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RE: [Z_Scale] z-gauge advice

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  • Larry Card
    ... Z is more affected by dirt, a very big rock in HO becomes a boulder in Z. So, in Z you must be very picky while building your track (but of course, you
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 31 10:04 PM
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      > What advice do you folks have for me? What are the pitfalls of z-gauge
      > for people used to HO and how easily can they be overcome?


      Z is more affected by dirt, a very big rock in HO becomes a boulder in Z. So, in Z you must be very picky while building your track (but of course, you should be anyway, right?) and you must keep it clean (but then again, you do anyway, right?) so that the boulders don't get in and wreck the trains.

      On the plus side, you can put a lot of trains into the same space. A common misconception is that you can take an HO layout and shrink it down 50% for N scale, but all you do then is shrink the problems (or make them worse). The 19" curve in HO becomes an 8 1/2" curve in N, and that will give you no end of trouble for all but the shortest locomotives and rolling stock. An 8 1/2" curve is doable in Z, most locos and rolling stock will negotiate a curve that sharp, so you can shrink the HO layout by 50% for Z.

      What's better, though, is to build Z in the same space as HO. You can fit more than twice the train in the same space. The 19" curve that comes standard in the train sets in HO is a good radius for N, and it's awesome in Z. But, if you must have a smaller layout, you can pack plenty of action into a 2 foot by 4 foot piece of tabletop in Z scale.

      V/R
      Larry P. Card

      Franklinton NC

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    • Chris
      I started in Z-scale 18 months ago and have exhibited my layout twice as a work in progress. At both exhibitions (a total of 3 days) I found it was almost
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 1, 2009
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        I started in Z-scale 18 months ago and have exhibited my layout twice
        as a work in progress. At both exhibitions (a total of 3 days) I found
        it was almost un-necessary to clean the track. Obviously I had a go at
        it before each exhibition. I have very little trouble at either
        exhibition.

        What I have found, though, is that it is very easy to get one of the
        fishplates (joiners?) go under the rail rather than around it. So,
        when you start laying track, check each joint by running a finger
        lightly over each rail in both directions and feel for any change in
        level.

        As to how much you can pack into a small space, have a look at my
        layout (http://trains.manvell.org.uk/z-scale/). There is 30m of linear
        track in the 1800mm by 610mm board.

        BTW, G scalers will try to put you off - they are into BIG stuff. My
        eyes aren't perfect so I use a magnifying headband when I need to and
        have no trouble at all.

        Best wishes,
        Chris.

        2009/4/1 Larry Card <lpcard@...>:
        >> What advice do you folks have for me? What are the pitfalls of z-gauge
        >> for people used to HO and how easily can they be overcome?

        --
        Chris Manvell
        http://trains.manvell.org.uk, http://family.manvell.org.uk,
        http://skye.manvell.org.uk, http://bahai-faith.manvell.org.uk.
      • Larry Card
        ... I didn t start this thread!!!!!!!! just so you know. I was answering the guy that asked the questions above. Please be careful when trimming messages, but
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 1, 2009
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          >
          > 2009/4/1 Larry Card <lpcard@...>:
          > >> What advice do you folks have for me? What are the pitfalls of z-gauge
          > >> for people used to HO and how easily can they be overcome?
          >


          I didn't start this thread!!!!!!!!

          just so you know.

          I was answering the guy that asked the questions above. Please be careful when trimming messages, but please do trim them!

          V/R
          Larry P. Card

          Franklinton NC

          _________________________________________________________________
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        • ztrack@aol.com
          Chuck, I think you will really enjoy Z. First, let me touch upon the negatives. As mentioned, track work is critical. Smooth track is essential. Fortunately,
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 1, 2009
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            Chuck,

            I think you will really enjoy Z. First, let me touch upon the negatives. As
            mentioned, track work is critical. Smooth track is essential. Fortunately, both
            Marklin and Micro-Trains make section track lines. The Marklin line is more
            complete with many more options. The MTL line has preballasted roadbed that
            both looks good and makes joining the track together much more simpler.

            Keeping track clean is essential. Due to the fact that there is less surface
            contact to exchange electric pickup between the locos and rails, any dirt can
            greatly reduce the pickup. Fortunately, a simple cloth and alcohol does the
            trick. I also recommend Gaugemaster electronic track cleaners for those not
            running DCC. These devices help a lot.

            Along these lines, keeping locos wheels clean is also a must.

            After these key points, most other issues come down to size. You must be
            comfortable working on at this size. Kits and dealing with small parts may be more
            challenging to work with. The same is true when doing routine maintenance on
            locos and rolling stock. Lot of small parts to work with!

            Another consideration is number of items available. It can't be overlooked
            that Z has less variety of rolling stock, locomotives and accessories as the
            other scales. You may find a real challenge if you are trying to model a
            particular roadname, era, branch line etc. Fortunately, Z is growing. If you already
            have Marklin HO, I am going to assume you may be looking at more of the
            European products. Marklin is still king with years of product releases and variety.
            Also look at companies such as FR in Germany for options. Companies like MBZ
            and Luetke have releases amazing structures and kits for Z.

            As for the North American market, if you go this way, be prepared for lots of
            new products and releases. American Z Line, MTL, Marsilius, Full Throttle, FR
            and others all are releasing new rolling stock and locomotives. We have seen
            a boon of kits available. It is really a golden age for Z scalers.

            One of the benefits of Z is being able to do more in the space you have. This
            can't be overlooked. Z is incredible if you have a small space, or a
            basement. You can do so much! Also compression is not an issues. All Z scale locos
            and cars are too scale. For instance 85'passengers are a scale 85'. You won't
            necessarily find this in the other scales. Just something to consider.

            Rob Kluz
            Z Scaler since 1985

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



            **************
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          • Ed Dalman
            Hi Chuck, Welcome on board.  Visiting some nearby Z-scalers may be a great source of info for you. In which part of the country you live? BTW I am building a
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 1, 2009
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              Hi Chuck,
              Welcome on board.  Visiting some nearby Z-scalers may be a great source of info for you.
              In which part of the country you live?
              BTW I am building a 2-level layout [44" x 88"] that will be stored in the storage compartment of a motorhome.
              All the beZtzzz,
              Ed
              Lakeside, CA

              --- On Tue, 3/31/09, Charles Henebry <chuck_henebry@...> wrote:


              From: Charles Henebry <chuck_henebry@...>
              Subject: [Z_Scale] z-gauge advice
              To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 8:16 PM






              I posted the following query over on MarklinBandG@ yahoogroups. com, and
              got a mixed bag of advice. A number of users there warned me away from
              z-gauge as being more finicky and prone to error from dirt, etc. But
              one of the users there suggested I might get more favorable advice
              from the folks over here. I'm sure there's some overlap in the two
              user communities, so if you saw this message a few days ago, I'm sorry
              for the duplication.

              My father built up a great collection of Märklin HO when I was a kid
              in the seventies, but I've never had space for it in the various
              apartments I've lived in as an adult. So even though the collection
              became mine when my father passed away, I've left it in storage at my
              parents' house, taking it out to play with during visits. During those
              vacations, my son (now 13) has showed a strong interest, and so I'm
              considering starting a z-gauge collection, as I figure that would be
              better suited to the space we live in.

              What advice do you folks have for me? What are the pitfalls of z-gauge
              for people used to HO and how easily can they be overcome?

              Thanks,

              Chuck

















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            • Loren
              Rob, Reynard, Both very good answers. I d add one thing to your list........a fearless attitude ofc I can do this, yes I can Z can be daunting when you
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 1, 2009
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                Rob, Reynard,

                Both very good answers. I'd add one thing to your list........a fearless
                attitude ofc "I can do this, yes I can"

                Z can be daunting when you look at the challenges, but truthfully said, once
                you get into it and dedicate yourself to Z you begin to have a new love
                affair and it usually, most often is not curable. Just be careful your new
                lover doesn't take too much time away from your wife or girl friend. They
                can and will get jealous if you don't balance the equation.

                In my case I am very fortunate, as my wife loves the stuff and is immersed
                in it up to her elbows.....still a little ways to her eyeballs... :o)

                Chuck, years ago I took up racquet ball as a sport and for exercise. I was
                told early on that a person either loves it or hates it.
                Fortunately for me, I fell in love with it even though I got a few bruises
                and bumps along the garden path.
                Same goes for Z scale. You either love it or abandon it along life's
                walkway and go looking for some magazine to read or some John Wayne rerun on
                TV.

                "Feel the force Chuck.........feel the force"

                Enjoy the adventure as we are all in this together and are very willing to
                offer advice and help as you need it.

                Go forth and conquor.
                Loren

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: <ztrack@...>
                To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 5:46 AM
                Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] z-gauge advice


                > Chuck,
                >
                > I think you will really enjoy Z. First, let me touch
                > ...........................
              • Loren
                Chuck, Picture this.........Ed pulls into a camp site or RV park and sets up camp. He then opens his storage compartment and pulls out his Z layout and
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 1, 2009
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                  Chuck,
                  Picture this.........Ed pulls into a camp site or RV park and sets up camp.
                  He then opens his storage compartment and pulls out his Z layout and
                  commences to run it right there in plain sight of all who pass by. If you
                  have ever camped in the woods, or some other nice place, then you know that
                  vacationers who walk by your camp site often stop and chat.

                  Won't they be blown away by Ed's layout!! What a marvelous opportunity to
                  share Z and spread the diseaZe......Ed will become a true roving Z
                  ambassador and put smiles on many a face. Now, that's living!!!!

                  I'm kind of envious really,
                  Loren

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Ed Dalman" <dalman220z@...>
                  To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 7:39 AM
                  Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] z-gauge advice


                  Hi Chuck,
                  Welcome on board. Visiting some nearby Z-scalers may be a great source of
                  info for you.
                  In which part of the country you live?
                  BTW I am building a 2-level layout [44" x 88"] that will be stored in the
                  storage compartment of a motorhome.
                  All the beZtzzz,
                  Ed
                  Lakeside, CA
                • Reynard Wellman
                  Hi Chuck, Good questions to ask. The Marklin HO would be something to hold on to, especially for younger folks where it is slightly easier to handle and put
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 1, 2009
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                    Hi Chuck,

                    Good questions to ask. The Marklin HO would
                    be something to hold on to, especially for younger
                    folks where it is slightly easier to handle and put
                    together than the smaller scales like N & Z.

                    For myself, I have always loved Z since it came
                    out back in 1972. It has taken time but today there
                    are far more choices for the Z modeler.

                    Z requires less space but more fastidiousness in
                    assembly and track-work. A good hatband
                    magnifier, good lighting and some jeweler's tools
                    will serve you well.

                    Yes, Z is well suited to small spaces.

                    One pitfall might be in accidentally bumping the layout
                    and literally heaving all the engines and rolling stock
                    into the railway ditches.

                    Another very common pitfall is in losing tiny parts,
                    coupler springs, Preiser folks, etc. when working
                    with them.

                    As a whole I find the scale to be utterly charming,
                    with well made engines & rolling stock. There is the possibility
                    of excellent track even in small spaces. One can
                    now chose between building with code 40 "Fast Track"
                    materials or starting off with some of MTL's excellent
                    roadbed track sets. Back in 1997 I acquired my first Marklin
                    Z trainset and set it up on the coffee table. It ran perfectly
                    right out of the box! (BTW, to avoid confusion,
                    stick to the Marklin transformers for a while. You will find
                    out about Zthek's great innovations in Z power supplies
                    and electronics when you are ready for some extra fun!)

                    Best regardZ & enjoy!

                    Reynard Wellman
                    http://www.micronart.com
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