Wednesday 24 February 2021

Advertising posters for your model railway

Advertising signs and posters are a great way to set the scene and give a location a sense of place and time. Signs and advertising accompanied by era specific vehicles and people can provide visual context and enhance the believability of your model railway.

We can use commercial decals or signage within structure kits of course. But for more unique offerings, finding suitable images is very possible using the internet. We can also be on the lookout for suitable images when travelling around the countryside (covid-19 permitting), as I discovered on a recent visit to Boorowa and one of the local pubs.


There are other sources of signage and advertising when going through antique stores (subject to permission) or second-hand stores. And libraries remain a useful resource for searching as well.

Recently, I received an email from the National Library of Australia alerting me to the Australian advertisement poster collection they have collected and preserved over time. A sample of early posters can be found here with a link within the story to the collection accessible via Trove

Enhancing a model railway with signs and advertising suitable for the location and time period is a very good way to create a realistic and believable scene.

Addendum: A few hours after posting this blog entry, I came across this Youtube clip about weathering billboards that might be of additional interest. It's from a Youtuber I follow and he has some other interesting modelling techniques based on a small switching layout he constructed. Very nice!