Architectural model making is a delicate business, and can be painstakingly difficult to get the finish that you are looking for.
A lot of decisions can rest on the success of these scale versions of architectural constructions and can thus not be overlooked. It’s favourable to have a scale architectural model so as to ascertain whether a particular development is attractive looking. It can be the deciding factor as to whether a client signs a contract or not, so a lot of money can rest on their success. When planning an architectural model the following questions should be asked.
What is the model for?
Depending on whom the model will be shown to you must decide on the type of model you are going to build. Models of a residential complex shown to people wishing to buy a new apartment will have a different finish to a model shown to someone looking to build a factory, for example. Some models are used for the sole purpose of demonstrating scale dimensions, whereas others are used to give a realistic feel for how a construction will look in its finished form and as such will require much more detail.
What scale should you use?
Deciding on the scale of the model will impact later upon the materials and equipment that you use. If the model is very complicated, don’t sell yourself short by doing it on such a small scale that intricate details are too hard to execute.
What equipment will you need?
Some model makers may opt for more traditional methods of model making, such as moulding, contouring and spraying and this could be preferable where the model maker wishes to have complete control over the finished effect. If opting for this type of model making the equipment that is required will be very different than if you choose. Increasingly 3D laser cutting and modelling software such as Sketch-up can be used to create models from 2D drawings.
What type of material will you need?
Depending on the form of the building, you need to decide on the material that is necessary. Curved walls will require more a more flexible material such as foam and depending on the type of finish, accuracy and realistic feel that you wish to create you should choose the right material and colours to execute your vision. Popular modelling materials include hardwood, acrylic, paint and glass and this will vary for each segment and section of the model.
Deciding how to light the finished piece is also crucial; executed correctly it will really bring the piece to life.