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Displaying your models? Stands etc..

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MerlinJones
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Displaying your models? Stands etc..

#1

Post by MerlinJones »

Back in the day, Airfix, Matchbox and FROG all supplied stands for their aircraft models. Aurora, from the US of A, did likewise, but such kits were exotica and so will not necessarily feature in my reminiscence. Harking back to the time when models were all 1/72 and intended for air recognition purposes, stands were provided to allow the modeller to display his model in flight. Of course, many modellers would assemble the assorted bits and bobs of the undercarriage, turning their aircraft into glorified cars and guaranteed to get broken sooner, rather than later, but Yours Truly was an in-flight man only. (Though I do confess to enjoying those aircraft with a fixed undercarriage).
I've heard tell that some sad muppets actually hung their models from the ceiling, to collect dust, dead flies and spiders! I never did this, as I decided early on that I wanted to see more of my models than just their bellies and besides...I played with mine, whilst theirs would just dangle, before dropping one night and causing all sorts of angst.!
The Airfixes were clear and came in 3 sizes, depending upon the Series of kit,( not counting the big black jobby that came with the Superkits and was designed to hold a battery for the prop motor). These were okay and certainly did a fine job, especially if you managed to cut a slot the exact 'right size'. Orientation was important and you could split modellers between those who recognised the Airfix A and the rest, who appeared to have a penchant for the Emus foot.

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Original FROG stands were good enough in clear,

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...But then they invented...*Drum roll please*...the Skybase.

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This was brill in that it allowed you to display your model, on a stand, but in a wide variety of dynamic poses. Of course, FROG also taught us young sprogs the Principles of Momentum and of the importance of Centre of Gravity, as many a carefully crafted model came to a sad and crunchy end, falling amidst the Action Man bits, Lego and assorted sweetie wrappers of the average Boys Bedroom Floor. These lessons became Advanced for those of us who dared to affix our Skybases to the wall, using that sticky pad that came with it and which remained sticky for a period of exactly 4.76 seconds after you either left the room of switched the big light out.
Matchbox came a-crashing onto the crowded modelling scene and stole the stand crown with their own clear, Multi-pose Stand.

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This, for me, was bestest of all, 'cos it was like the Skybase, but clear and there was no way you might be fooled into believing that you could stick it on your woodchip. Again, as with the Airfix and, to some degree, the FROG, cutting a slot of the correct size was important.

Then modellers apparently began to grow up and cutting the aforementioned slot became unacceptable. Besides, what was the point when you spent all that time constructing the detailed and complex undercarriage?
...And if your aircraft was grounded, you could show off all of that lovely internal detail and leave out Johnny Pilot to do so.
In response, the stands disappeared from kit boxes and we learned to do without.

Fortunately, the industry came to its senses and some now provide stands with their kits, (Platz, Pit Road, some Fine Molds, some older KP, some AModel, Great Wall Hobby and the Zvezda Agents of Gaming series).

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To their immense credit, not only do Airfix now sell a strange, black number, with arms and able to hold up to 5 models, they also saw fit to release Ye Olde clear stands, in 3 sizes. (Pack of 6 small, 4 medium and 2 large, for a tenner or less).
Last edited by MerlinJones on Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:20, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Displaying your models? Stands etc..

#2

Post by MerlinJones »

So what has any of this got to do with our 1/144 models?
Well, I'm sorry, but I still like an aircraft to be displayed in-flight, whenever possible and so I need some means to do so.
To be fair, the smaller Airfix stands are still ace and do a fine job and the larger stands are obviously still suitable for larger models.

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Those lovely Japanese know what they're about and Platz, Pit Road and their ilk also usually prove a proper little stand, to display your model upon. However, for the rest of my models, I found I need to improvise. Fortunately, amidst a sesh of Snecklifter, (or was it Riggwelter?), I had a brief, light-bulb moment and remembered quaffing real ales, eating lentil burgers and playing Dungeons and Dragons, or some such, with small models atop clear stands. I went a-searching for Citadel and then came across Warhammer 40K and discovered that a certain on-line auction site was a marvellous supplier of clear Flying Bases. (It helps enormously when you know what to call the object of your Search!)
Don't be put off by the £1.75 for one...no...search properly and you can get 15 for £2. Clear ones are often slightly more expensive, but there remain bargains to be had.
So I use a lot of Flying Bases for my models. There are your standard small, hexagonal ones and then there are larger, circular ones.

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In particular, I'm rather partial to those 2 in 1 kits, 'cos I can then build both grounded and in-flight versions.

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So what happens if I can't get hold of either a stand supplied by the kit manufacturer, or a howdy-doody Flying Base? That will be the subject of my next post.
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Jonathan
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Re: Displaying your models? Stands etc..

#3

Post by Jonathan »

An interesting topic, carry on.
Last edited by Jonathan on Sat Jan 17, 2015 0:56, edited 1 time in total.

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MerlinJones
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Re: Displaying your models? Stands etc..

#4

Post by MerlinJones »

Of course, one of the glories of 1/144 is that the models don't take up a huge amount of space.

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They can also look good on a shelf;

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...Or in one of those little display cabinets, especially designed for trinkets and...er....'collectables';

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Don't go spending spend large monies on brand new ones from Argos! Go seek out the failed business on eBay and look for the pre-owned/second-hand ones.

Sometimes, I've found that my earlier lessons about momentum and centres of gravity come back with a vengeance and my acquired, 'proper' stand, needs some additions in order to prevent the mammaries from going skywards;

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And the above image clearly illustrates a 'must-have' for anyone who wants to start making their own stands...clear acrylic rod.
This comes in a wide variety of thicknesses and can be had rather cheaply. Again, eBay might be your friend, but, looking outside of the box, I found this site.
This can be cut with a razor saw and can be bent to exactly how you want it, by immersing it in hot water. By 'hot', I mean as hot as you can stand. Alternatively, putting the kettle on for a bevy can have a secondary purpose, provided you take care not to scald yourself!
Point is, you don't need to heat it over a flame, 'cos that'll melt it soon enough, but will also likely burn it and discolour it.
Once you've bent it to the angle you want, you stick it into cold water and it'll set. Change your mind? More hot water...

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Of course, once you've got your rod, you need a base to sit it on.

Generally, 1/144 models are not heavy, so provided you don't have them sticking out, on the end of a very long arm, then you can usually get away without burying your rod in 6 feet of concrete!

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MerlinJones
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Re: Displaying your models? Stands etc..

#5

Post by MerlinJones »

I've used a variety of materials for bases, ranging from thick cardboard, to thick plasticard. To be honest, the cardboard was A Bad Idea, 'cos it got wrinkly over time. A piece of thick plasticard is much better and the thickness gives your rod something to sit in. I've also discovered that a piece of sandpaper can make either a good desert surface of, if painted up, a reasonable likeness of a carrier deck.

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Sometimes, I've found that a model simply refuses to cooperate and I've ended up adding all sorts of bits and bobs to my simple rod and base;

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That said, besides deserts and carrier decks, I discovered that expanded polystyrene can make for an...erm...'interesting' base;

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Last edited by MerlinJones on Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Displaying your models? Stands etc..

#6

Post by MerlinJones »

My final post on this topic, before you guys start to share your own expertise, relates to as far as I'm prepared to go, for the sake of a stand.
There are all manner of fancy resin-related products, for making resin-related water and, in the hands of the practised, these do look rather special.
However, I'm a bit of a lazy git and can be as tight as a camel's behind in a sandstorm. I also like 'simple'.

Whilst waiting in a local glaziers, I noticed some textured glass, that reminded me of water. I asked how much for a piece and was given some off-cuts for free! I then popped round to the Range and bought a cheap picture frame for less than a fiver. I already had a glass-cutting drill bit and some acrylic rods.

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Drilling a small hole in the model, I got an idea as to how my plan might turn out;

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I made a frame out of some scrap wood and a base with wrinkled tinfoil, so as to enhance the ripply water-effect. The blob in the middle is a Milliput 'rock', into which I could stick my rod!

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I painted the back of the glass with Tamiya Clear Blue, as I was trying to re-create Azores water, off Ascension Island. A whole spectrum of greys would allow you to re-create most oceans.

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Raised onto the base, I was pleased with the effect;

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Last edited by MerlinJones on Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Displaying your models? Stands etc..

#7

Post by MerlinJones »

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To be fair, this is at the extreme end of my base-making and there are others out there who produce whole mini-dioramas for their models. I've also seen the blurred runway-effect base and am aware of those rather nice, pre-printed display bases, depicting a variety of airfield surfaces. Whilst these are cool fopr photography purposes, I find their use becomes limited when you are strapped for space and need to find ways of displaying your many models. To this end, I may have some on a flat surface, but I'll then exploit the space above, using my acrylic rods.

So...how do you display yours?
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Jonathan
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Re: Displaying your models? Stands etc..

#8

Post by Jonathan »

The ripple glass is wonderful! The foam "cloud" is of interest too.

As a lad, I too built most of my models wheels up, and spent many hours contemplating them in motion above and below my eye line, just as you say. Even in the shower. I think this kind of spatial perception exercise, play, if you prefer, has served me well throughout my adult career as a fitter and engineer. :ugeek:

seems to me, recollecting, Frog models had a rectangular half depth cut out on the centerline you could either cut out of leave filled in...

currently, my modeling project involves my recollection of real aircraft at rest on an airfield tarmac, so everything must have functional landing gear, and no tail sitters. :evil:

But in principal, I still like stands. I am very happy with the inovative hole-free stand provided with FToys kits -
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(Ftoys, despite having the word toy in their name are quite excellent models)

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also, those horrible Revell minis we love to hate have a nice little stand.
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and i left the little round hole in the bottom of this aircraft, just in case.

I have made some bent-coat-hanger painting stands, which in retrospect, I should have patented.
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Re: Displaying your models? Stands etc..

#9

Post by MerlinJones »

Jonathan wrote:...seems to me, recollecting, Frog models had a rectangular half depth cut out on the centerline you could either cut out of leave filled in...
As did any kit that came with it's own stand...part of the tooling and thus preserved forever. Look at your pix of your Frogspawn 707!

Agreed re: the F-Toys and Revell Miniwings stands;

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A lot of the older Revell (GB) 1/72 kits also came with stands;

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I wonder if this was a (GB) product, or did the 'Murrican Revells also come with stands?
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Re: Displaying your models? Stands etc..

#10

Post by smeg1959 »

Some great ideas and a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane, Bruce. In my younger days, I had a proliferation of Airfix, Frog and Revell bases at one stage, all now gone to wherever along with the items that were perched on them.

In terms of 1/144 storage, I've posted a couple of pics of my display cabinets in the past. These are Ikea Bertby units, unfortunately long OOP at least here Down Under. Strange decision on Ikea's part given their popularity, particularly with model car enthusiasts. The first I purchased directly from Ikea back in 2008, the remaining two I had to go a-searching for on evilBay. For one of these, I ended up driving to Ballarat ... a 300-km round trip! Still, ideal wall units for 1/144 scale aircraft, particularly given the compact dimensions of Smeg's Man Cave. You can see from the photos that I angle the models to maximise the number on a shelf (18 Bf109's is my "record") and accommodate large aircraft like the Me264 and Pe-8. That being said, very large birds like the B-29, Bv222 and Ju290 need alternative display arrangements.
Bertby 2015 (1).jpg
Bertby 2015 (2).jpg
Unlike Merlin, I'm an "undercarriage down" man. I've converted three Bandai P-40C's from the supplied "wheels up" configuration using fine brass rod and bits from the spares box, and I'm looking at similar tweaks on a few of my other "in flight" items.
OTB ...
GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)

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