Pennsylvania-born model-maker Michael Paul Smith has been building scale models for over 25 years. His project, ‘Elgin Park‘, is a fictional town featuring his collection of 1/24 scale recreations of everyday scenes from mid-20th century America.
He uses the real world as his backdrop, his model car collection as props, and forced perspective on a $200 camera to create extremely detailed and realistic images of a nostalgic America. Smith told Fstoppers in an interview:
My project Elgin Park came about from a need to put my 300 diecast model car collection into some sort of physical context. Even though they looked interesting lined up on my shelves, all they did was sit there. It occurred to me I could construct a 1/24th scale building to showcase the cars. Starting with a gas station, because it’s something universally connected with cars and trucks, it was just a matter of time before other structures started to be made. Utilizing all of the knowledge I had acquired from studying 20th century culture, these dioramas could be authentic down to the last detail. There are a total of 15 buildings in my town, at the moment.
You can view photographs and purchase prints of Elgin Park on Smith’s site at SmugMug. Click through to see some images of his project: