Thursday , 27 October 2016

Architectural Model Making for Students

Here are some resources for your architectural model making.


Architectural Model Making – Nick Dunn

This book is great for giving you ideas on styles and materials that you can use for your model making. It is a good introduction and starting point. I would suggest having this book to hand when you start to consider the 3D representation of your design studio models.

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Folding Techniques for Designers

Although this isn’t really a model making book, it is an interesting look at shape and form, and structures created through folding. It can encourage us to think outside the model making box….

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For a little inspiration take a look at some of these professional model maker websites! They show you a bit of variety and hopefully give you some ideas as to how to approach your own model making.

Model Makers – These illuminated models are kind of fun – I wish I had a go at something like that!

York Modelmaking

And a blog Architectural Models

Just because I like time lapse movies…

A Few Tips

I have made a fair few models over the years, some I have been thrilled with and some I have been embarrassed to let see the light of day! Either way, I have picked up a few tips along the way…

  • Plan. Obvious, I know. Planning is so important. Really think about what you want to achieve, what you want people to see and learn from your model. How are you going to approach it, and what are your time limits, how will these dictate your ideas? You can think about colours, textures and materials. Explore all your options before deciding which route to go down. There is nothing more frustrating than being half way through your model and realising you should have used a completely different style/material…
  • Scale. Think about the size of your building, what you are trying to show, and what scale that would be best suited to. Sometimes your project brief will dictate a scale, but if not, have a good think about it. Also remember you don’t always have to produce the entire building and context, sometimes a section through the building can work really well.
  • Time. Your model will always take longer than you think. When selecting your materials consider how quick or easy they are to work with. Some materials are difficult to cut if you are wanting detail so bear that in mind. If you have access to a laser cutter, great, but even then preparing for that still takes time.
  • Glue. This was always a hotly contested issue. I was always a PVA fan. Back to school! For a lot of my models I used either foam board or balsa wood and both of these stuck really well with PVA. Glue guns seem like a good idea but they are generally pretty messy, unless you are a pro. They always seem to be so stringy. So unless that is a look you are going for I would suggest PVA – or similar.

If you don’t have a local Hobby Craft or craft shop, 4D modelshop have quite a large range of model making stuff which is worth checking out. Their products range from foam board to landscaping, metal sheets to nuts and bolts.

You can also check out

For some inspiration head over to our Pinterest model board to get some ideas – we are always adding to it so keep checking back:


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