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Advice please - best way to light a display case?

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Hi All

 

I'm looking for advice on the best way to light a cased model. I recently finished the Royal Caroline, and whilst I'm pleased with the display case I've struggled to find somewhere suitable in the house for its permanent home. I thought standing it in front of a mirror would be a neat way of allowing viewers to see both sides of the model, but it just looked confusing and the lighting wasn't great (the photo is deceptive as I used flash):

RC8.thumb.jpg.c3d01d1ba39a2fa24eac839ae6bdf01f.jpg

 

In its present location, it just doesn't get enough light:

Caroline_case_edited-1.thumb.jpg.adf30d84a9af649d4a2d1d926ea6436f.jpg

Before I start drilling holes in the walls or ceiling for picture lights or downlighters, I'd be grateful for any thoughts and advice from anyone who's tackled the same issue.

 

Thanks

 

Derek

 

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I am actually looking for a similar solution as I am in the process of making a display case myself. I came up with two solutions, and I may end up using both.

 

The first is a set of 4 small displayspot lights to place on the wooden base, can be found here at

 https://www.amazon.com/Xking-Dimmable-Spotlight-Showcase-Lighting/dp/B078V7ZH4X/ref=sr_1_12?keywords=small+spotlight&qid=1580141372&sr=8-12

 

The second I was considering putting rope LED along the top and then covering the plexiglass with oak trim to hide the lighting and wires.

https://www.amazon.com/Linkable-Adapter-Cabinet-Lighting-Showcase/dp/B07T7VC3Q9/ref=sr_1_18_sspa?keywords=rope+LED+display+case&qid=1580141532&sr=8-18-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzR1NRWTVVRUlSWE5UJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNzYzNzg4MzdQTlkwSkpJRDhRUCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNzc4MDQ0MzExRTRVVEZMSDRXRCZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX210ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

 

 

With regards to your clear display case, where did you get it and how is the quality? I found a website but it is a bit pricey for the plexiglass case to be made that side.

https://www.shoppopdisplays.com/CS001/5-sided-clear-acrylic-box-custom-size.html?v=19123&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIs6i7tJak5wIVmoVaBR1I_wkQEAQYASABEgLqQ_D_BwE 

 

Here is the one that I was planning on using.

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Thanks, that’s given me some options to think about. I’d prefer something that didn’t cover part of the case but I’m not sure that’s going to be possible. 
 

I got the case from a guy who specialises in display cases for modellers. Unfortunately he’s a one-man-band located in the UK - I’m guessing you’re US based? Mine cost £160, just over $200.  The company you’re  looking at seems expensive by comparison - I put my case’s dimensions in their ready reckoner and it quoted $357.  I hope you can find someone cheaper!

 

Derek

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I meant to add, that I’m very happy with the case. The supplier was recommended to me by Blue Ensign on the forum - have a look at some of his work to see some more examples of all-acrylic cases. 
 

Derek

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I did the LED strip lighting (dimmable) from both top and bottom at the same time, you can see some photos in the build log https://modelshipworld.com/topic/7297-oliver-cromwell-by-mike-y-148-1777-pof-hahn-style/?do=findComment&comment=561189

The strip is mounted at 45 degree angle. It is some high quality high CRI strip, did not want to cut corners, especially since I only need two meters of strip.

It works pretty well, I am quite happy with it!

Few nuances:

* Strip mounting angle is quite important for the top strip, really recommend to play around with angle before you decide. I thought it does not really matter, it is not a spot light, right? Wrong.

* Top strip is really recommended, since the bottom one mostly hit the underside of a hull (obviously). Not sure how you can retrofit a top light into your case that has no structure on top... Though you can experiment with some really cheap USB powered strip, these can be bought for 5 bucks.

* Try to hide a strip using some strips of wood, consider a light diffusing paper on top of a strip (sold in the same shops that specialise in LED solutions), to avoid a bright light from individual LEDs hitting your eye. But this is a compromise leading to larger dimensions of the top of the case. Can't recommend prototyping enough, make some cardboard strips in 1:1 scale to test the dimensions. It is really hard to imagine how the lighting will fit into your case it by just drawing on paper or CAD.

 

Attaching the photos of other people's cases that I found here on MSW, food for though:

1665996978_Photo07-02-16212429(1).thumb.jpg.64dec2a68d47d780d61fc96eb65b8717.jpg

1518042806_Photo07-02-16212429.thumb.jpg.dfac00263417b2055b9e5775fae0a13f.jpg

1723105360_Photo18-09-16140254.jpg.74dee261e4dc5391bc2139a8ba40d23f.jpg

post-10450-0-10273100-1424801467.jpg.338943724f089693da784474a119bac8.jpg

post-10450-0-43621000-1424801483.jpg.3c4843dc7c4d8d724666467cd918ecae.jpg

post-10450-0-84183200-1424801468.jpg.b88575cab8bc6462d83591fcdb42148d.jpg

 

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Mike

 

Many thanks, that’s really helpful. Thanks in particular for pulling together that series of photos. 
 

I wonder in retrospect if it was a mistake to go for a case with no frame, as it gives me nowhere unobtrusive to position lights. I liked the idea of the frameless case having as little as possible to distract from the ship, but your pictures clearly show that a well constructed frame actually enhances the model. 
 

I may have to go back to the drawing board and add a frame. I’ll certainly take your advice on prototyping. 
 

Thanks again

 

Derek

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It should be possible to retrofit a wooden frame (or a "top lid" at least) on top of your case, and the best part - you can even replace it back and forth until you are satisfied with a result, since it would not be structural, just added on top :) 

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