Theories deal with the world on its own terms, absolutely. Models are metaphors, relative descriptions of the object of their attention that compare it to something similar already better understood via theories. Models are reductions in dimensionality that always simplify and sweep dirt under the rug. Theories tell you what something is. Models tell you merely what something is partially like.
I found the paper interesting. Two excerpts:
Models are analogies, and always describe something relative to something else. Theories, in contrast, are the real thing. They don’t compare; they describe the essence, without reference.
It takes intuition to discover theories. Intuition may sound casual but it results from intimate knowledge acquired by careful observation and painstaking effort.
Can a hobbyist have intuition? I think so.