Scale Model Trees:

Architecture Model Trees

Architecture model trees are essential features of any model masterpieces.

They breathe life, happiness, inspiration, creativity, and freshness into any project.

This guide will help you understand their nature, purpose, origin. It will reveal some key factors that determine which type of model trees to use and how you can source them.

Finally, it will share the different scale sizes and the most commonly used methods and materials. 

Read on and discover what appropriate type of architecture model trees to use for your current or next exciting model project.



Chapter 1

What are architecture model trees?

Chapter 2

How did they originate and evolve?

Chapter 3

What factors dictate the type of model trees to use?

Chapter 4

How can you obtain or prepare them for your projects?

Chapter 5

What are the widely used architecture model tree scales?

Chapter 6

Which methods and materials are most common?

Chapter 1:
What are architecture model trees?

Architecture model trees are scaled model versions of actual trees that have the realistic and closest resemblance to their original counterparts in the real world.

They are used to enhance the beauty and highlight the different properties of the structures and spaces around them.

These model trees are powerful and creative visual tools.

Architects, designers, and model makers use them to represent the beauty and grandeur of the natural surroundings of specific buildings, urban or rural structures, interior & outdoor spaces, terrains, development sites, landscapes, etc.

They can come in various shapes, scale sizes, and materials, depending on their intended use.

They can vary from the simple representations like ordinary dowels to exquisitely detailed pieces that are realistically colored, with brown trunks and vibrant green leaves.

People from all walks of life love them.

Architects, engineers, designers, developers, contractors, students, hobbyists, ordinary bystanders, observers, and even children enjoy watching or working with them.

They are used to present 3D versions of any design project for everyone to work on, learn from, and admire. Hence, architecture model trees are used to delightfully bring a wonderful sense of realism, professionalism, and even playfulness to all architectural models.

They are powerful tools that every architectural firm, design students, educator, and model maker should use when appropriate.

Now, for these models to be authentic scale models, the material and physical properties and other relevant elements must be closely and accurately modeled.

It helps simulate how the model trees interact with other objects within the entire project.

Lighting, shadows, proportions, and perspectives will become more reliable and more relatable to the interaction of real-world trees with the surroundings.

Chapter 2:
How did they originate and evolve?

Making model trees dates back to ancient times. People used them probably as toys or tools to present both abstract and concrete ideas since they are powerful visualization and communication tools.

Throughout history, people have used prehistoric cave paintings, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Greek geometry, technical specifications, or drawings such as those of the Renaissance period. But they were quick to understand that 2D representations have their limits.

Since the prehistoric era, the ancient architects, designers, artists, and builders have often resorted to creating 3D representations of their ideas. Architectural models have been in use since then, with the oldest prehistoric models found in the Tarxien Temples in Malta.

Today, just like any building or structure, trees, landscapes, and natural surroundings can easily be recreated and represented in digital 3D, virtual, and augmented reality.

Yet, nothing beats the physical, tangible, and tactile benefits of having architectural models with realistic architecture model trees in and around them.

Chapter 3:
What factors dictate the type of model trees to use?

Your architecture model trees can come in different shapes and sizes. The kind of model trees you use usually depends on several determining factors. Below is a quick breakdown of some factors that you may wish to consider.

Chapter 3.1:
Nature and Purpose of the Model

The first and most obvious factor that determines the type of model trees to use depends on the kind of architecture model you have and your main goal for that model. While creativity is a crucial element, effectively communicating that creativity is even more critical.

For example, models at the very early stages of the design process will usually require less detailed model trees.

Contrast that with a polished end product such as architectural models displays showcased as centerpieces in buildings and museums.

Chapter 3.2:
Types of Client and Budget

Since architectural projects can be costly, money is always a crucial factor that dictates what model trees you can use. Personal or simple student projects on a shoestring budget will often use inexpensive or even free materials lying around to create the scale model trees.

Having paying clients does not necessarily mean you have lots of financial resources to splurge on models.

Some clients value a majestic architectural model while others do not even bother about creating an aesthetically pleasing model but only something that gets their ideas across.

Large residential or commercial clients usually love to invest in breathtaking architectural models.

They know these 3D models are effective selling tools they can use to wow prospects and close deals with buyers. As they say, money makes the world go round. It gets you amazing architecture model trees.

Aside from money, time is another valuable asset that determines what type of scale model trees you should use. Deadlines, like budget, is a motivating factor to get the job done as efficiently as possible.

When you are on a tight deadline, architectural model trees that come right out of the box is the ideal option.

Otherwise, you can create the model trees yourself or order custom-made ones from different model trees specialists, like TL Models.

Chapter 3.3:
Availability of Resources

Finally, clients may give you huge budgets and sufficient time to have the best and most realistic trees. But if resources are truly scarce and unavailable, you may have to settle for whatever you find readily available.

However, for creative architects, designers, and model makers, this is usually not a problem but a great opportunity.

In the end, it is not so much about having the resources but using resourcefulness to bring to life the most gratifying architectural model trees one can create.


Chapter 4:
How can you obtain or prepare them for your projects?

Building models is both an art and a science. The most prolific model makers are the ones who can take any material at their disposal and understand their intrinsic and extrinsic properties.

Then, they transform them into something aesthetically engaging and functional within the context of the project.

Below are some options that model makers can use.

They can use these to pepper their miniature model masterpieces with beautiful little trees, breathtaking landscapes, and natural-looking sceneries. They can even create an iconic tree that may steal the limelight!

Chapter 4.1:
Utilizing Everyday Objects

Architects, artists, designers, and model makers are amazingly resourceful. They have such keen eyes and incredible imagination.

They can look at any physical object and instantly reimagine how to use them in their projects and what they could represent.

Hobbyists, students, educators, or architectural firms with projects on a shoestring budget can dramatically transform everyday items into beech trees, pine trees, fir trees, palm trees, and whatnot. Take a look at some homemade video tutorials. You will be amazed at the endless possibilities!

Chapter 4.2:
Getting Ready-Made Trees

This next option is for projects that are on a tight deadline, have a strict budget, or have standard requirements for model trees.

You can easily find common tree models like palm trees or pine trees off the shelf of your favorite model suppliers or on online shops like TL Models.

These model-trees-in-a-box options can come in sets or individual items that are ready for purchase and ready for installation right after unboxing.

No assembly or setup time is required. Although, if the architecture model trees come with a spigot, to plant your trees, you may still need to drill appropriately sized holes.

Chapter 4.3:
Using Complete Tree Kits

For projects with sufficient budget, sufficient time, you can use scale model tree kits.

These kits give you all the materials and tools you need to create your miniature tree with flexibility and versatility.

Chapter 4.4:
Mixing & Matching Tree Armatures & Foliage

This option is quite similar to the previous one. The difference is that this provides a balance between leveraging time and money as well as your creativity.

It allows you to model individual trees or a large dense forest.

You can buy several different kits or one huge specialized kit with various materials, scale sizes, and foliage.

Then, you can mix and match a wide array of armatures and foliage types in endless combinations.

With your imagination as the limit, you can model any tree, species, conifer, or deciduous to your satisfaction.

Chapter 4.5:
Ordering Custom-made Trees

Sometimes, you want architecture model trees that are highly specialized or quite difficult to model.

At other times, you do not have the resources to build it on your own. Consider ordering them from architectural model trees specialists who can custom-build it for you.

If you have the time and money, hire the services of specialized professionals like TL Models. You can order with the most realistic, professional, and accurate scale model trees that fit your needs and are closest to your creative vision.

It makes these tailor-made trees the best option to create the most beautiful models.

Chapter 4.6:
3D Printing Technology

3D printing technology is in growing popularity, cost-efficiency, versatility, and speed. Thus, model makers have used this to create highly custom model elements that are often difficult to come by. With its vast capabilities, 3D printing has now become a go-to option for most architects, engineers, designers, and model makers.

Chapter 5:
What are the widely used architecture model tree scales?

Architectural scale models of buildings and structures are often the focus element of a miniature masterpiece. Yet, scale model trees are by no means less significant to the impact of the project.

High-quality scale model trees add life and greatly enhance the realism, texture, and perspective of dioramas, layouts, displays, and projects.

The greater the variety in shapes, sizes, colors, and types you use, the more realistic your scenery will become.

However, the key to this dramatic realism is getting the appropriate scale of model trees to use. Only then can adding architecture model trees enhance the proportionality, realism, professionalism, and impact of the entire project.

Chapter 5.1:
1:5 to 1:25

This large scale is perfect for interior architectural model trees for commercial and residential real estate marketing collaterals.

They are practical for designing interior spaces to impress buyers and close the sale.

Its large size allows designers and model makers to work in more details for things like indoor and small potted plants.

Chapter 5.2:
1:25 to 1:100

This scale range is useful for showing either interior or exterior architecture model trees and plants. It is perfect for villas and clubhouses.

It is a large enough scale to draw attention and showcase design details of the living environment that may otherwise be unnoticeable in smaller-scale projects.

Chapter 5.3:
1:50 to 1:400

Large residential and commercial building model trees often use this scale range. Big and high-rise buildings and commercial office projects need to present open spaces, surroundings, and common areas. But they do not need the level of details used in interior design. So, this is a more suitable scale range for their purpose.

This scale range is perfect for model trees for hotels, resorts, shopping centers, office buildings, etc. It is small enough to present the entire project buildings, structures, and the surrounding sceneries.

Yet, it is large enough to be able to highlight some details that can impress principal investors and clients alike.

Single structures can use 1:50 and up to 1:200 scale sizes and use architecture model trees with more texture and details.

Much grander projects and developments with large sites use much smaller scales around 1:200 to 1:400 and can do well with less detailed scale model trees.

However, courtyards, open spaces, or landscapes are more prominent in such cases.

Chapter 5.4:
1:100 to 1:5000

This wide range of scale sizes has multiple applications. On one end, it is perfect for bringing attention to the finer details of a beautiful landscape, interior garden, or courtyards. On the other hand, it is ideal for a 10,000-foot view of a vast space. Think of a small island, open fields, natural terrains, and development sites that span several hectares.

It is also perfect for masterplan models. It enables model makers to add a much wider variety of flora and fauna, vegetation, and topographical details.

It can include multiple landforms or water forms like valleys, rivers, and lakes surrounded by fine architectural model trees. It is perfect for making breathtakingly inspiring projects.

Chapter 5.5:
1:500 to 1:2000

 This mid-scale range is perfect for urban and suburban planning.

Architects and city planning engineers use this scale for master plan models.

It is large enough to feature the scale model trees, parks, landscapes, and preserved natural green spaces that are often part of the strict requirements.

Chapter 5.6:
1:24; 1:48; 1:87; and 1:160

Finally, the railroad architectural models utilize these quite unusual scales because of the ready availability of commercial figures, vehicles, and buildings in these scales due to size considerations.

So, because of its extraordinary yet traditionally preserved scale ratio, model experts have made special sets of model trees that are perfect for this use.

This type of display includes trains and tracks, streetcars and signposts, tunnels and bridges, mountains and hills, and may also have rivers and lakes, cliffs, and canyons.

All these make it a truly unique model to gaze and admire.

Chapter 6:
Which methods and materials are most common?

Architectural model trees elevate the aesthetic beauty of any model projects. The various kinds of methods and materials used play a role in achieving that end.

The decision to use which ones depends on the factors we mentioned in Chapter 3 of this article.

Model tree makers have mostly used traditional methods for the last several years.

They have used materials such as strings, twisted wires, scattered materials, wood, paper, and etched brass.

They also use ready-made plastic tree models or assemble them with different metal armatures and a variety of foliage.

With the demand for architectural models rising, companies have learned to mass-produce ready-made trees, tree kits, or custom- orders.

Model makers can choose from a wide range of model tree types and varieties. They are available in different scale sizes, shapes, colors, textures, and even in various seasons.

Model makers can then mix and match them for superior realism.

Today, model makers have used 3D printing technology and created model trees out of resin, plastic, powder, metals, etc.

They consider several available options to economically model any tree or forested area within the right time frame and budget to fit the requirements of the clients.


Architecture model trees are not just beautiful additions to architectural models. They are not used purely for aesthetic and artistic reasons.

They have specific valuable functions in model making. That is why they come in certain types, sizes, and materials.

You can always build trees on your own or from common model construction materials. But sometimes you have requirements that require finer details.

It's the perfect time to enlist the help of professional model trees makers like TL Models for all your ready-made or bespoke architecture model trees.

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