Helpful Hint - Often Seen Seldom Modeled - Campaign Posters for the Losing Candidate


Helpful Hint


I placed this poster on an HO scale building that was located on my HO scale Lower Montauk Branch layout. What I thought made it distinctive was that the sign featured losing candidates in that 1964 election.

Savvy modelers will often include a campaign poster for a presidential election to set the time frame for visitors to their layout. What I had never seen was a campaign poster for the losing candidate. An argument could be made that as modelers we should make matters easy for our visitors - our viewers. Perhaps that is a bit trite?

Perhaps we model reality for visitors when they have to work or struggle just a bit when they encounter such a cue. And by struggle I do not mean sloppy modeling or an incoherent story line to the layout nor anachronisms of all sorts. 

By struggling a bit, perhaps we engage the visitor a bit and bring him into the time and place we are modeling. Perhaps readers can come up with their own "struggle" to include in their layout without bringing the viewer to the point of exasperation.


I learned this principle of "Often Seen, Seldom Modeled" from my mentor Doug Gurin. Doug stresses that a layout can enhance its character and its story-telling ability by including scenes that we see all the time on railroads and the scenery they past through. Problem is too few modelers include these often seen features, hence the second part of the phrase "seldom modeled". 

Thank you Doug.

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