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How To Display Model Ships The Right Way

How To Display Model Ships The Right Way

3rd Jan 2022

If you’re like most collectors, you’re very proud of your model ship. Whether you built one yourself or you bought a pre-assembled ship, you want to display it for everyone to admire and appreciate. How you display your ship models will affect how they’re received. But, displaying your ships properly also affects their durability and longevity.

If you want your ship model to preserve its quality, you need to know how to display it the right way.

In this guide, we've listed down some of our recommendations and advice on how to display ship models to protect them from deteriorating. Starting with where you should display your models:

Where To Display Your Model Ship

Where you display your model at home is very important. The main thing you should keep in mind is to keep your ship model away from any direct source of heat. Sure, your model would look great displayed beside your window, under natural light. But, exposing the ship to direct sunlight will lead to quicker deterioration.

Find a nice area where it can still be the focal point of your space, without getting hit by direct sunlight. If your room has many windows, simply cover them with dark curtains. Then to get a better view of your models, install some artificial lighting and use low-voltage LED lights. They're powerful enough to highlight all the features of your ships but with a lower temperature, so they won't do any damage to your models.

How To Actually Display Model Ships The Right Way

Now that you know where to display your model ships, let’s talk about how to display model ships. There are a few options you have if you want to showcase all the excellence of your ship while preserving it for the long run.

Display Base

If your model doesn't already come with a base of its own, you can find tons of display base and pedestal options online. Wood and marble bases are popular options. You can even get a customized nameplate for the ship for a touch of class. These are a must have. The next step is choosing a display case.

Display Case

To prevent your model ships from accumulating dust, oil, and other dirt, invest in display cases. Display cases may be a bit expensive, but it's the only way to protect your models from any grime and damage. Display cases come in different materials. Glass and acrylic are the two most popular display case options. We'll discuss the differences of each below:

Glass Display Case

Tempered glass display cases provide the most protection for your models. Even if you were to bump into it accidentally, it wouldn't shatter. Cheap glass can shatter from the smallest impact - this could damage your model. The only downside of tempered glass is that it has a slight greenish tint to it.

Acrylic Display Case

Acrylic display cases are almost as clear as glass. But it requires more maintenance and regular cleaning. When cleaning your display cases, use a soft cloth and a non-abrasive cleaning solution to avoid scratching the surface. Do not use a paper towel.

Which of the two is better?

Both glass and acrylic have their advantages and disadvantages. Glass is more durable than acrylic. It is also less susceptible to heat, sunlight, and scratches. Acrylic, on the other hand, is more lightweight. It's the only type of material that allows you to clearly view the model from any angle. Acrylic might not be as durable as glass, but with proper care and cleaning, it can still last you a very long time.

Whichever material you choose, your model ships will look stunning. What really matters is your models have a display case. Not getting a display case will lead to dust accumulation, which can then lead to mold and corrosion.

How big should the display case be?

As a general rule, the size of your display case should be 2 inches larger in width, height, and length than your model dimensions—from the bow or bowsprit to the stern, and the tip of the mast.

If you're using a stand, you might want to add another 2 inches in height. If your ship does have a bowsprit you may want to add more space at the stern to make your display look more balanced.

Think About Lighting

To get the best view of your models, use multiple light sources instead of just a single point of light. Use 2-8 lights for each model or use a multi-light module. If you're placing your ships in a display—which you should definitely do—remote-controlled internal display case lighting has some gorgeous results. LED light strips and modules can be easily hidden in a display case so there are no obstructions when viewing your models.

Final Word On Displaying Model Ships

Ship models are gorgeous and they should be displayed for all to admire. But, if you don't display your models the right way, you risk damaging your prized possessions.

That is why we created this guide. As long as you follow the advice we've written above, your models will stay in mint condition for years to come. Do yourself a favor and invest in a quality display case. If you can't afford one just yet, you can always build your own.

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Free Time Hobbies is the one-stop-shop for all modeling kits and accessories. From model ships to model planes and model tanks—you name it, we've got it all! We offer model kits that accommodate all builders. So whether it's your first time or you're looking for a new model to add to your growing collection, you'll definitely find a kit that you'll love.