Storing and Displaying Models


Well-known member
How do you all store your models? I recently got a nice new job :) , which has enabled me to have the funds to really build a 1:400 collection, which I've wanted to do for a long time. I don't really have a proper set up for displaying my models. What are some good shelves or bookcases for model storage/display?
There is very little that is suitable for displaying 400 scale models available as standard. Glass and metal cabinets with doors are definitely the best way but commonly available ones like the Detolf from Ikea are too narrow and don't have enough shelves. Most of my collection is in ex-shop stock display cases that I've been lucky to find quite cheap. As new they are terribly expensive.

I actually prefer the Ikea Kallax wood units with the glass shelf and door add-ins to the Detolf myself but once again they are very limited in size, which makes arranging things well a challenge.
Here is my display. One big and one small Ikea Billy book case with glass doors. I have had about 450 models displayed at same time in this.
Now I have sold some 80 models so there is plenty of space for new models coming in. Photo is from 2021.

Ikea Billy display case.jpg
I use the Ikea Billy cases with glass doors too. Should think about to replace the wooden shelves with glass shelves. Good idea Steinar!
I have used a number of Ikea products. By far my favorite for 1:400 models is the Klingsbo.

Recent photo of part of my setup:


Klingsbo on the left, two modified Detolfs on the right. Cropped like that because the lower shelf on the Klingsbo is empty. It is a pain to modify the Detolfs. And even then, the shelves are too narrow. Klingsbo is good to go out of the box, love them.
As IKEA isn't a big and dominating furniture chain here in Vietnam, most of our display cases are custom-built by either carpenters or ironworkers. For my case, the cabinet frame is made out of aluminium with wooden pattern paints, glass shelves and doors. A total of 10 shelves are present and are divided into 2 halves: the lower section houses my 1:500-1:600-1:1000, old China-made models, toys, models sold in Vietnam airports, broken models due to young age, e.t.c. I dedicated the upper half for all of my 1:400, with some die-cast and plastic 1:200, which are presents. I do not count how many models I have in my collection - for me the joy lies within each model, not the number that I got (but I kept track of how many I got this year thanks to MAF new arrival section). I must say I am not really well-organized, a bit messy to be honest (I also put moist absorbers alongside of the model since Vietnam is quite humid). I try to squeeze as many models as possible because the space is constrained - which poses many problems I need to deal with when getting them out to take photos. I am in need of more display stands! Models are arranged into themes - can anyone guess which theme for which of the five upper shelves?

P/s: I have been collecting aircraft for really really long, since the age of 5 or so with all of the toys. I got into the road of 1:400 in 2015 or so and the collection kept growing since then. Only the recent 3 years when I am at the university do I have the chance to expand my interest more and more thanks to my allowance.