Introduction: Minifig Display Modules
From the moment I saw the collectible Minifigures Series 1 advertised in a Lego Magazine, I knew I had to have them all and that if more series were made I'd have to have all those too! That was June of 2010, fast forward a bit and Lego is now selling Series 6 with 7 and 8 already announced for release this year. At 16 per series, that's 128 minifigs of all shapes, sizes, and colors!
LEGO makes a display carry case but it holds 15 minifigs. 15! Are you serious LEGO? 15?! I thought this was pretty dumb since they could sell them suckas like hotcakes if they could hold just one more and be compatible with the collectible series. What I wanted was a way to display the minifigs in a 4x4 format. I thought about buying a shot glass case but then I would have to figure out how to attach the baseplates to it so the minifigs wouldn't fall out. Suddenly it hit me, why couldn't I just make the whole thing out of LEGO?
I got to work and soon realized that the easiest way to make a display case was going to involve individual modules for each minifig. I also realized that by making each module I could customize the color and pattern to the minifig being displayed in it. My initial goal was to have each case the color of the series, yellow for the first, blue for the second, etc. but I don't have enough in each color to do that yet.
In the end what I came up with is a simple display module that is suitable as a stand-alone piece or combined with others to make a variety of display cases.
What you'll need (per module):
-33 1x2 bricks
-a 4x6 plate
-the 3x4 baseplate that comes with the minifig (optional)
You'll also need a few more 1x2s if you want to connect the modules together horizontally. It takes three 1x2s to connect two units together.
Building the modules really couldn't be easier, start with a base of six 1x2 bricks, lining the outer edge of the 4x6 plate, as shown.
Next add a layer of five 1x2s on top the last, there should be one stud left uncovered on both sides and all the cracks from the row below will be covered by this new row.
Keep this pattern going by adding a row of six 1x2s, then 5 1x2s until the module is 6 rows high. When you reach that height then you have a completed module and you can display your minifig in it. If you have the 3x4 display baseplate that came with the minifig then you can attach that to the baseplate. If you want to connect multiple units together then head on over to the next few steps.
Step 3: Vertical
The easiest way to connect the modules is in the vertical orientation. To do this, all you have to do is stack the modules up, one on top of the other, to the desired height.
I was able to stack all 16 modules into a stable structure that was pretty interesting to look at.
Step 4: Horizontal
Connect the modules horizontally is a little more involved than vertically but still not difficult.
Start with two modules, side by side as shown in the second picture. Use a 1x2 on the top to connect the two units.
You need to fit a 1x2 in the next gap so lift the top two rows up a bit to allow enough space for it to slip in. Attach another 1x2 the same way as the one on top and then squeeze the brick back into place.
Do the same kind of lifting for the last 1x2 and then smoosh it all back together again. Two units are now securely attached together.
I did a row of the full 16 and thought it would be cool sitting on a long window sill.
Step 5: Display Case
This was the original setup I had in mind when I made the modules, a 4x4 case that showed the 16 minifigs. To make one like this just make 4 sets of 4 modules connected horizontally then stack them. I also topped it off with some more 4x6 plates so that the top row could have a roof but this is optional.
I hope that these modules are a helpful solution to display your minifigs, whether it's just one or maybe somewhere in the hundreds :)