Ever heard of Elgin Park? Yeah, me neither. Photographer and hobbyist Michael Paul Smith’s photos of 1920s to 1960s America may seem ordinary at first glance, but a closer look at these vintage pictures reveal otherwise.

Believe it or not, his photos are all created over the last few years. Smith’s pictures involve a 1:24 scale recreation of everyday scenes from that era, strongly inspired by his own childhood hometown. While it’s not an exact recreation and “Elgin Park” is a merely fictional place, the memories are real.

Smith makes use of the classic special effects trick without any Photoshop: he lines up the scale model with an appropriate background, and then takes photos. The “buildings” are his custom-made models, made up of resin-coated paper, basswood, styrene plastic, and a few other objects. The cars are also his own, from his collection of over 300 commercially produced die-cast model toys. The end result? Dreamy, realistic photographs of a town that exists only in Smith’s highly imaginative mind.

Though he’s been featured in countless media sources all over the world, I’d like to give my own tribute to this guy and his one-of-a-kind brand of art. The amount of detail and effort he puts into these pictures are just…monumental, to say the least.

Here are some of his newest and some of his most popular creations. I’ve added a bit of his selfies and other behind-the-scenes stuff, just so you guys can compare and see how out of this world his scale models are.

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Isn’t his work totally amazing? If Elgin Park were real, I bet it would be wonderful to visit. There’s really something about that old town charm that just draws me in!

I hope you enjoyed my post. Thanks for reading!