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RE: [Z_Scale] MR - Why not Z?

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  • Don
    On a quick and dirty look...I did not see the author s name Bob Sprague on the Masthead of MR. If this is just another freelance article, obviously the
    Message 1 of 13 , Apr 2, 2005
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      On a quick and dirty look...I did not see the author's name "Bob
      Sprague" on the Masthead of MR. If this is just another freelance
      article, obviously the author is going to write only what he knows about
      and has built. If he knows only about HO then Z doesn't get mentioned.
      Sort of a "Catch-22" situation. What we need are a few articles by the
      genius folks who already have super colossal Z layouts -- and then we
      will get some exposure. Maybe Rob, you should send out a few writers to
      pen some articles with lots of photos and the letter "Z" mentioned 1,487
      times and send it off to MR.

      Don

      -----Original Message-----
      From: ztrack@... [mailto:ztrack@...]
      Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2005 1:19 PM
      To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Z_Scale] MR - Why not Z?


      I just received the May 2005 issue of Model Railroader. One article
      really
      caught my eye... Mountain railroading in a small room (page 86). The two
      page photo shows the B&O Sand Patch Grade during the autumn. The photo
      is stunning! [snip]
    • de Champeaux Dominique
      ... (Sorry I leave here all Rob s statement which is interresting and true from A to....Z!) It s fun because I received my May issue of MR 2 days ago, and when
      Message 2 of 13 , Apr 2, 2005
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        --- ztrack@... wrote:
        >
        > I just received the May 2005 issue of Model
        > Railroader. One article really
        > caught my eye... Mountain railroading in a small
        > room (page 86). The two page
        > photo shows the B&O Sand Patch Grade during the
        > autumn. The photo is stunning!
        >
        > The article goes on how you can model this sweeping
        > curved scene in a small
        > room. Okay what scale, N or Z. Of course not, they
        > are talking HO. The article
        > goes on to use terms such as tricky carpentry, and
        > big time compression in
        > order to make it work. Also factor no room for
        > staging. What the heck? WHY?
        >
        > See to fit this in a 13' x 13' room, it require two
        > levels including tight
        > curves on a helix. The room is crammed and can
        > accommodate two people
        > comfortably.
        >
        > My question, why would the author even consider HO
        > for this layout in this
        > space? N scale would be a better choice, but again
        > compromises would have to be
        > made. Why not Z? The photo on page 86 would made an
        > awesome Z scale layout or
        > series of modules. It could be done too scale! For
        > instance, I estimate the
        > train shown in the photo is about 1000 feet long.
        > That takes up about 1/2 of the
        > photo. In, Z, that train would be about 4 1/2 feet
        > long. If this is the true,
        > the complete scene, modeled to scale would be about
        > 9' - 10' feet long. This
        > would easily fit on one wall of a normal room
        > (again, to scale).
        >
        > So here is a classic case of the wrong scale for the
        > right project. I wish MR
        > would stop forcing track plans on readers that do
        > not fit the space. They
        > should look closer at the smaller scales the can
        > realistically fill the space and
        > offer modelers choices such as staging and
        > prototypical operations in
        > uncompressed spaces. I do not want to bass MR, it is
        > not my intent. HO is the king of
        > scales and because of this, it will also be a focal
        > point for MR. To me, I
        > see this as another opportunity for Z to shine.
        >
        > Rob Kluz







        (Sorry I leave here all Rob's statement which is
        interresting and true from A to....Z!)

        It's fun because I received my May issue of MR 2 days
        ago, and when reading this interresting article which
        had the same appeal for me, I obviously got to the
        same conclusion.

        But It's still the same problem: an huge majority of
        MR's readers are HO-scalers, a fair proportion is made
        up with N-scalers, and I think most of these still
        consider Z as a novelty. When last November issue
        showed Jeffrey's Val Ease Central, I was anxious of
        following issue's readers digest. I thought that two
        or three complete pages would have been filled with
        reader's reactions, about the thrill they would have
        encountered with Jeffrey's layout and our favorite
        scale.....

        So I was very disappointed to find almost no reaction,
        except a statement about equivalent surface (as it is
        likely an error occured in Jeffrey's article about the
        equivalent surface between his layout and an HO sample
        of Val Ease Central). It was all about this awesome
        layout....

        So, as most MR's readers continue to ignore Z scale,
        for me it's an explanation why or scale is mostly
        forgotten in this magazine. Thus the article about
        cabooses 2 months ago, totally bypassing our favourite
        scale.....

        Anyway to my eyes MR is a good magazine, with plenty
        of good ideas (last for me: how to model a western
        desert landscape in April's issue), but I don't hold
        my breath about Z scale news in it: There have been no
        reports of new stuff from about 5 or 6 years, no AZL,
        no Marklin GG1, no MTL gundersons, nothing. I'm very
        interrested to see what MTL GP35s fate will be, but
        once more I don't hold my breathe.

        I'm more confident in all you guys (Jeffrey, Jim
        Glass, Bill Kronenberger, Tom Gilchrist and others)
        who continuously show wonderful layouts and modules in
        heavy modelrailroad shows, to gain more and more
        interrested people, outside of the traditional
        modelrailroading community.

        Just my two cents,

        Dominique






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      • Fred Griffin
        ... Rob and most of us in z scale only need to show off z scale more---perhaps MR and other magazines should be invited ( or required ) to attend the
        Message 3 of 13 , Apr 2, 2005
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          --- ztrack@... wrote:
          > I just received the May 2005 issue of Model
          > Railroader.
          > photo. In, Z, that train would be about 4 1/2 feet
          > long.
          >
          > So here is a classic case of the wrong scale for the
          > right project. I
          > see this as another opportunity for Z to shine.
          >
          Rob and most of us in z scale only need to show off z
          scale more---perhaps MR and other magazines should be
          invited ("or required") to attend the Cincinnati
          convention.....
          Fred Griffin



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        • Patrick Tighe
          I haven t read the May issue yet. However, Rob s post brings to mind the Feb, Mar and Apr of 1985 issues of MR where they did a series on the beautiful Rio
          Message 4 of 13 , Apr 3, 2005
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            I haven't read the May issue yet. However, Rob's post brings to
            mind the Feb, Mar and Apr of 1985 issues of MR where they did a
            series on the beautiful Rio Grande in three modules. In that series
            they covered everything from layout planning, carpentry, kit bashing
            N scale buildings, building handheld throttles to making trees.

            The end result was stunning, especially the mountain section showing
            a beautiful sweeping curve around a 4 foot wide end module. As I
            recall the other end module showed a city scene complete with a
            turntable and the middle module included a desert mining scene on
            one side and a rural scene through California on the other.

            That's the only issue that I can remember where MR devoted some
            serious print to Z scale.

            I have to agree with Rob that many of the MR layouts would be more
            appropriate for Z scale. In the 1985 series MR made the point that
            if big sweeping curves and mountain scenery was your focus, then Z
            scale was a good way to go.

            Patrick Tighe





            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, ztrack@a... wrote:
            > I just received the May 2005 issue of Model Railroader. One
            article really
            > caught my eye... Mountain railroading in a small room (page 86).
            The two page
            > photo shows the B&O Sand Patch Grade during the autumn. The photo
            is stunning!
            >
            > The article goes on how you can model this sweeping curved scene
            in a small
            > room. Okay what scale, N or Z. Of course not, they are talking HO.
            The article
            > goes on to use terms such as tricky carpentry, and big time
            compression in
            > order to make it work. Also factor no room for staging. What the
            heck? WHY?
            >
            > See to fit this in a 13' x 13' room, it require two levels
            including tight
            > curves on a helix. The room is crammed and can accommodate two
            people
            > comfortably.
            >
            > My question, why would the author even consider HO for this layout
            in this
            > space? N scale would be a better choice, but again compromises
            would have to be
            > made. Why not Z? The photo on page 86 would made an awesome Z
            scale layout or
            > series of modules. It could be done too scale! For instance, I
            estimate the
            > train shown in the photo is about 1000 feet long. That takes up
            about 1/2 of the
            > photo. In, Z, that train would be about 4 1/2 feet long. If this
            is the true,
            > the complete scene, modeled to scale would be about 9' - 10' feet
            long. This
            > would easily fit on one wall of a normal room (again, to scale).
            >
            > So here is a classic case of the wrong scale for the right
            project. I wish MR
            > would stop forcing track plans on readers that do not fit the
            space. They
            > should look closer at the smaller scales the can realistically
            fill the space and
            > offer modelers choices such as staging and prototypical operations
            in
            > uncompressed spaces. I do not want to bass MR, it is not my
            intent. HO is the king of
            > scales and because of this, it will also be a focal point for MR.
            To me, I
            > see this as another opportunity for Z to shine.
            >
            > Rob Kluz
            >
            >
            >
            > Ztrack Magazine Ltd.
            > 6142 Northcliff Blvd.
            > Dublin, OH 43016
            > phone/fax: (614) 764-1703
            > http://www.ztrack.com/
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • ztrack@aol.com
            Patrick, Excellent point. The MR story was actually a series run across 3 or 4 issues detailing the building of the Western Pacific layout. It was four
            Message 5 of 13 , Apr 3, 2005
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              Patrick,

              Excellent point. The MR story was actually a series run across 3 or 4 issues
              detailing the building of the Western Pacific layout. It was four different
              scenes. The mountain portion was awesome. MR actually commissioned this layout.
              It was during an interesting time in Z scale. That same year, Micro-Trains
              released their Z line and Marklin release their US line including passenger cars.
              Actually the passenger cars used on the layout were converted European cars.
              The freight cars were all Micro-Trains. This was the same year I got into the
              hobby so having these articles at my disposal were very inspirational.

              Today, Z scale is much more mainstream then every before. One fact is that MR
              is starting to realize that are looking at ways to give Z scale more
              exposure. Ztrack and MR will be working together to do this, though not in the pages
              of MR. I will have more on this once the details are finalized.

              I think the NTS this year again will be an eye opener for MR and other
              companies. Z will be the focal point. I personally can't wait!

              Rob



              Ztrack Magazine Ltd.
              6142 Northcliff Blvd.
              Dublin, OH 43016
              phone/fax: (614) 764-1703
              http://www.ztrack.com/


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Jim Hinds
              I ll offer OPINIONS on this subject. Every scale other than HO Scale seems to have its own magazine(s): Garden Railroading (for G Scale), O Scale News, some
              Message 6 of 13 , Apr 3, 2005
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                I'll offer OPINIONS on this subject.

                Every scale other than HO Scale seems to have its own magazine(s): Garden Railroading (for G Scale), O Scale News, some Tinplate magazine, The Narrow Gauge Gazette, The S-Gaugian, N Scale, N Scale Railroading, Z Scale, etc. Many people think of MR as an HO Scale DCC magazine ( T H E HO Magazine?). Don't forget that there are far more HO Scalers than everyone else combined, and the DCC manufacturers seem to have really large advertising budgets. That naturally has a strong influence on MR's coverage. My experience was that advertising in MR was V E R Y expensive, and not at all fruitful (like 8 hits a month from the ready-to-run crowd in response to a tiny $250.00 per month ad). I doubt that many Z Scale manufacturers can economically justify advertising there, trying to appeal to an HO Scale, ready-to-run, drop-in-decoder crowd. I'd bet MicroTrains will advertise the GP35 there, partly to throw a bone to the Z Scalers who still buy that magazine. Can there be many serious Z Scalers who aren't already drooling over that GP35? Without much Z Scale advertising. MR should logically assume that not many Z Scalers are going to buy that magazine, and not worry too much about running Z Scale features.


                I don't think people in Z Scale should be concerned about how much coverage they get from MR. N Scalers have been complaining about that for years, even though it appears that MR does give them a bit of coverage. It should be no surprise that Z Scale gets very little coverage in MR -- don't forget MR's HO Scale roots and the beatings MR has already endured at the hands of the N Scalers.

                S Scale is such a small percentage of the hobby that they had to come to terms with this subject many years ago. My booth was next to the S Scale special interest group (can't remember the name) at the St. Paul National Train Show many years ago. I discussed this subject with them. Even back then, they had gotten over their feeling that they were being snubbed, and just made their own fun. I was envious at the time that they had planned an S Scale mini-convention just prior to the St. Paul National Train Show, and were going to just go off and do their own thing. The N Scalers did the same thing in St. Paul and Kansas City. It will be the same if the Z Scale folks plan and execute something before this year's convention in Cincinnati, like perhaps in Columbus. Just don't expect any support or much coverage from the NMRA, MR, or RMC (but possibly Model Railroad News, if somebody in Z Scale makes a point of inviting them and pointing out the physical closeness between Cincinnati and Columbus).

                Two weeks ago I was at the big O Scale Show outside Chicago. Nobody from MR, RMC, Model Railroad News, or the NMRA was there, and that pretty much tells you about the desires of those outfits to cover the entire hobby. I was at the big N Scale Collectors' Convention last August in Chantilly, and none of those folks was there either. I was at the big G Scale Show in Long Beach last June -- same story. These were all TREMENDOUS shows, in terms of the numbers of attendees, the number of vendors, and the physical size of the events. Garden Railways attended at Long Beach, O Scale News and another O Scale magazine were at Chicago, and N Scale and N Scale Railroading were at Chantilly. That's just the way things work. Z Scale has one big thing in common with G, O, S, and N Scale: It is NOT HO SCALE. Most people in G, O, S, N, and Z Scale think they have something better than HO Scale, and have their own magazines to focus on their scales.

                From what I'm hearing about the plans for Columbus and Cincinnati this year, I sure hope some organizer of those events is making sure that MR, RMC, Model Railroad News, and the NMRA know that something big will be happening there.


                Jim Hinds


                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Fred Griffin
                To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2005 3:59 PM
                Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] MR - Why not Z?



                --- ztrack@... wrote:
                > I just received the May 2005 issue of Model
                > Railroader.
                > photo. In, Z, that train would be about 4 1/2 feet
                > long.
                >
                > So here is a classic case of the wrong scale for the
                > right project. I
                > see this as another opportunity for Z to shine.
                >
                Rob and most of us in z scale only need to show off z
                scale more---perhaps MR and other magazines should be
                invited ("or required") to attend the Cincinnati
                convention.....
                Fred Griffin


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Bill Hoshiko
                ... almost all other gauges (interestingly, large scale, garden railroaders also seem immune from the majority). It s a very interesting question. I
                Message 7 of 13 , Apr 4, 2005
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                  "Flayrah" <flayrah@y...> wrote:
                  > <snip>
                  > but I see different attitudes and approaches to the hobby from
                  almost all other gauges (interestingly, large scale, garden
                  railroaders also seem "immune" from the majority). It's a very
                  interesting question. I personally have no interest at all in O, HO,
                  or N.
                  >

                  Hi Flayrah,

                  It is easy to understand why hobby shops do not ignore the large scale
                  models. 30% gross profit on a large scale locomotive or freight car
                  is many times the profit on a Z scale car. Also it is much easier to
                  convince the spouse why you spent $300.00 on a locomotive that you
                  must hold in both hands instead of a locomotive that you can hide in
                  the palm of one.

                  Another factor is the shop personnel. They sell what they know.
                  There are not enough Z scale hobbiest working in our shops. If you
                  want to boost Z scale sales in your local hobby shop you must convert
                  the shop owner and all the sales personnel. Build a little Z scale
                  module for display in the shop. If it does not produce sales, it will
                  create interest.

                  Bill
                  El Toro, Ca
                • Patrick Tighe
                  You re right, it was the Western Pacific not the Rio Grande. After I d posted I started thinking about it but couldn t recall the theme. MR not only
                  Message 8 of 13 , Apr 4, 2005
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                    You're right, it was the Western Pacific not the Rio Grande. After
                    I'd posted I started thinking about it but couldn't recall the theme.

                    MR not only commissioned the layout, as I recall they provided a lot
                    of help. For instance, I recall that they provide 1:1 CAD drawings
                    of the layout.

                    Just and interesting point. I, too, got into Z scale that year
                    after getting a starter set for Christmas.

                    Patrick Tighe

                    --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, ztrack@a... wrote:
                    > Patrick,
                    >
                    > Excellent point. The MR story was actually a series run across 3
                    or 4 issues
                    > detailing the building of the Western Pacific layout. It was four
                    different
                    > scenes. The mountain portion was awesome. MR actually commissioned
                    this layout.
                    > It was during an interesting time in Z scale. That same year,
                    Micro-Trains
                    > released their Z line and Marklin release their US line including
                    passenger cars.
                    > Actually the passenger cars used on the layout were converted
                    European cars.
                    > The freight cars were all Micro-Trains. This was the same year I
                    got into the
                    > hobby so having these articles at my disposal were very
                    inspirational.
                    >
                    > Today, Z scale is much more mainstream then every before. One fact
                    is that MR
                    > is starting to realize that are looking at ways to give Z scale
                    more
                    > exposure. Ztrack and MR will be working together to do this,
                    though not in the pages
                    > of MR. I will have more on this once the details are finalized.
                    >
                    > I think the NTS this year again will be an eye opener for MR and
                    other
                    > companies. Z will be the focal point. I personally can't wait!
                    >
                    > Rob
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Ztrack Magazine Ltd.
                    > 6142 Northcliff Blvd.
                    > Dublin, OH 43016
                    > phone/fax: (614) 764-1703
                    > http://www.ztrack.com/
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Patrick Tighe
                    You re right, it was the Western Pacific not the Rio Grande. After I d posted I started thinking about it but couldn t recall the theme. MR not only
                    Message 9 of 13 , Apr 4, 2005
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                      You're right, it was the Western Pacific not the Rio Grande. After
                      I'd posted I started thinking about it but couldn't recall the theme.

                      MR not only commissioned the layout, as I recall they provided a lot
                      of help. For instance, I recall that they provide 1:1 CAD drawings
                      of the layout.

                      Just and interesting point. I, too, got into Z scale that year
                      after getting a starter set for Christmas.

                      Patrick Tighe

                      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, ztrack@a... wrote:
                      > Patrick,
                      >
                      > Excellent point. The MR story was actually a series run across 3
                      or 4 issues
                      > detailing the building of the Western Pacific layout. It was four
                      different
                      > scenes. The mountain portion was awesome. MR actually commissioned
                      this layout.
                      > It was during an interesting time in Z scale. That same year,
                      Micro-Trains
                      > released their Z line and Marklin release their US line including
                      passenger cars.
                      > Actually the passenger cars used on the layout were converted
                      European cars.
                      > The freight cars were all Micro-Trains. This was the same year I
                      got into the
                      > hobby so having these articles at my disposal were very
                      inspirational.
                      >
                      > Today, Z scale is much more mainstream then every before. One fact
                      is that MR
                      > is starting to realize that are looking at ways to give Z scale
                      more
                      > exposure. Ztrack and MR will be working together to do this,
                      though not in the pages
                      > of MR. I will have more on this once the details are finalized.
                      >
                      > I think the NTS this year again will be an eye opener for MR and
                      other
                      > companies. Z will be the focal point. I personally can't wait!
                      >
                      > Rob
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Ztrack Magazine Ltd.
                      > 6142 Northcliff Blvd.
                      > Dublin, OH 43016
                      > phone/fax: (614) 764-1703
                      > http://www.ztrack.com/
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • ztrack@aol.com
                      ... Jim, I really like this comment. It seems all the other scale are battling the HO monster. Don t get me wrong, I don t have issues with HO or any other
                      Message 10 of 13 , Apr 4, 2005
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                        In a message dated 4/3/05 12:53:08 PM, jjhinds@... writes:


                        > Z Scale has one big thing in common with G, O, S, and N Scale:  It is NOT
                        > HO SCALE.
                        >

                        Jim,

                        I really like this comment. It seems all the other scale are battling the HO
                        monster. Don't get me wrong, I don't have issues with HO or any other scale.
                        My love is for Z scale. I also must agree the MR must cater to it's advertisers
                        and the majority of it's readers. I tire of track plans and other vision
                        concepts that are pushed to HO when other scales would be more appropriate. Is
                        some ways, a scale should not be forced into a space. In some instances, a scale
                        should be chosen because of the space. Granted if HO is you love, then you
                        will go with HO regardless of the space allotted.

                        Recently, I have seen a large number of N scaler enter the Z hobby. The
                        reason for many of these entries is that Z offers them the space and operational
                        potential that N scale cannot offer. In many cases, N scale was chosen based on
                        operational needed and available rolling stock. With Z choices growing, they
                        are coming to Z in order to model those class 1 railroads, broad curves and
                        vast scenic vistas. I guess that is why I feel Z scale is perfect. If you have
                        limited space, it affords one the opportunity to operate trains. If you have
                        space at your disposal such as a spare room, the possibilities are endless!

                        As for the Convention and the NTS, I am working on MR and the NMRA to play a
                        close attention to what is going on. Incidentally, one large part of the Z
                        module display for the NTS has been filmed for an episode of Tracks Ahead. Yes, Z
                        scale is getting noticed.

                        Rob Kluz



                        Ztrack Magazine Ltd.
                        6142 Northcliff Blvd.
                        Dublin, OH 43016
                        phone/fax: (614) 764-1703
                        http://www.ztrack.com/


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Fred Griffin
                        - ... Rob: I am one of those N scalers who couldn t get it all to fit---went to z scale & await the coming boom . Keep up the good work---Cleveland &
                        Message 11 of 13 , Apr 4, 2005
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                          -
                          > Recently, a large number of N scalers have
                          > entered the Z hobby. The
                          > reason for many of these entries is that Z offers
                          > them the space and operational
                          > potential that N scale cannot offer. With
                          > Z choices growing, they
                          > are coming to Z in order to model those class 1
                          > railroads, broad curves and
                          > vast scenic vistas.
                          >
                          > As for the Convention and the NTS, I am working on
                          > MR and the NMRA to play a
                          > close attention to what is going on.
                          >
                          > Rob Kluz


                          Rob: I am one of those N scalers who couldn't get it
                          all to fit---went to z scale & await the "coming
                          boom".
                          Keep up the good work---Cleveland & Cincinnati are a
                          long way from the Gulf Coast---I may not make the
                          meetings.

                          Fred Griffin



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