Storage and Display Solutions
Model aeroplanes and model spacecraft make an attractive display (and
are kept out of the way) if hung from a ceiling. The simple solution
may be to hang each model with bluetac, however, this is far from ideal
and will generally leave marks on the ceiling. Drawing pins are not
really secure enough and could present a hazard if they fall to the
floor. Individual plasterboard rawl-plugs with hooks inserted would
be sufficiently robust, providing the models did not weigh too much.
However this approach would require as many holes in the ceiling as
there were models hanging. The ideal solution (a hanging rack) was used
to display models in Beaties department store, Solihull, in the mid-seventies.
This type of rack allows easy changes to the display and only requires
four large screws to mount it on a ceiling.
The rack is glued and screwed together. It's important that the spars
which make up the rack don't bend, so use rectangular section wood and
align it such that the longest axis is vertical. Engineers would say
that this increases the second moment of area in the required direction
and therefore helps resist bending - one of the most practical things
I learned as an engineering student - well done Dr Ackroyd! Fitting
the rack to the ceiling can be done in one of two ways. Either make
the rack correspond to the geometry of the wooden joists supporting
the ceiling and screw it directly to them, or make the rack the size
you wish, and fix additional wooden components between the joists, to
take the frame.
Diecast toy cars are easy to store in a cardboard box. The only problem
with this is that the cars lie in contact with each other and over a
period of being treated like this, paint tends to get chipped off the
bodywork. A display case/cabinet is a good solution. Any flat-pack bookcase
can form the basis for a display case. Additional shelves will need
to be added to make best use of the available volume and it is a very
good idea to add a door (or doors) to keep out dust.
If the cabinet is for a young child, it is not a good idea to use glass
doors. Perspex provides a safer alternative, and because it is a lightweight
material, a single large door is a possible solution. Magnetic catches
are popular for display cabinets, but for a perspex door, evenly spaced
strips of velcro work well to keep the door in shape when shut and make
it easy for a toddler to open and close. The adjacent image shows cabinets
with two different types of door. On the left is a single large perspex
door, while on the right two glass doors have been fitted.