A 3-D Model of an Island for a School Project

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The island's features must be proportionate to the surface's size.

Three-dimensional (3-D) models of islands are school projects that allow children to practice their crafting skills and also explore the biomes of an existing or imaginary island in practice. However, 3-D island models are also a difficult craft, requiring students to use materials to depict the urban and rural areas of the island. Not all islands have the same characteristics, which means there is more than one way of creating island models.



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The scale of your island model varies according to the size of the island in the real world or the supposed size of your imaginary island. Your island base will optimally measure 18 inches by 24 inches. Your model's characteristics, including mountains, beaches and urban areas must be proportionate to fit this model.

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The base of the island can be made of thick cardboard or Styrofoam. Both materials are easy to cut with a utility knife, allowing you to accurately recreate the shape of a real-life island. Use maps to determine the shape of the island or satellite pictures available online. Styrofoam can float, which means you can place your finished island model in a basin full of water and let it float on the surface. If you go for a cardboard base, use high-gloss blue paper to depict water around the island.


Detailed Features

When you are creating a three-dimensional model of a small island, mold self-hardening clay with your hands to form the mountains. Cover the base with green felt and use model trees, sold in modeling shops to add the island's flora. Apply clear-drying craft glue on the shores of the island and sprinkle sand over it to form the beaches. Create small buildings out of thin cardboard to depict human settlements and add small stones on the model to depict large rocks on the island's surface. Use high-gloss blue paper to depict rivers and lakes within the island.


Large-Scale Models

When you want to depict large islands, such as Britain, Ireland or Japan, focus mainly on the land elevation -- it is the only feature that can offer three-dimensionality on a large-scale model. Form the mountains with air-dry clay, ensuring their dimensions are proportionate to the island's size. Instead of adding separate model trees, cover areas with green felt. Use cream felt for the beaches and grey construction paper to depict urban areas.


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