Once you've completed a model airplane, you might be disappointed if you only see it sitting on a shelf. With the time you took to detail the underside of the wings and the landing gear, it would be a shame if you never got to admire your handiwork. Many modelers build display stands to hold the aircraft off the ground and give it an appearance of flight and allow it to be viewed from additional angles.
Things You'll Need
- Wooden or plastic base
- Plastic rod (1/4 inch thick)
- Power drill (1/8 inch drill, countersink and screwdriver bits)
- Pin vise (optional)
- Rare earth magnets (1/4 inch discs)
Building the Stand
Drill a hole into the plastic rod. Use a small enough bit that it will not split the sides of the rod. For small-scale miniatures, a pin vise is recommended over a power drill.
Drill a hole through the center of the wooden or plastic base.
Use the countersink attachment to create a countersink of the bottom of the base, if necessary. Most plastic bases intended for miniature display will have room for the head of the screw, but wooden display bases will generally need to be countersunk to allow space for the head of the screw.
Use a power screwdriver to insert the screw through the hole in the base.
Manually screw the plastic rod onto the tip of the screw protruding from the top of the base. It will be easier to turn the base itself, and the screw along with it, than to turn the plastic rod itself.
Mounting Using Magnets
During construction of the plane, glue a rare earth magnet onto the bottom inside of the plane, where you want the stand to attach.
Finish constructing the plane.
Find the spot on the outside of the plane where you have the rare earth magnet, and stick a matching disc to the spot.
Mark the exposed side of the magnet with a marker.
Glue the magnet to the end of the plastic rod, making sure the side with the mark is the side glued. This will ensure that the stand and the plane have magnets with opposite poles exposed, allowing them to stick instead of repel.
Tips & Warnings
- A rare earth magnet glued to the inside bottom of your model airplane, with a similar magnet glued to the top of your plastic rod, is a great way to attach an aircraft to its display stand without drilling a hole into the model.
- The stand described in this article will allow you to create a stand for a miniature aircraft of 1:35 scale. For larger or smaller scales, adjust the size of your materials accordingly.
- The different scales and weights of miniature aircraft make listing appropriate sizes of drill bits and screws difficult. In general, do not use drill bits or screws that exceed one-half the diameter of the plastic rod, and do not drill or screw more than a quarter inch of length into the plastic rod to minimize the chance of it cracking.
- "Imperial Armour Model Masterclass Volume One"; Phil Stutcinskas; 2008
- Photo Credit Martin Poole/Lifesize/Getty Images