is there any Swing tutorial you would recommend? Im hoping for something friendlier to a beginner than the Oracle tutorial that would get me started quicker.
The only one I can recommend is the Oracle tutorial. It has all the information, demonstrations, etc...one needs. May seem overwhelming at first, so I'd recommend going over everything at a high level, get a feel for all the different components, then drill down as needed.
Also if it would not be too much to ask I am looking for a modelling tool that would help me decide what it would look like, so I can test layouts, buttons.. etc
While I'm not a fan, several IDE's have the ability to drag/drop components into layouts in what is called a GUI builder. For instance, Netbeans has something like this. I don't use GUI builders or Netbeans so can't advice further - again, I'm not a fan of GUI builders for a wide range of reasons.