Custom Suspended Display System For Model Ships

Nov 29, 2019

Shopkit was approached by Zodiac Maritime, a commercial container ship and tanker management company, hoping that we could design and manufacture a sleek contemporary way to display some of their valuable large scale models of some of their fleet of ships.

When a shipping company acquires or commissions the building of a new cargo ship or oil tanker the previous owners / shipyards also provide the new owners with a scale model of their purchase and this process continues throughout the working life of the vessel and Zodiac Maritime had 16 of these model ships that they wanted to display in two additional locations within their headquarters in central London, UK.

The main display was to consist of a total of 12 ships and tankers at different heights, one behind the other, running along side 14 meters of the floor to ceiling windows in a large open plan office space. This display required Shopkit’s clean contemporary look and be able to provide safe and secure supports for the valuable ships being displayed and the support system would need to be strong and durable enough to take the possible accidental knocks from passing office staff, as well as withstanding the cleaning of the wooden floors and carpets around them.

Another requirement of this main display area is that as Zodiac Marine’s fleet changes over time our support system would need to be provide enough flexibility to accommodate new ships of different lengths replacing some of those included in this original installation.

We also proposed to suspend the model ships within custom made adjustable cradles produced in satin polished stainless steel supported from tensioned 3mm stainless steel cables fixed into our T15.1 silver satin anodised aluminium track, which was to be recessed into the ceiling and floor.

We designed the cradles that hold the models to clamp onto the outside of the ships’ hulls, as well as support them underneath, all in such a way so as to not require any fixings into them or to mark them in any way. Each ship requires 2 cradles and their tensioning mechanism allows them to be able to accommodate ships of different sized hulls in the future as the display gets updated as the ships that they represent are eventually sold and new ones are added to the company’s fleet.

The use of the our track system to support the suspension cables was also made with future changes in mind, as it allows the cables to be untensioned and easily repositioned when required.

The other new display consisted of four model ships located within one of the company’s meeting rooms. This was a simpler installation consisting of two long toughened glass shelves suspended from a total of 10 ceiling to floor fixed 3mm stainless steel tensioned cables. The models were then mounted onto pairs of satin polished stainless steel supports that were then secured in place using bolts that passed through the glass shelves. All the other components within both displays were also finished in satin polished stainless steel providing a cohesive look throughout.

If you would like more information about our custom model ships display project shown here, or if you have a future custom project that you think we might be able to help you with – please do call our Design Team on 01923 818282, email us on: