I have a couple of HO scale models on display in my office. And my-coworkers and our clients who regularly visit our offices always comment on them - usually there's a story about someone or another (or them) who had a Lionel train. But I've uncovered one or two "real" model railroaders in the process.
But let's face it, even the nicest HO scale model sitting on a shelf lacks, well, "presence."
I'm thinking maybe an O scale model would be a better choice.
I found that Mullet Scale Model Works makes an O scale Central Vermont three-window caboose. One neat thing about their models is the way the steel components on the prototype are modeled in brass, and the wood parts are laser cut wood. A neat approach.
I may have to build me one of these.