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Z scale containers

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  • Malcolm Kent Cleaveland
    Folks, At the Denver Z scale convention I saw long intermodal trains of stack cars loaded with containers. Very impressive - except none of the containers
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 6, 2012
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      Folks,

      At the Denver Z scale convention I saw long intermodal trains of stack cars loaded with containers. Very impressive - except none of the containers looked like real containers! They were, almost without exception, Micro-Trains containers. Z scale is making progress as is shown by the awards won by the excellent David George modules at the National Train Show, even if the NMRA magazine did label them HO (an error which has not yet been corrected, and probably won't be). Conversations with some of the modelers indicates to me that they don't even know what a real container looks like, which may account in part for their willingness to run stuff that doesn't look real. Of course, the MTL containers come with the MTL Gunderson well cars and buying replacements is an additional expense. So I thought that I would review the present Z scale options available for the modeler who wants to run intermodal but maybe isn't quite sure what's prototypical and what isn't. Full disclosure: I produce Z scale containers as MCZ Models in collaboration with Harald Freudenreich of Freudenreich Feinwerktechnik.

      A bit of background: Containers come in 3 basic varieties, corrugated, external post (x-post), and smooth sides (exclusively reefers). Everyone knows what corrugations and smooth sides look like, x-posts have a rib every few feet with smooth panels between. X-post containers are no longer being manufactured and those still in service are being phased out in favor of corrugated containers as the x-posts wear out. So here's what's available, including some future offerings.

      MTL - Smooth sides that could possibly pass for refrigerated containers with a little alteration (addition of a refrigeration unit), but MTL doesn't do the appropriate paint jobs. No detailed printing that is found on real containers, just the logo and/or name. 20' and 40' containers. This is the worst option if you are at all interested in realism.

      AZL - X-post containers, 53' and 40'. Some are accurate, some are not. The paint jobs are excellent, but some are for shippers that only run corrugated containers. Examples: CSX and Pacer Stacktrain have never run x-post containers in their paint schemes but AZL turns them out. On the other hand, J.B. Hunt and Hub Group have not bought an x-post container in years but still have a few in service (Hub Group green paint job only), so running a few x-posts would be realistic. The Hunt paint scheme did not change until recently. AZL also produces 40' x-post containers and NONE of them are accurate. 40' x-post containers were replaced decades ago with corrugated containers.

      Marklin - makes a container set. It may have been realistic when it was designed decades ago. Includes chassis and transporters. The chassis, at least, are unlike any chassis used in N. America. 20' and 40' containers.

      MCZ Models - Corrugated 53' and 40' containers and 40' reefers. These are prototypically accurate and replicate what is seen on intermodal consists every day. IMHO the paint jobs are excellent, a real feat since a corrugated surface makes pad printing more difficult. We did produce a 53' Triton container and I believe that Triton only runs 40' containers. 53' containers include APL(domestic), APL Ocean53(only 53' container that moves in maritime commerce), CSX(blue and white), Hub Group(red), J.B. Hunt, Pacer Stacktrain, Schneider, Swift, Triton, undecorated. 40' include APL, China Shipping, Cosco, Evergreen, Hanjin, Hapag-Lloyd, Ivaran, "K" Line, Lys-Line, Maersk, MSC, Nedlloyd, Yang Ming, Zim, undecorated.

      Rokuhan - has announced 40' corrugated models, but availability and price is TBA. The photos look good and some of the releases will be in competition with MCZ Models. On the other hand, I'll probably buy some of their containers myself when they release shippers that MCZ Models has not released.

      A word about stacking. The pins and holes of the MCZ Models and Marklin containers (the only other containers at the time the MCZ Models molds were made) are compatible. MTL containers can be made to fit with difficulty. AZL pins and holes are relatively large, so cannot go on top of other manufacturers' containers. The Rokuhan stacking system is unknown.

      Hope I have not bored you.

      CheerZ,
      -- Malcolm Z
      MCZ Models




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jeff Newburg
      Malcolm, this is extremely helpful – thanks for the information. Jeff N
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 6, 2012
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        Malcolm, this is extremely helpful – thanks for the information.
        Jeff N
      • sj_baz_man
        Think I read this a few months back. Most of the Containers that I have seen at recent shows, inlcuding Denver, have been AZL products. Yes, some MTL, FR s or
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 6, 2012
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          Think I read this a few months back. Most of the Containers that I have seen at recent shows, inlcuding Denver, have been AZL products. Yes, some MTL, FR's or Tim's rolling stock too. But vastly now (for BAZ and ZoCal), the AZL products.

          I changed out all of my MTL's long ago for FR, MCZ and a few märklins.

          Jeff
          SF Bay Area Z
          a.k.a. The BAZ BoyZ

          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Malcolm Kent Cleaveland <mcleavel@...> wrote:
          >
          > Folks,
          >
          > At the Denver Z scale convention I saw long intermodal trains of stack cars loaded with containers. Very impressive - except none of the containers looked like real containers! They were, almost without exception, Micro-Trains containers. Z scale is making progress as is shown by the awards won by the excellent David George modules at the National Train Show, even if the NMRA magazine did label them HO (an error which has not yet been corrected, and probably won't be). Conversations with some of the modelers indicates to me that they don't even know what a real container looks like, which may account in part for their willingness to run stuff that doesn't look real. Of course, the MTL containers come with the MTL Gunderson well cars and buying replacements is an additional expense. So I thought that I would review the present Z scale options available for the modeler who wants to run intermodal but maybe isn't quite sure what's prototypical and what isn't. Full disclosure: I produce Z scale containers as MCZ Models in collaboration with Harald Freudenreich of Freudenreich Feinwerktechnik.
          >
          > A bit of background: Containers come in 3 basic varieties, corrugated, external post (x-post), and smooth sides (exclusively reefers). Everyone knows what corrugations and smooth sides look like, x-posts have a rib every few feet with smooth panels between. X-post containers are no longer being manufactured and those still in service are being phased out in favor of corrugated containers as the x-posts wear out. So here's what's available, including some future offerings.
          >
          > MTL - Smooth sides that could possibly pass for refrigerated containers with a little alteration (addition of a refrigeration unit), but MTL doesn't do the appropriate paint jobs. No detailed printing that is found on real containers, just the logo and/or name. 20' and 40' containers. This is the worst option if you are at all interested in realism.
          >
          > AZL - X-post containers, 53' and 40'. Some are accurate, some are not. The paint jobs are excellent, but some are for shippers that only run corrugated containers. Examples: CSX and Pacer Stacktrain have never run x-post containers in their paint schemes but AZL turns them out. On the other hand, J.B. Hunt and Hub Group have not bought an x-post container in years but still have a few in service (Hub Group green paint job only), so running a few x-posts would be realistic. The Hunt paint scheme did not change until recently. AZL also produces 40' x-post containers and NONE of them are accurate. 40' x-post containers were replaced decades ago with corrugated containers.
          >
          > Marklin - makes a container set. It may have been realistic when it was designed decades ago. Includes chassis and transporters. The chassis, at least, are unlike any chassis used in N. America. 20' and 40' containers.
          >
          > MCZ Models - Corrugated 53' and 40' containers and 40' reefers. These are prototypically accurate and replicate what is seen on intermodal consists every day. IMHO the paint jobs are excellent, a real feat since a corrugated surface makes pad printing more difficult. We did produce a 53' Triton container and I believe that Triton only runs 40' containers. 53' containers include APL(domestic), APL Ocean53(only 53' container that moves in maritime commerce), CSX(blue and white), Hub Group(red), J.B. Hunt, Pacer Stacktrain, Schneider, Swift, Triton, undecorated. 40' include APL, China Shipping, Cosco, Evergreen, Hanjin, Hapag-Lloyd, Ivaran, "K" Line, Lys-Line, Maersk, MSC, Nedlloyd, Yang Ming, Zim, undecorated.
          >
          > Rokuhan - has announced 40' corrugated models, but availability and price is TBA. The photos look good and some of the releases will be in competition with MCZ Models. On the other hand, I'll probably buy some of their containers myself when they release shippers that MCZ Models has not released.
          >
          > A word about stacking. The pins and holes of the MCZ Models and Marklin containers (the only other containers at the time the MCZ Models molds were made) are compatible. MTL containers can be made to fit with difficulty. AZL pins and holes are relatively large, so cannot go on top of other manufacturers' containers. The Rokuhan stacking system is unknown.
          >
          > Hope I have not bored you.
          >
          > CheerZ,
          > -- Malcolm Z
          > MCZ Models
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • FR.model@t-online.de
          Folks, in the years before 2000 Marklin containers were the only choice for Z intermodal traffic. At the very early beginning (in 1999 / 2000) I started with
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 6, 2012
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            Folks,

            in the years before 2000 Marklin containers were the only choice for Z
            intermodal traffic.
            At the very early beginning (in 1999 / 2000) I started with the
            production of simple decal
            lettered TTX 48" Gunderson Huskies loaded with Global Trans and Cosco
            40' containers
            from Marklin.
            When I continued with pad printed stack cars I had access to a
            compromised tool for
            a plastic smooth side, corrugated front 20' injection mould. About 600
            Huskies of different
            paint schemes were built with 20' ACL and CP Ships container until 2005.


            The 40' 42R1 style reefer was my first "big" injection mould investment.
            Several paint schemes
            were made for the Gunderson Maxi III production. In 2008 I made about
            200 Hapag Lloyd 40' reefers.
            Actually we have the sealand and the MAERSK in the MCZ and FR line.
            Others will follow.
            Today we mostly see the higher Hi-Cube 40' reefer versions at streets,
            rails and ships.

            The 56' Husky came with the all new 53' Hi Cube Jindo container
            (designed in the USA, art work
            done at my studios and produced in China). A 40' Hi Cube corrugated
            containers made in the
            same manner now completes this line. In the States these containers are
            available at MCZ retailers.

            Actually I see no sufficient desire for another American style hand
            crafted (higher priced)
            Z-scale container car. The old compromised 20' container mould was
            improved to an all
            corrugated style for European container cars. They have no stacking
            holes at the top since
            double stack service is not possible at most tracks due to the catenary
            at 6.00m height.
            The 20' regular height corrugated containers now come with two-axle
            Scandinavian style
            container cars painted and lettered for Tollpost Globe, Posten Norge AS
            and Volvo.

            Harald
            --
            FREUDENREICH FEINWERKTECHNIK
            Harald Thom-Freudenreich
            Schwarzer Weg 1B
            D-18190 Sanitz / Mecklenburg
            Phone: +49 38209 49160 Fax: +49 38209 49161
            e-mail: FR.model@... web: www.FR-model.de

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Malcolm Kent Cleaveland
            ... Jeff, Glad that I could be of help. It really does hurt to see people running stuff that doesn t even come close to something that exists in the real
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 11, 2012
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              On Thu Nov 8, 2012 Jeff Newburg wrote:

              > This is extremely helpful.

              Jeff,

              Glad that I could be of help. It really does hurt to see people running stuff that doesn't even come close to something that exists in the real world (aside from taking up the same space, of course). I have put together a summary of what's available in Z in the way of double stack cars as well as containers but it's a little long for the Z_scale list. E-mail me and I'll send it to you

              With new offerings such as Stonebridge Models' Maxi IVs (a 3 unit piece of rolling stock with 53' wells exquisitely detailed by Tim Buehring) we are making progress. Unfortunately, I believe they are now all sold out. AZL has brought out very nice 89' flatcars, but they are populated with the AZL containers instead of the 53' or 28' trailers they would normally carry. There are no RTR trailers available, just Shapeways' rapid prototyped items. The usefulness of these are severely limited by the necessity of degreasing, priming, painting and decaling them. Decals are a real problem.

              CheerZ,
              -- Malcolm Z
              MCZ Models


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Alan Cox
              ... Clean them in white spirit, spray them directly with a good acrylic. They shouldn t even need priming. Still leaves the decal problem. Fortunately a lot of
              Message 6 of 6 , Nov 11, 2012
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                >containers instead of the 53' or 28' trailers they would normally carry. There are no RTR trailers available, just Shapeways' rapid prototyped items.
                > The usefulness of these are severely limited by the necessity of
                > degreasing, priming, painting and decaling them. Decals are a real
                > problem.

                Clean them in white spirit, spray them directly with a good acrylic. They
                shouldn't even need priming. Still leaves the decal problem. Fortunately
                a lot of the more generic containers these days just seem to have black
                writing on plain backgrounds and black decals are easy to make at home.

                Alan
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