M.C. Escher’s Relativity is one of the artist’s best-known works. Filled with paradoxical staircases, it’s a real head-scratcher. The Avid Creator went through the effort to replicate the illusion but in a 3-dimensional model. They made the structure from foam board and added details using balsa wood, wire, and clay.
We’ve seen lots of beautiful and unusual items turned on a lathe, but we’ve not seen a woodworker use the method to create a model of a jet airplane engine until now. Gao Wood Lab used walnut, magnolia grandiflora, and red cedar wood to create this wonderful miniature engine, complete with a spinning turbine fan.
Modelmaker 3JWings made this miniature replica of MD 530F helicopter using popsicle sticks. He cut and layered the sticks together, then sanded them smoothly to form the chopper’s body. After cutting and attaching details like its skids and rotors, he applied a yellow and black paint job to bring it to life.
This punch-out metal kit lets you assemble a 3D replica of a camera inspired by the Canon EOS 5D Mk. IV DSLR. Expect a challenging build that requires patience, a good set of needle-nose pliers, and the occasional Band-Aid. As it’s clearly not an official Canon product, it says “anon,” which we find kind of amusing.
A typical rubber band airplane is maybe a foot long. Project Air took the idea of a rubber band-powered plane and supersized it to create a lightweight foam board and carbon fiber flyer with an 11-foot wingspan. The trickiest part was getting its eight propellers to all start at the same time.
We’ve seen lots of things made out of popsicle sticks, but they’re typically larger structures. In this video from 3JWings, they show us how they made a 1:300-scale replica of a Gulfstream G560 jet airplane by stacking, gluing, and carving the wooden sticks.
Devon of MechanicalFiend is an expert at making detailed models and dioramas. She builds them from paperboard, cardstock, foam board, and popsicle sticks. To get us in the mood for her amazing miniature of Jack Skellington’s house from The Nightmare Before Christmas, she kicks things off with a little musical number.
YouTube channel Handmade features models of cars that were individually hand-built out of Plasticine clay. The artist behind the camera uses a plastic model as his form, then painstakingly traces and cuts out each piece of its body to create impressively accurate miniatures. And then he crash-tests them.
One of the most iconic locations on The Simpsons is the Kwik-E-Mart. The talented builders of Ouroboros ARQ and made a detailed miniature of Springfield’s convenience store from masonite and spray foam. Though after rebranding, this location sells something other than Squishees and stale hot dogs.
Adam from North of the Border likes to imagine that when Mario or Luigi get eaten by a piranha plant, their next life is a lab-grown clone of the original. So after sculpting some cloning tank versions of Nintendo’s iconic plumbers, he built them a mirrored chamber that appears to be an endless cloning laboratory.
Inspired by a fan submission to LEGO Ideas, this 2,065-piece kit lets you assemble a 19.7″ tall model lighthouse. It has great details like a lighthouse-keeper’s cottage, a rowboat, and a hidden treasure chest. But the literal highlight of the set is the rotating, lighted beacon at its top, complete with a LEGO fresnel lens.
During a 2020 trip to New Zealand’s famed Wētā Workshop, Adam Savage learned a lot about how they create practical visual effects. Among his experiences was this lesson from Project Supervisor Mona Peters on how to create convincing miniature landscapes by spraying on layers of green flocking with an electrostatic gun.
This metal spider looks like some kind of creepy-crawly robo-arachnid. It’s made from dozens of tiny stainless steel parts and can be assembled or disassembled without glue. The finished model measures about 4.92″ x 4.92″ x 1.38″. They also make a more complicated steel scorpion kit.
Clemens Wirth is a talented filmmaker who specializes in building miniatures and shooting macro footage of them. He recently compiled this awe-inspiring showreel of some of his most impressive 1:87 scale builds, including scenes set in the wild west, the big city, the country, the Arctic, and a galaxy far, far away.
After seeing Studson Studios’ model of Howl’s Moving Castle, the guys from Nerdforge were inspired to build a similarly complex new cover for their basic black Xbox Series X. After building a form-fitting wood wrap for the game console, Martina used foam, junk, and toys to create the structure. Hopefully it won’t overheat.
Modelmaker Boylei Hobby Time created this fanciful miniature of an airship based on viewer requests. He started with two individual dirigible models and combined them to form the floatation system for a steamboat that hangs beneath them. The finished piece looks like something from Jules Verne’s imagination.
Fab365 shows off a 3D-printable model they designed of Pixar’s adorable robot WALL-E. What makes the model special is how its main body and gear structure can be printed all at once then folded together. The grey parts and some moving pieces are printed separately. An STL of the model can be downloaded for free here.
Modelmaker Excessively Sentimental shows off the painstaking process of building a 1/48-scale diorama of a rickety old barn. The level of detail is astounding in the balsa wood model and its surroundings, from the distressing on each wood plank to the individual blades of grass and leaves. (Thanks, Orion!)
The Bugatti Centodieci is an incredible car, inspired by the automaker’s 110+ year history. Just 10 of the cars were produced, at a price of $9 million each. The guys from ND Woodworking Art couldn’t quite afford one, so they built a kid-sized version out of wood. It has working lights, steering, and a basic drivetrain.
Build your own desktop solar system with this wooden model kit from Robotime. As you crank its handle, eight tiny worlds spin around a glowing sun, simulating the relative speeds of each planet’s rotation. The 316-piece, 13.78″ tall model is best for advanced builders and takes about 7 hours to assemble.
This sweet flat-pack wood model kit from Robotime looks like a fat-cat cruiser motorcycle. The 420-piece, 10.6″ long wooden motorcycle features a working front suspension, steering, wheels that spin, and a spring-wound drive mechanism. Expect a build time of around 4 to 5 hours.
3D printing technology has been a boon for model makers. Knarb Makes shows off a diorama he built of a medieval city with the help of the tech – though there’s still plenty of artistic talent on display. The impressive Venice-inspired scale city has more than 50 buildings, bridges, canals, and lighting.
Thanks in large part to Back to the Future, the DeLorean DMC-12 is one of the most iconic cars of all time. While we probably will never drive one, it’s good to know that it’s possible to build a tiny version with enough skill and time. Ank Creative shows off the modelmaking process for one incredibly detailed mini DeLorean.
Unidragon’s flat-pack wood model lets you build a miniature muscle car. Clearly inspired by the Ford Mustang, the model has fastback styling, a mini V8 engine, a detailed interior, and its doors, hood, and trunk open. The 230-piece kit comes in red, yellow, or black, and it’s 50% off the original price at the moment.
Robotime’s latest ROKR wood model lets you build a tabletop marble run that looks like a tiny chocolate factory. Turn the crank, and colorful marbles roll through twists and turns of the maze. The 420-piece model takes about 7 hours to assemble and offers ample challenge for kit builders. We only wish it made real candy.