THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. ONCE THE TUTORIAL AND/OR ACTUAL CASE IS DONE, I WILL STICKY THE THREAD.
I've tried to make stuff out of wood before, with varying degrees of success. I got a 10" table saw for Christmas, assuming that all of the big projects around here are done and if I started another project, it would be on a smaller scale than the freakin' huge built-in shelves I put in my bedroom or refurnishing a 40's radio cabinet for my game stuff.
A fellow collector has a beautiful case for displaying his faceplates, but has asked not to post any pictures. So... while I can't post pictures of the collections OR the displays, I CAN try to "reverse engineer" the pictures to try to figure out how to make my own display.
I also have to take into consideration that a standard size of glass may have been used, and since the displays are in a European country, their standard sizes of precut glass are probably NOT the same size as USA standard precut glass.
I took one of the pictures and blew it up to 8.5x11 and printed it out. I measured the faceplates and the case in the photos in millimeters, and then measured an actual facepalte in millimeters. There was a little discrepency in the measurements because the camera lens "bends" or stretches things. I took an average multipler (3.2x, with 3.1x and 3.3x being common - not that this means anything but I thought I'd share. ).
ALL this gave me was a rough estimate of the parts of the display. However, the most important thing was to find the approximate size of the glass, adjust it to handle a standard precut size of American glass, and then adjust the sizes of everything else accordingly.
Also, another thing I considered was the depth of the unit. With room for grooves for the glass and the back piece, a 4" deep unit with 3" deep shelves seems acceptable, but I'm going to make mine 3" deep with 2" deep shelves since 2" is plenty of room to put some space between the faceplate and the glass and still bring the bottom of the plate out a bit. With 3" shelves, the plates could almost lay flat on the shelf and I don't want that. You can make that call, as changing those particular dimensions affects the whole plan very little, where adjusting the width or heigth would affect it in every way. If you plan on displaying some of my custom plates, with attached toys and the like, you may want the depth or you may want to adjust the space between shelves or even number of shelves.