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A friend visited with me several weeks ago. He is building a magnificent N scale model of the Montgomery, Alabama Union Station and train shed for his 1950's based layout. His work is museum quality, and his attention to prototypical detail amazing. As I looked at the photos of his work thus far, I had to ask him: would he be modeling both the whites-only bathrooms and the colored bathrooms?
The intent of my question was not to shame him in any way, and he didn't take it that way. In fact, he told how the overwhelming majority of figurines produced by manufacturers for our layouts are of white people, and how this is a struggle for him trying to model a place where 40% of the population at the time were African-American. The conversation got me to thinking about my own layout too: set in northern New England, would all the homes be pristine colonials, or would I also include scenes of rural poverty that whether I like it or not are part of the landscape?
It's got me thinking.
Thinking about what? Model what you see. The focus of my modeling is the railroad, and those areas that are involved with the railroad.
Every neighbor hood and community has areas with houses and buildings that need paint, and maintenance, so why not model it, if it's close to your railroad, and part of the overall scene in the area your modeling.
Nothing wrong with modeling reality, if your striving for reality and prototypical situations while modeling your railroad.
A tour of my small layout, moving from right to left. Some things have changed.
This article first appeared on model-railroad-hobbyist.com
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