(well, not *that* kind of models anyway…)
James D Watson, who I had the chance to meet in person at the University of Chicago in ’07, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962, along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material”
I found this awesome pic on the web, taken in 1957, showing Watson playing with models, which he described in his book “The Double Helix“1, as instrumental for the proposal of the structure of DNA (along with X-ray pictures, Chargaff’s rules and other pieces of data). He always thought models could provide important info for tackling the problem of the structure of DNA.
1 Get it. It’s a great book.