CJ in MPLS
This is where 3D printing and more importantly, laser cutting will help out.
One of the engineers here has ordered a home laser cutter that will cut materials such as plywood that are up to 1/2" thick. The price is around $2k and if the thing ever ships, it will be a great way to make things like jigs and, more to your point, a maquette or two. The trick will be to find someone with one of these tools willing to work for cheap or free, which is much easier said than done.