I am in the midst of putting together a magazine, and I asked an interviewee how their design process is. How we design is a good indicator of our building experience and knowledge, so I mentioned possibly making a how-to on MOC building and I created an example, which you see below.
Please keep in mind this is a guideline, not a end-all procedure. In fact I would like to see how others build - it's fascinating to see how others make their MOCs.
Joe's 5 Steps to MOC Building (a constantly changing process, but this is the current version)
1. Get inspired. That doesn't mean going and copying a MOC you like, but studying and looking for things that fit your interests until you run into something that you want to build. That want will be the drive to make you build your best.
2. Study and Sketch. Look up and research ideas for your MOC. Look at other MOCs that you think may fit your idea. Sketch your model, either on paper or with LEGO elements.
3. Create and Sketch. Start thinking about the how and whys of your model - why does have long wings? Does it need more than one crew? Is it a transport or fighter? Figure a purpose to your model and work on your sketch. Your choices will affect your model. Embrace that by making a backstory.
4. Build and rebuild. The first iteration of a model is rarely the final iteration. Build and constantly evaluate the model for stability and as new parts become available, new building solutions. At this point building may become a one step up, one step back as components get rebuilt sturdier.
5. Finish and detail. Add details like color and decals and built detail. Building is like writing, except that you are visually making what you are thinking - "this is my green fighter/transport." What you build from that simple description is going to be different from mine, but that is the great thing about building - it is your expression!
So what other steps and processes are there? What do you do?