It’s a bit strange for someone who works with model trains to admit, but I was not particularly taken with real trains when I was younger. What did leave a real impression on me were museum displays. Several school field trips to the American Museum of Natural History and experiencing their incredibly realistic life-size dioramas created a lasting impression.
I find model trains are an ideal medium to work in for creating my own miniature realities as they provide a wonderful historical counterpoint for the scenery. Well developed scenery in tandem with the dynamic movement of the trains is really a perfect pairing.
Of course if you’re going to build model railroads you have to know how to maintain them properly. This is how Ztrains.com came into being in 2001. After learning something new about Z scale trains I’d usually make notes about the process and after awhile I realized it made sense to share these notes with others.
After a few years of maintaining Ztrains.com I began writing as well as doing graphics work for Ztrack Magazine on various projects such as creating logos and designing special run cars by Marklin and Micro-Trains. During this time I began building custom Z scale pieces for clients… from simple structures to dioramas and full desktop layouts. One particularly nice aspect of working in Z scale is that due to their size the pieces we create can always be displayed in the home or office and will likely be passed down to future generations. In a time when so many possessions we have are disposable or have a planned obsolescence there is something very special about this continuity.