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Otto Schmidt

A decade or so ago I bought about  a dozen American Standard Bookshelves with moveable shelves and cut myself extra shelves   so I can make storage cases  with  shelves about 5 inches  high. For these resulting 5″ by 32″ wide spaces I made “drawers” out of wood  and lexan that allowed me to slide them  in and out of these  spaces. The Lexan was on the front so you could see into the shelf which was electrified  and you could see all the minis therein. There were about 8 shelves per case  and the lower 3 feet of the shelf was  large open space to stack up board games and books. So the minis are sort of always on display. These are in my hobby room.

I like to see my minis.

The shelves are quite handy. You can pull them out of the bookcase and take them over to the table , pick out the figures you wish, and then return the self tray to the  case.

They can be made for any case. Simply take a piece of pine  5″ by 12″ and saw diagonally  from two opposite corners to make two right triangles.  On the 5″ side rabbet with a router a grove parallel to the short side and 1/2″ in.  On the long bottom side cut a piece of white faced Masonite  to the size of the shelf. Screw and drill and glue the supports to the white Masonite, and to each upright screw a small handle  to move the shelf around with. Place a piece of 5″ by 31″ lexan in the rabbeted grove and you are done.  I use a top reinforce of a dowel glued in to the sides because my figures are rather heavy.  This  is what I call the carry-shelves.

I originally tried a heating element across a larger piece of lexan  to make the base and front of the shelf in one piece, but it was too weak.

I got fancy  and used address labels printed out with the name of the unit affixed to the base so each unit had its own  shelf and place. The lighting was provided by using those small “under lighting units for kitchen cabinets. I’ve not mentioned above a lot of fuss and fit fidgets I developed over time. For example, a 1/2″ back lip to prevent minis from sliding back off the shelves, and stops here and there, but it works well.

By the way for transporting troops to and from convention I use the 15” white mailers you can get at any STAPLES or OFFICE DEPOT store. To the bottom of these I attach thin strips of cardboard scarphed from any old packing case. These are glued on top of ribs of basswood so that the stand can be “locked” under the lip to prevent the stand moving around in transit. The boxes nest exactly into a larger packing crate, also available from staples so whole armies can be “unitized”  for transport. The lips and ribs in the bottom of the box lock the stands in and I have dropped them on all sides and the stands rarely come out of the guides. Best of all, the way I do it on the bottom it does not prevent the mailer from being knocked down flat for compact storage after the convention or distant game.