The Nerd-Cave Reconfiguration: G1 MiniBot & Cassette Display Case

Well with The Nerd-Cave Reconfiguration almost done, it was time to focus on finding an elegant way to display some of my smaller figures like the G1 Cassettes, and Mini-Bots. Not that these figures wouldn't fit in the Detolfs I set up for the rest of my figures, but given their size they tend to get "lost" in the display with a bunch of larger figures, so I needed something to properly highlight these little guys. At the initial onset this was a rather daunting task. I knew I was going to have to think outside of the box a bit since I'd never really $(KGrHqV,!qEFEFYnjRPHBRr3EZp(kg~~60_57seen a display case specifically designed for these little buggers. I had a rough idea of what I wanted, but really didn't have a clue where to start looking. I spent quite a bit of time combing though eBay listings looking for something that I would be able to re-purpose for them, but was coming up a bit sort. I tweeted a couple of things that had caught my eye, but none of them really fit the bill... enter Swage66 with a suggestion that would totally set me on the right track. Being the consummate "Cassette Guy" he was able to give me the average measurements of the the G1 Cassettes, and pointed me toward thisĀ wall mounted display for Baseball Cards from Savage83. I took this idea and ran with it, and spent a few days looking through eBay listings at a variety of Card Displays, before ultimately deciding to get the exact same one he had pointed me to in the first place: I had to explore my options right? And I always try to make sure I find the best deal I can on stuff. This was a huge display measuring 34.5" wide, 39" high, and 2.5" deep on the outside. While the outside dimensions were impressive, I still needed to make sure that my figures were going to fit inside. Given the length and width I knew I would be able to fit quite $(KGrHqJ,!ooFC72n+wIRBRr3E(pBog~~60_57a few figures inside of the cabinet, but I needed to make sure that the shelves would accommodate these little guys. For this I needed to double check the measurements on the Mini-Bots, and compare them with the shelf height, and inside depth. The interior measurements were 33" wide, 36.5" high, 1.5" deep, and the shelf spacing was 4.5". This was going to work perfectly. The only figure that I could foresee giving me any trouble would be the Laserbeak mold, but a quick check with a tape measure revealed that I could just put him in the upright position, and he would fit fine too. With all the measurements looking good, all that was left for me to do was simply purchase the cabinet... I'm not going to lie, it was hard to spend $140 on one case. There were a couple of cheaper options on ebay (all very nice), but I found that I would probably have to order more than one, and that would cost more than just dropping the cash on this big guy. I weighed my options, and fell back on that argument that made me splurge on the Detolfs: "Why spend all this time and money to acquire such a nice collection, just to cheap-out on what you display them in?" The argument is a sound one, and I ultimately bit the bullet. It took a couple of days for it to arrive, and I quickly hauled the box IMG_00000597upstairs to my office to unpack it. It came packed well, and even had a protective film on the plexiglass which was cool. The first thing I did was dig out a couple of my Cassettes and Mini-Bots to make sure they would fit, and all my measurements were correct. All was perfect, although I found that I had to spread Laserbeaks feet a bit in order to get him to fit on the shelf. Out of the box the case was fine, but there was a bit of room for improvement. IMG_00000606The first thing that caught my attention was that the shelves weren't attached to the back of the cabinet. Since this was designed for displaying Baseball Cards, I really couldn't fault them for it; cards don't weigh much, and I doubt they had even considered any potential "sagging" under their weight. I pushed the shelves down a some with my finger, used a bit of Wood Glue to secure them to the back panel, and let them dry overnight. With the shelves firmly secured it was time to add some lights to this bish. I just IMG_00000610happened to have an extra roll of LED's laying around from another project I had intended to do, but hadn't gotten around to yet; so I used that. Given that these cases were quite a bit smaller than the Detolfs, I used a 5 meter roll of Bright White 3528 LED's with 300 lights on it. The roll didn't give me enough to run the full length of each shelf, so I cut seven 28" strips, which gave me a gap of about 2" at the end of each shelf; I could live with that. I'm not going to go into great detail on all the specifics of how to wire them up, IIMG_00000615 already did that on my Detolf Lighting Tutorial, and it's pretty much the same thing. I centered each strip on the shelves, drilled a small hole to feed the wire though, tied all the positive(+)/negative(-) leads together behind the cabinet, covered each of the solder points with some liquid electrical tape, and low and behold... THERE WAS LIGHT! I think I may take the time to print out some of the Cybertron backgrounds IMG_00000618that I used in my Detolfs to help tie everything together, but for the most part I'm pretty happy with how these turned out. You'll also notice that the AlphaBots didn't make it into the final display, but I didn't want to over-crowd the case. I'll probably end up ordering another smaller display case to put them in down the road. That's my quick guide to a fairly nice looking Mini-Bot/Cassette display, hope you found it helpful, and if you have any questions feel free to ask them: I'll do my best to answer them for you.

EDIT: I'd just like to add a quick follow up to this article. It seems that the two-sided tape that comes on the back of the LED strips doesn't adhere very well to the wood shelves in the cabinet; after a few days I noticed that the light strips began to "sag". I happen to have a couple of tubes of super-glue on hand, so I gave that a try. I ran a small bead of glue down the length of each strip, placed a piece of wood on top of them until the glue had time to set, and I'm happy to report that all is well now.


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