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Real miniature tractor, by Work gifted be prepared by use of the kit Billing Boats by amateur modelers
Architectural model construction as the implementation of construction plans in the Ministry for Construction of the GDR
Urban planning model of a university campus made of wood and polystyrene ( FU Berlin )
Model of plug-head ants at the entrance to their nest on a greatly enlarged scale
Collection of model engines in the Schleissheim aircraft yard

As a model is called the production of concrete, three-dimensional , physical object. This can be the reduced (rarely enlarged) and simplified replica of a real or a representation of a planned model, as well as a template ( master model or prototype ) for creating a negative mold ( casting mold , technical model maker ) for the production of cast parts.

A sharp line between the high-quality production of models by trained people and handicrafts , including those by children, cannot be drawn, as hobbyists can occasionally create detailed replicas of objects and clients occasionally allow professionals to let their imagination run wild.

Model building as a replica and project draft


The accuracy of the scale is important for the quality of a model that is supposed to help the viewer understand the modeled reality . A scale is the ratio of the size of the model to the size of the original. Which scale is used depends on the application and purpose of the model. With model construction systems, the size of the available exhibition space and (with indoor systems) the room height also play a role. As a rule, larger models are designed with more detail than smaller ones. All sorts of materials can be used in model making, depending on the area of ​​application, the purpose of the model and the financial resources available to make it. For most applications, relatively inexpensive materials that are easy to process are used.

Production of individual models and large-scale model systems

Manufacturer of replicas, project drafts and larger systems

  • copy and reduce real, still existing objects of daily life or objects that used to exist (objects are sometimes also enlarged, see above the ant model);
  • illustrate fictional works or with the help of three-dimensional models
  • let your imagination run wild (e.g. when building the town of Knuffingen in the Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg).

The models are either made from original materials , from substitute materials ( plastic model making , cardboard model making ) or from industrially prefabricated components (e.g. made of plastic , cardboard , wood , CFRP , GFRP , glass fiber , balsa wood ). Examples are model engines , model vehicles , models of ships and planes , model rockets , model trains , building models and animal models.

A distinction can be made between (partly remote-controlled) functional models, but also the accommodation of various special functions, or standing models, which usually aim for the highest possible degree of realism. Figure model making is a special category of the standing models. Figures and models are often embedded in dioramas or even large-scale systems.

Special manufacturing processes


With the remote-controlled models , sporting competitions are held in a number of disciplines. These include RC cars , the Truck Trial model , a sub-division of truck model construction ; Model airplanes and helicopters take off at model flying days. In plastic model making, there are competitions in which the faithful reproduction is assessed. At ship model events, races are driven on the one hand, and the number of special functions of a ship or the level of detail are assessed on the other. There are also racing series for model ships, such as B. the ECO-IDC . The events are mostly organized by model building associations.


The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus as a miniature model in a commercially operated outdoor model building facility ( Miniaturk )
Model of the fictitious "Knuffingen Airport" in the commercially operated indoor model building facility Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg
  • The largest model making trade fair in Austria takes place every year at the end of October at Messe Wien .
  • The largest miniature model park is in the Turkish city of Istanbul on the European side in the Beyoğlu district. With an area of ​​six hectares, the Miniaturk Park is one of the largest in the world.
  • Minimundus , the model building park on Lake Wörthersee , is very well known .

Scientific model making

A wide variety of model building techniques are used at universities and large museums to make it easier for the viewer to understand interrelationships or functional mechanisms that are otherwise difficult to understand. The three-dimensional object is also always easier to grasp for the viewer than a two-dimensional image or a digital model. The range of scales used ranges from reductions to models in original size (scale 1: 1) to enlargements. Extraordinary demands are made on the faithful reproduction of the original in the model. The reception process is facilitated in a similar way to the difference between an “exact” photograph and a scientific drawing in anatomy .

In many areas, only a model enables a realistic, "lively" representation. B. molluscs such as jellyfish or octopus lose their original shape on land and no longer offer the viewer the same appearance that one knows from a living object.

The basis for the work of a scientific model maker are photos, scanning microscope images, specimens and the study of living animals. The use of a wide variety of materials, such as glass in the 19th century Blaschkas , or modern plastics such. B. modeling clay , PU foams and synthetic resin laminates, enables very high quality models (usually one-off pieces) to be made. The specialists in this area have extensive knowledge from the most diverse fields of science as well as sculptural skills and create models that are true to the original in months of work.

Experimental model making

Model of an airplane in the wind tunnel

Models can help to record properties of the modeled object experimentally. The model is usually easier (cheaper) to produce than an original and contains the necessary accuracy for the experiment. Frequent applications are models for flow studies in wind tunnels or towing tanks .

Models are also built for bodies of water. In Dornbirn , research for the hydraulic engineering project "Rhesi - Rhine Recreation and Security" will be carried out by the International Rhine Regulation (IRR) in 2019-2022 .

Model making for foundries

Wooden model as a template of the casting to be produced

In the foundry and the metalworking industry , models are required for the creation of casting molds, the production of which is called model construction ( mold construction ). As a template for the later cast product, depending on the material of the finished product (metal alloy), you always have an allowance, i.e. H. a surcharge to the finished size on the cast product to be achieved in order to take into account the shrinkage when cooling. The parameters of material shrinkage when cooling, material consumption and easy removal from the mold ( draft ) are decisive . The percentage of shrinkage depends on the casting material (e.g. cast steel, cast iron, aluminum, bronze, gunmetal, brass).
This work will:

  • The metal model maker (model fitter, old name) produces permanent models from aluminum, also from bronze or gray cast iron, if large numbers of casts are required and the molds are made on molding machines.
  • Executed by the model maker and wood is used as the model material if a small number or large individual pieces of casts are required.
  • executed by the modeller and the material used is plaster of paris when starting workpieces (master models) are required for metal models. or for individual artistic casts.

Up until 2009, knowledge of the apprenticeship model making mechanic in the metal industry or the apprenticeship model maker specializing in production technology in the craft was imparted in Germany. The training occupation has been reorganized since August 1st, 2009 and is called technical model maker . There are the disciplines of visualization, foundry, as well as bodywork and production.



Web links

Commons : Models by subject  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Messe Wien : Modellbau-Messe Retrieved on August 2, 2011.
  2. Modellversuche, 2019, accessed December 22, 2019.
  3. Günther Heine: The carpenter's and turner's tool . Th. Schäfer, Hannover 1990, ISBN 3-88746-228-9