15+ Model Making Terms

A model is a representation of the real world. It can be in any form, but it always has some features that are meant to represent something else. In modeling terms, we call these “features” or “properties.” A model might be a scale-model train set that you’ve built with your child’s toy blocks; it could also be an iphone case modeled after a favorite book cover design. Modeling terminology is used by many industries and there are some key words to know when working in this field as well as industry specific definitions for each word

Common Model Making Terms Explained

  • Scale – The size of an object relative to its actual size. For example, if you’re building a 1/6th scale model airplane out of balsa wood, then it’s going to need a lot more surface area than the real plane.
  • Profile – A three dimensional representation of an object’s shape.
  • Hairty stick: Hairty sticks are used in the production of plastic models to make it easier for modelers to paint them. A batch of hairty sticks are cut to the same length and then glued, end-to-end, into a long rod of wood. One side is painted with paint or primer; this will be the “inside” and not visible when finished. The other side has no coating so that it’s easier for modelers to grip them as they do their work.
  • WIP: WIP stands for “work in progress.” It is used as a term to show that something is not yet complete.
  • C&C: C&C, short for “comments and critique,” refers to the process of reviewing drafts or modeling projects with other people before approving them. The goal here is accuracy and quality control; it’s also sometimes called peer review.
  • Rivet Counter: A rivet counter keeps track of how many rivets are needed for a certain project by punching holes at intervals on a paper roll representing different lengths of metal rod. When all the slots have been punched, you know you’re ready to move on to the next section without having to go back over your work again counting every time!
  • Shelf Queen: It is often used in the modeling community to describe a model that has never been completed no matter what you want to complte it.
  • Shelf of Doom: A shelf of doom happens when you can’t find any place else on your workbench, desk, or display case to put more new model kits because your collection has already taken over every available space!
  • Stash: If you need an easy way to store all those unfinished projects without cluttering up your entire workspace, try building yourself a stash box. You could even make it look like a treasure chest, and every time you open it up to work on your latest project idea, you’ll feel like a kid at “the candy store.”
  • OTB: OTB means “On the Bench,” a model you are currently working on.
  • Kit-bashing: When you hate a brand that you share your complaint publicly on every social network accounts you own.
  • Sink hole: A sink hole happens when you’ve been working on a model while spending lots of money for its part.
  • Weathering: Weathering refers to how designers add detail such as dirt build-up and scrapes/scratches into their models to make them look more realistic. Some of the easiest ways to weather a model are with paint, sandpaper, and tea.

Common Modelling Abbreviation

  • AM : After Market
  • GB : Group Build
  • LHS : Local Hobby Shop
  • OHS : Online Hobby Shop
  • OOP : Out Of Production

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