Set design model-making for beginners

Course Dates: 20/05/17 - 03/06/17
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Learn how to work in scale to create accurate set design models . This will include working from theatre plans, modelling techniques, then making a small scale fully finished section of a model in 1:25 scale. Skills transferable to hobby model-making. Tutor: Keith Orton.


What is the course about?

The course explores the skills and processes required when creating scale models. This will be covered through demonstrations, exercises and one small design/make. The course is designed for beginners, and shows you the importance of scale and accuracy to communicate period, finish and style within the theatre model. In the design aspect of the course you will design and build a small scenario around the making of a period door and its immediate location.
Most of the skills and techniques are transferable to other hobby model making, be it model railways or dolls houses.

What students liked most about this course run in 2015/16:

"It was very practical and I feel like I have gained skills and confidence in an area of set design that I hadn't known how to approach before."


What will we cover?

- The design and making of 1:25 scale models from using various easily obtained materials
- Creating a simple 1.25 scale figure
- Creating scale finishes such as brick, wood and marble
- The importance of the scale model as a tool to the design process.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Begin to understand the relevance of the model to the design process
- Make models to scale that are accurate enough to communicate you ideas and architectural details
- Gain confidence in modelling different finishes using a variety of materials
- Design and make a fully finished model of a small section of a room that includes a doorway .

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

As a Beginner you might never have made a scale model before but are interested in Theatre and how a designer uses the model. You might have an interest in going on to do Animation or study Set Design, or you might want to make models as part of a hobby such as dolls house making or model railways. Having done some art, either at school or college would be an advantage.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for
health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use
numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught through demonstrations and personal experimentation that will be led by your tutor in group and
one-to-one contact. You will be given guidance that suits the level of ability that you have.

There is an expectation that some preparation work will be undertaken in between the taught sessions to help
support the model making more fully.

If students have some experience and want to do more than the beginner course covers this can be covered in
discussion with the tutor. Some of this extended work will need to be done out of class and brought to the following

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

City Lit provides most of the basic artist and modelling materials and some specialist materials, but you may need
to buy or provide some other materials dependent upon the structures within the models that you make. You will be
provided with a personal workbook (A4 cartridge).

If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, City Lit students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Book your place

Course Code: VX328

Sat, day, 20 May - 03 Jun '17

Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)

Full fee: £149.00
Senior fee: £119.00
Concession: £91.00
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Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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or call 020 7492 2700/2703

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Please note: Different fees may apply for international students. Read full guidance.