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What can be made to look more realistic?

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  • Richard Butler
    What scale can be made to look more realistic N-scale or Z-scale? What I am more interested in is more the structures and scenery that the train itself. I
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 1, 2006
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      What scale can be made to look more realistic N-scale or Z-scale? What
      I am more interested in is more the structures and scenery that the
      train itself. I have been a woodworker and cabinetmaker for going on
      30+ years and have mastered the skills and I am somewhat of an artist
      to boot. I have just found out about the world of train modeling and I
      am highly excited in getting started. I would like to start with wood
      kits until I get use to the scale then do it from scratch. I have seen
      many wood kits but really, no one shows them in scale to something of
      known size such as a hand or a pack of cigarettes. Therefore, I cannot
      tell what size would be easier to make realistic and in more detail.
      My first goal and interest is realism, I want to do a mill by a stream
      with a water wheel in mountains and have a train locomotive in the
      early years of railroads that travels by it. Kind of like my own
      little peace of mind. Will anyone please enlighten me in these areas?
      Thank you very much for your time and thought.
      Rick B.
    • Terry J.N. Rowsell
      ... Either. I now have experience with both. In O scale people notice details like the newspaper on the door step. In HO it becomes less so. In N people
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 1, 2006
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        > What scale can be made to look more realistic N-scale or Z-scale?

        Either. I now have experience with both. In O scale people notice
        details like the newspaper on the door step. In HO it becomes less
        so. In N people notice overall effect more, perhaps. I would say the
        same is even truer of Z. I have had no difficulty detailing and
        weathering in Z.

        Cheers,
        Terry
      • Don Avila
        Look at some of Robert Rays models of both buildings and rolling stock and these are wood cut on a laser. Whether Z or N is any better is a tossup
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 1, 2006
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          Look at some of Robert Rays' models of both buildings and rolling stock
          and these are wood cut on a laser. Whether Z or N is any "better" is a
          tossup <<BUT>> you will find his Z work is fantastic. So considering
          you can do about 80% more elaborate scenery in Z in the same area as N,
          go for Z. I do not think there is any scenery in HO or N that can not
          be replicated in Z and it will look just as good or I find sometimes
          even better since you are getting into the psychology of what the brain
          perceives after the eye does the looking. ...don

          -----Original Message-----
          From: z_scale@yahoogroups.com [mailto:z_scale@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
          Of Richard Butler
          Sent: Saturday, April 01, 2006 3:29 PM
          To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [Z_Scale] What can be made to look more realistic?

          What scale can be made to look more realistic N-scale or Z-scale?
        • Adam Amick
          Good question, Rick. Detailing can be as extensive as you desire in any scale. However, commercially available parts for doing so are obviously more abundant
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 1, 2006
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            Good question, Rick.

            Detailing can be as extensive as you desire in any scale. However,
            commercially available parts for doing so are obviously more
            abundant in N scale than Z. The difference comes down to rivet
            counting... If you can't see the rivets, you can't count them, can
            you?

            I think it's a perspective thing that can be said is the difference.
            As you can model more in the same space in N versus HO, the same
            lies true for Z versus N. The biggest benefit, may be just that...
            Building BIG.

            If you want to model an industry or mountain in Z scale, you will
            have a much easier time modeling it to scale, or have to use less
            selective compression than you will in N. Consider a yard. A
            reasonably-sized freight yard could be a mile long in real life. In
            N scale that's going to be 33 feet, and in Z only 24. You could
            scale down and still get a lot more of the feel in Z than N.

            Here's another consideration: The typical Z Top module we have is
            18" deep, with two mainlines on one-inch centers 14 and 15 inches
            from the rear of the module. Allowing 1/2" from the track for right-
            of-way clearance (roughly 9 scale feet), that leaves 13.5" of
            modeling space (with straight track). That's 247.5 scale FEET to
            work with... Lots of space. To get that same space in N scale the
            module would have to be 24" deep, and the track closest to the
            skyboard (rear) would be 19" out.

            The neat aspect of Z modules 18 or 20 inches deep is this: You can
            mount them on 20" shelf brackets on the wall, and the difference to
            a comparable N setup would be an additional 8-12 inches of aisle
            space.

            Check the articles in Model Railroader or listen to layout builders
            on Allen Keller videos when they're asked "what would you do
            differently?" and the most common answer will be "wider aisles".

            So build away! Either scale is great, but you can really test your
            abilities in Z... Somewhere even many N scalers fear to tread.

            Adam


            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Butler" <rbutler77@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > What scale can be made to look more realistic N-scale or Z-scale?
            What
            > I am more interested in is more the structures and scenery that
            the
            > train itself. I have been a woodworker and cabinetmaker for going
            on
            > 30+ years and have mastered the skills and I am somewhat of an
            artist
            > to boot. I have just found out about the world of train modeling
            and I
            > am highly excited in getting started. I would like to start with
            wood
            > kits until I get use to the scale then do it from scratch. I have
            seen
            > many wood kits but really, no one shows them in scale to something
            of
            > known size such as a hand or a pack of cigarettes. Therefore, I
            cannot
            > tell what size would be easier to make realistic and in more
            detail.
            > My first goal and interest is realism, I want to do a mill by a
            stream
            > with a water wheel in mountains and have a train locomotive in the
            > early years of railroads that travels by it. Kind of like my own
            > little peace of mind. Will anyone please enlighten me in these
            areas?
            > Thank you very much for your time and thought.
            > Rick B.
            >
          • Bill Hoshiko
            ... Hi Rick, Welcome to Z. Realistic is in the eyes of the beholder. In HO scale there is Malcom Furlow who models New Mexico desert scenes. His scenery is
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 1, 2006
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              "Richard Butler" <rbutler77@...> wrote:
              >
              > What scale can be made to look more realistic N-scale or Z-scale?
              > Rick B.
              >

              Hi Rick,

              Welcome to Z.

              Realistic is in the eyes of the beholder. In HO scale there is
              Malcom Furlow who models New Mexico desert scenes. His scenery is
              described by many as caricatures or fanciful. He is a professional
              artist and has a large following with the HO scale modelers. There
              is also scenery done by George Sellios (SP?). He models the gritty
              look of industrial East Coast life during the steam engine era. In a
              way his modeling is also a caricature but it conveys an entirely
              different feeling. George is a manufacturer of highly detailed HO
              scale structure kits.

              In Z scale we have models built by many talented model makers.. For
              a scale reference I have posted to the Files section in the Bill
              H 'Odds and ends' folder two photos from Lionel Gazeau. One shows
              an O scale and a Z scale model of the same structure. You can see
              that if you model in Z scale, you could include a whole town in the
              space that is taken up by the O scale model.

              The O scale model shows how more minute detail can be modeled in O
              scale so the viewer becomes drawn into the minutia. "Look at the
              little oranges." The Z scale model, on the other hand, shows the
              total scene and conveys an entirely different artistic feel. "I saw
              a building just like that in Mexico". Of course, if you desire, you
              can also include oranges and dried garlic in your Z scale model.

              The photo of the Chama station shows the relationship between
              Lionel's hand and the size of the Z scale model. An N scale model
              will be less than twice that size. A HO scale model will require two
              hands to hold and an O scale model will requie a base for the
              structure to sit upon.

              I don't know how much, if any of these models are built of wood.

              Robert Ray uses a laser cut machine and much of the basis of his
              model are made from wood. Also his models are models of things that,
              in real life, are basically built from wood.

              The Chama station is a wooden structure but I don't know what
              modeling materials Lionel used. I don't believe that he utilizes a
              Laser cutting machine.

              In a direct answer to your question: What scale can be made to look
              more realistic N-scale or Z-scale? My answer would be, depends on
              your talent and the perception of the viewer.

              I have posted these two photos without Lionel's permission so I will
              remove them in 7 days.

              I hope that this helps.

              Bill H.
              El Toro, CA
            • Robert Ray
              I like to scratchbuild things in Z out of wood too. N Scale can be made more realistic, as it s closer to real size. But there is no challenge making realistic
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 1, 2006
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                I like to scratchbuild things in Z out of wood too. N Scale can be
                made more realistic, as it's closer to real size. But there is no
                challenge making realistic N Scale stuff, You want Z! It's much more
                satisfying to make a realistic grist mill with waterwheel in Z than in
                N. That's something I have wanted to do too, but never got around to it.

                Check out this guy's Z Scale scratchbuilding:
                <http://theotherlionel.com/Zscale_home.html>

                Lionel can get down. Most of his photos show a coin so you can see how
                small his work really is.

                -Robert
              • Bill Hoshiko
                Hi, I have made reference to a few professional model builders. Here is are links to view their work. Malcom Furlow s G scale layouts
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 1, 2006
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                  Hi,

                  I have made reference to a few professional model builders. Here is
                  are links to view their work.

                  Malcom Furlow's G scale layouts
                  http://www.polyweb.com/dans_rr/blog/?page_id=7
                  Malcom's HO layout
                  http://www.chriscomport.com/index.php?site=gscale
                  Malcom is an artist and in a strict sense he is not a model
                  railroader. After appearing in Model Railroader Magazine he gets
                  commissioned to build model layouts. His work is expensive because
                  it is not his principle field of activity.

                  George Sellios
                  http://www.trevinocircle.com/FSM.asp
                  George is a manufacturer of HO scale structures.

                  Lionel Gazeau
                  http://theotherlionel.com/
                  Lionel is also an artist who appears to concentrates his work within
                  a model railroad atmosphere.

                  I get no renumeration from any of these professionals and I have
                  never communicated with any of them. I am simply a huge model
                  railroad fan. If you have a lot of time to surf the net, check out
                  this site:
                  http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links-pg3

                  Although my name appears in the URL it is not mine.

                  Bill H.
                  El Toro, CA
                • Bill Hoshiko
                  Whooops, I got Malcom s links backwards. Bill H. El Toro, CA
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 1, 2006
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                    Whooops, I got Malcom's links backwards.

                    Bill H.
                    El Toro, CA
                  • johnegert
                    Richard----- The real trump cards in Z scale structure building are the arts of photoetching and laser cutting. Check our cyber-pal Reynard s work at
                    Message 9 of 9 , Apr 1, 2006
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                      Richard----- The real trump cards in Z scale structure building are the
                      arts of photoetching and laser cutting. Check our cyber-pal Reynard's
                      work at Micronart, and the equally wonderful Microstructures-- these
                      kits are as good or better than ANYTHING in any scale, bar none. Add
                      Robt. Ray's kits, the various paper kits and others,and, though you
                      won't have quite the variety, you'll have all the quality. As for
                      scenery, the beauty of Z is the ability to approach scale scenery-to-
                      train/structures ratios so as to give the appearance of a RR built
                      through geography, rather than geography added to a layout. I think the
                      advent of Microtrains turnouts will facilitate some large layouts, and
                      Z will garner publicity beyond "curiosity".
                      It's a good time to get on board.......
                      john
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