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New Pro-Z trains from Japan

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  • Garth Hamilton
    I received my EF65 plus 6 passenger coaches from series 20 via post today plus the Pro-Z power pack. The EF65 set is like a miniature Kato in all respects. The
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 31, 2007
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      I received my EF65 plus 6 passenger coaches from series 20 via post
      today plus the Pro-Z power pack.

      The EF65 set is like a miniature Kato in all respects. The way it is
      packed in its book case sleeve, the detail, the working lighting, the
      paint job, just everything is great. The interior lighting works with
      a standard power pack and all directional lighting on the locomotive
      and tail cars.

      The power pack is great but it uses a non standard mini plug that I
      can not identify yet so until they offer a pigtail I would not
      suggest purchasing the power pack. If you purchase the diorama layout
      there is included in that box the wiring to connect it up to the
      power pack but if you purchase the power pack separately there is no
      plug and pigtail.

      Only one small item causing some cosmetic effects. While the engine
      runs fine on Micro Trains Sectional Track some of the wheel sets need
      a bit of adjustment to stop them bumping over the guard rail on the
      frog. Train does not derail just some of the wheels go up and over.
      The mini rapido couplers work fine but I will have a look at retro
      fitting MTL couplers to engine and cars later in the week.

      This stuff is by far way above the Akia (Plus UP) ZJ gauge 485 sets,
      but I am hoping the RealZJ will be up to the standard of this product.

      Happy New Year
      Garth
    • harold grady
      Hi Garth, glad you got your goodies in time for the new year. Have to ask one important question. So far do you see any relevant North American applications?
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 31, 2007
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        Hi Garth, glad you got your goodies in time for the new year. Have to ask one important question.
        So far do you see any relevant North American applications? Kitbashing?
        Conversions? Will this company eventually do U.S. style railroading?
        Thanks.
        Harold Grady

        Garth Hamilton <garthah@...> wrote:

        I received my EF65 plus 6 passenger coaches from series 20 via post
        today plus the Pro-Z power pack.

        The EF65 set is like a miniature Kato in all respects. The way it is
        packed in its book case sleeve, the detail, the working lighting, the
        paint job, just everything is great. The interior lighting works with
        a standard power pack and all directional lighting on the locomotive
        and tail cars.

        The power pack is great but it uses a non standard mini plug that I
        can not identify yet so until they offer a pigtail I would not
        suggest purchasing the power pack. If you purchase the diorama layout
        there is included in that box the wiring to connect it up to the
        power pack but if you purchase the power pack separately there is no
        plug and pigtail.

        Only one small item causing some cosmetic effects. While the engine
        runs fine on Micro Trains Sectional Track some of the wheel sets need
        a bit of adjustment to stop them bumping over the guard rail on the
        frog. Train does not derail just some of the wheels go up and over.
        The mini rapido couplers work fine but I will have a look at retro
        fitting MTL couplers to engine and cars later in the week.

        This stuff is by far way above the Akia (Plus UP) ZJ gauge 485 sets,
        but I am hoping the RealZJ will be up to the standard of this product.

        Happy New Year
        Garth






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      • Garth Hamilton
        ... Hi Harold; With Z-scale being in its infancy in Japan I do not see Pro-Z getting involved in the North American Market in any big way. They certainly are
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 1, 2008
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          At 06:36 AM 1/1/2008, Harold Grady wrote:

          >Hi Garth, glad you got your goodies in time for the new year. Have
          >to ask one important question.
          > So far do you see any relevant North American applications? Kitbashing?
          > Conversions? Will this company eventually do U.S. style railroading?
          > Thanks.
          > Harold Grady

          Hi Harold;

          With Z-scale being in its infancy in Japan I do not see Pro-Z getting
          involved in the North American Market in any big way. They certainly
          are the Kato of Z-scale now with the release of their first offerings
          in my estimation. I think it will take them a year or two to get to
          market all the stuff they have planned currently if not a bit longer.
          They are also a jobber in that the actual manufacturer is in China.
          So this to me indicates that there is probably a better chance of
          someone here in North America tapping into that manufacturer for
          North American product sooner that waiting for Pro-Z to do it. That
          is my feeling based on my past experience with Japanese N-scale companies.

          On the n-scale side it has only been recently that some of them have
          gone to China fro product. Micro Ace does not do any production in
          Japan there may be some packaging operation but the manufacturer of
          their models is all done in China. Kato and Tomix and I believe Green
          Max still do most if not all of their production and assembly in
          Japan, at least they certainly have in the past. Life Like USA is
          sold by Micro Ace in Japan and I am not sure what the connection is
          other than the Chinese manufacturer for both of these companies is
          the same one.

          I met several reps for one of the Chinese manufacturers several years
          ago now and their company at that time had several different
          divisions doing all the manufacturing for North American jobbers. I
          am pretty sure there are more than one manufacturer involved now. I
          also think there is more than one manufacturer in Japanese Z-scale as
          there is a big difference in the product coming from Akia (Plus Up)
          in the form of their 485 sets versus the Pro-Z product. I have yet to
          see the RealZJ new offerings to see if they have upped the anti and
          followed the lead set by Pro-Z. Their EF81's are now out and I have
          as yet not seen my order go into shipping so I can not compare them
          as yet. The pictures of the EF81 shows more detail than the Pro-Z
          EF65 on the pilot with cut levers and hoses but we have as yet not
          seen the coupler or the bottom of the loco. I have a hunch that the
          mini rapido will dominate in the early stages as the coupler of
          choice by the manufacturer and we will have to engineer Micro Trains
          conversions ourselves. It would be nice to see a pocket replacement
          that uses the pin in the current pocket but a shorter model of the
          coupler from MTL but that certainly is not an urgent matter for them.

          getting down off the soap box

          cheers
          Garth
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