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February 03, 2023
Best Ways to Display Model Cars
Best ways to display Model cars

Once you begin growing your model car collection, how do you show it off? Finding the proper display setup is essential for any collector. A good display protects your model cars from damage while placing them somewhere you can highlight all the work you've put into them. The best model car display for you will depend on your budget and preferences, but here are some tips for displaying model cars to help you give your collection the spotlight it deserves.

Different Sizes of Model Cars

There are several different model car sizes for display. You'll want to ensure you get the correct option for your collection, so knowing your model car sizes is a must. Let's break things down to help you find the best way to show off your collection. While you can use this scale as a reference, some cars will be slightly different in size depending on the vehicle they're replicating.

  • 1:12 — 13 inches long
  • 1:18 — 10 inches long
  • 1:24 — 7.5 inches long
  • 1:32 — 6 inches long
  • 1:43 — 4 inches long
  • 1:64 — 2.75 inches long
  • 1:76 — 2.25 inches long

Individual Display Case

A model car display case is one of the essential model car supplies for your collection. An individual display case is a staple style of model car display. Each car has a separate, detached home. This case style is ideal for collectors who like to show off each car and want to quickly switch up their display configurations. 

Additionally, getting individual display cases allows you to select the correct size for each car. An over- or undersized case can distort your vehicles' appearance, making them appear too small or large for your display setup. Getting individual display cases for each model car size will create dimension and add visual contrast to your collection without sacrificing car safety and appearance. 

Glass Display Case for Multiple Models

Model Cars in display cases

When displaying model cars, you might need help arranging your collection in a sleek, organized way. Glass or acrylic display cases allow you to show off dozens of model cars together in neat, clean rows. Instead of shuffling individual cases around, your entire display is in one large, connected box with many slots for your cars.

One of the only drawbacks of display cases for multiple models is size. These display cases have several slots, but typically only accommodate one model size. For example, if you buy a 1:64 scale display case and fill it with cars that are all 1:64 scale or smaller, you can't show off cars larger than 1:64 in that case.

Open Display Cabinets

Open display cabinets are one of the best ways to showcase your entire collection. You get all the benefits of display cases and shelves mixed into one large, statement display. You can buy premade display cabinets, making housing your collection simple. Since they aren't boxed in like individual display cases, you can mix and match car sizes and give each piece space to shine. 

Display cabinets offer a convenient, standout storage style for your collection without the hassle of multiple boxes and shelves. However, since they are a set size and aren't stackable, you might have trouble growing them alongside your collection. Additionally, they are more expensive than standard individual and multiple display cases. 

If you want a larger, more flexible home for your collection and don't mind paying a little extra for a top-tier display, open display cabinets are an excellent choice. 

DIY Model Car Dioramas

Building a DIY model car diorama could be the best option for your cars if you're feeling creative and want to make your collection stand out. Collectors often create custom dioramas for their collections to make the vehicle feel as complete and realistic as possible — putting it in a visual setting shows off the car's look and realism. Some common examples are tanks on the battlefield, cars on the street of an older decade or a vintage truck in a field.

To make a diorama, you first need to build the base. Collectors use plaster of Paris-soaked paper towels or cut foam to carve out their landscape shape. Then, they add colors and terrain textures like pavement or grass. Finally, you can use tiny details like street signs, lines, rocks, trees, shrubs and even people to complete the scene. 

A diorama is an excellent method that transforms your display into a statement piece worthy of your collection. 

Model Car Display Safety Tips

When building your ideal model car display, you'll need to watch for potential dangers. Model cars can become damaged if displayed incorrectly, and you'll want to ensure they're secure. Here are some safety tips to help you keep your collection pristine while on display. 

  • Add doors: While some display cases might come without doors, you should always have a protective barrier around your model cars. Over time, dust will build up on your vehicles, making them look worn. With doors or cases blocking the dust, your cars will stay pristine while on display. 
  • Check your lighting: Try to avoid traditional lighting on your displays. Standard 35-watt bulbs produce lots of excess heat, which can damage the cars' paint. Instead, opt for energy-efficient, low-watt bulbs to show off your vehicles. 
  • Keep away from children: Small children love model cars — they don't understand that they aren't toys meant for play. Keep your cars out of children's reach at all times. 
  • Avoid windows: Direct light from windows will fade the cars' paint over time. Keep your display out of direct sunlight to preserve your collection's appearance. 
  • Use stands: Stands help elevate your cars and can provide extra support for models on long-term display. Additionally, they make your display more dynamic-looking and give you more space. If some cars are higher up on stands, you can essentially have two layers on one shelf. 

Get Your Display Cases at Auto World Store

Get a display case at auto world store

If you're looking for quality display options for your model cars, Auto World Store has dozens of options for your collection. With different-sized display case options, display stands and blister card protectors, we've got everything you need to safely store and showcase your model cars. Our model car products allow you to build a collection of stylish, lasting models no matter your niche. Explore our product offerings to find your next model car, or contact us online with any questions today!