Some folks take honest and well-deserved pride in displaying their miniatures. All that time you’ve put into painting them or winning events with them; you should absolutely show them off! Easily the most popular method of this that I’ve seen is via Ikea’s Detolf display cabinet. However, it’s somewhat lacking in space. Coming with a meagre four shelves, there’s a tonne of vertical space that gets left unused. I’m here to tell you some options in utilising that space and the trade-offs between the two ways that I’ll present.
As stated, the Detolf’s biggest failing is that there’s large gaps between each shelf. If you’re rocking Forgeworld Titans this might not be an issue, but most folks won’t be. I looked into two options for fixing this failing of the cabinet. One cheap and cheerful, the other more expensive but with a little more substance. Let’s start with the more cost-effective.
Infinity Engine Detolf Shelf Brackets
After a quick scouring on Ebay, Etsy and a few other platforms, I landed on the Infinity Engine Detolf shelf brackets. At a measly £8, I snapped these up and waited for their arrival. Clearly being 3D-printed, I could see the cost and value matching up nicely, provided they worked.
Here’s where we land at the first hitch with taking a cheaper option. These brackets come without shelves themselves for models to sit on. There are various sellers and ways to get extra shelves themselves but this, of course, bumps up the cost of the shelf expansion. I was in a fortunate position of having a friend cut me some extra shelves “pro bono”.
Little Things for Little Fingers
The brackets arrived and were simple to use, though a little fiddly. You pop the tiny metal nut into the gap of a bracket and then fasten the screw from the other side, this compresses the frame holding the shelves and keeps the bracket secure. I found that some of the gaps cut out of the brackets to house the nut were sometimes too big, so I would have to awkwardly hold it in place whilst placing it.
This brings us to the other little foible of this particular bracket. One of the main reasons it was a little tricky to set-up was due to needing a screwdriver to secure it. There’s not a lot of space to work in the Detolf (whether it’s occupied with miniatures or not) so this was quite a delicate procedure.
Once in-place, the brackets didn’t shift and gave me no concerns whatsoever. They wouldn’t budge nor drop despite me applying quite some pressure in my tests. These things do what they say on the tin and the price is difficult to argue. It’s cheap, quick and quite good if you don’t mind a bit of fiddling to get them sorted.
A-Case A-Space Detolf Shelves and Brackets
For those looking for a somewhat more luxurious approach to capitalising on their Detolf cabinet, I present to you the A-Space shelves! Produced and sold by the guys at A-Case, these are purpose-built shelves and brackets for the Detolf with hobbyists in-mind. Having seen the quality that these guys deliver myself previously, I felt this would be a good time to revisit them.
Coming in at around £28, these shelves prove much more costly than the simple brackets shown above. This is, unsurprisingly, due to you getting the shelves and brackets. In one pack you’re able to double the amount of shelving in your Detolf. Providing you don’t mind the higher cost, everything you need for upgrading your case comes in one delivery under one purchase.
The shelves themselves are very light, transparent plastic and feel of more than acceptable quality. There’s a bent edge at the front of each shelf giving it a little more durability and stopping it from bending under any particularly hefty models. The mounting areas for each bracket are also intuitive and effectively fool-proof.
It is in fact the brackets themselves that shine for me. Made specifically for the Detolf, these come in two small components, a nut and a bolt comprising each bracket. You inset the bolt around the metal framing in the cabinet and spin it so that it pops into a fitting position alongside the glass. This was a little worrying at first, but soon becomes no concern. With the bolt held in place, you place the nut and start screwing it in until it’s almost completely fastened. You then spin the bolt back round so that the bolt pokes inwards towards the shelf and finish fastening
Bingo, your brackets are secure! Simple slide the shelf into place and bask in your new storage options. Unlike the Infinity Edge brackets, these required no tools to fit whatsoever. You could probably use pliers to really get them stuck-in, but I’ve not found it necessary in the slightest. I had doubled my cases storage capacity in about 20 minutes between opening the box and fitting the last shelf.
Play and Display
There are plenty of similar products on the market, but these were the two I took for a spin personally. As hobbyists, we love having so many options across every element of our craft, displaying our passion should be no exception. If you wish for little-cost via a more utilitarian approach, then products like the Infinity Edge are totally acceptable and reliable. These particular brackets may not come with shelves, but purchasing those elsewhere additionally shouldn’t bump the price up too much.
However, if you are someone with a little more money than time then the A-Space shelves are absolutely for you. Tremendously easy to fit in no time at all, the extra cost in money instead of effort may be the option you’re looking for.
If you have a Detolf packed with miniatures or busts then we’d love to see them! Share them with us over on our Facebook page. Alternatively, if you’ve found storage solutions that warrant a shout-out then do let us know or better yet, show us.