The Process of Model Making

Using a combination of the latest technology, tools, robots and craftmanship

The Model Shop uses some of the latest and most sophisticated model making equipment available.  Laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC routers and cutters, sandblasting equipment and vacuum forming are just some of the processes and equipment we have at our fingertips to make models.  The models we make range in complexity from a couple of hours work to 10 or 12-week projects.

Each model we make takes a different journey through the processes we use but they all typically involve the following 5 key stages.


Stage 1 - Forming project brief

The project brief is the most important part and is when we hone in on what and how the model is going to communicate and to whom.  This is as much about the subjective look and feel as it is about the key project information that it needs to convey. A good project brief will include the goals of the project, the physical parameters, budget, function of the model and all other small but vital details such as where the model will be located, time scale/deadline, its lifespan and so on. 

The initial step is to determine the most suitable model boundary, scale, material and colours to use for the model. Then we can decide upon the level of detail and extra features (type of lighting, special features or materials that might enhance its purpose). Finally we confirm the size, transportation method and any requirements for delivery and installation.

Stage 2 - Collecting data

All available drawings and details are considered: plans, elevations, sections, special details, landscaping design, photos, renderings and 3d digital models. We require detailed information on proposed colours and materials so we can get the model looking as close to the design intent as possible.  

The scale might be 1:5 for a piece of machinery, 1:100 for an apartment building, or 1:1000 for an urban planning model. In each case, the information required is quite different. So an apartment tower model won't need much interior design information but  for a single apartment model, that same interior  information would be critical to that model.  Again, the purpose of the model defines this.  

Stage 3 - Model construction

Each model will have a slightly different construction process, depending on the design and we will determine the most efficient construction method to give the best outcome in terms of look, durability and completion time.  The construction process often determines which parts of the model are made first.

During construction, photos are provided to the client to give a clear idea about the model as it comes to life.   Local workshop visits can also be arranged so clients can see and touch their model. 

Sometimes there are critical features which we make first, and ensure those key parts are matching the design intent, which then flows through and informs the rest of the model construction process.

Stage 4 - Model reviews

Once your model is ready it goes through a review process where both the model maker and the client agree that it is ready for installation. 

The review will also include the stand, plinth or structure that the model will sit on. In some cases a purpose-built stand will be required. The Model Shop can advise on appropriate size, height and material to suit the project. 

Should you need to travel with the model, a suitable flightcase can be custom-designed and built - we have multiple examples of proven travel cases.

Stage 5 - Delivery and installation

The Model Shop is accustomed to local, remote and international deliveries as well as complex installations where the model may need to be partially assembled on site.

Often a Perspex cover is included to protect the model from dust and damage. It is an important stage of the process and is often just prior to a launch or public viewing.  Getting clear about our clients requirements and the place of installation helps us ensure this step runs smoothly every time.

"As model makers, we have come to understand and value the notion that the moment a physical scale model is created in a project, there is a revelation that allows everyone involved to see what the project is about in an instant."

Ben Croudace The Model Shop Founder and Director

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The Model Shop | Model makers
Perth • Sydney • Melbourne

Head Office / Perth Western Australia
PO Box 2592
Mt Claremont WA
Australia 6010

E: [email protected]
P: 1300 915 500