I’ve been a scale model builder since I was about seven or so. At least I remember having a box of kits that somebody gave me before we move to Ct in 1967. A box that was tossed in the move and I really wish hadn’t been because one of the kits in that box was first pop Starship Enterprise, but I digress. In any case I’ve been working various materials making small and large thing for a very long time.
Being able to model something with real materials rather than virtually can tell you things that the computer screen will not.
Also working in scale means that the projects don’t tend to become overwhelming. After all if it fits in a box, how hard can it be? Model making when you are young help you visualize. And you have the joy of taking those grainy pictures on badly printed instruction sheet and making it into something wonderful.
When designing being able to mock up parts of the form, fit function equation can be very helpful in the prototyping stage of a project. There’s also the feeling of having your project come alive, especially if you build many of the parts with your own two hands. There’s nothing like developing calluses and getting cut up, being burned and smelling the smell of glue and paint to tell you that you did something. So even is you are the engineer, get in the habit of modeling for real as well as on the screen. You will be glad that you did.
Here’s a post on Adam Savage and his modelmaking.
This site is just loaded with useful techniques.
As is this one.
Here are some sites with tools and materials, if you don’t have a hobby shop near by.
Here’s some work to get you inspired