The issue of what is the most effective way to display one's collection, regularly comes up for discussion on the message board. The question is often asked: what is the best way to display the models? I don't think that there is a right answer. The "best" way, depends upon a number of factors. Some think that the most effective display is wall cases that are only deep enough that one model can be displayed in a row. But table top dioramas are very effective, and obviously are a totally different visual display than thin wall cases. Shelves with depth are effective when the collector wants to show a group of similar ships for comparison purposes. Wall cases that are only an inch or so deep look good, but do not maximize display space. Table top dioramas create interesting displays, but dioramas take up maximum space for the number of models displayed, and so are a very poor medium for displaying large numbers of models. In short, there is no "right way."
2. Built in cases: These may be vertical or table top, but if vertical, they normally lines walls, thus maximizing floor space. Depth may vary depending upon the builder's determination, but generally if one buys a home which already has built in cabinets, they are at configured to hold books, making them at least 9 to 10 inches deep.
3. Table top cases: Table top cases may be built in or portable. Either way they have to be placed somewhere and they generally take up much more floor space than vertical cases. Although they can be used to display many models in rows, they are especially useful for dioramas. The negative, however, is that they are not effective for displaying large numbers of models because they cannot be used vertically thus eliminating the use of a lot of air space. Nevertheless, diorama display is generally of greatest interest to non-collecting visitors, particularly as larger models can rarely be displayed in such a manner, making 1200/1250 scale models uniquely suited to this medium.
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If you have some interesting or unique cases to display, feel free to send photos to me and I will try to include them in a second article.