Displays: More expensive than the Prop?

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Jm419

Sr Member
Recently, I've noticed a trend. On my Graflex display, even after the costs of building the Graflex itself, and putting some interesting innards inside of it, I spent quite a bit on an acrylic case for display. Granted, it was probably only $40 or so, once I was finished, but that's a lot to spend on a prop display, I would think.

The reason I post is because today, I ended up getting a case for my MPC X-Wing Studio Scale model (12"x11"x3"), but I couldn't find a case which would hold the model for less than $50.00. It happened that I had a good 40% off discount at the store, but even so - it's $30.00 to display a $15.00 model?

Is this the case - pardon the pun - with most prop displays? I want to keep the model nice, and dust free, but I was curious if other people had noticed the trend. Is it just that I don't know where to get cases? Am I doing something wrong? Or is this just the way it is?
 

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familyman

Sr Member
Just do what I do, buy fish tanks at yard sales. they make great display cases, just turn them upside down. They are great for keeping dust off. I am looking for one with a top, that way I can have it the right up and put sand in to display my Jabba scene better.
I have several more since these photos were taken, some small for individual vehicles an model cars. And bigger ones for multi display. You are limited to sizes, but it is a great place to start to save some money.
This fish tank cost me $10.00
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Jm419

Sr Member
I was thinking a fish tank is the only real way to display my Anigrand ISD dust free. Garage sales, eh? Not a bad idea, there.
 

cayman shen

Master Member
Well, think about framing...I bought a $30 movie poster and spent $200 having it framed. I suspect that it's probably quite common for the display to be near, as, or more expensive than the subject displayed. Which sucks, but there you have it.
 

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GeneralFROSTY

Master Member
I've had some custom display cases done that rival the prop in price. This is simply the nature of it if it is a custom job. However, if you really care about the prop and you feel that the display will improve the overall look then it can be a good investment.
Too bad there are not more options out there for ready-made cases for our hobby specifically.
 

ecl

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
maybe the display and prop can be seen as being a complete package, adding to the overall experience
 

ob1al

Sr Member
It depends on how you want to display your prop/model, some people are not into cases - personally I prefer bookcases, detolfs and so on - but of course these things cost money too, especially if you add lighting.
 

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GeneralFROSTY

Master Member
maybe the display and prop can be seen as being a complete package, adding to the overall experience

Exactly! I'm sure the people who worked on designing the display cases for the Master Replicas products took a lot of time and care to make a case that really complimented the main product to give an overall complete 'viewing' experience. They really go hand-in hand, and lets face it, our props look better in their own little case rather than all congregated on a shelf together.
 

Delmustator

Sr Member
I regularly spend up to $50-$100 on displays alone. A prop is meaningless to someone who does not recognize it unless you add something to jog the memory..

So I try to put movie poster miniatures in with the props so the viewer understands where it comes from. Here are some examples...

The pictures of Obi-Wan and the saber bases tell everything about this lightsaber.
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The movie poster and picture of Michael York firing the Sandman gun identifies this prop.
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Jm419

Sr Member
In this case, (pardon the pun), I think it may be a little different, simply because of the ready availability of a screen accurate prop. In most events, that won't happen - for instance, Del's Negotiatior (the Obi TPM lightsaber above) is a four figure investment, so a $50 case is well within the realm of possibility. Is a $50 case splurging on a $15.00 model?
 

Kestre

Member
The cheapest framing option for the LoTR map by Indy is $100 even though the map was $60. Been looking for used frames, but the map is such an oddball size it makes things difficult.

But, the frame + map will last a long time. Probably the same with your $30 case.
 

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Jm419

Sr Member
Yeah, that's true. And it does add a lot to the model. Is this the norm, when it comes to props? I suppose - doing it right the first time'll save some in the long run, eh?
 

ave4uevoli

Sr Member
Yes do it right the first time so you never look back.

Props are a real pain in the ASS to display. I"m constantly rearranging and redisplaying my stuff. Cases are really expensive now, especially custom built ones. I just had to shell out $4300 on cases.

Now that the cases are in, I feel that the tables aren't good enough and so I have to update the tables... etc. Seriously - rather than upgrading in the future, just spend the money and get it done right.

Generally the actual display (mannequins, pedestals, cases, etc) will cost 20%-30% of the actual prop. I always factor that in when considering buying a prop because it would be such a shame to have a nice prop just sitting on the floor.
 

jme3

Sr Member
Unless you have a specific reason such as unruly pets or children that would necessitate a display case, it's really just extra expense. Some things I think do have a more rarefied air about them if they are, maybe, a costly item and are in a display case, but it can be overdone. I started out on the display case route a long time ago but gave it up and instead, I just invested in a cheap feather duster... :lol
 

sycor

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well, think about framing...I bought a $30 movie poster and spent $200 having it framed. I suspect that it's probably quite common for the display to be near, as, or more expensive than the subject displayed. Which sucks, but there you have it.

Unless you are having it mounted (which ruins the poster) there is no reason not to go to Michael's and get a frame. They are $50 usually but with the sales and coupons they have I usually get them for $15.
 
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