Display Cases

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jevoltin, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. jevoltin

    jevoltin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have been exploring options for HO scale display cases. I wish to mount several display cases on a wall to store a variety of engines and cars. I'm thinking about display cases that are approximately 36 inches wide and about 24 inches tall. I have looked at several commercially available HO scale display cases and considered building them myself.

    Can anyone offer experience with either purchased display cases or building such cases from scratch?

    In particular, I have noted that some cases put the shelves closer together while others provide more space for light and viewing purposes. I'm curious what shelf spacing will work best assuming the trains will be viewed while in the case.
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have the Showcase Express >>> www.showcase-express.com ones, which are extruded aluminum with plastic end caps and Lexan covers. They're 4 feet long, 3" high and gauged for HO equipment down the center and look really clean. I bought mine used for $5 a tube at a local flea market.

    Attached Files:

  3. jevoltin

    jevoltin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    You have a very nice display area. Do you routintely remove trains from the display so you can operate them? Or, do you leave the display trains alone and have a separate operational set of trains?
  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Messages:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. They are all regularly operated, either on the club layout or at Christmas around my tree. As you can see, my operating layout is N scale, my model work is HO, my prefered scale. I have a series of tote trays (seen under the layout with a power pack on top) that I have built to carry them to the club house and to shows.
  5. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    jevoltin, i home made this display case for $54.00:thumb: . that includes the wood, paint, 4 hinges and a piece of clear lexon. its 50''x24'' and has four rows with 4'' spacing, and one row with 3.5'' spacing;) . took about 3 hours to make, start to finish:thumb: .:D -Deano View attachment 29739

    Attached Files:

  6. jevoltin

    jevoltin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is a very nice display case, especially for $54 and 3 hours invested. I was a bit concerned about the cost once I got into building my own, but maybe it won't be too high. Did you use pine or some other type of inexpensive wood? Most of the pine available locally has not been properly dried, so it tends to never remain straight.
  7. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Deano, what track do have all the engines resting on in the case? I like the idea of building a case for my stuff too, and like the way yours looks
  8. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    THANKS!, John and viperman:D . i built the case a little over a year ago, i was lucky to find good quality pine on sale. it was already sanded and dry:D . i did NOT use track in it, makes it easier to put the engines in & out:thumb: . the shelves are 3.5'' wide, so the engines are not going to just fall out, besides, i have a piece of clear lexon hinged at the top that folds down over the front for extra protection:thumb: . if i were storing cars in the case(but i don't) , they roll easy, so i WOULD suggest putting track in it.;) :D -Deano
  9. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    996
    Likes Received:
    0
    In the pic you posted, it just looked to me like there is track on the shelves. I know I would use track on each shelf, just to be safe, especially since I would be putting my MR 65th car in it too
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2002
    Messages:
    5,724
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rather than track, you might consider cutting kerfs into the shelves in the proper gauge. Our local club display case has this feature, and it is easy to use - slide the trucks around a little until the flanges drop into the slots. Adds just a little bit of security... ;)

    Andrew
  11. jevoltin

    jevoltin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    One feature I have noticed on a few display cases is the presence of track and road bed. My first thought was such detail is un-necessary. After considering it further, I realized the track and road bed raises the train cars a small amount and might make the lower details easier to view. This could be particularly useful for nice steam locomotives.
  12. jevoltin

    jevoltin Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Assuming I was going to stain the wood for this display case, do I need to be concerned about the stain from the wood getting onto the train car wheels over long periods of time? I assume this is dependent upon the particular type of stain used. It might be wise to not stain the wood where it will be in direct contact with the wheels. Can anyone offer any thoughts or experiences?
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2002
    Messages:
    5,724
    Likes Received:
    0
    John,

    You can also add mirror(s) at the back, or in place of track and roadbed if it is to be a more a display case, rather than a storage case.

    As for the stain, I think as long as you seal the wood after with lacquer or varnish, you should be fine. Be sure to give adequate time for everything to dry/harden properly before putting the trains in the case.

    Andrew
  14. Dick Elmore

    Dick Elmore Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    0
    sign1 UP SD40-2, You're going to have to take out a bank loan in order to pay U.P. the royalties on that picture!! LOL

    Dick
    Texas Chief
  15. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    sign1 HA!, and thats NOT EVEN HALF of the UP engines I HAVE!(check my "layout progress.."thread):thumb::D. as far as the royalties i have paid on them, shoot, i waste more money on the vending machines at work PER WEEK, then i have paid royalties on the WHOLE collection;):oops::D. :D -Deano
  16. viperman

    viperman Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    996
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think UP should be paying him for the advertising