[[quoteright:330:[[Literature/TheFountainhead http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dominique_admires_a_building_model_3454.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:So this is what the building she's in looks like.]]

->'''Number Two:''' Over the last thirty years, Virtucon has grown by leaps and bounds. About fifteen years ago, we changed from volatile chemicals to the communication industry. We own cable companies in thirty-eight states.\\
(''the thirty-eight states illuminate on a map'')\\
'''Number Two:''' In addition to our cable holdings, we own a steel mill in Cleveland.\\
(''a steel mill miniature illuminates in Cleveland'')\\
'''Number Two:''' Shipping in Texas.\\
(''a model ship off the coast of Texas illuminates'')\\
'''Number Two:''' Oil refineries in Seattle.\\
(''a model oil refinery illuminates in Seattle'')\\
'''Number Two:''' And a factory in Chicago that makes miniature models of factories.
-->-- ''[[Film/AustinPowers Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery]]''

Models of larger things are often used in fiction for a variety of reasons. Heck, if there isn't an immediate thing happening with the model in one scene, it's likely [[TheLawOfConservationOfDetail something will happen later]].

One common use is models to describe plans (that [[UnspokenPlanGuarantee will go wrong of course]]). Often overlaps with TheBigBoard, ExpositionDiagram and PlanningWithProps.

Another is a CorruptCorporateExecutive showing the plans he makes for some place he is going to rebuild after tearing down some place (that the heroes have to save).

Sometimes a model can actually be one of the special effects props on a show, thrown in as a [[GeniusBonus nod to attentive fans]].

A SuperTrope to:
* MiniatureEffects (the models have a meta use in the show)
* ModelPlanning (using these when describing plans)
* RealityChangingMiniature (the model affects the real object when interacted with)
* ScaleModelDestruction (the model is doomed)
* ThisIsWhatTheBuildingWillLookLike (a model of a future construction we are not likely to see completed).

Compare FunSize.

Not to be confused with FashionModel.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows'' Haqua tries to summarize the events of her introductory arc with a miniature model of the school and animated dolls. It ends up with the figurines of Keima and Haqua engaging inů questionable activities.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* In one ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' strip, the PointyHairedBoss is shown a model of a nuclear power plant their company is building. When he asks how large the real one will be, Dilbert says it will be [[InvertedTrope half the model's size and cost $20 to build]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The climax of ''Film/HotFuzz'' is in a model of the town (including an infamous weaponizing of it).
* As does Willard Whyte in ''Film/DiamondsAreForever''. This provides a EurekaMoment where the SupervillainLair is, when Bond points out a model of an offshore oil rig that isn't part of Whyte's business empire.
-->'''Whyte:''' Baja? I don't have anything in Baja!
* On ''Film/AustinPowers'', Number Two says the trope quote, which includes the fact that one of Megacorp's enterprises is a factory that builds models of factories.
* ''Film/BattleOfTheBulge''. Col. Martin Hessler is being shown models of Germany's new wonder weapons, including one of the King Tiger tank. He snarks, "It's a very beautiful model, General. It proves that the Germans are still the world's best toy makers." However the general just smiles and takes him to inspect the very real King Tigers they've assembled for the upcoming attack.
* ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'' names the trope when Arthur's aide snipes that Camelot is just a special effects model, after all the knights act amazed at the site.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/BlackAdder Goes Forth'' Melchett and Darling show George a model of the stretch of ground that has been captured in the latest battle. It turns out that the model is on a scale of 1:1, so the actual gain is only a few square feet. Closer examination reveals that it's not even a model -- it's ''the actual square of turf''.
* In ''Series/TheMightyBoosh episode'' "The Nightmare of Milky Joe" there appears to be a ship in the distance that may rescue our heroes from the island they're stranded on. It's only a model, as Vince proves when he reaches out and plucks it right off the horizon.
* ''Series/TheGoodies''. "The Lost Island of Munga", opens with a model longboat floating in the water while [[TheNarrator Graeme's voice tells how long ago a crew of Vikings were blown off course by a mighty storm]].
-->'''Graeme:''' Suddenly the sea gets rough, there is a mighty wind, and a fearful noise fills the air!
-->'''Bill:''' Because Thor pulled the plug out!
-->''RevealShot shows Graeme is actually reading out loud from a book while sitting in the bath with a toy longship.''

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Mann vs. Machine map Coaltown in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' includes a small museum containing, among other things, a model of ... the map itself.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** In the season eight episode "Homer's Enemy", Homer enters a "build a model nuclear power plant" contest for kids... and ''not only'' kicks their asses[[note]]Homer's copy of the existing plant but with stripes added beat Martin's ''functioning'' model for a better one because Burns hates being told everything he's done isn't already perfect[[/note]], but humiliates his antagonistic co-worker into a VillainousBreakdown and accidental suicide!
* Close to the halfway mark of the ''WesternAnimation/VeggieTales'' episode "Rack, Shack, and Benny", Mr. Nezzer shows the titular characters a model of the giant amphitheater and bunny statue that he's constructed so the workers can bow down and show their love for the bunny.