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Measure the inner frame up and mark where the 2 shelves are to be, so that they are equidistant as shown in pic 1.
Cut 2 shelves to the correct length from 25mm x 6mm strip wood. (I used pine but you could do it with plywood or mdf to avoid any potential warping issues as mentioned by AFFOL_Shellz_Bellz . Warping shouldn't be an issue in the smaller 25 x 25 frames but could happen in the larger 52 x 52). Cut each piece of shelving to fit as the inner frames provided by Ikea are not all the same, so don't assume both shelves will be identical lengths. Pilot drill the holes for the screws. Screw positions are shown in pic2. It is easier to use screws than nails as trying to nail through a stapled together MDF frame will only cause it to fall apart.
Once both shelves are in place and your happy with them use matt black paint to spray the shelf assembly and the back board. Let it dry fully (the boring part).
Then attach the CMF bases to each of the shelves. Centre them correctly, there needs to be about a one and a half stud space at either end of the shelves. I used blue tack but you could use black tack or double sided tape. Make sure the CMF bases are lined up with the rear of the shelf and there is a small gap at the front as shown in pic 3. This allows just enough room for the figs to hold some accessories like light sabers and other weapons. Because there is only just enough depth you do need to angle the arms/torso to ensure that they don,t protrude out of the front of the frame (but so far all the accessories I've tried have worked fine, did have to turn the lightsaber hilts upside down though).
Next load up frame with figs and re-assemble the entire frame.
Stand back and admire your handy work.
Thanks again to LittleToki for the inspiration.
Nb. I did say in my original listing that the frame was £5.29, just checked the Ikea website and it now seems to have gone up to £7.29 and the large one has gone from £9.99 to £14.99. But still its much cheaper than anything else I've found so far.
Anyone know where I can get the wood strips in Canada and the approximate retail price for each?
the one at the following link isn't exact, but very close to what i have (way more expensive, too. i believe mine was more like $45, but i'll have to go back and figure out where i got it, especially since i'm now to the point where i need another):
if you look around at more of them, you'll note some models have slots for double-sized shot glasses, while others do not. i actually got one that had some of those on purpose, just so i could fill them in with a few taller fig scenarios, such as ones on horseback, riding a bike or windsurfing, a couple that i built small vignettes for, etc. these should also work well for larger-sized figures, such as a wampa or the new hulk figure.
some may not like the separation, but personally i love the way it looks with each one sectioned off in his/her own little box, it really makes the overall presentation quite stunning. and of course the shot-glass-sized compartments are a great fit for the figs, leaving plenty of room for accessories and the like.
finally, the figs are easily accessible by simply opening the door in front :)
...however I seem to not be that good in maths either.. I seriously miscalculated the amount of bricks that I would have needed :D
CMFs are arranged according to how well the fitted together (ie, there's the "historical" CMFs floor).. A Zombie should be put in place of the mechanic, next to the Hazmat guy :)
It is "somewhat" stable.. It's able to hold itself. Placing CMFs is the only thing that could make it collapse.. Once in the frame there should be no worries, I hope.
Oh, wait. You meant something else. My bad.
Plus it looks kind of cool unfinished / ruined. A bit like the Colosseum.
@CCC spears do fit inside, it's just the tip that "overflows" to the next floor. The dimensions were calculated in order to maximize the available space. Each floor is 6 bricks tall, except the last one which should be 5 & 1/3 (one plate).
The spears were somehow turned in the picture but here's how they look:
Now I need to get more figs to fill it :)
After calculating width, thickness, side rails, etc..., i will be able to get 8 rows X 16 minifigs (Perfect for my CMF collection) in one box.
The one area i could have done more research was on the shelving wood. I went with the craft pine wood. I don't remember all the sizes but the shelving wood cost me another $50 or so when it was all said and done. I am hoping to build a sub frame shelf system that will just slip into the shadowbox.
The wood at $50 is quite expensive for a project like this.
Here's a terrible photo of what I have:
Also looking at those CMF cases you all have, they seem nicer. Exactly how much does it cost for all those pieces and plates for them? I'm interested in possibly trying to build one myself.
^Now that's what I'm talking about. Looking at my picture on here, I'm beginning to dislike my cases even more. That's a beautiful piece of work @atxdad! Do you have instructions or anything for it?
Because most of the structure is pinned technic bricks, it's very rigid; you can spin it around or drop it and it will stay together. (Again, it was designed to be kid-proof.) It's not obviously technic though because I covered all the pin holes with tiles.
@BrickDancer, if you click on the photo it takes you to his flickr page where in the description of the photo it says the brick count on this is 1,515 pieces.
I sourced all the parts for ~$110 off BrickLink, but at an average cost of $0.36 per figure displayed, I thought that reasonable. ( @ atxmom might disagree, if only she knew!) This was the first project I sourced using my BrickLink cost-minimization program, so I know it couldn't be done any cheaper, but that's a discussion in a whole other forum thread.
So, here is the rest of my story:
I went back to Michaels and got the old-style frame that @littletoki used in her tutorial. I used the exact same kind of trim as well, just cut to a longer length to go horizontally. Home Depot was very helpful. I decided to use a slightly different side-support structure and it seems to be holding just fine. I used (from the bottom): (6) 3x1 bricks, (1) inverted slope 2x2, (1) inverted slope 1x2, and capped it off with (2) 3x1 black tiles. If I did it again, I would use only (5) 3x1 bricks and (1) 3x1 plate because the top row is slightly smaller than the other rows. I could take the supports out and re-do them, but since I don't have any series 1 CMFs it doesn't bother me that much.
Other than that minor problem, everything seemed to come together in the end. I'm pleased with the result and will probably do another one in the future for some non-CMF minifigs.
I know it is unbearably empty, but I'm sure that now that I have a place to put them, it will fill up quickly.
Thanks again @littletoki and @BrickDancer!
The central spine is actually two parallel rows of technic bricks sandwiching two parallel rows of plates between them. This spacing aligns the technic pin holes to match those of a perpendicular technic brick that supports each row. There's a picture in the flickr stream that illustrates this.
At the Lego Store, you'd do the Pick A Brick cup and pay somewhere in the ball park of $9 I think for the small cup ($13 for a large one). While I haven't done the PaB personally, I think you could fit 100+ 1x3's in there, as well as some other elements. Here seems to be a good PaB cup packing reference.
Just as a reference, the online Pick A Brick is $0.20 per 1x3 so I would stay away from that.
To sum up (estimating costs):
BrickLink: $4.50 - $6.00 (at .06 per brick) + $3 shipping(ish) = $7.50 - $9.00
Lego PaB: $9 + $0.72 tax? = $9.72
By my count, there isn't that much difference. It might be cheaper to go with BrickLink if you're willing to wait on shipping / find a good deal. Lego PaB might be better if you need other elements as well, assuming that 100 1x3's will fit with some room to spare.
Just a few thoughts. Good luck!
Sorry for the double post, but wanted to add these couple things:
I would first call your local store to check the price of the Pick a Brick cups and check that they even have black 1x3's in stock. My local store doesn't which made my decision very simple.
I'd also evaluate any other brick needs you have and see if you can find a BrickLink store that offers everything you want and price it out as a reference. I built my supports with more than 1x3's and found a BL store with all the pieces I wanted at a good price.
which I've packed full of minifigs, but I cant get it open, it seems to be jammed - anyone any ideas?
got a few more on the go just got to get the bricks and work out layouts
I usually have the blinds closed in this room to prevent any sun damage but I needed the light for the photo. Once the new Star Wars sets come out this year, I can finish up the 3rd Star Wars case.
My favorite case: