We investigate how novice 3D modelers can remotely leverage real-time expert help to aid their learning tasks. We first carried out an observational study of remote novice-expert pairs of 3D modelers to understand traditional chat-based assistance in the context of learning 3D modeling. Next, we designed MarmalAid, a web-based 3D modeling tool with a novel real-time, in-context help feature that allows users to embed real-time chat conversations at any location within the 3D geometry of their models. Our user study with 12 novices who used both MarmalAid’s real-time, in-context chat and an external chat tool to seek help, showed that novices found the real-time, in-context chat to be more useful and easier to use, and that experts asked for fewer clarifications, allowing the novices to ask more task-related questions. Our findings suggest to several design opportunities to utilize and extend the real-time, in-context help concept in 3D modeling applications and beyond.