More thoughts on Z-scale Hood Units
- Hey guys, been offline for awhile, but will be back in full force
I was thinking about how to go about building body shells for
hood units. A friend of mine produces kits for HO and N scale in
Resin and he said that if I can get a pattern, he can do up shells.
I was told that etched brass would be the way to go for a resin
pattern, but I have no idea about how to go about it. I'm planning
on talking to him further about doing this and looking into costs.
I worked out a basic drive for an EMD switcher that will work in
theory. I have yet to get the parts to test it out though, but it
will likely pull about as much as a Marklin 8805 (0-6-0T). I am also
designing a mechanism for an H24-66. The good thing about a
Trainmaster is that the carbody scales out to 10mm, which would allow
for a 10mm motor without much problem. The worst part about doing
this will be the Commonwealth style trucks. I've been wondering
whether modified Microtrains Z-scale passenger trucks couldn't be
modified (sideframes only) for this purpose. The offset wheel
spacing (8mm and 10mm respectively) truck spacing would require a
scratchbuilt or modified truck. The Drive train is going to be built
from Microtrains parts and only 4 out of the 6 axles will be
powered. I'm finalizing the materials needed now.
I'll talk to my friend and see what can be arranged, as well as what
he needs in the form of plans. What I need to know from the list
members is what type of locomotive would be most needed. Personally,
I'd vote for both a GP7/9 shell (nondynamic for simplicity) and an SW
of some type, either a 7 or 1200. I'd also like to see Alco style
sideframes that could be adapted to a MT truck mounting (cut off the
EMD frames and mount the AAR frames) and possibly an Alco FA and FB
shell to fit the MT chassis.
I'll get back to the group on what we'd be looking at cost wise.
On another, layout related note, I've got my primary layout plan
finalized. It's a double track oval on a 4'X8.5' sectional layout (2
48"X15" end sections and 6 12"X24" centre sections. There is a
branchline running up to a coal mine as well. The layout is built
for easy expansion and is set in Central Pennsylvania circa 1957.
The existing design used the 10 turnouts I have on hand and allows
for a handlaid staging yard with handlaid turnouts (when I feel
adventurous enough). Given the price of Z-Scale flextrack (nearly $7
per section in Canada) and given the amount of track I'd need (well
over 40'), it's more cost efficient to drop $50 Cdn on a bundle of
Code 55 rail and handlay the main by myself. Code 55 was chosen
because the code 40 I ordered was backordered, and since Marklin
track is code 55...well, you get the idea. Hopefully, construction
will begin within the next couple of weeks. The layout will be
powered with a permanant version of the throttles Model Railroader
used on their Z-Scale WP.
2 towns are represented, a small branchline coal town (Carbon
Springs) and a large county seat (Henderson). The latter will be
serviced by a Kibri Dreichen station. I also plan on scratchbuilding
a 3-stall roundhouse and a 5" diameter turntable. The yard (2
tracks) will be expanded in the future, and it can also be extended.
The Henderson area is stretched along 6' of table, which works out to
a nice city scene in Z (mostly flats).
I'm going to draw the plan up in the next week or so and post it to
I should be back in the loop within a couple days if all goes well.
Let me know which of the above mentioned locos I should pursue, the
GP7, SW1200 or the FA (or all of the above). I'll be looking at
getting Trainmaster shells done up as well if anyone's interested
(What's Coal Country without H24's?)
President and CEO - Lakeshore, Pennsylvania and Western Railroad,