Builds how to make your own display cases

example.jpg

to keep dust and little itchy fingers away from your delicate models a glass case can enclose, encapsulate and protect you fine work. a case shouldn't cost more than £10 for small to medium size (£2 per piece) or £20 for a 1/72 flower class corvette size (£4 per piece of glass)
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First seek out your local glass cutter, only order 3mm thickness glass as any thinner will be in danger of breaking and any thicker will be too heavy and refract light too widely in such a small viewing space. always measure in mm or cm but not both. When you call in the order have it written down clearly, remember to add 6mm to the length of the lid to overlap the end pieces.
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when you collect the glass, hold it together to check what goes where, long before you introduce any glue, hold the pieces together with masking tape.
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I use Serious Glue from B&Q, but any glue showing glass on the packaging should do the job. apply the glue using a cocktail stick to avoid dribbles and too much that squidges out when you sandwich it between close fitting glass edges. Watch out for sticky glue fingers leaving fingerprints in the glass, as they are tough to shift with a scalpel or stanley blade.
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hold the edges together with masking tape and use a right angle set square to ensure the glass sets at the right angles.
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the above picture demonstrates why you order the lid 6mm longer than the side pieces, so that it overlaps the end pieces.
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the base is simply made from cardboard, cut to size using the glass dome as a template, then glued on the bottom edges, this is the final step so ensure everything is squared away and that all the figures ect in the model are standing upright, once the base is glued on, it's a pain to untac it to make corrections.
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start with something small, like a single figure diorama or a single vehicle, even a Gray Ferguson tractor. Work your way up to larger models.
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a glass case keeps the dust and fingers out and adds a touch of class to an already classy piece of work.
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MrBane

LE
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Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Do you envisage any issues in doing something similar for smaller models like figurines etc? Can glass cutters pretty much do any size or is there usually a minimum length etc?
 
Do you envisage any issues in doing something similar for smaller models like figurines etc? Can glass cutters pretty much do any size or is there usually a minimum length etc?
It will be down to what you can negotiate with your local glass cutter, but I can't see that being much of a problem, for tiny cases you might go for glass thinner than 3mm.
 

daz

LE
Do you envisage any issues in doing something similar for smaller models like figurines etc? Can glass cutters pretty much do any size or is there usually a minimum length etc?
You can get pre made ones for figures, failing that, charity shops often have knickknack's that could be turned into covered bases with a little bit of fettling
 

Kirkz

LE
Why glass? Would clear perspex not do much the same job without the risk of breakage?
I'm not a modler but I do have some stuff I'd like to put in cases like that to display.
 
Why glass? Would clear perspex not do much the same job without the risk of breakage?
I'm not a modler but I do have some stuff I'd like to put in cases like that to display.
I've had plastic type cases and they go milkey if left in sunlight,and they show every scratch, but if you can get perspex cheaper than glass go for it.
 

Kirkz

LE
I've had plastic type cases and they go milkey if left in sunlight,and they show every scratch, but if you can get perspex cheaper than glass go for it.
I'm guessing you mean like the plastic headlights on cars that end up looking dull, if that's the case then glass is better, it wasn't a question of what was cheaper.
Thanks for the info I'll have a word at my local glass place if and when they reopen.
 
I'm guessing you mean like the plastic headlights on cars that end up looking dull, if that's the case then glass is better, it wasn't a question of what was cheaper.
Thanks for the info I'll have a word at my local glass place if and when they reopen.
yes! and show us your end result. Look forward to seeing it.
 

Kirkz

LE
yes! and show us your end result. Look forward to seeing it.
It's a sawfish rostrum I want to display, not sure if I want it horizontal or vertical yet .
I've been toying with the idea of a perspex case for it, now you've pointed out something I hadn't even considered.
I didn't even know this thread exisited but it's been a great help in making my mind up on how to display some of the weird and wonderful stuff I've collected and judging by what I've read here quite inexpensively.
 

Kirkz

LE
Having given it some thought I think horizontal might be the better option as vertical has more chance of being knocked over.
Great thread @SPROCKET321 thanks for the info it's been a great help in making my mind up on displaying some stuff.
 
When you're getting glass cut for cases it worth trying to buy a half sheet which works out at 4'x4'. They should if a decent glazier then cut it to size for you. The savings can be huge.
 

Kirkz

LE
@SPROCKET321
Do you put the glue on just one edge of the glass or on both bits of glass?
 
@SPROCKET321
Do you put the glue on just one edge of the glass or on both bits of glass?
just one, that way if you apply it to the end of the glass it's more accurate, be carefull not to spread it, if you get it smeared or fingerprinted have a wipe with white spirit ready, have the masking tape cut out and ready before you start.
 

Kirkz

LE
just one, that way if you apply it to the end of the glass it's more accurate, be carefull not to spread it, if you get it smeared or fingerprinted have a wipe with white spirit ready, have the masking tape cut out and ready before you start.
Thanks Mukker.
Wasn't sure as some adhesives tell you to apply to both surfaces.
 

load_fin

War Hero
@SPROCKET321
What do you do about the sharp edges?
Had to get a replacement piece of glass to sit on a dressing table once, and it cost a fortune to have the edges ground.
 

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