1. Construction

In April of 2012, at the height of my success with NZT Products, I built a small diorama to promote NZT's Z Scale urban building kits. It was presented as a door prize at the 2012 National Z Scale Convention the following month. My production partner on the west coast and I had poured our hearts and souls into these kits, and the fact that we couldn't make them fast enough should offer an indication of their popularity. The diorama featured every kit we'd made in a space of about 6 by 16 inches.

As per usual, I began with a base made from Gatorfoam. I built the scene on a slope to add interest.

The diorama featured a built-in battery case to power the streetlights and building interior lighting, which was included in the kits. Streetlights were cheap Chinese units purchased on eBay, which were actually sold as N Scale lights (but too small for N).

Wiring channels were cut to feed the streetlights before adding styrene streets.

The streetlights, built into the sidewalks, are tested.

The kits were all built exactly per instructionsóno kitbashing. Parking meters were sewing pins with the heads squashed in a smooth-jaw vice.

Terrainówhat little there was of itówas made with a strange new foam-based modeling clay marketed for kids. I chose it because it was clean and easy to control, which was vital when working in such tiny areas.

See the finished diorama on the next page.

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