New Series – The Old Farm Truck

I’ve started a new series starring my old farm truck!  Inspired by the Elgin Park series, I’ve taken scale model car, in G Scale or 1:24 scale to be precise and using real scenery and Photoshop I’ve worked out some realistic recreations of life that didn’t happen. I’ve been a long time modeler, working with HO scale as a kid and then more recently O Scale or On30 narrow gauge but the Elgin Park series made me consider the higher detail possible with G scale.

The die cast model cars come all shiny and new but I wanted a more realistic, weathered and used look for this old truck so I used Dullcoat, rust paint, artist charcoal and even ash from the wood stove to get the models a dusty, worn appearance.  I used studio lighting for some of the scenes and natural light for others. I’m just getting started with the series!

Art Prints

Sell Art Online

Art Prints

Sell Art Online
Photography Prints

Sell Art Online

So far my approach has been a bit different than the Elgin Park series.  Michael Paul Smith uses a small sensor camera which allows for greater depth of field.  His scenes typically have a deep depth of field and the models are placed farther from the camera.

I was interested in shooting the scenes with my full frame Canon 6D and a 50mm macro lens with shallow depth of field in mind.  Shooting the scene as I might in real life.  To achieve this effect required blurring out the background appropriately via Photoshop.

This is entirely different from the miniaturization effect that can be achieved using a tilt-shift lens or the equivalent effect in software.  Here is an example of this diorama or miniaturization effect – is this house in Vermont a model or the real thing?

Art Prints

For sake of reference, this model building that I’m working on is in O scale.  O scale is 1:48.  Many manufacturers produce die-cast models of trucks, cars, buses, construction equipment and other vehicles in scales compatible with or similar to O scale model trains. These are available in 1:43 scale, 1:48 scale and 1:50 scale. Manufacturers include Conrad, NZG, Corgi, TWH Collectibles. Ertl, and many others. These are popular with collectors and easy to find.

Photography Prints

O scale takes up a lot more space than N or HO and is less popular so its a bit harder to find models and accessories, plus the size makes it more expensive.  The same model kit requires a lot more materials but greater detail is possible.  I’ve made O scale furniture and even coffee cups for example which would have been nearly impossible in HO scale and down right useless in N sale.

G Scale is the size of Garden Railroads and those trains you see under the Christmas tree.  At some point they seem more toy like in the larger size but that again more detail is possible.  1:24 scale die cast cars are popular and widely available from many manufacturers which makes this scale a good choice for this type of model photography.


Michael Paul Smith’s Elgin Park is a lot of things: a mid-century utopia, a fantastical world, and an optical illusion. The imaginative town composed entirely of miniatures delights audiences worldwide, attracting to date more than 80 million views on Flickr. At first glance, Michael s work appears to be wonderful photographs from a bygone era. The awe slips in as it becomes clear that he not only created the photographs without using Photoshop but also built everything in each scene except the cars, which are 1/24th-scale diecast models from his extensive collection. Michael constructs much of what is barely visible in the photos: shoeboxes, furniture, stage lights, a lawnmower, and machines in the laundromat. A close inspection of each photograph takes your breath away: even the gravel, snow, and tire tracks are to scale. Many of the photographs were taken outdoors against natural backgrounds in the artist s neighborhood but the models, scenarios, stories, and humor are pure talent and imagination. – from the publisher.


Elgin Park from Animal on Vimeo.


References to the truck:

“The Plymouth “Commercial Car” line got its start in the middle of 1936 and the company’s first truck chassis pickup truck, the PT50, was virtually identical to Dodge’s version, aside from some trim pieces.
The PT105 pickup, aptly named after the engine code for the truck’s engine, came for the 1940 model year after the PT50, PT57 and PT81 were phased out in the late 30s.


The PT105 trucks weren’t much different from their predecessors but did get sealed beam headlights, three horizontal strips of stainless steel at the top of the grille and the spare tire moved to under the bed.

The 1940 trucks also saw an increase in power from 70hp to 79hp from their inline-six engines. Although the cost of the new PT105 truck was $10 more than the previous model, sales for the series increased with 6,879 pickups and 174 cab-and-chassis units sold.

The Plymouth Commercial Car was a delivery truck, the Chrysler under the brand name Plymouth produced in the Model 1937 to the 1941st He was the Dodge derived -Lieferwagen and offered Plymouth dealers that did not lead the Group Dodge brand, the opportunity also to offer their customers a van for small businesses. The Commercial Car replaced the van variants of Plymouth Business .

The model PT50 had been developed from the Dodge vans. Like the Dodge ran it on a small truck chassis, in its construction, however, the Plymouth Business had been adjusted. Due to the technical differences there were no common parts with the car models. The wheelbase was longer than the car with 2,946 mm 4 inches, had the clutch has a larger diameter and the engine was slightly weaker: Although the side-valve six-cylinder had also a displacement of 3,299 cc, but contributed only 70 bhp (51 kW) at 3000 / min.

In addition to a cab chassis (for custom abutments), there was a two-door sedan (without rear seats), a two-door pickup (flatbed) and a three-door station wagon. From December 1936 to August 1937 created 14,725 pieces.