Despite having a large new garage space to display my collection there have been some space issues as late as I try to keep geographic areas intact for the displays. In addition since the models are in the open dust is an ever present concern. Just last week I was able to begin to tackle some of these issues for the princely sum of only NZD $60.
As those familiar with my collection space (if you're not take a look here) are hopefully aware US classics make up probably about about half of my total of nearly 1200 models. They are all displayed at the right end of the display space, which consists of various mdf and melamine cabinets in an L shape. Below is how the layout was and you can see that by necessity several shelves are close to the floor:
The shelves in the rather tatty and customised bookcase on the right include those for the local service airlines (Allegheny, Piedmont, North Central etc), intrastate carriers (PSA, AirCal, Southwest) and the 1980s and 1990s portions of the US fleet. The latter two especially being so close to the ground are more prone to pickup dust than the others so I began to think about what I could do with glass cabinets.
Deltof style glass cabinets are very expensive and quite inflexible when it comes to trying to organise the fleet the way I do. They are also hard to transport and come by in New Zealand anyway. Instead I consulted TradeMe (NZ's local version of eBay) and struck upon a nice glass fronted wooden cabinet with mirror back from a seller only a few kms away. He was selling it only for $60 so I snapped it up.
The cabinet was just the correct size to replace the old bookcase section (its a little wider in fact) and provided some extra space for growth. Plus I could engineer the top shelves to fit around it so it would still articulate into the display area. You can see the finished look below. There has been some rearrangement of the fleets to suit the new layout. The USAir and its ancestors fleet now sits directly atop the wooden cabinet. Inside it on the top shelf are all the other local service airlines. On the middle shelf is the 1980s fleet plus America West Airlines. On the bottom shelf is the 1990s fleet. On the highest part of the display now resides the Canadian fleet transplanted from the main display area. The Intra-state airlines have moved into the large melamine bookcase above the magazines.
So that means about 10% of the collection (all the lower models) now resides behind glass. There may be more glass fronted display units in the future as long as they fit the general structure of the display area. I doubt I'll ever have the majority of the collection behind glass - but never say never. For now I'm very pleased with the cost effective new addition.
This blog illustrates my tinkerings with my various model airport dioramas and discussion of the model manufacturers output