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Re: Noch and the newcomer

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  • skye.chris
    Hi Steve. ... year) and pretty new to model railroading and I think I have just gotten myself into a jam (being the overly ambitious guy that I am) by going
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 2, 2008
      Hi Steve.

      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Steve Piwnica <stevepiw@...> wrote:
      > Hello everyone - I'm basically new to z scale (dormant for the last
      year) and pretty new to model railroading and I think I have just
      gotten myself into a jam (being the overly ambitious guy that I am) by
      going out and buying the Noch Schwarzwald layout.�

      That's some layout! I assume that, Noch being a German company, that
      it is geared towards German track. However, MTL used the same geometry
      so, unless Noch specify the 145mm rad you should be OK.

      > So I begin to assemble the ramps and bridges and I notice the grade
      seems pretty steep, rising about 2 inches over 40 inches in one place
      and even more in another.� So will this be too much?� I read
      everywhere that 3% is about the maximum.� Or maybe I'll just be
      limited to short trains?

      Marklin's own ramps are 4%. As mine is on a 145mm curve it is the
      worst possible case and I happily pushed a 9 axle train up it with a
      BR72 (1'C tank loco).

      > �
      > Plus now I'm seeing the bridges and tunnels are for N scale and the
      Marklin track plan costs $1,500!� Is this kind of cost normal for z
      scale?� Is MTL track cheaper and, if so, is MTL track and�Marklin
      track compatible?

      There is more to it than just connecting to two together, which I
      cannot confirm. Marklin (who started the Z scale off in '72) and Micro
      Trains are incompatible when it comes to couplings and the uncouplers
      are unique to the make. So if you have MT stock, you need to go with
      MT and vice-versa.

      Also, The N scale geometry is slightly different so the trackbed will
      be wider than necessary, and from what you say, these are ally N scale
      landscapes which just happen to work with Z.

      $1500 seems a bit steep to me. However, you will probably be able to
      shop around for the cheapest supplier. And don't forget eBay, but make
      sure that what you buy from there is new or near new. That is where I
      got all my track and a small prportion of it has turned oput to ne
      pretty naff.

      > What have I done?

      I think you know by now!!!!!!

      > Thanks much,
      > Steve Piwnica
      > Orange County, CA
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      Good luck and best wishes,
      Chris from Skye.
    • Steve Piwnica
      Thanks, John.  Seems I should for now at least forget the switch yard and maybe do two out of the four lines to get started.  I am in Corona del Mar and work
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 2, 2008
        Thanks, John.  Seems I should for now at least forget the switch yard and maybe do two out of the four lines to get started.  I am in Corona del Mar and work in Irvine, so maybe I can meet the group at some point.  Can you give me more info on the show in Del Mar?
         
        Steve

        --- On Tue, 12/2/08, John Duino <jduino@...> wrote:

        From: John Duino <jduino@...>
        Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Noch and the newcomer
        To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tuesday, December 2, 2008, 1:17 PM






        I guess I'll jump into this...

        For modules, large operations (long trains), etc, 2% is what we strive
        for, 3% in a pinch. It just means you won't be able to pull as many cars.
        2 over 40 is 5%, fairly steep, but you'll still be able to pull 5-10 cars,
        depending upon which loco you use.

        Wow, that's one of the big Noch's. Yes, some of the Noch's are used for
        both N & Z, so I assume things like bridges, etc, are terribly oversized
        for Z.

        There is a lot of track on there and A LOT of switches (21)...that right
        there is almost half of your cost. Trust in EBay to lower those costs a
        bit. Most of us build using MTL flex and don't do switch yards, so that
        keeps that cost down. I built a small Noch and had the same OMG moment
        when I added up the track prices.

        Whereabouts in Orange County are you? I'm in Buena Park, and we have
        several others scattered about (Long Beach, Lake Forest, Burbank, RPV,
        Santa Monica, and more). There's another Yahoo group called ZoCal that we
        belong to, mostly dealing with the modules and local train shows. There
        are two coming up that we'll be at: this coming weekend in Ventura, and
        the following weekend in Del Mar. If/when we do get together it's usually
        at my house for work/food/BS.

        John

        >
        > Hello everyone - I'm basically new to z scale (dormant for the last year)
        > and pretty new to model railroading and I think I have just gotten myself
        > into a jam (being the overly ambitious guy that I am) by going out and
        > buying the Noch Schwarzwald layout. So I begin to assemble the ramps and
        > bridges and I notice the grade seems pretty steep, rising about 2 inches
        > over 40 inches in one place and even more in another. So will this be too
        > much? I read everywhere that 3% is about the maximum. Or maybe I'll just
        > be limited to short trains?
        >
        > Plus now I'm seeing the bridges and tunnels are for N scale and the
        > Marklin track plan costs $1,500! Is this kind of cost normal for z
        > scale? Is MTL track cheaper and, if so, is MTL track and Marklin track
        > compatible?
        >
        > What have I done?
        > Thanks much,
        > Steve Piwnica
        > Orange County, CA


















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Uwe Liermann
        Hello Steve, ... well, that seems to be one of the big ones... ;-) ... I take it that you have the track list for the layout available. But I don t know if
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 2, 2008
          Hello Steve,

          > Noch Schwarzwald layout.

          well, that seems to be one of the big ones... ;-)

          > I notice the grade seems pretty steep, rising about 2 inches over 40
          > inches in one place and even more in another.  So will this be too
          > much?

          I take it that you have the track list for the layout available. But I
          don't know if you got an English one. I looked up the German PDF file
          for the layout:

          http://www.noch.de/pictures/PDFs/Gleisplaene/61800.pdf

          on page two you can find the statement from Noch about the use of
          Z-scale trains on those grades. There is written that you can run the
          mountain line with short trains up to 8 axles with out a problem. If
          you have cars with trucks and the train has more then 8 axles (which
          means more then two cars) you will need two engines. If you have only
          2 axle cars, then you will need two engines if you have 12 axles in
          your train.
           
          > Plus now I'm seeing the bridges and tunnels are for N scale

          It is written that you should use the mentioned N-scale bridges also
          for Z-scale. Then those bridges would be to wide for my liking. Maybe
          with some kitbashing of Z-scale bridges you can get a better picture.

          It is also stated that the portals are designed for N-scale. But I
          think that you can use Z-scale portals for the tunnels with some
          adaptive work too.

          > and the Marklin track plan costs $1,500!  Is this kind of cost
          > normal for z scale?

          I haven't calculated the track list for costs, but I see two ways to
          cut at least some of the costs. First you can get track often for less
          money on E-Bay or other second hand places.

          Then you can use flex track for much of the layout. I've seen 17
          sections 8592. This is a length adjustable section from 100 to 120 mm.
          If you go the flex track way at least for the straight parts you can
          save a lot of money.

          > Is MTL track cheaper and, if so, is MTL track and Marklin track
          > compatible?

          MTL roadbed track is cheaper as Maerklin track, and it is compatible
          in footprint to the Maerklin sections as far as the sections are
          available. Unfortunately a lot of straight sections are not available
          yet from MTL.

          Regarding the curves I see that there is no 8510 145mm radii section
          in the track plan. The 145mm radii is not available from MTL. Also not
          available (but it will come I'm sure) is the 8531 220mm radii 30°
          section.

          MTL and Maerklin track section can be connected, but it needs some
          adjusting since the rail height (code) is different. But this can be
          done.

          Under closer inspection of the track plan I would go with flex track
          anyway. This because I see that at some places the curves aren't fully
          perfect with those sectional tracks. If you look at the left side of
          the layout you see at the main level (the double track line) in the
          upper left that there is placed a 8520 a 8521 and a 8591 curve for a
          90° curve. But those sections only goes to 88°. The same goes for the
          upper right corner.

          8520 / 8530 45°
          8521 / 8531 30°
          8591 13°

          In the lower left the curve is made from 4 x 8591 and 1 x 852(3)1 this
          calculates to 82°. If you take the lower right hand corner it also
          goes to 4x 8591 and one 852(3)1.

          Together those curves calculate to 340° to the full circle...

          > What have I done?

          You got yourself a pretty interesting project...


          --
          GreetingZ
          Uwe
        • Steve Piwnica
          Thanks for your response, Chris.  Seems Schwarzwald is a little over the top for my first z layout (actually, I built the standard Marklin oval, but not much
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 2, 2008
            Thanks for your response, Chris.  Seems Schwarzwald is a little over the top for my first z layout (actually, I built the standard Marklin oval, but not much to go wrong there).  I'll be on ebay tonight looking around!
            Steve

            --- On Tue, 12/2/08, skye.chris <cmanvell@...> wrote:

            From: skye.chris <cmanvell@...>
            Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: Noch and the newcomer
            To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Tuesday, December 2, 2008, 12:06 PM






            Hi Steve.

            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups .com, Steve Piwnica <stevepiw@.. .> wrote:
            > Hello everyone - I'm basically new to z scale (dormant for the last
            year) and pretty new to model railroading and I think I have just
            gotten myself into a jam (being the overly ambitious guy that I am) by
            going out and buying the Noch Schwarzwald layout.�

            That's some layout! I assume that, Noch being a German company, that
            it is geared towards German track. However, MTL used the same geometry
            so, unless Noch specify the 145mm rad you should be OK.

            > So I begin to assemble the ramps and bridges and I notice the grade
            seems pretty steep, rising about 2 inches over 40 inches in one place
            and even more in another.� So will this be too much?� I read
            everywhere that 3% is about the maximum.� Or maybe I'll just be
            limited to short trains?

            Marklin's own ramps are 4%. As mine is on a 145mm curve it is the
            worst possible case and I happily pushed a 9 axle train up it with a
            BR72 (1'C tank loco).

            > �
            > Plus now I'm seeing the bridges and tunnels are for N scale and the
            Marklin track plan costs $1,500!� Is this kind of cost normal for z
            scale?� Is MTL track cheaper and, if so, is MTL track and�Marklin
            track compatible?

            There is more to it than just connecting to two together, which I
            cannot confirm. Marklin (who started the Z scale off in '72) and Micro
            Trains are incompatible when it comes to couplings and the uncouplers
            are unique to the make. So if you have MT stock, you need to go with
            MT and vice-versa.

            Also, The N scale geometry is slightly different so the trackbed will
            be wider than necessary, and from what you say, these are ally N scale
            landscapes which just happen to work with Z.

            $1500 seems a bit steep to me. However, you will probably be able to
            shop around for the cheapest supplier. And don't forget eBay, but make
            sure that what you buy from there is new or near new. That is where I
            got all my track and a small prportion of it has turned oput to ne
            pretty naff.

            > What have I done?

            I think you know by now!!!!!!

            > Thanks much,
            > Steve Piwnica
            > Orange County, CA
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

            Good luck and best wishes,
            Chris from Skye.


















            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • John Duino
            Doesn t look like much is on their web site, but this is a Great Train Expo show: http://www.trainexpoinc.com/schedule.html General page:
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 2, 2008
              Doesn't look like much is on their web site, but this is a Great Train
              Expo show:

              http://www.trainexpoinc.com/schedule.html

              General page:
              http://www.trainexpoinc.com

              We'll be there all weekend. We don't know the layout yet of the show, but
              last year we were in the back corner. Please do come down and introduce
              yourself! If you have anything you'd like to run just bring it along!

              John

              > Thanks, John. Seems I should for now at least forget the switch yard and
              > maybe do two out of the four lines to get started. I am in Corona del Mar
              > and work in Irvine, so maybe I can meet the group at some point. Can you
              > give me more info on the show in Del Mar?
              >
              > Steve
              >
            • Chris Manvell
              Hi Steve. ... At least you ve got a good baseboard; I started with just 6 x 2 feet into which I have managed to pack about 30m of track onto it (according to
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 2, 2008
                Hi Steve.

                2008/12/3 Steve Piwnica <stevepiw@...>:
                > Thanks for your response, Chris. Seems Schwarzwald is a little over the top
                > for my first z layout (actually, I built the standard Marklin oval, but not
                > much to go wrong there). I'll be on ebay tonight looking around!
                > Steve

                At least you've got a good baseboard; I started with just 6 x 2 feet
                into which I have managed to pack about 30m of track onto it
                (according to my rail cad program).

                Anyway, good luck with your layout. You'll have a great time building it.

                NB Check every rail joint before you anchor the track. It is all to
                easy to miss the odd fishplate (joiner) that manages to slip under the
                next rail. I speak from bitter experience.

                All the best,
                Chris.

                --
                Chris Manvell
                E: chris@..., T: 01471 822317, M: 078151 89991
                W: http://trains.manvell.org.uk, http://family.manvell.org.uk,
                http://skye.manvell.org.uk, http://bahai-faith.manvell.org.uk.
              • Steve Piwnica
                Uwe - that is a tremendous amount of info in one e-mail. Much appreciated. (And I have had a heck of a time translating the German assembly instructions.
                Message 7 of 11 , Dec 2, 2008
                  Uwe - that is a tremendous amount of info in one e-mail. Much appreciated. (And I have had a heck of a time translating the German assembly instructions. You've decoded a lot for me. thanks again.)
                  Steve


                  --- On Tue, 12/2/08, Uwe Liermann <maillist@...> wrote:

                  > From: Uwe Liermann <maillist@...>
                  > Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Noch and the newcomer
                  > To: "Steve Piwnica" <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
                  > Date: Tuesday, December 2, 2008, 2:53 PM
                  > Hello Steve,
                  >
                  > > Noch Schwarzwald layout.
                  >
                  > well, that seems to be one of the big ones... ;-)
                  >
                  > > I notice the grade seems pretty steep, rising about 2
                  > inches over 40
                  > > inches in one place and even more in another.  So
                  > will this be too
                  > > much?
                  >
                  > I take it that you have the track list for the layout
                  > available. But I
                  > don't know if you got an English one. I looked up the
                  > German PDF file
                  > for the layout:
                  >
                  > http://www.noch.de/pictures/PDFs/Gleisplaene/61800.pdf
                  >
                  > on page two you can find the statement from Noch about the
                  > use of
                  > Z-scale trains on those grades. There is written that you
                  > can run the
                  > mountain line with short trains up to 8 axles with out a
                  > problem. If
                  > you have cars with trucks and the train has more then 8
                  > axles (which
                  > means more then two cars) you will need two engines. If you
                  > have only
                  > 2 axle cars, then you will need two engines if you have 12
                  > axles in
                  > your train.
                  >  
                  > > Plus now I'm seeing the bridges and tunnels are
                  > for N scale
                  >
                  > It is written that you should use the mentioned N-scale
                  > bridges also
                  > for Z-scale. Then those bridges would be to wide for my
                  > liking. Maybe
                  > with some kitbashing of Z-scale bridges you can get a
                  > better picture.
                  >
                  > It is also stated that the portals are designed for
                  > N-scale. But I
                  > think that you can use Z-scale portals for the tunnels with
                  > some
                  > adaptive work too.
                  >
                  > > and the Marklin track plan costs $1,500!  Is this
                  > kind of cost
                  > > normal for z scale?
                  >
                  > I haven't calculated the track list for costs, but I
                  > see two ways to
                  > cut at least some of the costs. First you can get track
                  > often for less
                  > money on E-Bay or other second hand places.
                  >
                  > Then you can use flex track for much of the layout.
                  > I've seen 17
                  > sections 8592. This is a length adjustable section from 100
                  > to 120 mm.
                  > If you go the flex track way at least for the straight
                  > parts you can
                  > save a lot of money.
                  >
                  > > Is MTL track cheaper and, if so, is MTL track
                  > and Marklin track
                  > > compatible?
                  >
                  > MTL roadbed track is cheaper as Maerklin track, and it is
                  > compatible
                  > in footprint to the Maerklin sections as far as the
                  > sections are
                  > available. Unfortunately a lot of straight sections are not
                  > available
                  > yet from MTL.
                  >
                  > Regarding the curves I see that there is no 8510 145mm
                  > radii section
                  > in the track plan. The 145mm radii is not available from
                  > MTL. Also not
                  > available (but it will come I'm sure) is the 8531 220mm
                  > radii 30°
                  > section.
                  >
                  > MTL and Maerklin track section can be connected, but it
                  > needs some
                  > adjusting since the rail height (code) is different. But
                  > this can be
                  > done.
                  >
                  > Under closer inspection of the track plan I would go with
                  > flex track
                  > anyway. This because I see that at some places the curves
                  > aren't fully
                  > perfect with those sectional tracks. If you look at the
                  > left side of
                  > the layout you see at the main level (the double track
                  > line) in the
                  > upper left that there is placed a 8520 a 8521 and a 8591
                  > curve for a
                  > 90° curve. But those sections only goes to 88°. The same
                  > goes for the
                  > upper right corner.
                  >
                  > 8520 / 8530 45°
                  > 8521 / 8531 30°
                  > 8591 13°
                  >
                  > In the lower left the curve is made from 4 x 8591 and 1 x
                  > 852(3)1 this
                  > calculates to 82°. If you take the lower right hand
                  > corner it also
                  > goes to 4x 8591 and one 852(3)1.
                  >
                  > Together those curves calculate to 340° to the full
                  > circle...
                  >
                  > > What have I done?
                  >
                  > You got yourself a pretty interesting project...
                  >
                  >
                  > --
                  > GreetingZ
                  > Uwe
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > Z-scale: minimum siZe, MAXIMUM enjoyment!
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Todd Shoffeitt
                  Steve, I ll weigh in since I am building an even bigger layout for my first layout. Use MTL flex track wherever you can. Its easier to work with than Marklin
                  Message 8 of 11 , Dec 2, 2008
                    Steve,
                    I'll weigh in since I am building an even bigger layout for my first
                    layout. Use MTL flex track wherever you can. Its easier to work
                    with than Marklin track and it is less expensive. Also, use Atlas N
                    gauge code 55 rail joiners to join the flex. The MTL joiners are
                    pretty good, much better than the Marklin ones, but the bigger rail
                    joiners are more secure, easier to see and install, and really help
                    keep the ends of the flex track in gauge, even on curves. Also,
                    unless you are planning on gluing down the track, which I don't
                    recommend, at least at first until you get the track just the way you
                    want it, use Walthers Code 73/83 track nails to hold down the flex.
                    They are longer and larger than the Marklin track nails, and look
                    better in my opinion. Also, its nice to be able to shift around the
                    track a little bit while under construction, then you can glue it
                    down when everything fits and looks right.

                    I am using Marklin switches with MTL flex, and its working just
                    fine. As far as cash goes, Z is not for the faint of heart, but
                    here's a few things you could try as well.

                    One, use manual switches instead of remotes, especially in areas that
                    are easy to reach or won't be used as much. The Marklin manual
                    switches work well and are about half the prices.

                    Two, leave off some sidings, yards or passing tracks until you need
                    them. If its on a main line, put in a Marklin 8500 sectional track
                    in place of the switch, and when you are ready to put in the switch
                    for the siding or yard, cut the 8500 in half with the handy motor
                    tool, pull it out and install the switch. Make sure and leave enough
                    space without ties on the ends of the track on either side of the
                    8500 so you can use the sliding rail joiner trick when you install
                    the switch. This way you can build the thing in sections, get some
                    trains running and then add on as you want and can afford to.

                    Third, cut your own cork roadbed. The Itty Bitty lines is great
                    stuff, but its real expensive. Find some thin sheet cork that is
                    used to build cork message boards and cut your own strips of
                    roadbed. All the roadbed on my 15' x 5' foot layout cost me about
                    $24 at a local homecenter called Menards here in Chicago, but you may
                    need to try an arts and crafts or office supply store out in
                    California. Cut the strips 24mm wide for straighter sections and 12
                    wide and use two strips for curves. A 2 foot metal ruler and a good
                    exacto type with a sharp #11 blade will work fine for cutting.

                    Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions about this.
                    If you want to see pictures of what I'm doing, I just posted some pic
                    of my adventure in Z Central Station under the "Building the
                    Trinimosa Branch" gallery. I've built layouts in N and G scales, and
                    Z is not really that much different, but there are some tricks that
                    can make life easier.

                    Good luck, Todd
                  • Don A
                    Ouch, that is a steep grade of 5%. Most of us stick to about 2%. If your consists are real short, the 5% MAY work, depending on the engine and cars. If you
                    Message 9 of 11 , Dec 4, 2008
                      Ouch, that is a steep grade of 5%. Most of us stick to about 2%. If
                      your consists are real short, the 5% MAY work, depending on the engine
                      and cars. If you use MTL flextrack, you should be able to cut your
                      track costs by about 60% or a LOT more. As for scenery, use foam and
                      plaster cloth and hydrocal and resin rock castings and you should be
                      able to build a real fine layout for several hundred dollars [in
                      addition to the track etc]. If you have just a little ability you can
                      scratch build some real fine bridges from plastic from Plastruct or
                      Evergreen. I did that and also built one from foam and old business
                      cards. Cost for the business card one wasn't zero, but getting pretty
                      close. There are a number of Z Scalers in the Bay Area and also
                      toward San Diego who may be able to help you out. Try the yahoo group
                      ...BAZ_modules... for openers. I'm at the other end of the country
                      so can't help too much. ...don

                      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Steve Piwnica <stevepiw@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > Hello everyone - I'm basically new to z scale (dormant for the last
                      year) and pretty new to model railroading and I think I have just
                      gotten myself into a jam (being the overly ambitious guy that I am) by
                      going out and buying the Noch Schwarzwald layout.� So I begin to
                      assemble the ramps and bridges and I notice the grade seems pretty
                      steep, rising about 2 inches over 40 inches in one place and even more
                      in another.� So will this be too much?� I read everywhere that 3% is
                      about the maximum.� Or maybe I'll just be limited to short trains?
                      > �
                      > Plus now I'm seeing the bridges and tunnels are for N scale and the
                      Marklin track plan costs $1,500!� Is this kind of cost normal for z
                      scale?� Is MTL track cheaper and, if so, is MTL track and�Marklin
                      track compatible?
                      > �
                      > What have I done?
                      > Thanks much,
                      > Steve Piwnica
                      > Orange County, CA
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
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