Help building display case!

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Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2006
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OK, so one of our local history buffs has been working on a 1/48th scale model of a full city (Corsicana TX) block as it was at the turn of the century. It took him 3 years! He asked if he could display it in our shop window & we were THRILLED for all the free publicity it will bring.

Now the downside... it's worth 100,000 dollars due to all of the pieces, cars, trollies, trains, people, he has searched high & low for & all of the pieces he either built or hired out built.

I can not have little kids messing w/ the pieces & they all seem to think it's a big *dolly house* just for them!

I also have 2 shop cats that had to be put in the un-air-conditioned garage/play room untill we find a way to protect the model. I just know they would jump up & lay on it :shock: .

The model is awesome but WAY bigger than I expected. It is 7ft long x 4 ft 4 inches deep by a foot tall built on a solid pieces of ply-wood. He brought a table that is 8x4 but as you can see, it hangs off in the back by 4 inches so could build up & off the tabel, but just on 3 sides since it would have to hang off the back by about 4 inches..

You really need to be able to walk all the way around it too see it from all angels too.

How are we going to make an inexpensive case for this? WE have talked about lattice, screen doors (for thaty shabby sheak look) plexi glass, real glass & even chicken wire...

Any ideas?
Plywood sides and plexiglass top and front facing the window? I suggest you have a closed environment (not lattice, not chicken wire) to keep dust, moisture and bugs out.

Another thing you should consider, will the sun shine in? Are the paints going to get faded by the sun? If so that whole thing could be ruined rather quickly, all faded.

And, better be sure your insurance covers it. If not, have your insurance agent write it into your policy and pay whatever it costs. I'd be very nervous being responsible for somebody else's $100K asset.
We have a very deep awning on the front of the building so sun is not a problem. We discussed that w/ the artsist when He dropped it off. He approved of the front window.

He has 3 others around town, 2 are single buildings, theyjust sit on peoples desks. The one other 1 that is huge is displayed at the World famous Collin Sreet Bakery. They have the most famous/popular fruitcakes in all the world :lol: . I guess I should go look at it tomorrow to see how big it is & how it is displayed.

How would a huge 4x8 foot piece of plexi be supported across the top? It would certainly bow.

We were thinking about leaving the top open & just making sides. We are veryopen thguh to everyones ideas at this point. The size is just massive!

I will get some picture tomorrow & write a bit about it on my blog.
I would think about aluminum angle stock for bracing the plexiglass. That's more an appearance issue than anything else. Even wood (2x4) would work. I was thinking of people (kids) might try to reach in, also cats perhaps in pursuit of mice or imaginary mice. Do you have to have the display visible from inside the store? If not, just have plywood all the way to the ceiling, leave a door for maintenance/cleaning.
It *should* be visible from all sides. That makes it extra tricky. Our ceilings are 16 ft high :shock: .

My husband has mentioned making a picket fence to go around 3 sides about 5ft high & letting people peer between the posts, but one of the cats is a jumper & I think she would be up & over it in no time, unless we also covered the top (4 front) w/ plexi like you suggested.
I ditto waht LH said...plexi-glass and calking will be your best friend, either that or you could put up chicken wire like you said, but thats a little unsightly
IanT said:
you could put up chicken wire like you said, but thats a little unsightly
Not a little unsightly. *HIGHLY* unsightly. Not the kind of ambiance you want in a soap store.
lol exactly...aaah here we have all of our beautiful little trinkets brough to you from the finest crafters, they were made with great care...and on this end we have our mini-town disguised as a chicken coop mauahahhahaaa lol
Or is it a chicken coop disguised as a mini-town? And where is the chicken effluent going? ;) Is that the secret ingredient in the soaps? ;) <EG>
Yes, the chicken wire was *tongue in cheek*.

We are not exactly a soap store, we are an artisans market place which is a fancy way to say craft mall. We do a lot of art consignments as well as children's art/craft classes & camps. We are just startig to do some paint your own pottery stuff too.

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