An easy way to set your era - right to the month, if you like!
As I continue to pull together tatters and bits of what, sometime within the next 20 years, will be a Pacific Northwest short line of the 1980s, I decided to apply a well-known trick for establishing a time and place: make some signs! (I have watched the Hollywood folks create atmosphere in filming locations by adding signs, and have seen that this trick works well in 1:1 scale as well as on model railroads). Since this particular sign is going to be on a road near the parking lot for my pulp mill, I decided maybe a beer sign would be a good investment, and since it is the Pacific Northwest, Rainier Beer (Vitamin R to the locals) seems like a good location setter.
One nice thing about a scale billboard is that, like the real thing, it can be quickly changed.
Movies and TV shows are pretty specific for era; the movie ad is VERY specific, marking the time as early 1990.
(Of course, the 2002 PT Cruiser is a bit premature - signs are only part of the era - but they are easy to make, and easy to change!)
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