Model maker and photographer Michael Paul Smith has a 25 year experience in handcrafting scale models. Using forced perspective the artist brings them to life in his imaginary town called Elgin Park.
“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 my shelves, all they did was sit there.” – says Smith. – “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. Because of space limitations, the models are not set up as a “town”. They are packed in various boxes and closets and are brought out only when I get inspired to do a photo session. Also the buildings are not completed structures but are made in a modular way so I can mix and match them to give the appearance of a different building.”
All the insanely detailed shots are done by a 14-megapixel Canon SX280 (about $250 online), which Smith thinks has too much resolution for his work. The artist doesn’t do any measurements in his miniature compositions, all he depends on is his sight and experience. And in the end he comes out with truly fascinating retro images from his pleasant Elgin Park.
Enjoy some of them below along with the backstage shots.