Another Ramble from my Youth:
Do kids have little plastic army-men these days? Always pestering my poor mom to buy me more army men. Had to have more army-men. It was kind of a little tiny arms race between all the kids in my neighborhood. I remember spending hours setting up my army men on one end of a dirt pile while the neighbor kid set his up on the other side of the pile. Then it gets foggy, but it seems what came next involved shooting rubber bands at each other's army-men. I also remember making lots of various models of ships, planes, tanks, and what not. Gets fuzzy again, but I seem to remember squirting modeling glue all over models or army-men we were tired of and lighting them. They burn into very satisfying little smoky puddles of molten plastic.
Storing and Displaying Military Collections:
It turns out that military is a pretty broad category. Everything from little tiny bullets, (check out the NRA's bullet collection), on up to shooting-irons. Lots in between, from lots of historic eras, and often from the "other" side -Russia, the Nazi's etc. As you study these collections and read what the guys that collect this sort of things write, it gets real clear that whatever they collect -they are really historians through & through. And pretty dang committed and detail oriented historians they are too!. I have to respect this. So here is what I have to say about storing, protecting, and displaying Militaria, from the smallest to the largest:
Moving up in size a little, pistols work well in Shadow-boxes as do knives.
I've also sold Doll Cases to display knives -particularly fighters. Turns out that the size and ratio of Barbie's torso to her legs is about exactly the same the handle to the blade on a lot of knives.
There are some more peaceable things in thie category -badges, insignias & medals, and such. (About the same size & shape as political buttons f'rinstance). Riker-mounts, with or without frames are absolutely ideal for such a collection. If it's grown large enough -as is the nature of collections- a Museum-case would serve elegantly.
I hadn't been doing this business very long before I discovered -or was discovered by- retiring military people, their wives, and people with whom they worked. Turns out that coffee tables to display insignia, ceremonial swords, caps, flags etc. are important and my coffee tables are the perfect way to display / commemorate them and furthermore, they are the perfect retirement gift. Have a look at some of them I've been proud to make for military people.
I don't want to know how he got it all, but Collect Russia has amazing stuff.
Finally, for one scary --but meticulously scholarly-- web site, check out an article on Military Medical Antiques at Medical Antiques.