## Re: [z_scale] Z Stigma

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• ... Waaaay back, when TT gauge was first introduced, pre 1948 I believe, every new scale produced that was smaller than HO was heralded by Now you can build a
Message 1 of 15 , Aug 2, 2001
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jcubbin@... wrote:
>
> In reading some of these Z stigma posts I'm not quite clear on what
> the problem is.

Waaaay back, when TT gauge was first introduced, pre 1948 I believe,
every new scale produced that was smaller than HO was heralded by "Now
you can
build a layout on a coffee table!" When HO was introduced I don't
believe the term "coffee table" was even a part of the American lexicon.

Living in Southern California we have no basements where a large layout
could be built. All we could dream of was the use of a two car garage.
20 x 20 feet was the best we could hope for without building a super
large add-on or a big back yard shed. The first two car garage size
layout I ever saw made me realize that it was not large enough to hold
any reasonable mainline model. Any decent length HO train would extend
around three sides of the garage. After all, in HO scale a 20 x 20 foot
space represents only 1/3 of a scale square mile. 1 HO scale mile is 60
feet.

In Z scale 24 feet equals one scale mile. So, a 20 x 20 foot room is
still less than a Z scale square mile. I don't think that you can even
fit a Z scale model of Disneyland in a 20x20' space. How do you explain
the need for a railroad operating in a space less than 1 square mile.
Especially one that requires a Big Boy locomotive.

curves in operation was a 10-degree curve on The Great Northern
railroad. This would have been a 79" radius in HO. Converting to Z
would make it about 32". This is a "minimum" radius, not an average or

Prior to diesels the recommended HO minimum radius was 24". This was
because steam locomotives had a longer wheel base, 6 or 8 or 10 drivers
in a fixed frame. The diesels with 4 wheel trucks allowed for a smaller
radius circle and 18" minimum became popular. You couldn't fit a 24"
minimum radius oval on a 4 x 8 board. With modern precision machinery
and the use of plastics Rivarossi was able to manufacture huge steam
power that could negotiate 18" radius curves. It didn't look good on a
curve this sharp but it made it around. For Z, 18" radius
converts to 7.2".

In order for modern North American equipment to have a reasonable
appearance rounding curves on a Z scale layout we would need about 14"
as a minimum. Back in the days of steam 40' freight cars were the
norm. Passenger cars were 80' and needed wider curves. The longer
passenger cars with the truck pivot points located further back from the
ends of the cars required excessive coupler swing on the sharp curves.
The Talgo trucks solved this problem and even helped the short freight
cars.

Today, most American freight cars exceed 60' in length. Some even
exceed 80'. If you wish to model a railroad with passenger equipment or
modern freight and you want to create a reasonably realistic layout,
then you should consider minimum mainline radius of 14" or 15". A
minimum radius in excess of 18" would be great. You would then need
switches larger than #8. The sharp Marklin switches will not fit into
the overall look.

Look at the photos of Yuji Kawabara's Gunderson Maxi-Stack III

http://member.nifty.ne.jp/yuzi

Besides the beautiful models see the wide open look of his layout. If
you weren't told that this was Z scale, you would think that it might be
HO. As long as Z scale is thought of as a coffee table or brief case
type railroad it keeps bringing back that cute, but not very realistic,
image to the rest of the model railroad population.

N scale took a long time to escape that same "problem".

When I speak to any non Z scale modeler I always get that expression,
"what about the detail?". My answer is "what detail?". If I can model
a Santa Fe Super Chief in Z that looks realistic rounding a model of
Sullivan's curve isn't that detail?.

I guess that the way that the rest of the model railroad world views Z
scale is the problem. Ping pong just doesn't have the same impact of
tennis yet it requires much the same dedication and effort to be a
champion in either sport.

I think that some of the Z scalers wish to make the rest of the model
rail population take their view away from the diminutiveness of Z scale
and see the potential for building a model of that favorite prototype
railroad site in a space that doesn't require a convention center.

Sorry if I took up so much space but this is why I am trying to model in
Z.

Bill
El Toro
• After reading the posts, I just think there is a divergence of Z mind-sets. I personally don t see a need for a concerted effort to reshape someone s concept
Message 2 of 15 , Aug 2, 2001
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After reading the posts, I just think there is a divergence of Z mind-sets. I personally don't see a need for a concerted effort to reshape
someone's concept of how Z scale modeling should be thought of, but that's just my view and like all opinions is subject to change. You
know what they say about variety.

http://member.nifty.ne.jp/yuzi/

And I have one to show as well, again it's Nn3:

Rather than have people look at photos and think it's HO, my goal is to have people look at photos and think it's the real thing. Lofty, I
know... but that's the goal.

At least it's nice to see passionate voices in the Z arena.

John
• I can relate to what you have said. Three years ago I was sitting on the floor of my apartment in Jacksonville, FL looking dreamy eyed at a N scale Rivarossi
Message 3 of 15 , Aug 2, 2001
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I can relate to what you have said. Three years ago I
was sitting on the floor of my apartment in
Jacksonville, FL looking dreamy eyed at a N scale
Rivarossi Big Boy and four or five UP PFE reefer cars.
In my mind I was imagining what it will be like when I
finally get my layout completed and have 40 or 50 cars
being pulled by this great steam engine. As my eyes
traveled the imaginary mainline tracks of my layout I
found out that my layout turnarounds and yard space
was very very limited to the area I had to build my
layout. Right then and there I thought my dreams of
duplicating the heavy hauling practices of the Western
(or Eastern) railroads would never happen unless I
joined a club or lease some small commercial real
estate property. :)

But lo and behold! It just so happened that I had
accidentally purchased a Micro-Trains Z scale Army
boxcar. I never even heard of Z at the time! But what
I did know was two weeks later; all my layout space
problems had disappeared from my vision! In my (Z
scale) daydreaming I saw 8, 9 and even 10 track
classification yards! I saw graceful turnarounds that
could look prototypical! I saw 50 to 60 car unit
trains. For me personally, I just saw an unlimited
possibility!

Jeffrey

--- Bill Hoshiko <billhko@...> wrote:
>
>
> jcubbin@... wrote:
> >
> > In reading some of these Z stigma posts I'm not
> quite clear on what
> > the problem is.
>
> Waaaay back, when TT gauge was first introduced, pre
> 1948 I believe,
> every new scale produced that was smaller than HO
> was heralded by "Now
> you can
> build a layout on a coffee table!" When HO was
> introduced I don't
> believe the term "coffee table" was even a part of
> the American lexicon.
>
> Living in Southern California we have no basements
> where a large layout
> could be built. All we could dream of was the use
> of a two car garage.
> 20 x 20 feet was the best we could hope for without
> building a super
> large add-on or a big back yard shed. The first two
> car garage size
> layout I ever saw made me realize that it was not
> large enough to hold
> any reasonable mainline model. Any decent length HO
> train would extend
> around three sides of the garage. After all, in HO
> scale a 20 x 20 foot
> space represents only 1/3 of a scale square mile. 1
> HO scale mile is 60
> feet.
>
> In Z scale 24 feet equals one scale mile. So, a 20
> x 20 foot room is
> still less than a Z scale square mile. I don't
> think that you can even
> fit a Z scale model of Disneyland in a 20x20' space.
> How do you explain
> the need for a railroad operating in a space less
> than 1 square mile.
> Especially one that requires a Big Boy locomotive.
>
> Another factor is track radius. In a 1966 Model
> curves in operation was a 10-degree curve on The
> Great Northern
> Converting to Z
> would make it about 32". This is a "minimum"
> radius, not an average or
> recommended, but a MINIMUM radius.
>
> Prior to diesels the recommended HO minimum radius
> was 24". This was
> because steam locomotives had a longer wheel base, 6
> or 8 or 10 drivers
> in a fixed frame. The diesels with 4 wheel trucks
> allowed for a smaller
> radius circle and 18" minimum became popular. You
> couldn't fit a 24"
> minimum radius oval on a 4 x 8 board. With modern
> precision machinery
> and the use of plastics Rivarossi was able to
> manufacture huge steam
> power that could negotiate 18" radius curves. It
> didn't look good on a
> curve this sharp but it made it around. For Z, 18"
> converts to 7.2".
>
> In order for modern North American equipment to have
> a reasonable
> appearance rounding curves on a Z scale layout we
> as a minimum. Back in the days of steam 40' freight
> cars were the
> norm. Passenger cars were 80' and needed wider
> curves. The longer
> passenger cars with the truck pivot points located
> further back from the
> ends of the cars required excessive coupler swing on
> the sharp curves.
> The Talgo trucks solved this problem and even helped
> the short freight
> cars.
>
> Today, most American freight cars exceed 60' in
> length. Some even
> exceed 80'. If you wish to model a railroad with
> passenger equipment or
> modern freight and you want to create a reasonably
> realistic layout,
> then you should consider minimum mainline radius of
> 14" or 15". A
> minimum radius in excess of 18" would be great. You
> would then need
> switches larger than #8. The sharp Marklin switches
> will not fit into
> the overall look.
>
> Look at the photos of Yuji Kawabara's Gunderson
> Maxi-Stack III
>
> http://member.nifty.ne.jp/yuzi
>
> Besides the beautiful models see the wide open look
> of his layout. If
> you weren't told that this was Z scale, you would
> think that it might be
> HO. As long as Z scale is thought of as a coffee
> table or brief case
> type railroad it keeps bringing back that cute, but
> not very realistic,
> image to the rest of the model railroad population.
>
> N scale took a long time to escape that same
> "problem".
>
> When I speak to any non Z scale modeler I always get
> that expression,
> detail?". If I can model
> a Santa Fe Super Chief in Z that looks realistic
> rounding a model of
> Sullivan's curve isn't that detail?.
>
> I guess that the way that the rest of the model
> scale is the problem. Ping pong just doesn't have
> the same impact of
> tennis yet it requires much the same dedication and
> effort to be a
> champion in either sport.
>
> I think that some of the Z scalers wish to make the
> rest of the model
> rail population take their view away from the
> diminutiveness of Z scale
> and see the potential for building a model of that
> favorite prototype
> railroad site in a space that doesn't require a
> convention center.
>
> Sorry if I took up so much space but this is why I
> am trying to model in
> Z.
>
> Bill
> El Toro
>

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• John, See Bill Kronenberger s reply. He is my new standing Public Relations agent. I agree with everything he said 100%, and his communications skills are much
Message 4 of 15 , Aug 2, 2001
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John,

He is my new standing Public Relations agent. I agree with everything he
said 100%, and his communications skills are much better than mine.

Best,
-Rob

-----Original Message-----
From: jcubbin@... [mailto:jcubbin@...]
Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2001 1:26 AM
To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [z_scale] Re: Z Stigma

Rob,

I suppose being still relatively new to Z as opposed to many of the members
here, the attitude that some of the larger scale modelers
have could be annoying. About the same time I began my layout I visited a
friend who has a basement full of HO. When a steam
locomotive passed by us, I remarked to him that it looked huge, and
suspiciously like a automobile carburetor with wheels. Obviously I
was kidding with him and he took it that way. About a week later he was at
my place, saw what I was doing and soon after bought a Z
starter kit.

One of the aspects I enjoy most about the small layouts is the level of
detail you can get into. I just posted a pic:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/z_scale/files/nn3.jpg

And while I realize it's Nn3 and not Z, this layout is 17" x 12". I think
any large scale modeler who would look down on scratch built work
like this is simply not looking at the elegance this brings. Too many times
what I see on larger scale layouts, and even on large Z
layouts, is the detail work being lost. Hopefully in a quest to build larger
layouts, Z doesn't go from "those cute trains" to "those little
trains on the 4x8 sheet of plywood".

Also, when you said "Large layouts and modules is one way to prove that Z
scale is real.", are there specific sizes that people are aiming
for?

John

--- In z_scale@y..., ztrack@a... wrote:

we need to prove that Z is not just a kitschy conversation piece, but I
viable scale that can stand on its own with all other scales. Large
layouts and modules is one way to prove that Z scale is real.

Rob Kluz

"Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
• Oles comments on Bill Kronenbergers fine remarks and ideas I fully agree to. Bill summed up all advantages and the beauty of scale Z. However please allow me
Message 5 of 15 , Aug 3, 2001
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Oles comments on Bill Kronenbergers fine remarks and ideas I fully agree to.
Bill summed up all advantages and the beauty of scale Z.

However please allow me to add one thing, which I feel is important.
Very often I hear the comment to scale Z: "Ah, scale Z. These are the layouts
with the fast running mad cockroaches!"
And there is some truth to it.
On most scale Z layouts the locos are running too fast. We all know the reason.
If you have done some car switching over several turnouts and with un-couplers,
you know what I mean. At slow or dead slow speed the 'normal' Z-loco is not very
reliable. The new five pole motor has not improved the situation much.
The MTL-locos are somewhat better. But you have to go to Faulhaber motor driven
locos (with fly wheel) to get a reasonable result.
And great hope I put on DCC equipped locos. I have seen such locos crawling
along pulling many freight cars. When this technique is further improved (e.g.
factory equipped) and the price is coming down it is definitely my first choise.

With such slow running trains on the layout, scale Z will attract more people I
think.

Greetings
Dieter

Dieter W. Nolte
E-Mail Dieter_Mac_Nolte@...
• Great comments by Bill in Houston and nice ones from Bill in El Toro - - The bottom line is no matter what the layout, it is all good for the promotion and
Message 6 of 15 , Aug 3, 2001
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Great comments by Bill in Houston and nice ones from Bill in El Toro -
- The bottom line is no matter what the layout, it is all good for
the promotion and growth of the scale...Bill in Buffalo
• Hi all, This discussion of a Z stigma is very interesting to me. It seems as though some of us want Z to be taken seriously because it is small, and some of
Message 7 of 15 , Aug 4, 2001
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Hi all,

This discussion of a Z stigma is very interesting to me. It seems as
though some of us want Z to be taken seriously because it is small, and
some of us want Z to be taken seriously in spite of the fact that it is small.

I think both of these can happen, and Jeffrey's Val Ease Central is a
terrific example of this. It's obviously been taken seriously (NTS 2001
Best of Show). The fact that it is constructed in three suitcases brings
attention to its small size, yet its detail and professionalism rivals any
N or HO layout.

I think anything we do to promote Z in any way helps us all. Just my \$.02.

-David
___________________________________________
http://www.creativelement.com/z/
• ... From: jcubbin@optonline.net To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2001 9:50 AM Subject: [z_scale] Re: Z Stigma After reading the posts, I
Message 8 of 15 , Aug 6, 2001
• 0 Attachment
----- Original Message -----
From: jcubbin@...
To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2001 9:50 AM
Subject: [z_scale] Re: Z Stigma

After reading the posts, I just think there is a divergence of Z mind-sets. I personally don't see a need for a concerted effort to reshape someone's concept of how Z scale modeling should be thought of
<snip>

The reason for the need to change minds is to persuade modelers who are participating in the other scales to switch to Z or just to add Z to their stable of model trains. Increased purchase of Z products could encourage more manufacturers to enter into the Z field. i.e.: encourage Atlas or Kato to manufacture Z scale tracks etc. This could also spur competition and bring about a reduction in prices. The manufacturers need a large market in order to recover their development costs quickly.

During this summer I have visited several local model train shops that never displayed any Z. Now they have some Z trains on their shelves, both Marklin and MT. Perhaps this was a reflection of the economic prosperity prior to the recent market down swing, or maybe it's just that Z is gaining in popularity. After the exposure of Z that will appear in the model magazines showing the national train show perhaps we will have even more activity.

http://member.nifty.ne.jp/yuzi/

Yuji does great work. Code 40 rail under his models could have helped the picture. His layout is a great example of understatement. Train, track, hills, telephone poles - no trestles, rock outcrops, trees, streams or buildings only enough to get his message across. This is a model of a train rolling along a western North American country side. Just the type of scenery where the prototype operated.

And I have one to show as well, again it's Nn3:

Yes, it is a fine example of modeling a real scene.

Rather than have people look at photos and think it's HO, my goal is to have people look at photos and think it's the real thing. Lofty, I
know... but that's the goal.

I spent my first dollar on a model railroad item back in 1944. I have been observing the model railroad scene for a long time. I am firmly convinced that many model railroaders never actually venture out to study the real thing. They may go out to look at photograph and measure trains and locomotives but they seldom look at the track, roadbed, trackside structures or the landscape surrounding the railroad. Many of them get all of their information from model railroad publications. If you want your model to be mistaken for the real thing then you must go out and find a scene that you want to model, photograph it, and then build it. You do not need to make exact copies nor do you need instructions from model railroad magazines. You just need to do whatever is necessary to imitate your desired scene.

One thing to remember is to never build a large site on a flat surface. All ground needs drainage and only in model railroads do you see perfectly flat railroad yards or city landscapes. If you need a large flat area please model some sort of drainage system. It is the small things that make your model look real. Some stagnant water in the middle of your yards for example.

When you think that your scene looks perfect, then you must take photographs of it and examine the photos. Another trick is to look at it through a mirror. You will be surprised at the difference in the look. After you finish a model your eyes are drawn to those areas where you spent most of your effort. Looking at the photo makes your eyes look at the overall scene and you will spot things that you had overlooked. It is possible to build a layout that photographs very realistic but you must start out with that objective in mind.

If you want to build a layout where you can run trains past you as if you are railfanning then you need a rather wide space. See:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/z_scale/files/Pics/Z_TrackShow/Zypher_Layout.JPG

There are other pictures of this layout but I could not find them. I just don't remember the name of the builder. This is an excellent example of a layout that represents a section of railroad. If you have the space you can put return loops at each end of the scene and your trains will pass by traveling in both directions, and not just keep reappearing headed in the same direction.

If you do not have the necessary large space, then you can build scenes like the British modelers do. See

http://www.fielder-rowe.freeserve.co.uk/newproject.html

There are ways to build a truly "photo" realistic model railroad scene. It just takes a lot of study and a dedication to do it. If you want to build a representation of a railroad with stations, railroad yards, locomotive maintenance shops, industrial sidings and a fair stretch of mainline you would require a very large space. And then again, you could get by with just three valises, get your layout featured in Model Railroader Magazine, and win "Best in Show" in the National Train Show..

Or, just enjoy. Read Jeffrey MacHan latest post and build what you want. Make that list as Jeff advises and if your objectives lead you to a layout that photographs realistically then it would be that much better.

And, to get back to the original subject, it could be far easier to build this layout if we had more manufactures contributing to our favorite scale. All this talk about changing minds is an attempt to bring this about.

Boy can I get long winded.

Bill
El Toro

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
• Bill, Well stated, well stated! That is exactly why I have been studing photos, maps (topograhical and routing), graphs of cut away and grade, books, and
Message 9 of 15 , Aug 6, 2001
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Bill,

Well stated, well stated! That is exactly why I have
been studing photos, maps (topograhical and routing),
graphs of cut away and grade, books, and videos on the
particular area or line I plan to model. With this, I
can get the basis down correctly, namely track and
topograghy and then keep working at making it a
realistic scene and layout. I shall keep working at
it, and thanks for the encouragement Bill.

BestZ
Will

--- Bill Hoshiko <billhko@...> wrote:
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: jcubbin@...
> To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2001 9:50 AM
> Subject: [z_scale] Re: Z Stigma
>
>
> After reading the posts, I just think there is a
> divergence of Z mind-sets. I personally don't see a
> need for a concerted effort to reshape someone's
> concept of how Z scale modeling should be thought of
>
> <snip>
>
> The reason for the need to change minds is to
> persuade modelers who are participating in the other
> scales to switch to Z or just to add Z to their
> stable of model trains. Increased purchase of Z
> products could encourage more manufacturers to enter
> into the Z field. i.e.: encourage Atlas or Kato to
> manufacture Z scale tracks etc. This could also
> spur competition and bring about a reduction in
> prices. The manufacturers need a large market in
> order to recover their development costs quickly.
>
> During this summer I have visited several local
> model train shops that never displayed any Z. Now
> they have some Z trains on their shelves, both
> Marklin and MT. Perhaps this was a reflection of
> the economic prosperity prior to the recent market
> down swing, or maybe it's just that Z is gaining in
> popularity. After the exposure of Z that will
> appear in the model magazines showing the national
> train show perhaps we will have even more activity.
>
>
> I really liked that link:
>
> http://member.nifty.ne.jp/yuzi/
>
>
> Yuji does great work. Code 40 rail under his
> models could have helped the picture. His layout is
> a great example of understatement. Train, track,
> hills, telephone poles - no trestles, rock outcrops,
> trees, streams or buildings only enough to get his
> message across. This is a model of a train rolling
> along a western North American country side. Just
> the type of scenery where the prototype operated.
>
> And I have one to show as well, again it's Nn3:
>
>
> Yes, it is a fine example of modeling a real
> scene.
>
> Rather than have people look at photos and think
> it's HO, my goal is to have people look at photos
> and think it's the real thing. Lofty, I
> know... but that's the goal.
>
> I spent my first dollar on a model railroad item
> back in 1944. I have been observing the model
> railroad scene for a long time. I am firmly
> convinced that many model railroaders never actually
> venture out to study the real thing. They may go
> out to look at photograph and measure trains and
> locomotives but they seldom look at the track,
> roadbed, trackside structures or the landscape
> surrounding the railroad. Many of them get all of
> their information from model railroad publications.
> If you want your model to be mistaken for the real
> thing then you must go out and find a scene that you
> want to model, photograph it, and then build it.
> You do not need to make exact copies nor do you need
> instructions from model railroad magazines. You
> just need to do whatever is necessary to imitate
>
> One thing to remember is to never build a large
> site on a flat surface. All ground needs drainage
> and only in model railroads do you see perfectly
> flat railroad yards or city landscapes. If you need
> a large flat area please model some sort of drainage
> system. It is the small things that make your model
> look real. Some stagnant water in the middle of
>
> When you think that your scene looks perfect, then
> you must take photographs of it and examine the
> photos. Another trick is to look at it through a
> mirror. You will be surprised at the difference in
> the look. After you finish a model your eyes are
> drawn to those areas where you spent most of your
> effort. Looking at the photo makes your eyes look
> at the overall scene and you will spot things that
> you had overlooked. It is possible to build a
> layout that photographs very realistic but you must
> start out with that objective in mind.
>
> If you want to build a layout where you can run
> trains past you as if you are railfanning then you
> need a rather wide space. See:
>
>
>
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/z_scale/files/Pics/Z_TrackShow/Zypher_Layout.JPG
>
> There are other pictures of this layout but I
> could not find them. I just don't remember the name
> of the builder. This is an excellent example of a
> layout that represents a section of railroad. If
> you have the space you can put return loops at each
> end of the scene and your trains will pass by
> traveling in both directions, and not just keep
> reappearing headed in the same direction.
>
> If you do not have the necessary large space, then
> you can build scenes like the British modelers do.
> See
>
>
>
http://www.fielder-rowe.freeserve.co.uk/newproject.html
>
> There are ways to build a truly "photo" realistic
> model railroad scene. It just takes a lot of study
> and a dedication to do it. If you want to build a
> representation of a railroad with stations,
> railroad yards, locomotive maintenance shops,
> industrial sidings and a fair stretch of mainline
> you would require a very large space. And then
> again, you could get by with just three valises, get
> and win "Best in Show" in the National Train Show..
>
> Or, just enjoy. Read Jeffrey MacHan latest post
> and build what you want. Make that list as Jeff
> that photographs realistically then it would be that
> much better.
>
> And, to get back to the original subject, it could
> be far easier to build this layout if we had more
> manufactures contributing to our favorite scale.
> All this talk about changing minds is an attempt to
>
> Boy can I get long winded.
>
> Bill
> El Toro
>
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been
> removed]
>
>

=====
WILLIAM BROCK

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