for the shell that Morgan uses for their car frames. Glass shelves and available LED backlighting. They look great. You can see them here.
You can find even more model car display techniques ideas, racing art and model car info here.