Saturday, 23 May 2015

LEGO Display Cases

      People occasionally ask me about my Lego displays and so I thought I’d write an article on how I display them and what materials are necessary to construct them.

       Since I hate getting dust on my LEGO (I like to keep them in perfect condition for photography etc…) I generally wont leave my minifigures out in the open. Although (regrettably) about half of my collection is still confined to ziplock bags in boxes, I have managed to display a portion of them in various display cases on my shelf.
       I do actually have a few different types of display, but in this article we will largely be looking at the ‘acrylic box’ type case. What follows is a step-by-step look at where to get the various parts from and how to put it all together.

       So firstly the actual box itself.

       I bought these on eBay, but the seller also has his own website if you prefer to use that. There are various shapes and sizes to choose from, but the ones featured in this article (internal dimensions 280mm x 150mm x80mm high) are ideal as they are the perfect dimensions to house a 16 x 32 stud baseplate (also widely available on ebay or bricklink).

       With careful arranging they fit around 50 minifigures in each display – perfect for 3 complete series of collectible minifigures (16 figs x 3 series = 48 figs).

       Now you could just have the baseplate and set your figs on there, but I prefer to have podium/riser effect so that the figures at the back aren’t hidden away so much. For that you will need a bunch of good old standard LEGO bricks. Once again, these are widely available (ebay, bricklink or you may even have a bunch of them lying around), but for the sake of ease you can order them online (like I did) at LEGO’s online pick-a-brick shop or get them at your local LEGO shop.

      Once again, you can customise your set-up as much as you want, but I have found the following to be the most simple and cost efficient (some sizes/colours are cheaper than others!):

2x4 Brick   x20
2x6 Brick   x40
4x8 Plate    x4

       Lets start with the first layer. Leave the first 4 studs on the baseplate free and then start your rows going back from there. Each row will have 4 of the 2x6 bricks and 2 of the 2x4 bricks. I also like to stagger the positioning of the 2x4s within each row so that the whole structure feels more stable – especially when building the other layers on top.

       The next layer comes an additional four studs back.

       The final layer (the last four studs) isn’t actually bricks – it's the 4x8 plates. If the last layer were made of bricks it would be too high for minifigs to fit into the case – so the plates offer only a slight raise for the final step.

       Here’s how it fits in the case. There is a tiny bit of leeway at the front and back – so there is a bit mre space for any minifigure accessories, large headpieces or back pieces that stick out.

       Now it’s time to put your minifigs in. As there are 4 tiers and 48 minifigures (for 3 series), if you put on 2 rows per tier then it works out at about 8 figs per row. Again you can just freestyle it – that's just my rough guide. I would recommend staggering the minifigs each row too so that they are not directly stood behind each other.

       And here is the completed display with the lid top on:

       Here are series 1-9:

       What’s great about these is that if you want you can easily stack them too.

       Of course there are many other alternatives with which to display your minifigs. Another is the frame type display such as this below (which currently houses my series 10-13) – available from a number of retailers:

       These look really nice but have a number of problems, mainly stemming from the fact that it's a bit of a faff to open and close them. So if this kind of thing happens:

       ...I tend to leave it as it's a fiddly to keep opening and closing them. 

      The box displays are much easy however – you just lift off the lid! Great for if you need some figs for photography or if you just want to swap them out.

       There you have it! If anyone has any other suggestions of how to display your minifigs let me know.

23rd May 2015

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