A properly executed building model can complete a diorama for a school project, add background detail to a train model kit, or help you preview a complex building project.
Building your own building models is easier than you think; in most cases, all you need is a blueprint and a few simple, inexpensive materials.
Start by drawing up a basic design for your building, then draw your individual plans on the material of your choice and cut them out by hand. Once you’ve prepared each of the components individually, all that’s left to do is glue them together and add the finishing touches.
Decide what kind of building you want to make
Before you start assembling the model, you should have a clear idea of how it will look like.
Pay attention to the different types of buildings while you’re away for inspiration and refine your mental image, or use your imagination to create your own unique structure. If you can visualize it, you can build it.
If you plan to model a real building, take plenty of photos so you have something to reference during the design phase.
A simple house, barn, or other traditional structure will be the easiest to create on the first try.
As your skills improve, you will be able to try your hand at complex mansions, skyscrapers, castles, and other types of buildings.
Draw your building from different angles
Sit down with a pencil and a piece of paper and draw a rough picture of your building, showing what it will look like from each side. Be sure to include at least one type of roof, as well as any other distinctive design elements.
Drawing your building will allow you to visualize it more clearly. It will also help you transfer individual building plans to your work materials when the time comes.
Your sketch does not have to be perfect, it will only serve as a preliminary visual aid to guide you through the process of cutting and assembling the various parts of your building model.
Scale the model to the appropriate size if you are recreating a real structure
To build a miniature copy with exact dimensions and proportions, start by determining the height and width of the building you want to model. Once you’ve done this, open the online model scale conversion table and use the numbers listed to convert the recorded measurements to a given scale, which you’ll then use to build your model.
Scales are represented as fractions that indicate how large the model is compared to the object on which it is based. For example, if you are building your model at 1/125 scale, that means it will take 125 models lined up end to end to get the length of the actual building.
You can find the exact dimensions of this design in local building records. Run a quick search on “building records” as well as your town or city name and the name or address of the building you’re looking for to get initial building plans.
Outline each individual floor plan of your building on a sheet of heavyweight paper
Now that you know what your building should look like and how big it should be, it’s time to transfer your designs to real working materials. Draw the outline of each of the major components of the building, including the floor, walls, roof, and any exterior features such as chimneys, gables, flower pots, or downspouts.
You can also use styrofoam, matte cardboard, gel foam, or balsa wood instead of cardboard. Some of these materials may vary in cost and durability, but all are soft enough to be easily cut and shaped.
If you want your model building to have openings for doors and windows, be sure to draw them.