Thanks for the words of encouragement there fella's
Yes, I use and tend to use more then one set of drawings and any cross sections that come with the drawings as guides just like the top and side views.
With Sketchup some required plugins are a must.
Unfold or Flattery
Unfolds your 3d geometery
Sub divide and Smooth
For hi res modeling or organic really not for the beginner but once you grasp quad modeling its awesome tool to have.
Fredo's tool set
Just get them all, to many to list. His curve tools and loft tools are a must for duct work!!
As for modeling technique, Sometimes I push and pull vertices, creating my own faces, box modeling, or creating splines and skinning or lofting.
Box modeling or Polygonal is the way to learn. This is where you start with a primitive shape,then extrude,bevel,scale, and push and pull your way to a rough shape. Then you start by adding in the detail, sub divided to get more detail and so on.
Always check you views, always check and lock your axis when moving vertices.
I really wish SketchUp would have windows or multiple viewports. Save,Save,Save your work,use different names ,you never know when you might have to revert to an older model.
On really complex curves i tend to use the loft and skin plugins, sorta of like a nurb modeler. this entails drawing splines or shapes, contour curves then skinning or lofting between them
Bill I could write a book here. There is so many ways to tackle the same thing if you know what i mean. There is tons of stuff out there on the internet.check around for box modeling, or polygonal modeling, its the basics.
If you have any questions, get really stuck, just PM me i will be glad to help you out.
Did i mention to Save your work?