I get asked a lot how I start a diorama -- my preference is to use playscale or Barbie doll houses -- I like the proportions, I can stack them and I can usually cut out windows or doors to suit my needs. I have many, many of these dollhouses. They are very modular so I am constantly rearranging them. You can usually find them very cheap on Craigs List (Ebay tends to be pricey because they are heavy and cost a lot to ship). I don't typically care about the furniture that these houses tend to come with so I am happy to buy a dinged up or stripped down one. I am working on a city concept -- stores, offices, restaurants, homes with a green space in the middle. Here are some of my "towers:"