In our April/May issue of Model Airliner Magazine we had a chance to sit down with Zach Ganton, founder of ModelAirportNetwork.com! As one of the newest manufacturers in diecast collecting industry, ModelAirportNetwork.com offers custom design buildings and terminals to house your diecast collection.
ZG: Four or five months ago, I decided to build my own Model Airport Terminal. I posted a picture of it on an Instagram page I created to showcase flight simulator pictures. My pictures gained popularity very quickly and people wanted to buy my buildings. I started to promote my buildings on social media more often, and they gained recognition very quickly. From there I decided to launch my own product line.
MAM: What products do you have available to diecast aircraft collectors?
ZG: Everything related to airport infrastructure including things you need to create your own airport such as mat foils, control towers, hangars, as well as cargo and passenger terminals. I’ve also ventured out and decided to sell different parts of the terminal so, customers can customize the terminal layout as desired.
MAM: What scales do you offer your products in?
ZG: We sell mostly 1/400 and 1/500 products. In the future we may expand to 1/200 scale items.
MAM: Can you take us through the design and construction process for one of your airport buildings?
ZG: When a concept comes to mind, I design the parts in a 3D CAD program. I then send the designs to a CNC manufacturer who cuts the parts from plastic sheets. The parts are then sent to me, where I assemble the buildings and add other design elements before shipping them to my customers. I also create many other airport “objects” that are 3D printed by another person I work with.
MAM: How long does it typically take from design until a product is ready for delivery to a customer?
ZG: For custom terminals, it takes up 2 hours to design, followed by another 2-3 hours to assemble. (4-5 hours total). I usually tell customers that custom projects take around a week before they are ready to be shipped.
MAM: When did you first become interested in diecast aircraft collecting?
ZG: I’ve loved toy airplanes since my early childhood. When I was in college I started buying Gemini Jets and Phoenix collection models. My wife now buys me one for every birthday and Christmas. They are by far my favorite gifts!
MAM: What was your first model?
ZG: I was home during the holidays and my mom gave me a box full of models I collected as a kid. I found a Daron Northwest 747 that I think was my first model. I got into GeminiJets after buying a 1/200 scale Air Jamaica A340 at a flea market years ago.
MAM: What materials are your terminals constructed of?
ZG: We utilize PVC plastic, which is durable and flexible. This makes the product easier for shipping and less likely to break. I submit a CAD design, and the CNC machine uses a robot to produce the terminal.
MAM: Most popular product?
ZG: Custom terminals are the most desired product among our customers. Every customer wants something that is unique and different. Most of our customers want to showcase their terminals. When showcasing your models in photos and social media, it is definitely key to have a unique terminal as your backdrop.
MAM: Future expansion plans?
ZG: I have a lot of experience in design which has helped me with the terminal. I can pretty much design any sort of custom diorama layouts. I’m also willing to accept custom design requests. I would love to add cargo shipping terminals, hotels and office buildings to our product line. We’ll be offering parking garages in the near future.
You can find more product information at www.modelairportnetwork.com!