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Model ship display case

Goldwing Guy

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Congratulations! There are many variations on cases here. I would look at completed model photos. There are also a number of threads regarding cases. It really depends on your tastes, where you plan on displaying her, and the size/scope of case project you are looking for. There are frame kit suppliers such as Model Expo where you provide the finishing and glass/plexiglass or you can go the entire custom case route from scratch.


One suggestion I have is what ever route you decide, don't make the case too small. You need to have room for the ship to look at home there.


Congrats again. The first ship is a huge milestone.

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I made display cases for my models.

Our models built at the expense of many hours of work should last many years and enjoy the perfect eye look.

To protect them from dust, which is the main enemy of these delicate structures and especially the rigging, place them in showcases.

Such cabinets can do with your own hands.

Several ways to implement them.

  1. The frame structure of aluminum profiles joined with aluminum blind rivets.
  2. The frame structure of  wooden profiles glued and fastened with nails and screws.
  3. The frame structure of PCV angles with use of double face self-adhesive tape for joint it with plexi plates.

The basis for showcases can be made from MDF board, plywood or wood boards.

The cover can be made as the transparent plexi or the same material as the base.

Lamps for lighting model can be installed in showcase cover.

PVC angles


Wooden profiles




Metal fittings and legs



Aluminium, PVC and wood strips


Woodenstructure of display case





Aluminium structure of display case



PVC structure of display case




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Corner show case
As the number of my models continues to grow, it was necessary to find a place in my living room on their exposure.
So the idea for a corner display case is a good solution.
It will be a safe haven for the model Peter von Danzig, the ship of the fifteenth century, which was related with the city in which I live.
She was a privateer of Hansa League during the war against Britain and France.
She’s biggest conquest in 1473 it was cargo of the Burgundian  galley "San Matteo” in it was triptych of the Last Judgment painted by Hans Memling.
Material for display case

Profiled slats of pine
HDF boards white
Furniture corner joints + screws
Plexi (for reason of required bending it was ordered in specialized company)
Two lamps + cable + power supply unit + switch
Time for job - two dys




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One other note on making a case. The US Navy found that having air tight cases caused their models to deteriorate. This was from outgassing of the various products used in the ship construction as well as the case. It does not have to be much air, but some fresh air should be allowed through the case in amounts to allow the outgassed chemicals to leave.

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I had a similar problem with fittings starting to powder. I went a bit farther than ambient air passive flow. I actually run a small pancake or muffin fan in my case. It sits below the case deck (as it is on stylized feet. It runs about 50 cfm and draws less than an amp. It is on a timer 6 on /6 off hours. I have been running in this mode for about 6 months now no deterioration.

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I would have assumed that a model would eventually stop giving off gasses as the paint and glue Completed whatever chemical transformation they were undergoing had ceased. say, after a year? I know the corrosion of the lead would continue but that's more a factor of oxygen entering the case, not something escaping. I suppose the wood itself is very slowly drying and that would take decades but I can't imagine the effluvium given off from that would be corrosive? I'm not a chemist though.

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This thread reminded me. I wanted to check my display case. When it was built, there was a very strong vinegar smell most of this was from the silicon glue in the case. However, when I built the case I allowed the small amount of heat that the LED's built in the lid to create an air movement from the base. I was hoping this would allow any acetic acid to vent out the top. Yeah, it does not smell of vinegar now! However it has been two years. At least I know it is working and my Connie is safe and sound.


I highly recommend reading the linked article. It is very informative.


While very little, if any lead is used in today's models, the acetic environment is probably not good for rigging. I know there are several threads where modelers will not use beeswax because of it's slightly acidic properties.


The article is available on line - http://www.navsea.navy.mil/Home/Warfare-Centers/NSWC-Carderock/Resources/Curator-of-Navy-Ship-Models/Lead-Corrosion-in-Exhibition-Ship-Models/


The Navy focuses on the lead deterioration problem. Old ships have fittings made exclusively from lead. New ships, can have lead in smaller amounts in solder. It is the creation of acetic acid that ultimately causes the deterioration. Many woods, paints, caulks, glues etc can contribute to the creation of acetic acid.


As a side note JerseyCity Frankie, the lead deterioration is a bit more complicated than keeping it free of O2. I am not a chemist either but find things like this fascinating:


Excerpt from article:


The chemical process is: Acetic and some other acids, in the presence of carbon dioxide, catalyze with lead to produce lead acetate and lead hydroxide. Lead acetate and lead hydroxide together react with carbon dioxide and form lead carbonate. Lead carbonate then releases acetic acid and the process becomes self-sustaining.(6) It is important to recognize that the formed lead carbonate is not just a substance clinging to the surface of a casting, it is the surface of the casting transformed to powder. For practical purposes, a portion of the lead is gone and lead carbonate is left in its place. The lead carbonate releases acetic acid which can continue the process until the lead part is progressively consumed from the outside, inward.

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