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Suggestions for a display cabinet


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I’m toying around with the idea of getting a actual display cabinet to put my finished models in.  I would love one that is big enough to fit a 1/48 tomcat length wise in it. That way it’ll fit almost anything I build. Do you guys have any suggestions?  

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My wife frequents several "Thrift" stores or re-sellers in our town.  One has a pretty good selection of furniture.  She purchased a pine sideboard with a mis-matched glass display top with three glass shelves and lights in the top for ~ $60.  She bought it for my models, but they only occupy the top two shelves. Family knick-knacks occupy the bottom two layers.  It measures ~ 56" wide, 11" deep, & 48" high (besides the hutch).  I have over a dozen 1/48 scale kits (F-4s, A-4s, an F-106, etc...) on the top shelf and several 1/72 (fighters & helos) & 1/144 (C-130s, P-3s) kits on the second shelf.  Maybe that's too big for your purposes, but check out your local thrift stores or second hand sellers.  K/r, Dutch

Edited by Dutch
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I have two IKEA Milsboro cases. Would definitely fit 1/48 F-14/15 size aircraft, and any of the medium WW 2 bombers. 
 

I also have two Billy bookcases with glass shelves and doors. I use it mainly for 1/48 WW II fighter as I can get 5 per shelf on those. Korean War era jets will fit 3-4 per shelf, and It’ll fit 1/48 phantoms, crusaders, delta darts and daggers, 2 per shelf as well....not sure about Tomcats though. 
 


 

 

 

Edited by Charlie D.
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I got this for Christmas from IKEA. It's the Milsbo that Charlie above mentioned. The bottom shelve has a 1/48 F-18 and S-3. It may work for you. I just bought some puck lights from Menards and put them in there.

 

20210222_140743.jpg

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I'll have to check out the Milsbo from Ikea.  I like the size of that case.  I have a couple of Deltof cases, which the shelves are just big enough for one aircraft the size of an F-14

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On 2/25/2021 at 8:45 PM, Scott Smith said:

I went down the rabbit hole of building one.  Now I enjoy woodworking as another hobby that robs time from models.  

 

Years ago I built one. Had a wood frame, top and base. 2' x 4' x .25" tempered glass shelves with beveled edges from the local glass shop. 1/8" plexiglass sides and front doors. Not a piece of furniture art but functioned just fine. Had a bunch of 1/48 and 1/32 aircraft displayed. I think it cost me around $150 to $200 in all (late '80s, early '90s).

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Mine is almost 2’ deep, 8’ wide and as tall as I could make it but still able to roll through a door.  Used 2 old bathroom mirrors for the back.  Red oak and tempered glass sliding doors. Used a lot of recycled glass for too and sides and I still dropped right at $2k on it including only 4 shelves.  They run about $100 each last time I bought some. They were $65 at the time I built it.  Hate to see the price now.  It was March of 2015. 

Edited by Scott Smith
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I guess just go to Ikea and get the one that You like the most!

 

For a long time I had a Ikea Detolf display case. I don't know if it could fit a 1/48 Tomcat. I did keep a 1/48 Hornet and an F-15 on top of it. I vaguely remember I could fit the Eagle inside. I just liked it better displayed on top. I've seen people doing some neat stuff with these display cases. The problem was adding addidtional shelves. I needed to figure something out for them.

 

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Next I got a Besta case from Ikea. That's a 1/32 Hornet sitting on the shelf. The rest is 1/72. Probably the best money/ shelfspace ratio I could get. If You don't mind the fact there's only one side with any glass, that'd be my pick.

 

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The only problem are the doors as these are the only ones I could find to actually make sense. My display case was much deeper than that one. Just make sure to drill it securelly to the wall. It's a very light piece of furniture. It can surprisingly easilly be tipped. Trust me on this one.

 

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For a bit smaller models, similar case - Billy is available. That's a 1/48 Super Hornet there. But I tried putting a dryfit F-15E but it wouldn't fit. Really liked how they could fit one on a shelf. The only problem was, there wasn't enough dust protection. No matter how I fit the doors, there were large gaps (hence a lot of dust). That wasn't the case with Besta.

 

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Now I have a custom made display case. Picked by the Wife. I only recently put a dryfit F-14 inside. Well. It fits 😉 Should've thought of that 1/32 scale Hornet when I designed the inside shelves separation. Now I had to take one shelf out just to make room. It's obviously the best option but it can be a bit costly. If it wasn't for the looks (if You know what I mean 😉 ) I'd have gone with Besta again.

 

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Hope this helps a bit.

Edited by Thadeus
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1 hour ago, Thadeus said:

I guess just go to Ikea and get the one that You like the most!

 

For a long time I had a Ikea Detolf display case. I don't know if it could fit a 1/48 Tomcat. I did keep a 1/48 Hornet and an F-15 on top of it. I vaguely remember I could fit the Eagle inside. I just liked it better displayed on top. I've seen people doing some neat stuff with these display cases. The problem was adding addidtional shelves. I needed to figure something out for them.

 

 

 

Next I got a Besta case from Ikea. That's a 1/32 Hornet sitting on the shelf. The rest is 1/72. Probably the best money/ shelfspace ratio I could get. If You don't mind the fact there's only one side with any glass, that'd be my pick.

 


 

The only problem are the doors as these are the only ones I could find to actually make sense. My display case was much deeper than that one. Just make sure to drill it securelly to the wall. It's a very light piece of furniture. It can surprisingly easilly be tipped. Trust me on this one.

 

 

 

For a bit smaller models, similar case - Billy is available. That's a 1/48 Super Hornet there. But I tried putting a dryfit F-15E but it wouldn't fit. Really liked how they could fit one on a shelf. The only problem was, there wasn't enough dust protection. No matter how I fit the doors, there were large gaps (hence a lot of dust). That wasn't the case with Besta.

 

 

 

Now I have a custom made display case. Picked by the Wife. I only recently put a dryfit F-14 inside. Well. It fits 😉 Should've thought of that 1/32 scale Hornet when I designed the inside shelves separation. Now I had to take one shelf out just to make room. It's obviously the best option but it can be a bit costly. If it wasn't for the looks (if You know what I mean 😉 ) I'd have gone with Besta again.

 

 

 

Hope this helps a bit.

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Building a case is a good way to get exactly what you need. I built mine back in the ‘90s. It’s 72” x 48” x 24”. I used glass for the shelves and plexiglass for the sides and front, because I didn’t want our toddler to fall into it and get hurt. It wasn’t difficult to build, but I made the mistake of using 1/4” plywood for the back, so it weighs a ton. My wife calls it The Monolith. I need a second, smaller one for my cars and some of these IKEA suggestions look pretty good.

 

Ben

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There are many Detolf hacks available online, as Ben said if you like DIY it's the way to go. I built mine using the glass and steel structure of two Detolfs, creating a shelf at the bottom so that the models would be more visible:

 

51007610203_7284d1e260_z.jpg

 

The aircraft are all 1/48 except the Hawkeye on the top shelf, an F-15 is about as big as you can fit in.

 

Arnaud

Edited by arnobiz
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On 2/22/2021 at 2:17 PM, RCarlson said:

I got this for Christmas from IKEA. It's the Milsbo that Charlie above mentioned. The bottom shelve has a 1/48 F-18 and S-3. It may work for you. I just bought some puck lights from Menards and put them in there.

 

20210222_140743.jpg

 

What are the Star Wars models from?

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On 2/22/2021 at 8:28 AM, Charlie D. said:

I have two IKEA Milsboro cases. Would definitely fit 1/48 F-14/15 size aircraft, and any of the medium WW 2 bombers. 
 

I also have two Billy bookcases with glass shelves and doors. I use it mainly for 1/48 WW II fighter as I can get 5 per shelf on those. Korean War era jets will fit 3-4 per shelf, and It’ll fit 1/48 phantoms, crusaders, delta darts and daggers, 2 per shelf as well....not sure about Tomcats though. 
 


 

 

 

Here’s an old pic of one of my Billy bookcase set up before our last move.  I’ve since reshuffled kits to get 5 fighters per shelf.

IMG_20171012_101232025_LL.JPG

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You can always build one yourself.

 

I designed this using stainless steel with a bottom and top cabinetry from IKEA. It can hold 40-50 1/48 kits.

 

Cabinet%201.jpg

 

 

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Cabinet%208.jpg

 

 

Cabinet%209.jpg

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That's nice!!

 

Even building yourself, glass has gotten very expensive lately.  Shop around for "recycled" or used glass at second hand stores.   I actually designed mine around two old bathroom mirrors that were in my house.

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5 hours ago, Scott Smith said:

That's nice!!

 

Even building yourself, glass has gotten very expensive lately.  Shop around for "recycled" or used glass at second hand stores.   I actually designed mine around two old bathroom mirrors that were in my house.

 

It is true, but I had access to good price glass at the moment, and was able to design the cabinet with the right size to fit the space I wanted to be on. Another advantage is that I made it "dust-proof". I haven't cleaned the cabinet since I put it the first time about 6 years ago and the kits are still clean.

 

When will I be able to do another replica? Who knows?

 

 

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

I found this one on FB Marketplace.

Added some LED light strips.
Not sure what I'll do if I ever finish another one! 😃

 

1nU0CzP.jpg

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Since I posted in this thread, we bought a new home and moved.  What fun it was to move my behemoth of a display case!  Each model was carefully packed up in sturdy boxes with packing peanuts.  All shelves were carefully removed along with the sliding glass doors.  I had packed up the doors inside the case, wrapped in foam.  
 

When my son and his friends got there to help (well, to do it all with me watching) they decided they wanted the glass doors out of the case since we discovered it was so big it could not be rolled up the ramp if the U-Haul truck.  I had to rent the biggest truck they have due to door clearance vs. case height.  With them picking it up off the ground and rolling it in, it only had 1” of clearance.  
 

We made the trip to the new home, they unloaded it the same way and rolled it down the driveway that wraps around the back of the house.  Got to the back door and realized there was no way it was going through the sliding glass door.   Went into the garage with it, removed the threshold trim and managed to get through the door but only by bending the lip on the threshold.  We thought we were home free until we hit the support post holding the house up and the trim work on the opposite wall edge. 
 

After removing trim work from the base of the pole, it barely slid through.  But it made it! Close call.  Told the wife we almost had to sell her dream home and find one the display case would fit. 
 

J9ci5c.jpg

Edited by Scott Smith
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I was fortunate enough to find these at a local Halmark shop that was closing it's doors. They are 3 sided glass shelves that could be configured in multiple layouts. I have another unit like this on the other side of the room and they only costs $50 each. They aren't enclosed so dusting is still a thing but I think they look pretty cool. Keep an eye out for stores closing and/or remodeling and you can find some great deals out there.  

1911173475_glasscabinets.jpg

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