How to Make a Scale Model

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Scale models represent a re-creation of an object. However, scale models try to keep the relative length, width and height of each part of the model the same as on the original object. Making a scale model requires careful math, sculpting, drawing and building skills. The model should be planned out well in advance of building. A poorly planned scale model won’t accurately represent its source object well.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Calculator, optional
  • Building material
  • Ruler
  • Knife
  • Paints
  • Glue

Measure the dimensions of each aspect of the object you are modeling. This can be done by using a tape measure or by looking up the dimensions online. Write these dimensions down in a method you can understand. For example, for a car you could have measurements of the overall length and width of the car, as well as the hood, tires and roof.

Scale the dimensions down to model size. This is accomplished by dividing the length by a consistent number. For example, achieving a model that is 1/30th the size of the original requires dividing all original measurements by 30. Keep track of these new measurements.

Draw a plan for your model. Make sure each part looks as accurate as possible. Use your tape measure or a ruler to make sure each measurement is correct. Your plan will help you prepare for the construction of each piece of your car as well as understand how they will look when glued together.

Use your knife to carve out each piece from your building material. The building material can be anything that you feel comfortable using. Use your tape measure or ruler to make sure each piece of the model is the correct size.

Paint each piece the correct color or colors. Use multiple coats on each piece. Put all pieces of the same color next to one another to ensure the color coating matches as perfectly as possible.

Glue all your pieces together according to your paper drawing. Let the model sit for several hours until the glue is dry.

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