Back: 2'x2' sheet of oak board
Sides: 1" thick pine 2x4s
Shelves: 1/4" thick strips of aspen (you
can find these in the "hobby wood" section of the larger hardware stores)
Sides and back fastened together with sheetrock
Wood dowels cut with a Dremel to ~1" used
to hold up shelves
Ticky tack to secure the figures and vehicles/stands
to the shelves
Held to a pair of picture hangers on the
wall with a wire run between another pair of sheetrock screws (be sure
to nail the wall hangers into the studs!)
Unpainted, though I changed my mind later.
Total cost: ~$30
In order to figure out how far
apart to space the shelves, I had to go through a lot of experimentation.
Some of the larger vehicles (e.g., the Death Star) required more headroom,
whereas others could get by with much less.
Instead of making the shelves all the same
height, I decided to make every other shelf 2/3rds the height of the others.
Thus, I figured out the individual heights via substitution:
Relationship between small and
large shelves: 2/3x = y
From there you solve for x and get the height
of the large shelves, then solve for y to get the smaller ones. The
heights were then marked off on each side and I drilled holes for the dowels,
inserted them, and confirmed that the shelves indeed fit (they were cut
down from longer lengths).
4x + 4y = total height of display case
Substitution yields: 4x + 8/3x = total.
After that I arranged the vehicles (and,
later, the figures) so that they would be distributed more or less evenly
(I didn't quite get that right though) and my partner Dani and I applied
ticky tack to the bottoms of everything before putting the case on the
wall and the shelves in place.
If I had it to do over again,
I would have used a larger backboard. However, I wanted to avoid
waste and save myself an extra couple of cuts by going with the smaller
but standard 2'x2' back. Ideally, it could have been another 6" longer
or wider, but I guess it's fine as it is.
Everything is arranged in chronological
order by film, then within each film so that you can actually follow the
story more or less from the beginning of Star Wars to
of the Jedi, then I started back up with The Phantom Menace.
Unfortunately, they discontinued the Micro Machines line while still working
on the Episode I series. Thankfully, I found the rarer sets
on eBay, but there are a lot of vehicles I would really have liked to have
The last two and a half shelves are the
and Star Trek lines. The Aliens series was limited
to just a few sets, and even these were sort of reaching for content by
putting in micro figures since there are only a handful of vehicles in
the films. These sets appear to only cover the first two movies anyway
(which really is all anyone should care about anyway).
I didn't actively collect the Star Trek
line. Instead, I picked up a "collector's set" on eBay (where else?).
Bastards that they are, the toy company Galoob only released this set after
making the real collectors buy the individual smaller sets of vehicles...
then they release this one with the Enterprise 1701A (the one from
the first few movies). But wait, it gets worse. After that,
they go on to release two more sets like that with "exclusive" ships that
you can't get unless you buy the whole collection all over again, and these
are always the "must have" vehicles. And they wonder why people stopped
buying this line of toys.