MB: Model Design & Build Online

Apr 9 - 12, 2022 · ,
Model Design and Building is a rare merit badge with only 2,674 earned in 2018!

Model-making, the art of creating copies of objects that are either smaller or larger than the objects they represent, is not only an enjoyable and educational hobby: it is widely used in the professional world for such things as creating special effects for movies, developing plans for buildings, and designing automobiles and airplanes.

The Model Design and Building merit badge is an option for the Whoosh! and Next Big Thing STEM Nova Awards.



Open to all Scouts BSA from any BSA Council or BSA Troop at least 12 years old by 04/15/2022, regardless of gender or rank.



  1. Drawing for any one of Req #4a, #4b, #4c, #4d or #4e.
  2. sketch for Req #5c.
  3. Req #6
  4. Req #7



Req #1: Study and understand the requirements for personal safety when using model-maker hand tools such as: knives, handsaws, vices, files, hammers, screwdrivers, hand drills and drill bits, pliers, and portable power tools, and when to use protective equipment such as goggles when grinding or drilling. Know what precautions to take when using flammable or hazardous products such as: glue, epoxy, paint, thinners. Discuss these with your counselor before you begin your model-making project and tell why they are important.

Req #2: Explain the uses for each of the following types of models: architectural, structural, process, mechanical, and industrial. Do research into the different types of materials that could be used in making these models.

Req #3: With your counselor's advice, select a subject from requirement 4 for your model project (no kits). Prepare the necessary plans to the proper scale. This model should be your own original work. Tell why you selected this subject.

Req #4: Do ONE of the following:

(a) Make an architectural model. Build a model of a house to a scale of ¼" = 1'0" (50:1 metric). After completing the model, present it to your counselor for approval. Review with your counselor the materials you used and the details of your model.

(b) Build a structural model. Construct a model showing corner construction of a wood frame building to a scale of 1½" = 1'0" (8:1 Metric). All structures shown must be to scale. Cardboard or flat sheet wood stock may be used for sheeting or flooring on the model. Review with your counselor the problems you encountered in gathering the materials and supporting the structure. Be able to name the parts of the floor and wall frames, such as intermediate girder, joist, bridging, subfloor, sill, sole plate, stud and rafter.

(c) Make a process model. Build a model showing the plumbing system in your house. Show hot and cold water supply, all waste returns, and venting to a scale of ¾" = 1'0" (15:1 Metric). Talk to your counselor about how to begin this model, and present the scale and the materials you will use. After completion, present the model to your counselor and be prepared to discuss any problems you had building this model.

(d) Complete a mechanical model. Build a model of a mechanical device that uses at least two of the six simple machines. After completing the the model, present it to your counselor. Be prepared to discuss materials used, the machine's function, and any particular difficulty you may have encountered.

(e) Make an industrial model. Build a model of an actual passenger-carrying vehicle to a scale of 1" = 1'0" or ½" = 1'0" (10:1 or 25:1 Metric). Take the dimensions of the vehicle, and record the important dimensions. Draw the top, front, rear, and sides of the vehicle to scale. From your plans, build a model of the vehicle to scale. Discuss with your counselor the most difficult part of completing the model.

Req #5: Build a special-effects model of a fantasy spacecraft or a hand-held prop that might appear in a Hollywood science-fiction movie. Determine an appropriate scale for your design. Include a cockpit or control area, living space, storage unit, engineering spaces, and propulsion systems. As you plan and build your model, do the following:

(a) Study existing designs of vehicles and hand-held devices.

(b) Arrange and assemble the parts.

(c) Sketch your completed model.

(d) Discuss your design, scale, and materials choices. Describe how you engineered your model and discuss any difficulties you encountered and what you learned.

Req #6: List at least six occupations in which model-making is used and discuss with your counselor some career opportunities in this field.



1) Scouts will present themselves in their Class A Field Uniform with long pants and closed toed and closed heeled shoes at check-in.

2) Scouts will read their Merit Badge Booklet from cover to cover by 04/07/22.

3) Scouts will bring the following on Saturday April 9:

  • (a) Scoutmaster Signed Blue Card
  • (b) Snack
  • (c) Water Bottle
  • (d) Drawings for Requirement #4 and Requirement #5.
  • (e) Writing Pen
  • (f) Model Design Journal or the Merit Badge worksheet at http://usscouts.org/usscouts/mb/worksheets/Model-Design-and-Building.pdf

4) Parking and travel from wherever you are and the ReDiscover Center in Culver City is your responsibility.




Scouts must come prepared with a drawn concept of their design on paper first for approval.

These drawings must show the design to scale, with dimensions and parts labeled for clarity. The simpler the design or idea, the more detail that will be required by the Counselor. They should consider drawing what the design looks like from different angles such as looking down at it, from the side, and from the front. Again the most detail drawn on paper the better.

Most of the scouts who attended on 11/24/19 or 12/21/19 arrived to class without any prepared drawing attempts and thus most of the build time was consumed by drawing which should be attempted before they arrive.

Scouts should expect that their design will not be perfect as presented and thus they will need some time to make modifications and improvements in order to get approval, but this should take minutes not hours.


Due to the short period of time that we have during these workshops, the Scouts may attempt to “start” the model building in advance but they also risk the fact that their design will be rejected because it was not preapproved before they started this portion of the exercise.

We do NOT want to see the Scouts come in with “Finished Models” as that is a red flag and they clearly risk the possibly that they will have done a lot of work for no benefit or credit towards their Merit Badge.

Please do not bring in model projects from “other” or past school assignments or projects that were made in the past.

This model design and build should be original for this Merit Badge alone.

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