An Average American's Guide To Display Cases - Show Your Best

How Big are Different Scales?

Model cars have been manufactured to be collected since the fifties. And not just model cars, but model trucks, motorcycles, spaceships, tanks, airplanes… you get the idea! And there exists quite a spectrum of scales.

Over time, this spectrum has narrowed so that collectors can display coherent collections. In general, a collector does not want a VW Beetle model to be 2 inches longer than a 1959 Cadillac model.

Today, the leading scales are 1:43, 1:24, 1:18 and 1:12 for collector-grade car replicas. Hot Wheels are 1:64 but are mainly collected for rare issues. Because motorcycles are smaller objects, 1:12 or 1:10 scales are common. Because fighter jets and commercial planes are so much bigger, 1:72 and 1:35 prevail. HO scale , the world’s most popular scale for model railways, is 1:87.

The following chart gives you an idea of how the different scales compare in terms of size of model. We use as our base vehicle the iconic 1964 – 1965 Mustang.

1964 1/2 Mustang
  Length Width Height
Real Car 182 in.
15.2 ft.
68 in.
5.6 ft.
51 in.
4.3 ft.
1:12 scale 15 in. 6 in. 4 in.
1:18 scale 10 in. 4 in. 3 in.
1:24 scale 8 in. 3 in. 2 in.
1:43 scale 4 in. 2 in. 1 in.

At Legacy Display Cases, we clearly indicate the scale and number of models our scale model car – truck – or motorcycle display cases are built for. And we indicate the dimensions of the display so you know how much room the display case will occupy in your room. The above chart is provided only to give you an overview of the hobby so you can begin to make a plan for displaying the models.

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Value of a Plan to Serious Collector

Scale models are displayed effectively as individual models or in small (2 – 3 model) groupings. For the most serious collectors, this is not a practical option. Their collections are so vast, the diecast and other scale models must be displayed en masse.

A planned approach lets the most successful scale model impresarios avoid the effect of a sprawling parking lot of scale models. A plan lets you organize your models by theme and according to a rationale. This rationale reveals the importance and appeal of the subject cars.

With some forethought, display cases can be integrated into the room décor. In that instance, you will want the case to reflect the style of the room in which it sits. Acrylic works wonderfully for more modern or recreational settings while glass displays will work well in more traditional environments. If your office is meant to impress clients, a glass display case seems to deliver maximum impact.

If you are showcasing a large collection, through strategic organization, the display cases can provide the décor themselves.

Think of your scale model collection as you would a library of fine books. Plan how the entire wall or room will look before buying a case. If you add cases on an as needed basis only, you risk discontinuance of a style and distracting changes in sizes and materials.

If you have a large collection, plan areas as a feature or focus to break-up rows, creating a museum aura and avoiding that parking lot feeling. Diorama pieces can help with this, by placing the models displayed in context for guests or family members whose devotion to the lore of the automobile may not match your intensity on the subject.

Once you have your plan, buy cases in multiples to ensure uniformity in the face of possible product line changes.

Diecast Zone Hall of Fame member, Dick Browne offers this further tip: If you buy multiple hinged acrylic cases, mount them “upside down” so the hinge is at the bottom. So when you open the display case, you don’t have to keep one hand holding the door up while the other hand is handling or cleaning the models.

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Create a Show: Diorama Accessories

Scale model train collectors long ago perfected the art of displaying their models within a miniature world. Their wizardry has been matched by collectors of scale model cars, trucks and motorcycles.

HO model trains run through bustling scale model villages, over river crossings and around mountains. Scale model cars do not move but they fulfill the dramatic scenes created for them by gifted collectors. The cars are placed in elaborate garages, dealerships, and service stations… as you would expect. But they also appear in drag strips, at meters along a highly detailed main street or parked in the dark corner of a lot for a little Saturday night romance.

That’s just civilian life. Military scenes recreate airstrips, battles, fortifications and command posts. To showcase soldiers, tanks, jet fighters, and artillery.

To get an idea of the creativity that can be put into displaying scale models, be sure to visit Picture This on our sister website, the Diecast Zone.

Showing off your models by adding dramatic elements infuses new life, a zest into your scale model collections. Accessories give your scale models a context for others to appreciate – makes your hobby more accessible and enjoyable to family and friends. It can even help you discover why you are so captivated by your scale models.

Legacy Display Cases offers scale model diorama elements so collectors can assemble their own dioramas easily. Need garage tools, welders and lifts? We got them; miniature mechanics too. We can supply a pit operation with jacks, pneumatic wrenches, tires and a pit crew.

back to top is the Display Case Place. We offer best deals and choice of display cases. For the sports fan or devoted relatives of young athletes, we have display cases for football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, helmets, jerseys and more. You found the most extensive source of display cases for scale model diecast cars and collectible coins. We select the best display cases to showcase military awards and medals, or coins and pins awarded to police and firefighters. Display cases preserve your collectibles to look like the day you got them and keep their value. Use these interior designer touches to inspire your home or office decore.