Constructing architectural models is a challenging pursuit. It demands creativity, patience and an understanding of materials and tools. Making a model of an existing house poses its own set of challenges. However, there are a few tips that can make any house model project easier and less frustrating.
Materials - Choose the right materials for your model, both structurally and aesthetically. If you are working on a small scale, card stock and balsa wood will be sufficient for giving the model structure. If you work much larger, consider using metal or thicker wood to ensure that your model can support its own weight. For the design of the model, use fabric, paper and even thin pieces of metal to match the textures and surfaces of the actual house. Remember that you can always paint a surface to make the colours match, but try to achieve realistic textures as well. Use processes like hand painting, sanding or spray painting to make roof shingles, flooring surfaces and walls that resemble the house.
Displaying the Model - Any 3D model will look better when it is displayed appropriately. For a model house, you may want to display it in a naturalistic environment. Construct a landscape that also serves as the base for your model. Use moss, spray paint or painted sand to create the appearance of grass. Model trees are easy to find at a hobby shop that sells model train components. The same is true for other details like mailboxes, shrubs and street lights. Even if you want your model to stand on its own, create a plain base that will serve as a clean environment for your model.
Focus on Details - Throughout the model-making process, focus on the smallest details. This can mean the difference between a good model and a great one. While it isn't necessary to reproduce every detail accurately, try to single out a few that are unique to the house and make sure they receive special care on the model. Knowing what to leave out is another important skill to master. Adding just a few trees to the environment, for example, can give the suggestion of a natural setting without obscuring the model itself. The same is true of bricks, shingles and any other material that might look better as a flat pattern rather than an actual construction of very tiny objects.