the Official Hand Made Model Thread

Well just because damnit! Don't let this be one of those lost arts like drafting and colouring with markers. Show us your best, your worst, just show us that you still know how a building is put together.

Study models, monochrome or slick with tiny people and lights, doesn't matter show us.

Dec 4, 08 11:04 pm

can we show laser cut models?.......assembled and mitre'd by hand?

Dec 4, 08 11:45 pm

bah!! Go on

Dec 4, 08 11:51 pm

soldiered brass....hand cut with a hand built dremel slide box.....brazed with propane torch/flux/soldier

Dec 5, 08 12:07 am
Carl Douglas (agfa8x)
Dec 5, 08 1:14 am

yay, fun!

sectional model of a theater on a barge (some pieces removed for pix), 1991:

cultural arts center, mid-80s:

yes, the dome is made with an egg.

hostel/hotel/housing, 1990:

study model for same:

contemporary arts center (reuse of machine hall), 2003:

historic house porch restoration, 2000?:

Dec 5, 08 7:39 am

crizz - are you sure you didn't matriculate through the Miami-Dade CC design schools? Because thats pretty much the nature and offspring of the beast for all of southern florida!

Dec 5, 08 9:32 am
vado retro


Dec 5, 08 10:49 am

Hi Mr. Gehry!

Dec 5, 08 10:53 am

I have some cool photos I could post but I'm too lazy to figure out how to upload and post them.

Dec 5, 08 10:55 am

SW - those 3 interior space photographs towards the end of your parade very interesting. The illumination is really spot on - what scale is that model?

Dec 5, 08 12:40 pm

steve... nice interior pics/models

peri.. i went to college in detroit.....

laser cut gusset plates.... 1/32 scale... built a jig to make the frames..... acrylic/styrene/paint

Dec 5, 08 12:51 pm
"The Co-op Guy"

hey i was just about to look for threads on hand-built models, and here it is on the front page!

Dec 5, 08 12:52 pm

pretty sure the scale was only 1/8", peridot, but then the existing space was almost 110ft tall. plenty of room for a camera in that model.

Dec 5, 08 4:25 pm
Sarah Hamilton

Wow. I am so jealous. My models have NEVER looked that good. Can someone post some crappy models to make me feel better? Even Vado's model is better than mine ever were.

Dec 5, 08 4:47 pm

"some crappy models"


Dec 5, 08 6:31 pm

i only use laser cutters, because i cant cut anything accurately by hand.
call it the plight on my generation.

Dec 5, 08 7:46 pm

This is my final model from undergrad. I still think it's the most labor intensive thing I've ever built. 1/4" scale all by hand (no laser cutter). I seem to recall using a hairdryer and wet basswood to make the curved beams.

Dec 6, 08 11:18 am

I always like comparing how many hours of work go into making final presentation models with my fellow students.

Dec 6, 08 1:13 pm

brandonmhorn go to the front of the line, that is fricking awesome!! What was the time scale on that project? I think I would of completed that tower on the right then politely shot someone/go postal

Dec 6, 08 1:35 pm

where'd it go?! i can't see it!

Dec 6, 08 2:45 pm

brandon... you have anymore pics of that model... some street level shots?..... nice model.....

Dec 6, 08 3:40 pm

Thanks. I think I spent about a month on that model, but I was basically developing the structure at the same time (through the model).

I'll post pics here but if you want to see larger images you can check it out on my flickr page found at:

along with another recent model for those interested:

now for the pics:

Dec 6, 08 5:50 pm

holy f*ck. some good stuff.

hey SW:
1. how did you get the board and batten look? i've never been able to get my battens straight, and it frickin annoys me.

2. was the cultural center in barcelona?

Dec 6, 08 6:17 pm

Here's a very early model I did (1st year in 2002) made from a block of cast plaster and a kitchen knife. I had to do it at home and didn't have any tools back then!

The design was this:

Needless to say it took a bloody age.

Dec 6, 08 7:38 pm

chipboard and jesso can work wonders if you lay down some thin layers/sand/repeat

Dec 6, 08 8:10 pm

Some gorgeous models here. Does it make some of us feel old to be excited about such things, like 'real' drawings and so on. Is it luddite or a genuine good thing we ought not to loose just because progress makes it easier to do 'neater' anal retention via a mouse? Hmm... 'real' buildings are dirty, great big models of sorts... scares the life out of anyone used to only ideas on paper or screen, for the first time. Do models express an engagement with materiality that renderings don't, even though they portray the concept more accurately? Are architects most treasured images those which would never be real but live in the glory only of imagination? Did the computer kill architecture like the word killed the brick or was it a mere substitution? Is the entire notion of progress fallacious?
Oops. Models get me all adolescent :-)
Rather than upload a bundle here, try and you can listen to some cartoon attempts at music whilst yer about it ;-p

Dec 6, 08 8:18 pm

nice stuff, all. i love that you carved that model, chris. beautiful, brandon.

holz -

the board and batten look was a cheat, i.e., i found bass wood with that pattern.

the hostel/hotel/housing was in barcelona, at the edge of the cerda grid, which is what you're probably recognizing. the site was across a major thoroughfare from the miro park, just south (?) of the bull-fighting ring and (a little farther) the expo with the mies pavilion.

the cultural arts center was sited in new orleans. the model is just the head building, part of a larger site development project that we took on that semester.

Dec 6, 08 9:11 pm

section model out of acrylic and styrene

you can see the reflection of the crap i had in the shop when i took the pics..... didnt realize it till after the fact


Dec 6, 08 9:20 pm

This, and the mention of Barcelona, makes me think of the models produced by Enrique Miralles and his office... and the drawings. I adore that stuff.

Dec 6, 08 10:18 pm

Steven: what's going on between your intervention and that grid? All I can see is the wooden base... not a crticism, just curiosity about this grid down the bottom and the intervention up top seem to exist seperately, so I'm not getting, erm, the beat of the dance, so to speak.

Dec 6, 08 10:22 pm

I mean, the internals of the project are a tango on a travelator, but...

Dec 6, 08 10:23 pm

its about time I added on of mine. Its just a study model from 10 years taken today.

and yes those are water stains

Dec 6, 08 10:31 pm

Nice stuff, people.

Solid speaks for many ?

"you can see the reflection of the crap i had in the shop when i took the pics..... didnt realize it till after the fact" Guess we've all had THAT happen !

Dec 7, 08 12:03 am

final studio model from undergrad.

i had so much flux in my eyes by the time of my review....

Dec 7, 08 1:40 am

vertical sections are dope...... nice funky model

i think i have some models pics in this old film camera i have...from like 6 years ago...i think the film might be bad now.... hmmmm..... might have to get it developed to see whats on it.... hopefully i wont find any @#$%^& or @#$%^

i flat stacked 3/4 baltic birch for a hilly site then took a belt sander to it and smoothed it out....look hott when i was done...... i think those might be the pics


Dec 7, 08 2:23 am

brandon - thats an amazing final model for undergrad. Whence did you matriculate? The the level of systematic thought in there is really impressive - something I will certainly use as a fact with my students ("it can be done!").

Dec 7, 08 6:25 pm


University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dec 7, 08 10:53 pm

thanks Brands - taking a peek at it now!

Dec 8, 08 1:13 pm

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