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74407Re: [Z_Scale] Re: AZL May New Items Part 1

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  • Alan Cox
    May 7, 2014
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      > Unfortunately, it seems the growth we've seen in Z over the past 15 years
      > has slowed to a crawl. Now with the expected IM announcement, things are
      > definitely cooling off. Bummer.

      Likewise over here in the UK. Actually Z in the UK has basically died at
      this point. There are no Z stockists of any note, nobody carries any of
      the US stuff, it's rarely seen at shows and never gets a note in the
      press. Even things like 3mm fine scale get more coverage. Z was never
      strong in the UK but its basically vanished.

      I think its sort of inevitable - N has been driven by heavy competition
      giving low prices and a large modeller base. The competition and the
      userbase have driven us from the point where Z was smaller but often
      better made and with more features like lighting, to the point where the
      N standard is DCC ready, lighting fitted, sound often easy to add.

      Even the trackwork has been driven by that competition. Code 40 finescale
      track is fairly routine in N, it's still soldering iron and templates in
      Z even though Z track is cruder than N was.

      Z is IMHO simply not quite enough smaller than N to survive that battle
      except as a specialist scale and for narrow gauge N work.

      People still run, build and exhibit in scales long dead in the RTR world,
      or scales like 3mm where there was never any serious RTR so I'm sure Z
      will survive providing there are small manufacturers making fine scale
      track parts, producing wheels, turned components and the like for scratch
      building. And we have 3D print... so the world is not all doom and gloom!

      Alan
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