Model Builder (TV)

Model builders are responsible for creating three-dimensional visual effects, especially those used in children's programmes screened on television or presented on stage. They also make specialized props and create unique effects which are utilized extensively in variety and drama productions.

The model techniques department has sections that develop and construct special effects such as electronic controls and innovations; puppets and marionettes, including hand, rod and electronically controlled puppets. The property section makes puppet production sets, minute accessories and scenic models such as rural scenes, with lakes, rivers and trees, or urban scenes.

Model builders work in workshops and are in close contact with all departments involved in the production of a television show or play.


  • television companies

  • theatre companies

  • private film and video producing companies

  • advertising companies

Getting Started

  • try making hand puppets or marionettes and practise sculpting

  • try assembling a doll’s house or a rural or urban scene with miniature objects and toys

  • arrange to speak to a TV model builder and ask permission to observe them at work


Asanska College of Design and Technology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Coastal KZN TVET College, Eastcape Midlands TVET College, Ekurhuleni West TVET College, Lovedale Public TVET College, Tshwane North TVET College, Vuselela TVET College

Related Occupations