View Full Version : Architectural Models - Followup

Larry Folk
06-26-2011, 9:43 PM
A few weeks ago I posted some photos of a residential model that I was working on. After 4 versions testing different construction methods I finished it up and took some photos.

This model is all 1/8" plywood and polyback sheets. I created all of the parts in SketchUp from my 2d cad drawings. I have developed ways to build these in a time frame that will hold my costs down and I will be able the price these far below the competition.
I sent out for bids from two modeling companies for this same house and they both quoted me $5,000 for what you see here. Builders cannot pay that in today's economy.

I am an architect and I have been in the residential design and construction industry for the past 40 years and models were always very expensive and rarely used. I plan to market these to the builders, that are still in business, as a way to capture sales from their competition.


Rodne Gold
06-27-2011, 2:47 AM
Very nice work , I wish you well in your new direction and think it can be a very good money spinner.. the model you made has a nice blend or realism and stylised stuff.
Where we made big bucks in terms of arch models was doing a total site for developers (multi buliding developments etc) and they sold units off the model. Don't think there are many of those around these days tho..

Frank Corker
06-27-2011, 5:28 AM
Fabulous work on the models. It's the same in the UK, not many big companies building large areas at the moment, but I think it will come back.

Adrian Hill
06-27-2011, 5:37 AM
Stunning, how do clad the surfaces to get the fininsh. I paint my dollhouses but the surfaces never look realistic.

Rod, I have a friend who makes architectural models for a living in Somerset West - he can't keep up with demand. The guy actually onlyhas one arm, he lost the other in a railway accident - He is a brilliant modeler nonetheless!

Doug Griffith
06-27-2011, 11:41 AM
Nice work. I particularly like the 2D work on the landscape. nice touch.

On the topic of total site work. I was recently deep into Disney Imagineering and saw an entire park. I think it was Disney Japan. It was approximately 10 feet square and amazing. Too much to look at.

David Fairfield
06-27-2011, 6:13 PM
Nice clean presentation of the basics, exactly what that kind of job requires.


Larry Folk
06-28-2011, 9:50 AM
Thanks for the comments guys. I do believe that I can market these to builders and developers across the country and make a go of it.
I could build these and my planes all day long in the shop and have fun doing it.

Larry Folk
06-28-2011, 9:54 AM

I make the siding with a product called ployback. It is used on plywood before laminates are applied. I used the 3d button on the Epilog
print driver to make the siding and shingles. It took 4 passes to get the lapped siding effect.

Mark Ross
06-28-2011, 11:57 AM
With Inventor 2012 we get 3ds max as well as other software as part of the bundle. I went to some various websites to begin learning 3ds max and what they are saying is that the market is shifting towards 3d development of buildings. In other words, the entire building is available for review in 3d before ground is even broken. The complete building, all the wiring and so on. That is really cool, but, the problem becomes, people may not be able to understand scale, so the physical models always help.

David Fairfield
06-28-2011, 5:39 PM
Yeah a model has a physical presence that computer imagery doesn't have, that helps a presentation when many people are jaded to computer graphics.

The outline of the car in the driveway is nice, a car helps people grasp scale.

I like your shingles. How did you color them, and why not just use printed paper? Would save a lot of time over 3d engraving.


Larry Folk
06-28-2011, 8:52 PM

I wanted a more textured look to the shingles and doing the 3d engraving gave that to me. I just did a 12"x24" sheet and used the laser to cut the shapes. The vertical lines are cut with color mapping to lightly leave a mark.
I colored the shingles with a couple of different grey and light blue art markers.

Adrian Hill
06-29-2011, 2:00 AM

Thanks for the info. Your work is absolutely stunning.