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What scale is best for your model?  We now know the area of your model and size that you want it to be. The scale is now easily calculated. Below is a guide to typical scales and the types of sales models that are best shown in each. If you are selling interiors, you are going to need a larger scaled model to show the details. Master plan models can be built in smaller scales to show more property in a smaller size.

Different scales are used to sell different aspects of your development. A master plan can be on a small scale like 1″=100′ to sell properties and community.

1″ = 100′ (Size 6′ x 7′)

Land Development Design Model


1″ = 8′ scale (Size 4′ x 5′)

Used to show individual units, interior detail or detailed sections of a building. We build whole buildings in 1″ = 4′ scale but the size is large and they are usually built for a showroom setting.

Resort Construction Model


1″ = 4′ scale or larger (Size 4′ x 2′)

Interior Architectural Model

The model is a very personal and interactive sales tool. It immediately demonstrates a commitment to the project and the professionalism of your company.

This is the most popular scale for exterior detailed architectural models. It is easy to see most textures and other subtle details in this scale. Colorful people and cars are available from the hobby industry and most of the models are a good size for showroom display.

If you still want well-detailed exteriors but you have a larger site with multiple buildings. 1″=16′ scale might work well for your project.

1″ = 16′ scale (Size 5′ x 5′)

Beach Resort Architectural Model

Another reason this is a commonly used scale is again the hobby industry has ready-made cars and people that can populate the model.

If your focus is on the immediate site surrounding your larger development. 1″=20′ may be the best scale.

1″ = 20′ (Size 4′ x 4′)

Hotel Design Model

We can still show textures on the buildings but they are getting smaller and less easy to notice. This scale is still good for colorful (though small) people and cars.

Typically, the focus is more on the site and a little less on the buildings in this scale. 1″ = 30′ is too small to show people so cars are the only items used to give a sense of activity.

1″ = 30′ (Size 5′ x 6′)

Resort Development Model

Landscaping and water features are often as much of a focus as buildings in this scale.

1” = 50’ scales are good for showing a larger master plan designs. Building again is usually (but not always) shown as mass models. This has been a good scale to show entire golf course layouts, complex highway interchanges, and phases of master plan developments.

Scale 1″ = 50′ (Size 6′ x 7′)

City Architectural Model

Buildings are often shown as mass models when they get this small but as you can see in the image windows, doors and colors still show up well. 3D Landscaping is more limited, mostly trees, grasses, and forests although we use a lot of colors to represent different ecological zones.

1” = 300’ / 400’ / 500’ scales are mostly used to show detailed topography over a large area of land. The building can still be seen but they are little more than extruded footprints. We have used a much smaller scale on models done for the National Park Service of Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons these are done with some vertical exaggeration.

1″ = 500′ and smaller (Size 4’x 5′)

Topography Scale Model


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