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Z scale containers

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  • Malcolm Kent Cleaveland
    Folks, At the Denver Z scale convention I saw long intermodal trains of stack cars loaded with containers. Very impressive - except none of the containers
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 6, 2012
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      Folks,

        At the Denver Z scale convention I saw long intermodal trains of stack cars loaded with containers.  Very impressive - except none of the containers looked like real containers!  They were, almost without exception, Micro-Trains containers.  Z scale is making progress as is shown by the awards won by the excellent David George modules at the National Train Show, even if the NMRA magazine did label them HO (an error which has not yet been corrected, and probably won't be).  Conversations with some of the modelers indicates to me that they don't even know what a real container looks like, which may account in part for their willingness to run stuff that doesn't look real.  Of course, the MTL containers come with the MTL Gunderson well cars and buying replacements is an additional expense.  So I thought that I would review the present Z scale options available for the modeler who wants to run intermodal but maybe isn't quite sure what's prototypical and what isn't.  Full disclosure: I produce Z scale containers as MCZ Models in collaboration with Harald Freudenreich of Freudenreich Feinwerktechnik. 

        A bit of background: Containers come in 3 basic varieties, corrugated, external post (x-post), and smooth sides (exclusively reefers).  Everyone knows what corrugations and smooth sides look like, x-posts have a rib every few feet with smooth panels between.  X-post containers are no longer being manufactured and those still in service are being phased out in favor of corrugated containers as the x-posts wear out.  So here's what's available, including some future offerings.

        MTL - Smooth sides that could possibly pass for refrigerated containers with a little alteration (addition of a refrigeration unit), but MTL doesn't do the appropriate paint jobs.  No detailed printing that is found on real containers, just the logo and/or name.  20' and 40' containers.  This is the worst option if you are at all interested in realism. 

        AZL - X-post containers, 53' and 40'.  Some are accurate, some are not.  The paint jobs are excellent, but some are for shippers that only run corrugated containers.  Examples: CSX and Pacer Stacktrain have never run x-post containers in their paint schemes but AZL turns them out.  On the other hand, J.B. Hunt and Hub Group have not bought an x-post container in years but still have a few in service (Hub Group green paint job only), so running a few x-posts would be realistic.  The Hunt paint scheme did not change until recently.  AZL also produces 40' x-post containers and NONE of them are accurate.  40' x-post containers were replaced decades ago with corrugated containers. 

        Marklin - makes a container set.  It may have been realistic when it was designed decades ago.  Includes chassis and transporters.  The chassis, at least, are unlike any chassis used in N. America.  20' and 40' containers. 

        MCZ Models - Corrugated 53' and 40' containers and 40' reefers.  These are prototypically accurate and replicate what is seen on intermodal consists every day.  IMHO the paint jobs are excellent, a real feat since a corrugated surface makes pad printing more difficult.  We did produce a 53' Triton container and I believe that Triton only runs 40' containers.   53' containers include APL(domestic), APL Ocean53(only 53' container that moves in maritime commerce), CSX(blue and white), Hub Group(red), J.B. Hunt, Pacer Stacktrain, Schneider, Swift, Triton, undecorated.  40' include APL, China Shipping, Cosco, Evergreen, Hanjin, Hapag-Lloyd, Ivaran, "K" Line, Lys-Line, Maersk, MSC, Nedlloyd, Yang Ming, Zim, undecorated.

        Rokuhan - has announced 40' corrugated models, but availability and price is TBA.  The photos look good and some of the releases will be in competition with MCZ Models. On the other hand, I'll probably buy some of their containers myself when they release shippers that MCZ Models has not released. 

        A word about stacking.  The pins and holes of the MCZ Models and Marklin containers (the only other containers at the time the MCZ Models molds were made) are compatible.  MTL containers can be made to fit with difficulty.  AZL pins and holes are relatively large, so cannot go on top of other manufacturers' containers.  The Rokuhan stacking system is unknown. 

        Hope I have not bored you. 

      CheerZ,
        -- Malcolm Z
      MCZ Models


    • jmui@bellsouth.net
      Thanks Malcom for the information. FR also has some 20’ container, and I dont think they are Marklins. I got them when I bought the Maxi III set. John From:
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 6, 2012
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        Thanks Malcom for the information.  FR also has some 20’ container, and I dont think they are Marklins. I got them when I bought the Maxi III set.
         
         
        John
         
        Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 12:09 PM
        Subject: [Z_Intermodal] Z scale containers
         


        Folks,

          At the Denver Z scale convention I saw long intermodal trains of stack cars loaded with containers.  Very impressive - except none of the containers looked like real containers!  They were, almost without exception, Micro-Trains containers.  Z scale is making progress as is shown by the awards won by the excellent David George modules at the National Train Show, even if the NMRA magazine did label them HO (an error which has not yet been corrected, and probably won't be).  Conversations with some of the modelers indicates to me that they don't even know what a real container looks like, which may account in part for their willingness to run stuff that doesn't look real.  Of course, the MTL containers come with the MTL Gunderson well cars and buying replacements is an additional expense.  So I thought that I would review the present Z scale options available for the modeler who wants to run intermodal but maybe isn't quite sure what's prototypical and what isn't.  Full disclosure: I produce Z scale containers as MCZ Models in collaboration with Harald Freudenreich of Freudenreich Feinwerktechnik. 

          A bit of background: Containers come in 3 basic varieties, corrugated, external post (x-post), and smooth sides (exclusively reefers).  Everyone knows what corrugations and smooth sides look like, x-posts have a rib every few feet with smooth panels between.  X-post containers are no longer being manufactured and those still in service are being phased out in favor of corrugated containers as the x-posts wear out.  So here's what's available, including some future offerings.

          MTL - Smooth sides that could possibly pass for refrigerated containers with a little alteration (addition of a refrigeration unit), but MTL doesn't do the appropriate paint jobs.  No detailed printing that is found on real containers, just the logo and/or name.  20' and 40' containers.  This is the worst option if you are at all interested in realism. 

          AZL - X-post containers, 53' and 40'.  Some are accurate, some are not.  The paint jobs are excellent, but some are for shippers that only run corrugated containers.  Examples: CSX and Pacer Stacktrain have never run x-post containers in their paint schemes but AZL turns them out.  On the other hand, J.B. Hunt and Hub Group have not bought an x-post container in years but still have a few in service (Hub Group green paint job only), so running a few x-posts would be realistic.  The Hunt paint scheme did not change until recently.  AZL also produces 40' x-post containers and NONE of them are accurate.  40' x-post containers were replaced decades ago with corrugated containers. 

          Marklin - makes a container set.  It may have been realistic when it was designed decades ago.  Includes chassis and transporters.  The chassis, at least, are unlike any chassis used in N. America.  20' and 40' containers. 
         
          MCZ Models - Corrugated 53' and 40' containers and 40' reefers.  These are prototypically accurate and replicate what is seen on intermodal consists every day.  IMHO the paint jobs are excellent, a real feat since a corrugated surface makes pad printing more difficult.  We did produce a 53' Triton container and I believe that Triton only runs 40' containers.   53' containers include APL(domestic), APL Ocean53(only 53' container that moves in maritime commerce), CSX(blue and white), Hub Group(red), J.B. Hunt, Pacer Stacktrain, Schneider, Swift, Triton, undecorated.  40' include APL, China Shipping, Cosco, Evergreen, Hanjin, Hapag-Lloyd, Ivaran, "K" Line, Lys-Line, Maersk, MSC, Nedlloyd, Yang Ming, Zim, undecorated.

          Rokuhan - has announced 40' corrugated models, but availability and price is TBA.  The photos look good and some of the releases will be in competition with MCZ Models. On the other hand, I'll probably buy some of their containers myself when they release shippers that MCZ Models has not released. 

          A word about stacking.  The pins and holes of the MCZ Models and Marklin containers (the only other containers at the time the MCZ Models molds were made) are compatible.  MTL containers can be made to fit with difficulty.  AZL pins and holes are relatively large, so cannot go on top of other manufacturers' containers.  The Rokuhan stacking system is unknown. 

          Hope I have not bored you. 

        CheerZ,
          -- Malcolm Z
        MCZ Models


      • Alan Cox
        On Tue, 6 Nov 2012 15:29:04 -0500 ... Also their own longer containers
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 6, 2012
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          On Tue, 6 Nov 2012 15:29:04 -0500
          <jmui@...> wrote:

          > Thanks Malcom for the information. FR also has some 20’ container, and I dont think they are Marklins.

          Also their own longer containers
        • Timothy
          Don t forget the old resin 48 and 53 containers that TNT z made in 2005! The connectors were brass embedded pins that allowed the containers to fit ontop of
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 11, 2012
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            Don't forget the old resin 48' and 53' containers that TNT'z made in 2005! The connectors were brass embedded pins that allowed the containers to fit ontop of MTL 40' containers.
            :) Tim

            --- In Z_Intermodal@yahoogroups.com, <jmui@...> wrote:
            >
            > Thanks Malcom for the information. FR also has some 20’ container, and I dont think they are Marklins. I got them when I bought the Maxi III set.
            >
            >
            > John
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