Northlandz in Flemington, New Jersey, is a 52,000-square-foot world unto itself. Mountains, canyons, villages, cities, and, of course, trains. Lots of trains. It’s the world’s largest model railroad, made with enough lumber and drywall to build 40 houses, 200,000 pounds of plaster, and eight miles of train track.
The creator is Bruce Zaccagnino and in this five-minute short by agency Wieden + Kennedy Portland, he teams with Sony and photographer Matt Albanese to give us a look at this miniature wonderland through the lens of the brand’s QX100 lens-style camera.
We get an insider’s view of the incredibly detailed three-story papier-mâché mountains, the collection of tunnels, tiny townsfolk, windmills, and bridges made from thousands of toothpicks, but also how it changes through Albanese’s lens.
The companion site allows you to explore Northlandz yourself. There are three panoramas made from hundreds of photographs taken with the QX100 that you can rotate to change the view, zoom in to catch the tiny details and take pictures to share online.
Zaccagnino is a great find, an eccentric artist who’s motivation and perspective are captured nicely here. “An artist in my mind is somebody who’s passionate about creating things from nothing,” he says in the film. “I have to do what my ideas tell me to do. Hopefully, [Northlandz] will be somewhat immortal for a while after I’m gone.”