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Re: [z_scale] Z scale track ballast

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  • ztrack@aol.com
    Gary, For years I was hesitant to ballast my track for the same reasons you mentioned. I would only ballast the outside of the track and leave the inside
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 9, 2000
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      Gary,

      For years I was hesitant to ballast my track for the same reasons you mentioned. I would only ballast the outside of the track and leave the inside without to avoid any problems.

      Now I am demanding more from my layout. I started painting rails, blackening catenary and adding more details. Needless to say, I started to ballast the inside of the rails. Here is how I do it…

      I sprinkle fine, dry ballast in between the tracks. I smooth this out with my finger or a brush. I then use a mix of diluted white glue, water (50/50) and a dash of liquid dish washing detergent. This I poor onto the ballast. I let dry then apply a sencond application. Let dry again. Once dry, I use a vacuum to suck up all loose particles. I then can touch up any spots with the glue mix which did not hold.

      After I am satisfied with the results, I run the head of a small screwdriver against the inside of the rail to knock off any ballst which has attached itself. Vacuum one more time and clean the track thoroughly. Test with a loco and your done!

      I hope this helps, I know for me, the results have been great!

      Rob Kluz
      Ztrack Magazine
      www.ztrack.com
    • Gary Klouda
      This is basically how I ve been doing it, using an eye dropper to apply and a straw on the end of a vacuum hose to vacuum. I must be doing something wrong, but
      Message 2 of 12 , Mar 9, 2000
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        This is basically how I've been doing it, using an eye dropper to apply
        and a straw on the end of a vacuum hose to vacuum. I must be doing
        something wrong, but I can't figure out what. If you can think of a step
        that would lead more than another to the ballast getting loose soon
        (I've already tried increasing to a two thirds glue/one third water mix)
        please let me know. I've tried regular Elmer's Glue and a
        Tite-Bond-type formula white glue, with the same results. And like I
        said, this system works perfect in wide-gauge ("HO"). Thanks for the
        help. - Gary

        ztrack@... wrote:
        >
        > From: ztrack@...
        >
        >
        > I sprinkle fine, dry ballast in between the tracks. I smooth this out with my finger or a brush. I then use a mix of diluted white glue, water (50/50) and a dash of liquid dish washing detergent. This I poor onto the ballast. I let dry then apply a sencond application. Let dry again. Once dry, I use a vacuum to suck up all loose particles. I then can touch up any spots with the glue mix which did not hold.
        >
        > After I am satisfied with the results, I run the head of a small screwdriver against the inside of the rail to knock off any ballst which has attached itself. Vacuum one more time and clean the track thoroughly. Test with a loco and your done!
        >
        > I hope this helps, I know for me, the results have been great!
        >
        > Rob Kluz
        > Ztrack Magazine
        > www.ztrack.com
      • Jeffrey MacHan
        Are you wetting the ballast with isopropyl alcohol before applying the dilute glue? If not, the glue may not be penetrating the ballast completely,
        Message 3 of 12 , Mar 9, 2000
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          Are you wetting the ballast with isopropyl alcohol before applying the
          dilute glue? If not, the glue may not be penetrating the ballast
          completely, consequently forming a crust and leaving loose patches that are
          fouling the loco gearing etc.

          The next issue of Zrack will present a feature article on track laying and
          ballast techniques as used on the Val Ease Central railroad.

          Jeffrey MacHan
          CEO Val Ease Central RR http://www.Val-Ease-Central.com
          Moderator Z_Scale@...
          Ztrack Magazine Contributing Editor http://www.ztrack.com
          ZeBayer http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/val-ease/


          >From: Gary Klouda <Gary.Sheryl.Klouda@...>
          >Reply-To: z_scale@onelist.com
          >To: z_scale@onelist.com
          >Subject: Re: [z_scale] Z scale track ballast
          >Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 21:52:48 -0600
          >
          >This is basically how I've been doing it, using an eye dropper to apply
          >and a straw on the end of a vacuum hose to vacuum. I must be doing
          >something wrong, but I can't figure out what. If you can think of a step
          >that would lead more than another to the ballast getting loose soon
          >(I've already tried increasing to a two thirds glue/one third water mix)
          >please let me know. I've tried regular Elmer's Glue and a
          >Tite-Bond-type formula white glue, with the same results. And like I
          >said, this system works perfect in wide-gauge ("HO"). Thanks for the
          >help. - Gary


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        • ztrack@aol.com
          Gary, The only other suggestion I have is to really soak the ballast in the mix. I use the Elmers white glue. Jeffrey suggested using alcohol to wet down the
          Message 4 of 12 , Mar 11, 2000
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            Gary,

            The only other suggestion I have is to really soak the ballast in the mix. I
            use the Elmers white glue. Jeffrey suggested using alcohol to wet down the
            ballast first. I have not tried this, but I have heard this suggestion
            before. What is your subroadbed? Is it cork, or the plastic of a preformed
            layout? This may have something to do with it. For instance, you mentioned
            the Faller layout board. Is this board plastic? If so, the glue may be having
            a hard time holding to it. Just a thought…

            Rob Kluz
            Ztrack Magazine
          • Jeffrey MacHan
            Continuing on Rob s thought...if the base is plastic or some other material that the glue will not adhere to adequately, I recommend painting the base with a
            Message 5 of 12 , Mar 11, 2000
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              Continuing on Rob's thought...if the base is plastic or some other material
              that the glue will not adhere to adequately, I recommend painting the base
              with a coat of acrylic water based paint. The acrylic should adhere to the
              plastic over a wide area. Once dry you can lay the track, add and form the
              ballast, wet it with rubbing alcohol and apply the dilute glue. The glue
              will bond to the acrylic paint coat holding the track and ballast in place.

              Jeffrey MacHan
              CEO Val Ease Central RR http://www.Val-Ease-Central.com
              Moderator Z_Scale@...
              Ztrack Magazine Contributing Editor http://www.ztrack.com
              ZeBayer http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/val-ease/



              >From: ztrack@...
              >Reply-To: z_scale@onelist.com
              >To: z_scale@onelist.com
              >Subject: Re: [z_scale] Z scale track ballast
              >Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 10:27:37 EST
              >
              >Gary,
              >
              >The only other suggestion I have is to really soak the ballast in the mix.
              >I
              >use the Elmers white glue. Jeffrey suggested using alcohol to wet down the
              >ballast first. I have not tried this, but I have heard this suggestion
              >before. What is your subroadbed? Is it cork, or the plastic of a preformed
              >layout? This may have something to do with it. For instance, you mentioned
              >the Faller layout board. Is this board plastic? If so, the glue may be
              >having
              >a hard time holding to it. Just a thought�
              >
              >Rob Kluz
              >Ztrack Magazine



              ______________________________________________________
              Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
            • Jay & Anne Greer
              Hi Guys, I hope you don t mind my jumping in with a few comments here. The road bed material I use is artists foam core construction board. It is available
              Message 6 of 12 , Mar 11, 2000
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                Hi Guys,
                I hope you don't mind my jumping in with a few comments here. The road bed
                material I use is artists' foam core construction board. It is available
                from art supply stores and comes in a variety of thicknesses. I use 3/32
                for most of my road bed. I pre-lay my track directly over a sheet or pieces
                of same and set a flat bed rail car on the track. Then, while using the car
                as a rolling finger brace I hold a magic marker and pull the whole works
                along in order to mark the upper edges of the road bed. I then take away
                the track and with a single edge razor blade attached to a small block of
                wood that has been chamfered to the proper ballast bevel, I cut the road bed
                with a pulling stroke. Voila! Road bed cut to the correct curve! Road bed
                that is sound deadening and best of all, road bed that glue and ballast will
                stick to! P.S. much of my track is hand laid on P.C. Board ties that are
                solderd to the rail stock. This is for foreground trackage. This may sound
                like a lot of work but it is really quite easy when you get into it.
                I hope this helps.
                Sincerely,
                Jay Greer/Der Wegmann

                > From: "Jeffrey MacHan" <jmac_han@...>
                > Reply-To: z_scale@onelist.com
                > Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 07:46:00 PST
                > To: z_scale@onelist.com
                > Subject: Re: [z_scale] Z scale track ballast
                >
                > From: "Jeffrey MacHan" <jmac_han@...>
                >
                > Continuing on Rob's thought...if the base is plastic or some other material
                > that the glue will not adhere to adequately, I recommend painting the base
                > with a coat of acrylic water based paint. The acrylic should adhere to the
                > plastic over a wide area. Once dry you can lay the track, add and form the
                > ballast, wet it with rubbing alcohol and apply the dilute glue. The glue
                > will bond to the acrylic paint coat holding the track and ballast in place.
                >
                > Jeffrey MacHan
                > CEO Val Ease Central RR http://www.Val-Ease-Central.com
                > Moderator Z_Scale@...
                > Ztrack Magazine Contributing Editor http://www.ztrack.com
                > ZeBayer http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/val-ease/
                >
                >
                >
                >> From: ztrack@...
                >> Reply-To: z_scale@onelist.com
                >> To: z_scale@onelist.com
                >> Subject: Re: [z_scale] Z scale track ballast
                >> Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 10:27:37 EST
                >>
                >> Gary,
                >>
                >> The only other suggestion I have is to really soak the ballast in the mix.
                >> I
                >> use the Elmers white glue. Jeffrey suggested using alcohol to wet down the
                >> ballast first. I have not tried this, but I have heard this suggestion
                >> before. What is your subroadbed? Is it cork, or the plastic of a preformed
                >> layout? This may have something to do with it. For instance, you mentioned
                >> the Faller layout board. Is this board plastic? If so, the glue may be
                >> having
                >> a hard time holding to it. Just a thought…
                >>
                >> Rob Kluz
                >> Ztrack Magazine
                >
                >
                >
                > ______________________________________________________
                > Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
                >
                >
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              • Jeffrey MacHan
                Excellent ideas, Jay. May I add your comments to our group FAQ? Jeffrey ... ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free
                Message 7 of 12 , Mar 11, 2000
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                  Excellent ideas, Jay. May I add your comments to our group FAQ?

                  Jeffrey

                  >From: Jay & Anne Greer <redwitch1@...>
                  >Reply-To: z_scale@onelist.com
                  >To: <z_scale@onelist.com>
                  >Subject: Re: [z_scale] Z scale track ballast
                  >Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 10:02:24 -0800
                  >
                  >Hi Guys,
                  >I hope you don't mind my jumping in with a few comments here. The road bed
                  >material I use is artists' foam core construction board. It is available
                  >from art supply stores and comes in a variety of thicknesses. I use 3/32
                  >for most of my road bed. I pre-lay my track directly over a sheet or
                  >pieces
                  >of same and set a flat bed rail car on the track. Then, while using the
                  >car
                  >as a rolling finger brace I hold a magic marker and pull the whole works
                  >along in order to mark the upper edges of the road bed. I then take away
                  >the track and with a single edge razor blade attached to a small block of
                  >wood that has been chamfered to the proper ballast bevel, I cut the road
                  >bed
                  >with a pulling stroke. Voila! Road bed cut to the correct curve! Road bed
                  >that is sound deadening and best of all, road bed that glue and ballast
                  >will
                  >stick to! P.S. much of my track is hand laid on P.C. Board ties that are
                  >solderd to the rail stock. This is for foreground trackage. This may
                  >sound
                  >like a lot of work but it is really quite easy when you get into it.
                  >I hope this helps.
                  >Sincerely,
                  >Jay Greer/Der Wegmann
                  >
                  > > From: "Jeffrey MacHan" <jmac_han@...>
                  > > Reply-To: z_scale@onelist.com
                  > > Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 07:46:00 PST
                  > > To: z_scale@onelist.com
                  > > Subject: Re: [z_scale] Z scale track ballast
                  > >
                  > > From: "Jeffrey MacHan" <jmac_han@...>
                  > >
                  > > Continuing on Rob's thought...if the base is plastic or some other
                  >material
                  > > that the glue will not adhere to adequately, I recommend painting the
                  >base
                  > > with a coat of acrylic water based paint. The acrylic should adhere to
                  >the
                  > > plastic over a wide area. Once dry you can lay the track, add and form
                  >the
                  > > ballast, wet it with rubbing alcohol and apply the dilute glue. The
                  >glue
                  > > will bond to the acrylic paint coat holding the track and ballast in
                  >place.
                  > >
                  > > Jeffrey MacHan
                  > > CEO Val Ease Central RR http://www.Val-Ease-Central.com
                  > > Moderator Z_Scale@...
                  > > Ztrack Magazine Contributing Editor http://www.ztrack.com
                  > > ZeBayer http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/val-ease/
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >> From: ztrack@...
                  > >> Reply-To: z_scale@onelist.com
                  > >> To: z_scale@onelist.com
                  > >> Subject: Re: [z_scale] Z scale track ballast
                  > >> Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 10:27:37 EST
                  > >>
                  > >> Gary,
                  > >>
                  > >> The only other suggestion I have is to really soak the ballast in the
                  >mix.
                  > >> I
                  > >> use the Elmers white glue. Jeffrey suggested using alcohol to wet down
                  >the
                  > >> ballast first. I have not tried this, but I have heard this suggestion
                  > >> before. What is your subroadbed? Is it cork, or the plastic of a
                  >preformed
                  > >> layout? This may have something to do with it. For instance, you
                  >mentioned
                  > >> the Faller layout board. Is this board plastic? If so, the glue may be
                  > >> having
                  > >> a hard time holding to it. Just a thought�
                  > >>
                  > >> Rob Kluz
                  > >> Ztrack Magazine
                  > >
                  ______________________________________________________
                  Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
                • Gary Klouda
                  Hi, The places where I ve ballasted have NOT been on the part of the layout that is preformed. They have been on traditional (for HO, anyway) homasote on
                  Message 8 of 12 , Mar 11, 2000
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                    Hi,

                    The places where I've ballasted have NOT been on the part of the layout
                    that is preformed. They have been on traditional (for HO, anyway)
                    homasote on plywood, so the ballast has been on homasote. I have both
                    used alcohol and not, with the same results. I have also tried using
                    less glue and more water, same results. I have not tried matte medium on
                    Z, only Elmer's and Tite-Bond; I've tried matte medium in HO and found
                    it more of a pain to work with than glue with no increase in results.
                    BTW, the picture of Rio Grande coal hoppers on a ballasted main is
                    inspiring. I've had quite a few reponses to my queries, both on this
                    forum and privately, that urged me to use foam ballast inserts. That
                    picture has me reconsidering ballast. Your input is appreciated. Thanks,
                    Gary.

                    Jeffrey MacHan wrote:
                    >
                    > From: "Jeffrey MacHan" <jmac_han@...>
                    >
                    > Continuing on Rob's thought...if the base is plastic or some other material
                    > that the glue will not adhere to adequately, I recommend painting the base
                    > with a coat of acrylic water based paint. The acrylic should adhere to the
                    > plastic over a wide area. Once dry you can lay the track, add and form the
                    > ballast, wet it with rubbing alcohol and apply the dilute glue. The glue
                    > will bond to the acrylic paint coat holding the track and ballast in place.
                    >
                    > Jeffrey MacHan
                    > CEO Val Ease Central RR http://www.Val-Ease-Central.com
                    > Moderator Z_Scale@...
                    > Ztrack Magazine Contributing Editor http://www.ztrack.com
                    > ZeBayer http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/val-ease/
                    >
                    > >From: ztrack@...
                    > >Reply-To: z_scale@onelist.com
                    > >To: z_scale@onelist.com
                    > >Subject: Re: [z_scale] Z scale track ballast
                    > >Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 10:27:37 EST
                    > >
                    > >Gary,
                    > >
                    > >The only other suggestion I have is to really soak the ballast in the mix.
                    > >I
                    > >use the Elmers white glue. Jeffrey suggested using alcohol to wet down the
                    > >ballast first. I have not tried this, but I have heard this suggestion
                    > >before. What is your subroadbed? Is it cork, or the plastic of a preformed
                    > >layout? This may have something to do with it. For instance, you mentioned
                    > >the Faller layout board. Is this board plastic? If so, the glue may be
                    > >having
                    > >a hard time holding to it. Just a thought…
                    > >
                    > >Rob Kluz
                    > >Ztrack Magazine
                    >
                    > ______________________________________________________
                    > Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    > DON'T HATE YOUR RATE!
                    > Get a NextCard Visa, in 30 seconds! Get rates as low as
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                    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    >
                    > CraZy 'bout Zee!
                  • Jay & Anne Greer
                    Hi Jeffrey, Feel free. We all benefit from each others experiences. Added note here- I build my sub road bed after the cutting of the foam core ballast bed.
                    Message 9 of 12 , Mar 11, 2000
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                      Hi Jeffrey,
                      Feel free. We all benefit from each others experiences. Added note here- I
                      build my sub road bed after the cutting of the foam core ballast bed. I use
                      corrigated box material for this purpose. It is easy to work and gives added
                      sound deadening. The ribs should run at same direction as the ties. This
                      gives the most strength. Simply lay your cut to curve bed on the cardboard,
                      again using the magic marker set for greater width. Cut this snake out and
                      build above your base board using cardboard pylons and hot glue. Very
                      little in life runs on the flat. So this system allows for filling in the
                      terrain between trackage with your favorite meterial in between. This gives
                      a more life like conture to the lay of the land.
                      Prozit,
                      Jay Greer/ Der Wegmann
                      > From: "Jeffrey MacHan" <jmac_han@...>
                      > Reply-To: z_scale@onelist.com
                      > Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 11:10:27 PST
                      > To: z_scale@onelist.com
                      > Subject: Re: [z_scale] Z scale track ballast
                      >
                      > From: "Jeffrey MacHan" <jmac_han@...>
                      >
                      > Excellent ideas, Jay. May I add your comments to our group FAQ?
                      >
                      > Jeffrey
                      >
                      >> From: Jay & Anne Greer <redwitch1@...>
                      >> Reply-To: z_scale@onelist.com
                      >> To: <z_scale@onelist.com>
                      >> Subject: Re: [z_scale] Z scale track ballast
                      >> Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 10:02:24 -0800
                      >>
                      >> Hi Guys,
                      >> I hope you don't mind my jumping in with a few comments here. The road bed
                      >> material I use is artists' foam core construction board. It is available
                      >> from art supply stores and comes in a variety of thicknesses. I use 3/32
                      >> for most of my road bed. I pre-lay my track directly over a sheet or
                      >> pieces
                      >> of same and set a flat bed rail car on the track. Then, while using the
                      >> car
                      >> as a rolling finger brace I hold a magic marker and pull the whole works
                      >> along in order to mark the upper edges of the road bed. I then take away
                      >> the track and with a single edge razor blade attached to a small block of
                      >> wood that has been chamfered to the proper ballast bevel, I cut the road
                      >> bed
                      >> with a pulling stroke. Voila! Road bed cut to the correct curve! Road bed
                      >> that is sound deadening and best of all, road bed that glue and ballast
                      >> will
                      >> stick to! P.S. much of my track is hand laid on P.C. Board ties that are
                      >> solderd to the rail stock. This is for foreground trackage. This may
                      >> sound
                      >> like a lot of work but it is really quite easy when you get into it.
                      >> I hope this helps.
                      >> Sincerely,
                      >> Jay Greer/Der Wegmann
                      >>
                      >>> From: "Jeffrey MacHan" <jmac_han@...>
                      >>> Reply-To: z_scale@onelist.com
                      >>> Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 07:46:00 PST
                      >>> To: z_scale@onelist.com
                      >>> Subject: Re: [z_scale] Z scale track ballast
                      >>>
                      >>> From: "Jeffrey MacHan" <jmac_han@...>
                      >>>
                      >>> Continuing on Rob's thought...if the base is plastic or some other
                      >> material
                      >>> that the glue will not adhere to adequately, I recommend painting the
                      >> base
                      >>> with a coat of acrylic water based paint. The acrylic should adhere to
                      >> the
                      >>> plastic over a wide area. Once dry you can lay the track, add and form
                      >> the
                      >>> ballast, wet it with rubbing alcohol and apply the dilute glue. The
                      >> glue
                      >>> will bond to the acrylic paint coat holding the track and ballast in
                      >> place.
                      >>>
                      >>> Jeffrey MacHan
                      >>> CEO Val Ease Central RR http://www.Val-Ease-Central.com
                      >>> Moderator Z_Scale@...
                      >>> Ztrack Magazine Contributing Editor http://www.ztrack.com
                      >>> ZeBayer http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/val-ease/
                      >>>
                      >>>
                      >>>
                      >>>> From: ztrack@...
                      >>>> Reply-To: z_scale@onelist.com
                      >>>> To: z_scale@onelist.com
                      >>>> Subject: Re: [z_scale] Z scale track ballast
                      >>>> Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 10:27:37 EST
                      >>>>
                      >>>> Gary,
                      >>>>
                      >>>> The only other suggestion I have is to really soak the ballast in the
                      >> mix.
                      >>>> I
                      >>>> use the Elmers white glue. Jeffrey suggested using alcohol to wet down
                      >> the
                      >>>> ballast first. I have not tried this, but I have heard this suggestion
                      >>>> before. What is your subroadbed? Is it cork, or the plastic of a
                      >> preformed
                      >>>> layout? This may have something to do with it. For instance, you
                      >> mentioned
                      >>>> the Faller layout board. Is this board plastic? If so, the glue may be
                      >>>> having
                      >>>> a hard time holding to it. Just a thought…
                      >>>>
                      >>>> Rob Kluz
                      >>>> Ztrack Magazine
                      >>>
                      > ______________________________________________________
                      > Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
                      >
                      >
                      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • ztrack@aol.com
                      Jay, Great idea with the foam core. I never thought of it. I use foam core for all kinds of projects around the layout. Love the stuff! I will have to try it
                      Message 10 of 12 , Mar 12, 2000
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                        Jay,

                        Great idea with the foam core. I never thought of it. I use foam core for all
                        kinds of projects around the layout. Love the stuff! I will have to try it
                        out as roadbed sometime down the track…

                        Rob Kluz
                        Ztrack Magazine
                        <A HREF="http://www.ztrack.com">www.ztrack.com</A>
                      • Anders Lattermann
                        Hi folks! This is an email I really don t want to send, but I have finally realized that don t have the time and energy to build the really big layout I was
                        Message 11 of 12 , Mar 12, 2000
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                          Hi folks!

                          This is an email I really don't want to send, but I have finally
                          realized that don't have the time and energy to build the really big
                          layout I was dreaming of.

                          My new job is one big reason. I have therefor downsized my plans to
                          fit into the amount of time and energy I have. And in line with that
                          I am also thinning down my collection of Z-scale items and got some
                          things for sale:

                          http://www.lattermann.com/amaZing/

                          Best regards from Stockholm/Sweden!
                          /Anders Lattermann
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