Scale Model Basic Process and Tools

by Liu Yang Blogger
While it is easy to dismiss the trade of scale model making as simply menial task that is part of architectural and pre-construction activity, the fact that the craft has withstood the tests of time suggests that its importance is more substantial than that. Architectural scale models require intensive set of resources time and skills and time. Some architectural model builders even believe, it requires just as much skills as building the actual structures.

It may be an exaggeration but the process is quite the same.
First, just like in construction work, a critical first step in model ship building is choosing the necessary and appropriate tools. Although skills matter more than tools, the quality of tools often separate good models from superior ones. High quality or reliable tools assure accuracy and provides levels of comfort which can help a lot architectural model builders a lot considering the tedious demands of the task at hand. 

Depending on purpose, the first material to consider is the primary material for the model. This refers to the material to be used as major structures like walls. There is a wide range of materials to choose from depending on purpose available time, and level of expertise. The basic and most commonly used base material for models is the white foam board commonly 3mm and 5mm thick and can also be used as a base for models created from other light materials. Cork sheets are thinner sheets which are flexible than foam boards and are therefore easier to handle but are also less sturdy or durable.  However, their textured brown finish often minimizes the need for finishing especially if modelling wood materials.  Wood on the other hand is best used for natural effects but are heavy, expensive and difficult to cut. 

Second, it is important to select the best cutting tools. Since architectural model making requires cutting a lot of materials into tiny precise pieces, the choice of cutting tool is often considered the most important tool in the craft. These cutting materials include cutters, knives and scissors.  The comfort of the grip, size of the cutting material, variety of uses, durability are major considerations second only to the sharpness of blade, durability, corrosion or chemical resistance properties of the blade.   Aside from providing convenience and dexterity, a high quality blade also helps achieve a neat finish. The use of laser cutters or laser-guided cutters can also make cutting easier, faster and cleaner.  

Third, since the multiple and miniature parts need to be assembled or put together, the adhesive is the next important material for an architectural model especially building scale replicas. Adhesive not only binds materials together and therefore help in the overall stability and durability of the projects but also significantly affect the cleanliness of the project. As such they also function finishing. Glue Sticks are they cheap yet strongest and arguably the easiest to use adhesive. They are also readily available and therefore the most popular. White Glue is also a common adhesive although it takes a while for them to dry which makes it difficult to readily attach objects together and finish the project faster. Double-sided tapes are not as strong as other adhesives but are neat and adjustable. Very few architectural scale model builders use wood glue since they are material specific adhesives and are often colored and therefore difficult to clean up.

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About Liu Yang Innovator   Blogger

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Joined APSense since, August 22nd, 2017, From Joo Seng, Singapore.

Created on Jan 23rd 2018 19:06. Viewed 594 times.


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