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Re: Z scale "aura" compared to N

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  • webffm
    Jay -- that would be great -- you can email me direct off list at webffm@yahoo.com. Thanks! Bill, Buffalo NY
    Message 1 of 22 , Mar 3, 2002
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      Jay -- that would be great -- you can email me direct off list at
      webffm@.... Thanks! Bill, Buffalo NY
    • Jay & Anne Greer
      Hi Bill, My friend who can supply you with TT items as well as a starter set is Edward Harris at He prefers to be called Ned. For thirty
      Message 2 of 22 , Mar 3, 2002
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        Hi Bill,
        My friend who can supply you with TT items as well as a starter set is
        Edward Harris at <trainned@...>
        He prefers to be called Ned. For thirty bucks you can get a good look at TT
        and have some fun to boot. Here is a German web site that will connect you
        to a lot of other TT sites: http://www.kuswa.de/T1/t1.htm
        Cheers,
        Jay Greer/Trax Inc.

        > From: "webffm" <webffm@...>
        > Reply-To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Sun, 03 Mar 2002 20:41:39 -0000
        > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [z_scale] Re: Z scale "aura" compared to N
        >
        > Jay -- that would be great -- you can email me direct off list at
        > webffm@.... Thanks! Bill, Buffalo NY
        >
        >
        >
        > "Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
      • pasowl
        I feel there s another reason for what feels right also. And that s your viewing distance. With my most recent HO layout now under construction, I raised it
        Message 3 of 22 , Mar 3, 2002
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          I feel there's another reason for what "feels" right also. And that's
          your viewing distance.

          With my most recent HO layout now under construction, I raised it up
          quite a bit above what module units and others reccomend. This
          permits me to look more into the scene then down on the scene and the
          HO size allows you the detailing possiabilities for doing that.

          In N scale the most common height is the N-trak specs which I am sure
          most of us have seen. In many cases I feel (and only my opinion on
          all of this subject)these modules would gain a lot better perspective
          if they were raised up a bit more so more people would either look
          more directly into the scenes (like the spectator was in a tall
          building looking down perhaps)or dropped a bit and the modules widen
          some to make the "mental image" more "common" to what someone might
          already have an "mental" feel for, I.e. flying in a jet over the land.

          When viewing these modules now, in many cases, I feel that you're
          looking at it from a platform such as when you're flying over them in
          a crop duster or helicopter close to the ground. Most people never
          have that opportunity so you feel a little uneasy about what you are
          seeing in the broad sense yet you're not sure just why.

          Of course if it's a "first look" at the scene you're excitied at all
          of the details, the memories the scene might bring to you, the
          mpovement of the trains, etc. However the longer and more often you
          look at the same modules, you tend to build up this sense
          that "somethings not quite right". I feel part of the problem is that
          your mind doesn't really have a lot of memory information to compare
          this "unusual" viwewing angle/distance with.

          I haven't had a chance yet to visit any Z modelers layouts as I am
          just starting into this scale but in my inital views of small
          displays at a couple of shows and of web page pictures, etc. I can
          see how many people may feel "more comfortable" with the
          overall "mental images" they get from well made Z scale systems
          because they have been exposed to smaller ground based items from a
          height they can relate to. Most people either fly often or seen many
          more higher attitude images (via magazines, films, TV, etc.) then
          they have from a low flying viewpoint.

          So in my opinion part of the "aura" equation needs to be the smaller
          size vs the probable viewing distance and what people have more
          memories of to compare it metallly to.

          I've flown in copters before and that's what kind of "platform" my
          mind often imagines as I view N modules at a show from my sight level
          (I'm 6'1" tall). With HO modules, if my bad back permits it, I almost
          always lean down and look more straight on. Z's going to be
          interesting to get the feel of once I can visit some layouts but my
          inital thoughts right now is that I will probably feel that I am on a
          higher attitude plane platform. More and more this "mental image" may
          play a factor in viewing comfort as it is very common nowadays for
          people to be exposed to a lot of high attitude images from flying or
          even newsclips and movies, especially with the terroism war going on
          and so many action type movies being produced.

          So that's just my thoughts that viewing distance can also contribute
          to the "mental reality" a lot in addition to other factors. Z may
          have an advantage here of being more friendly to peoples minds when
          you're dealing with "standard module heights" as you are playing into
          mental images that your spectators are more comforatable with.
          Just my thoughts,
          Pete Shatswell
          Night Owl Railways

          --- In z_scale@y..., "webffm" <webffm@y...> wrote:
          > Maybe aura is the wrong term, but it closely describes my
          observation
          > of the fact the modeling scale of Z simply looks better for some
          > reason than N scale. I noticed I was never happy with the size of
          N
          > scale. Whereas HO offers enough detail to be very believable, Z
          > offers enough of a direct lack of detail to also be very realistic,
          > in proportion. N scale tries to be HO in detail, but it is so much
          > larger than Z you can't hide enough of it to make it look really
          > good. Comes off almost too "toy-like" I think. I guess what I am
          > saying is Z pulls it off better than N in terms of the overall
          look.
          > ...
        • ztrack@aol.com
          Pete, Interesting comments. The perspective of looking down compared to looking at the trains is a topic of much discussion here lately in the Ztrack offices.
          Message 4 of 22 , Mar 4, 2002
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            Pete,

            Interesting comments. The perspective of looking down compared to looking at
            the trains is a topic of much discussion here lately in the Ztrack offices.
            One of our subscribers recently mentioned he really does not like the covers
            of Ztrack. His concern being that with covers putting the viewer at track
            level, you cannot tell exactly what the scale is. Also, he feels it brings
            out the flaws of Z scale. These flaws being cast on horns and other small
            details that have been compromised because of the scale.

            Personally, I cannot disagree more. In trying to promote the hobby, I tend to
            feel we do spend too much time looking down on Z scale. This is a two fold
            comment. As modelers, it can be challenging to work at track level. For the
            hobby in general, Z scale has not gained the notoriety it deserve thus always
            being looked down upon.

            For me, the best comment I can get is when someone sees a cover of Ztrack and
            cannot tell if it is Z, N, or HO. This places our scale on the same plane
            with the other scales. Also, these extreme close-ups show the detailing and
            intricacies that Z does offer. I spend most of time working above the layout.
            It is an amazingly different world when you can get down to track level.

            Rob Kluz

            Ztrack Magazine, Ltd.
            6142 Northcliff Blvd.
            Dublin, OH 43016
            Phone/Fax (614) 764-1703
            www.ztrack.com
          • jmac_han
            ... that s ... SNIP ... contribute ... minds when ... playing into ... with. ... some ... size of ... believable, Z ... realistic, ... much ... am ... Hi Pete,
            Message 5 of 22 , Mar 4, 2002
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              --- In z_scale@y..., "pasowl" <Pasowl@a...> wrote:
              > I feel there's another reason for what "feels" right also. And
              that's
              > your viewing distance.
              SNIP
              >
              > So that's just my thoughts that viewing distance can also
              contribute
              > to the "mental reality" a lot in addition to other factors. Z may
              > have an advantage here of being more friendly to peoples
              minds when
              > you're dealing with "standard module heights" as you are
              playing into
              > mental images that your spectators are more comforatable
              with.
              > Just my thoughts,
              > Pete Shatswell
              > Night Owl Railways
              >
              > --- In z_scale@y..., "webffm" <webffm@y...> wrote:
              > > Maybe aura is the wrong term, but it closely describes my
              > observation
              > > of the fact the modeling scale of Z simply looks better for
              some
              > > reason than N scale. I noticed I was never happy with the
              size of
              > N
              > > scale. Whereas HO offers enough detail to be very
              believable, Z
              > > offers enough of a direct lack of detail to also be very
              realistic,
              > > in proportion. N scale tries to be HO in detail, but it is so
              much
              > > larger than Z you can't hide enough of it to make it look really
              > > good. Comes off almost too "toy-like" I think. I guess what I
              am
              > > saying is Z pulls it off better than N in terms of the overall
              > look.
              > > ...

              Hi Pete, Hi Jeff,

              You have both touched on aspects of Z model railroading that
              appeal to me and, I suspect, to many visitors to the Val Ease
              Central at train shows.

              I agree that adding super details to Z rolling stock may be
              overdoing it in many cases since, frankly, nobody would ever
              notice the detail except the builder and Jeff Rothfus :-)

              Many of my N projects involved superdetailing with MU hoses,
              ditch lights, windshield wipers, sun shades etc. The more detail
              I added the more I found that I had forgotten. At a certain point it
              became frustrating not having the skill or knowledge level to
              produce an "exact" replica of my favourite locomotives and rolling
              stock. A turning point came for me when I presented a Russell
              snow plow that I had scratch built in an NMRA modelling
              competition. I had worked from photos of the original and I was
              quite proud of my effort. The judges thought otherwise. Not only
              did I not recieve more than 20 points I received several
              disparaging and discouraging comments concerning my work.

              Once I had recovered from my bout of depression ;-) I began to
              think about why I liked my model and the judges didn't. I realized
              that I was more interested in the overall effect or impression the
              model gave than the list of prototype details. The psychological
              impact a miniature creates seems to be the result of the mental
              background the observer adds to the picture. The judges
              superimpose the image of the model onto a construct of the
              prototype. I my case, the model was a piece of a jigsaw puzzle
              image of my miniature landscape. The details become fuzzy
              when in your mind's eye you see the loco at the head of a long
              freight drag rounding a curve on a tough grade, spewing black
              smoke and shaking the ground underfoot with the roar of it's
              diesel plant. But I digress!

              I think that Pete is correct in his observation about viewing
              distance. Most of us don't hold an object 3 inches from our eyes
              but rather at a comfortable viewing distance like when holding a
              book. At 20 - 24 inches, a Z loco or car doesn't need to be
              superdetailed. In the prototype world we would actually be
              looking at a massive object from a distance of 440 feet. How
              many details would one really see?

              On the subject of viewing height, the debat continues to rage. I
              like to have the layout at eye level when I am sitting down. When
              I stand and tower over the layout I enjoy the helicopter
              perspective. At train shows I also enjoy watching my trains from
              10 to 20 feet away. Perhaps the surprise of seeing the miniature
              landscape from many percieved distances is what appeals to
              viewers. We can all pretend to be Superman zooming in to save
              the day as we approach the Z landscape from afar. Didn't you
              ever have dreams of flying like a bird?

              I have heard that Z appeals to many people who seem to sum
              up their feelings with the word "cute". <wink> When the
              cuteness of Z trains is enveloped by a fully scenicked landscape
              the public seems to lose sight of the trains and see an animated
              world. At least that is the impression I get from talking to
              visitors
              to the Val Ease Central.

              After almost 10 years on the road with the layout, I still get a
              thrill
              when I step back and enjoy the colours and visual textures of the
              finished diorama (i.e. layout). Our animated dioramas have
              railroads as a central theme but they are really just a series of
              dioramas that may be discreet or continuous.

              Diorama building is a very impressionistic art form. I have tried
              to express my modelling philosophy with the phrase "Don't Look
              for Perfection, Perfect the Look". And I'm still working on it!

              Jeffrey
            • David George
              I went from a ZBend standard of 50 inches in heigth to a table top level for two reasons. 1. I have an interior valley in one wide module that is hard to see
              Message 6 of 22 , Mar 4, 2002
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                I went from a ZBend standard of 50 inches in heigth to a table top level
                for two reasons. 1. I have an interior valley in one wide module that is
                hard to see for most adults at the 50 inch level , and 2. Dads and Moms
                were always lifting children up to see the layout at shows. I brought a
                step ladder to the shows to help out , but now I have a much larger layout
                and would need too many ladders for the kids.
                David G.
                Spring, Texas
                --- pasowl <Pasowl@...> wrote:
                > I feel there's another reason for what "feels" right also. And that's
                > your viewing distance.
                >
                > With my most recent HO layout now under construction, I raised it up
                > quite a bit above what module units and others reccomend. This
                > permits me to look more into the scene then down on the scene and the
                > HO size allows you the detailing possiabilities for doing that.
                >
                > In N scale the most common height is the N-trak specs which I am sure
                > most of us have seen. In many cases I feel (and only my opinion on
                > all of this subject)these modules would gain a lot better perspective
                > if they were raised up a bit more so more people would either look
                > more directly into the scenes (like the spectator was in a tall
                > building looking down perhaps)or dropped a bit and the modules widen
                > some to make the "mental image" more "common" to what someone might
                > already have an "mental" feel for, I.e. flying in a jet over the land.
                >
                > When viewing these modules now, in many cases, I feel that you're
                > looking at it from a platform such as when you're flying over them in
                > a crop duster or helicopter close to the ground. Most people never
                > have that opportunity so you feel a little uneasy about what you are
                > seeing in the broad sense yet you're not sure just why.
                >
                > Of course if it's a "first look" at the scene you're excitied at all
                > of the details, the memories the scene might bring to you, the
                > mpovement of the trains, etc. However the longer and more often you
                > look at the same modules, you tend to build up this sense
                > that "somethings not quite right". I feel part of the problem is that
                > your mind doesn't really have a lot of memory information to compare
                > this "unusual" viwewing angle/distance with.
                >
                > I haven't had a chance yet to visit any Z modelers layouts as I am
                > just starting into this scale but in my inital views of small
                > displays at a couple of shows and of web page pictures, etc. I can
                > see how many people may feel "more comfortable" with the
                > overall "mental images" they get from well made Z scale systems
                > because they have been exposed to smaller ground based items from a
                > height they can relate to. Most people either fly often or seen many
                > more higher attitude images (via magazines, films, TV, etc.) then
                > they have from a low flying viewpoint.
                >
                > So in my opinion part of the "aura" equation needs to be the smaller
                > size vs the probable viewing distance and what people have more
                > memories of to compare it metallly to.
                >
                > I've flown in copters before and that's what kind of "platform" my
                > mind often imagines as I view N modules at a show from my sight level
                > (I'm 6'1" tall). With HO modules, if my bad back permits it, I almost
                > always lean down and look more straight on. Z's going to be
                > interesting to get the feel of once I can visit some layouts but my
                > inital thoughts right now is that I will probably feel that I am on a
                > higher attitude plane platform. More and more this "mental image" may
                > play a factor in viewing comfort as it is very common nowadays for
                > people to be exposed to a lot of high attitude images from flying or
                > even newsclips and movies, especially with the terroism war going on
                > and so many action type movies being produced.
                >
                > So that's just my thoughts that viewing distance can also contribute
                > to the "mental reality" a lot in addition to other factors. Z may
                > have an advantage here of being more friendly to peoples minds when
                > you're dealing with "standard module heights" as you are playing into
                > mental images that your spectators are more comforatable with.
                > Just my thoughts,
                > Pete Shatswell
                > Night Owl Railways
                >
                > --- In z_scale@y..., "webffm" <webffm@y...> wrote:
                > > Maybe aura is the wrong term, but it closely describes my
                > observation
                > > of the fact the modeling scale of Z simply looks better for some
                > > reason than N scale. I noticed I was never happy with the size of
                > N
                > > scale. Whereas HO offers enough detail to be very believable, Z
                > > offers enough of a direct lack of detail to also be very realistic,
                > > in proportion. N scale tries to be HO in detail, but it is so much
                > > larger than Z you can't hide enough of it to make it look really
                > > good. Comes off almost too "toy-like" I think. I guess what I am
                > > saying is Z pulls it off better than N in terms of the overall
                > look.
                > > ...
                >
                >


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              • Pasowl@aol.com
                In a message dated 3/4/02 10:33:53 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... That s the joy of the hobby and what makes it the greatest hobby in my feeling, we can do what
                Message 7 of 22 , Mar 4, 2002
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                  In a message dated 3/4/02 10:33:53 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                  jmac_han@... writes:


                  > adding super details to Z rolling stock may be
                  > overdoing it in many cases since, frankly, nobody would ever
                  > notice the detail except the builder...

                  That's the joy of the hobby and what makes it the greatest hobby in my
                  feeling, we can do what we want with our own "empires" and the equipment,
                  etc. for it. It is the builders empire and no one else should try to mold
                  everyone into the same mold (one of my few grievances with certain parts of
                  the hobby currently).

                  > The psychological impact a miniature creates seems to be the result of the
                  > mental
                  > background the observer adds to the picture.

                  True... We see people of all ages get thrilled by Lionel trains at shows,
                  why? It brings back memories of the past, be it their dad or grandpa running
                  them, or even themselves. Also for those that didn't have Lionels they
                  reminded them of other things that were popular when railroading Lionel and
                  American Flyer was the king.

                  If it wasn't for memories people just wouldn't make an easy connection to the
                  hobby. People would just see the railroading efforts, costs, etc., as a "why
                  would you bother playing with toys (or spending that much, going to that much
                  effort, etc.)" or as just a waste of time (what my wife thought when I first
                  met her).

                  Frankly I feel I have learned more to help cope with life from model
                  railroading then from my schooling. One of my favorite quotes is from Mark
                  Twain, "Never let your schooling interfere with your learning." and I never
                  have! :-)

                  > I my case, the model was a piece of a jigsaw puzzle
                  > image of my miniature landscape. The details become fuzzy
                  > when in your mind's eye you see the loco at the head of a long
                  > freight drag rounding a curve on a tough grade, spewing black
                  > smoke and shaking the ground underfoot with the roar of it's
                  > diesel plant. But I digress!

                  I really love details. Ask my wife who tries to disown me or goes the
                  opposite direction when I go to a show and get excited about finding scaled
                  rats, etc., for my HO layout. However it's the overall impression that I like
                  to try to keep improving, not individual items within that view.

                  I do have a few "guiding" slogans I try to follow to help me satisfy myself
                  with my efforts. I feel having those really helps to create overall impr
                  essions. With Z scale I have reason to believe that it will be even more
                  important to work on improving overall imagery then the individual components
                  to satisfy my own preferences.

                  BTW, I know a person that had built a batch of (sorry, HO scale) beautiful
                  very detailed, perfected almost buildings/structures, etc., and won awards
                  for many of them. When he built a layout however and put them on it, it
                  really looked rather poor as each one was competing for all of your attention
                  so nothing really caught your eye and held it. Frankly it was boring, but I
                  loved each structure as an individual unit. Since then he has put less
                  detailed models into the scenes and other visual breaks as well as
                  substituting other buildings at times.

                  I feel that if you like contests and layouts, you usually end up building
                  models for each in different subtle manners that may not always be best to
                  combine unless scenic separations, etc. are provided. Why, because you having
                  to satisfy two different image mindsets.


                  > I think that Pete is correct in his observation about viewing
                  > distance.

                  My main feeling is that the viewing distance that provides the most impact of
                  what you are doing may well vary with what mental images the reader/spectator
                  has in their own minds. There is no one "perfect" height for everyone.

                  Since the modeler doesn't know each persons background you can't even begin
                  to try to build individually for each spectator so compromises are often
                  needed. However you do know one persons background and that's your own. Build
                  for yourself, and then share it to spread more memories.

                  Also listen to what's said by spectators if you have your system at a show.
                  For example. If people seem so-so about your layout, suggest they get their
                  eye level with the trackwork to view down the entire length of mainline while
                  the consist goes by. Their eyes will focus more on the "scene" then the
                  equipment. In my other scales I usually hear "wow" being said (depending how
                  well the scenes are done also).

                  > On the subject of viewing height, the debat continues to rage. I
                  > like to have the layout at eye level when I am sitting down. When
                  > I stand and tower over the layout I enjoy the helicopter
                  > perspective.

                  I also enjoy both having both viewpoints in some manner on my layouts. My
                  newest HO one (that's being built almost at eye level at it's highest point)
                  will have a blimp located over it and a wireless camera hidden behind it
                  sending the "helicopter" prospective image back to a TV that's located up
                  high on that side of the room.

                  Another example of viewing point, If you try to reproduce a prototype old
                  trackage with crooked jointed tracks, weeds, etc. when viewed from up high it
                  often looks like a lousy track laying job. However get down to track level
                  viewpoint and the "rustic" look tends to show. Not that I advocate crooked
                  track work, but I have seen some pretty amazing old sidings, etc., before
                  being used that obviously hadn't been maintained at all for a long time and
                  they have real "character".

                  <<At train shows I also enjoy watching my trains from
                  > 10 to 20 feet away. Perhaps the surprise of seeing the miniature
                  > landscape from many percieved distances is what appeals to
                  > viewers.

                  I want to plead guilty here on the main things I watch at the shows...
                  When I go to shows I will look at the modules, etc. but I frankly spend most
                  of my time watching the other spectators looking at all of the different
                  aspects of the hobby. Their smiles, laughs, amazed looks, etc. really adds a
                  very special value and a warm reward for doing all of the hard work, etc.
                  While I support having some types of contests, I get more pleasure from
                  seeing strangers reminiscing about something in their life's, laughing,
                  smiling, or being amazed by my own efforts then I get from winning an award.

                  <<We can all pretend to be Superman zooming in to save
                  > the day as we approach the Z landscape from afar. Didn't you
                  > ever have dreams of flying like a bird?

                  My dream was always to have a camera embedded in my eye to be able to capture
                  for others to see exactly what I saw. Perhaps why I went into the photography
                  field during my career? My wife and I often joke about the need for a
                  "shrinking ray" to grab items we see along the paths we travel and reduce
                  them (with less effort then modeling takes at times) to use on the layouts.
                  :-) Yes I dream a lot of being able to do "supernatural" items. :-)


                  > After almost 10 years on the road with the layout, I still get a
                  > thrill when I step back and enjoy the colours and visual textures of the
                  > finished diorama (i.e. layout).

                  That's the real reason and reward for modeling I believe! To be thrilled
                  about your own efforts!


                  > Diorama building is a very impressionistic art form. I have tried
                  > to express my modelling philosophy with the phrase "Don't Look
                  > for Perfection, Perfect the Look". And I'm still working on it!
                  > Jeffrey

                  I love dioramas. One of my guiding slogans for my other scale efforts in the
                  past has been "the more you look, the more you will see". I expect I will
                  find a way to incorporate that into the Z efforts also. :-)
                  Take it easy,
                  Pete Shatswell
                  Night Owl Railways


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Dieter_Mac_Nolte@t-online.de
                  Dear Rob, I fully support and share your point of view, i.e at or nearly at track level:-) I had some experiences lately. At my first two exhibitions my small
                  Message 8 of 22 , Mar 4, 2002
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                    Dear Rob,

                    I fully support and share your point of view, i.e at or nearly at track level:-)
                    I had some experiences lately. At my first two exhibitions my small layout (47
                    inch) was placed on a table at a height of 80 cm (about 32 inch). Only the kids
                    were scrampling at my layout. They had fun, looking at locos and cars 'nose to
                    nose'. But the adults just looked down and went away. Do not forget that model
                    railroaders are mostly elderly people (at least in Germany). And those people do
                    not see very good anymore. And they do not wear their reading glasses at an
                    exhibition. So, they simply do not see the fine details of scale Z anymore!!
                    Learnt this, I built a special exhibition booth for my little layout. There the
                    layout is placed at a height of 48 inch! And I added very bright lights. In
                    addition I placed a plexi glas plate in front of my layout. It looks like an
                    aquarium. But so every adult was able to get as near as possible to the layout.
                    However unfortunately the smaller children did not see the trains, they need a
                    lift from papa. But the result was great. Now the adults, even not seeing very
                    well, got the details and the fascination of scale z. Sometimes up to 18 people
                    were scrampling in front of my 47 inch long layout!

                    So, my advice is: If you have a smaller scale Z layout bring it up to the adults
                    level. And put bright light to it. At my layout the smaller kids get a lift from
                    their parents, or from me :-))!
                    Do not provide an elevated stand. This creates disaster! The kids storm the
                    stand - and fall into the layout!

                    Regards

                    Dieter


                    ztrack@... schrieb:
                    > Pete,
                    >
                    > Interesting comments. The perspective of looking down compared to looking at
                    > the trains is a topic of much discussion here lately in the Ztrack offices.
                    > One of our subscribers recently mentioned he really does not like the covers
                    > of Ztrack. His concern being that with covers putting the viewer at track
                    > level, you cannot tell exactly what the scale is. Also, he feels it brings
                    > out the flaws of Z scale. These flaws being cast on horns and other small
                    > details that have been compromised because of the scale.
                    >
                    > Personally, I cannot disagree more. In trying to promote the hobby, I tend to
                    > feel we do spend too much time looking down on Z scale. This is a two fold
                    > comment. As modelers, it can be challenging to work at track level. For the
                    > hobby in general, Z scale has not gained the notoriety it deserve thus always
                    > being looked down upon.
                    >
                    > For me, the best comment I can get is when someone sees a cover of Ztrack and
                    > cannot tell if it is Z, N, or HO. This places our scale on the same plane
                    > with the other scales. Also, these extreme close-ups show the detailing and
                    > intricacies that Z does offer. I spend most of time working above the layout.
                    > It is an amazingly different world when you can get down to track level.
                    >
                    > Rob Kluz
                    >
                    > Ztrack Magazine, Ltd.
                    > 6142 Northcliff Blvd.
                    > Dublin, OH 43016
                    > Phone/Fax (614) 764-1703
                    > www.ztrack.com
                    >
                    >
                    > "Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!
                    >
                    >
                    > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    >
                    >

                    Dieter W. Nolte
                    E-Mail Dieter_Mac_Nolte@...
                  • zbendtrack@aol.com
                    ... And it will probably continue as long as their are modeler s out there, too. Each of us sees with a different mindset. For what it s worth, both the
                    Message 9 of 22 , Mar 4, 2002
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Rob:

                      > The perspective of looking down compared to looking at
                      > the trains is a topic of much discussion here lately

                      And it will probably continue as long as their are modeler's out there, too.
                      Each of us "sees" with a different mindset.

                      For what it's worth, both the modular standards are at 50" which provides for
                      an eye level viewpoint. Both groups independently arrived at the same
                      height, which is even more amazing. When these very large layouts are
                      assembled at shows, its a ton of fun walking along with the trains with the
                      sensation of "being in the scene" and not flying over it.

                      Opinions come in all sizes....
                      Bill Kronenberger
                      Houston
                    • Jay & Anne Greer
                      Hi Jeffrey, My first comment here is that I hope I am not elongating all of the copy too much with my own comments. Eric Foxman and his wife came over for a
                      Message 10 of 22 , Mar 4, 2002
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Hi Jeffrey,
                        My first comment here is that I hope I am not elongating all of the copy too
                        much with my own comments. Eric Foxman and his wife came over for a visit
                        last week for a bit of lunch and a visit. We ran a couple of trains on a
                        loop left over from the Christmas tree we had on our kitchen island. I noted
                        that Eric's wife immediately got down to a level that was almost even with
                        the track or maybe eight scale feet above it. It was a natural action on her
                        part and I remember commenting how I felt that a better feeling of realism
                        can be accomplished by having our layouts laid out on a table that is
                        slightly higher than we normally would built them. I for one vote for higher
                        layout tables!
                        Best Regards,
                        Jay Greer


                        > From: "jmac_han" <jmac_han@...>
                        > Reply-To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                        > Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2002 15:27:35 -0000
                        > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: [z_scale] Re: Z scale "aura" compared to N
                        >
                        > --- In z_scale@y..., "pasowl" <Pasowl@a...> wrote:
                        >> I feel there's another reason for what "feels" right also. And
                        > that's
                        >> your viewing distance.
                        > SNIP
                        >>
                        >> So that's just my thoughts that viewing distance can also
                        > contribute
                        >> to the "mental reality" a lot in addition to other factors. Z may
                        >> have an advantage here of being more friendly to peoples
                        > minds when
                        >> you're dealing with "standard module heights" as you are
                        > playing into
                        >> mental images that your spectators are more comforatable
                        > with.
                        >> Just my thoughts,
                        >> Pete Shatswell
                        >> Night Owl Railways
                        >>
                        >> --- In z_scale@y..., "webffm" <webffm@y...> wrote:
                        >>> Maybe aura is the wrong term, but it closely describes my
                        >> observation
                        >>> of the fact the modeling scale of Z simply looks better for
                        > some
                        >>> reason than N scale. I noticed I was never happy with the
                        > size of
                        >> N
                        >>> scale. Whereas HO offers enough detail to be very
                        > believable, Z
                        >>> offers enough of a direct lack of detail to also be very
                        > realistic,
                        >>> in proportion. N scale tries to be HO in detail, but it is so
                        > much
                        >>> larger than Z you can't hide enough of it to make it look really
                        >>> good. Comes off almost too "toy-like" I think. I guess what I
                        > am
                        >>> saying is Z pulls it off better than N in terms of the overall
                        >> look.
                        >>> ...
                        >
                        > Hi Pete, Hi Jeff,
                        >
                        > You have both touched on aspects of Z model railroading that
                        > appeal to me and, I suspect, to many visitors to the Val Ease
                        > Central at train shows.
                        >
                        > I agree that adding super details to Z rolling stock may be
                        > overdoing it in many cases since, frankly, nobody would ever
                        > notice the detail except the builder and Jeff Rothfus :-)
                        >
                        > Many of my N projects involved superdetailing with MU hoses,
                        > ditch lights, windshield wipers, sun shades etc. The more detail
                        > I added the more I found that I had forgotten. At a certain point it
                        > became frustrating not having the skill or knowledge level to
                        > produce an "exact" replica of my favourite locomotives and rolling
                        > stock. A turning point came for me when I presented a Russell
                        > snow plow that I had scratch built in an NMRA modelling
                        > competition. I had worked from photos of the original and I was
                        > quite proud of my effort. The judges thought otherwise. Not only
                        > did I not recieve more than 20 points I received several
                        > disparaging and discouraging comments concerning my work.
                        >
                        > Once I had recovered from my bout of depression ;-) I began to
                        > think about why I liked my model and the judges didn't. I realized
                        > that I was more interested in the overall effect or impression the
                        > model gave than the list of prototype details. The psychological
                        > impact a miniature creates seems to be the result of the mental
                        > background the observer adds to the picture. The judges
                        > superimpose the image of the model onto a construct of the
                        > prototype. I my case, the model was a piece of a jigsaw puzzle
                        > image of my miniature landscape. The details become fuzzy
                        > when in your mind's eye you see the loco at the head of a long
                        > freight drag rounding a curve on a tough grade, spewing black
                        > smoke and shaking the ground underfoot with the roar of it's
                        > diesel plant. But I digress!
                        >
                        > I think that Pete is correct in his observation about viewing
                        > distance. Most of us don't hold an object 3 inches from our eyes
                        > but rather at a comfortable viewing distance like when holding a
                        > book. At 20 - 24 inches, a Z loco or car doesn't need to be
                        > superdetailed. In the prototype world we would actually be
                        > looking at a massive object from a distance of 440 feet. How
                        > many details would one really see?
                        >
                        > On the subject of viewing height, the debat continues to rage. I
                        > like to have the layout at eye level when I am sitting down. When
                        > I stand and tower over the layout I enjoy the helicopter
                        > perspective. At train shows I also enjoy watching my trains from
                        > 10 to 20 feet away. Perhaps the surprise of seeing the miniature
                        > landscape from many percieved distances is what appeals to
                        > viewers. We can all pretend to be Superman zooming in to save
                        > the day as we approach the Z landscape from afar. Didn't you
                        > ever have dreams of flying like a bird?
                        >
                        > I have heard that Z appeals to many people who seem to sum
                        > up their feelings with the word "cute". <wink> When the
                        > cuteness of Z trains is enveloped by a fully scenicked landscape
                        > the public seems to lose sight of the trains and see an animated
                        > world. At least that is the impression I get from talking to
                        > visitors
                        > to the Val Ease Central.
                        >
                        > After almost 10 years on the road with the layout, I still get a
                        > thrill
                        > when I step back and enjoy the colours and visual textures of the
                        > finished diorama (i.e. layout). Our animated dioramas have
                        > railroads as a central theme but they are really just a series of
                        > dioramas that may be discreet or continuous.
                        >
                        > Diorama building is a very impressionistic art form. I have tried
                        > to express my modelling philosophy with the phrase "Don't Look
                        > for Perfection, Perfect the Look". And I'm still working on it!
                        >
                        > Jeffrey
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > "Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!
                        >
                        >
                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >
                        >
                      • Robert Allbritton
                        Hi folks, Just my 2 cents worth: A track height of 50 inches works very well for me. I constructed all of my modules with them standing at the 50 height -
                        Message 11 of 22 , Mar 5, 2002
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Hi folks,

                          Just my 2 cents worth: A track height of 50 inches works very well for me. I
                          constructed all of my modules with them standing at the 50" height -
                          result? - when I placed them on the ground for the first time they looked
                          silly. A thin mountain snaked down the middle with seemingly impossible
                          grades. Raise it up to that 50" height and it looks fantastic (well, at
                          least it does to me.) and that is the point. Build something that makes you
                          happy. If you derive happiness from the approval of others, then build what
                          the majority prefer. But, something tells me that if you are looking for the
                          approval of the masses, then you would be working with HO, not Z.

                          David George has a good point: if you have lots of interior details, then
                          they are going to be hard to view at the 50" height. I had the chance to see
                          his work in St. Louis, and they are really fantastic (makes my stuff look
                          like poo - poo) but I kind of liked his modules at the 50" height. There
                          were tons of interior details that I knew I could not see, and that added to
                          the magic and realism. We can not see everything in everyday life, and I
                          really enjoyed trains popping up in locations I could not predict.

                          To Jeffrey's point on viewing things from above, I agree: I like to see
                          things from a bird's eye point of view as well (Probably explains why my
                          other "fun" activity is piloting airplanes) but I spend the majority of my
                          time on the ground. When I want that unusually bird's eye perspective, I'll
                          go get the ladder (grin)

                          To quote an old line: "To each his own," said the old lady as she kissed the
                          cow.

                          Best,
                          -Rob
                          www.z220.com



                          >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

                          On the subject of viewing height, the debat continues to rage. I
                          like to have the layout at eye level when I am sitting down. When
                          I stand and tower over the layout I enjoy the helicopter
                          perspective. At train shows I also enjoy watching my trains from
                          10 to 20 feet away. Perhaps the surprise of seeing the miniature
                          landscape from many percieved distances is what appeals to
                          viewers. We can all pretend to be Superman zooming in to save
                          the day as we approach the Z landscape from afar. Didn't you
                          ever have dreams of flying like a bird?

                          I have heard that Z appeals to many people who seem to sum
                          up their feelings with the word "cute". <wink> When the
                          cuteness of Z trains is enveloped by a fully scenicked landscape
                          the public seems to lose sight of the trains and see an animated
                          world. At least that is the impression I get from talking to
                          visitors
                          to the Val Ease Central.

                          After almost 10 years on the road with the layout, I still get a
                          thrill
                          when I step back and enjoy the colours and visual textures of the
                          finished diorama (i.e. layout). Our animated dioramas have
                          railroads as a central theme but they are really just a series of
                          dioramas that may be discreet or continuous.

                          Diorama building is a very impressionistic art form. I have tried
                          to express my modelling philosophy with the phrase "Don't Look
                          for Perfection, Perfect the Look". And I'm still working on it!

                          Jeffrey




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


                          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        • jmac_han
                          Hi Bill, You are quite correct in mentioning that opinions come in all siZes as well as viewing heights ;-) I m glad that there are a variety of layouts and
                          Message 12 of 22 , Mar 5, 2002
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Hi Bill,

                            You are quite correct in mentioning that opinions come in all siZes
                            as well as viewing heights ;-)

                            I'm glad that there are a variety of layouts and differing viewing
                            heights at train shows. The Z-Bend Track 50" standard is fine for a
                            walk-around modular layout and has many advantages. Setting up the
                            VECRR at 50" would require a platform lift and is impractical
                            obviously. My viewing height is determined by the height of the
                            table or counter top so it does vary on occasion. At some shows the
                            height was such that I placed a bench in front of the layout so that
                            little ones could get up to see the layout properly.

                            My only beef with standing-level viewing heights at train shows is
                            that our handicapped and wheelchair bound visitors are unable to
                            enjoy the Z trains above their heads. If it were possible to do so,
                            I would suggest a modular concept with two leg lengths, one for
                            public shows with comfortable viewing when seated and the second for
                            club gatherings at 50". Perhaps this could be done with a two part
                            screw-in tubular leg system? Just food for thought.

                            I noticed that David George had incorporated this idea into his
                            layout at NTS2001.

                            Cheers,
                            Jeffrey MacHan
                            VECRR




                            --- In z_scale@y..., zbendtrack@a... wrote:
                            > Rob:
                            >
                            > > The perspective of looking down compared to looking at
                            > > the trains is a topic of much discussion here lately
                            >
                            > And it will probably continue as long as their are modeler's out
                            there, too.
                            > Each of us "sees" with a different mindset.
                            >
                            > For what it's worth, both the modular standards are at 50" which
                            provides for
                            > an eye level viewpoint. Both groups independently arrived at the
                            same
                            > height, which is even more amazing. When these very large layouts
                            are
                            > assembled at shows, its a ton of fun walking along with the trains
                            with the
                            > sensation of "being in the scene" and not flying over it.
                            >
                            > Opinions come in all sizes....
                            > Bill Kronenberger
                            > Houston
                          • ted_lamar@peoplesoft.com
                            I think David makes a good point for low layouts when he mentions kids being lifted, step ladders, etc..... But for me, coming form an HO background, I like
                            Message 13 of 22 , Mar 5, 2002
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                              I think David makes a good point for low layouts when he mentions kids
                              being lifted, step ladders, etc.....

                              But for me, coming form an HO background, I like them high.

                              Because I have not yet become involved with any other modelers, I started
                              my first Z layout at a height that could cause nose bleeds for some (60")
                              ....but I don't like to bend over.

                              I also have a 'short' set of legs for it down at 36". Who knows...maybe
                              telescoping legs under layouts will become the standard?

                              T




                              Rob:

                              > The perspective of looking down compared to looking at
                              > the trains is a topic of much discussion here lately

                              And it will probably continue as long as their are modeler's out there,
                              too.
                              Each of us "sees" with a different mindset.

                              For what it's worth, both the modular standards are at 50" which provides
                              for
                              an eye level viewpoint. Both groups independently arrived at the same
                              height, which is even more amazing. When these very large layouts are
                              assembled at shows, its a ton of fun walking along with the trains with the

                              sensation of "being in the scene" and not flying over it.

                              Opinions come in all sizes....
                              Bill Kronenberger
                              Houston
                            • Ell Geib
                              ... SNIP Over the years at various trains shows I have been involved with, one very real problem keeps coming up and there is really little that can be done.
                              Message 14 of 22 , Mar 5, 2002
                              • 0 Attachment
                                >I feel there's another reason for what "feels" right also. And that's
                                >your viewing distance.
                                >
                                >SNIP
                                >
                                >When viewing these modules now, in many cases, I feel that you're
                                >looking at it from a platform such as when you're flying over them in
                                >a crop duster or helicopter close to the ground. Most people never
                                >have that opportunity so you feel a little uneasy about what you are
                                >seeing in the broad sense yet you're not sure just why.
                                >
                                SNIP

                                Over the years at various trains shows I have been involved with, one
                                very real problem keeps coming up and there is really little that can
                                be done. Visitors come in different heights. Even the typical heights
                                of about 40 inches from floor to top of track is at best a
                                compromise. Adults have to bend down to see things at eye level and
                                kids have top be picked up. Things look better at eye level or
                                looking just slightly down. But it is difficult to do at shows.

                                The more area a person sees, the less real the models appear.

                                Ell Geib
                              • David George
                                Thank you Robert A. for your kind thoughts on my module scenery. Jeffery M. stated earlier that he builds dioramas with trains in them. I guess that is my
                                Message 15 of 22 , Mar 5, 2002
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                                  Thank you Robert A. for your kind thoughts on my module scenery. Jeffery
                                  M. stated earlier that he builds dioramas with trains in them. I guess
                                  that is my starting point also. Maybe we should borrow from a famous movie
                                  and book and paraphrase to " And A Train Runs Through It ".
                                  David G.
                                  Spring, Tex.
                                  --- Robert Allbritton <robert@...> wrote:
                                  > Hi folks,
                                  >
                                  > Just my 2 cents worth: A track height of 50 inches works very well for
                                  > me. I
                                  > constructed all of my modules with them standing at the 50" height -
                                  > result? - when I placed them on the ground for the first time they
                                  > looked
                                  > silly. A thin mountain snaked down the middle with seemingly impossible
                                  > grades. Raise it up to that 50" height and it looks fantastic (well, at
                                  > least it does to me.) and that is the point. Build something that makes
                                  > you
                                  > happy. If you derive happiness from the approval of others, then build
                                  > what
                                  > the majority prefer. But, something tells me that if you are looking for
                                  > the
                                  > approval of the masses, then you would be working with HO, not Z.
                                  >
                                  > David George has a good point: if you have lots of interior details,
                                  > then
                                  > they are going to be hard to view at the 50" height. I had the chance to
                                  > see
                                  > his work in St. Louis, and they are really fantastic (makes my stuff
                                  > look
                                  > like poo - poo) but I kind of liked his modules at the 50" height. There
                                  > were tons of interior details that I knew I could not see, and that
                                  > added to
                                  > the magic and realism. We can not see everything in everyday life, and I
                                  > really enjoyed trains popping up in locations I could not predict.
                                  >
                                  > To Jeffrey's point on viewing things from above, I agree: I like to see
                                  > things from a bird's eye point of view as well (Probably explains why my
                                  > other "fun" activity is piloting airplanes) but I spend the majority of
                                  > my
                                  > time on the ground. When I want that unusually bird's eye perspective,
                                  > I'll
                                  > go get the ladder (grin)
                                  >
                                  > To quote an old line: "To each his own," said the old lady as she kissed
                                  > the
                                  > cow.
                                  >
                                  > Best,
                                  > -Rob
                                  > www.z220.com
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
                                  >
                                  > On the subject of viewing height, the debat continues to rage. I
                                  > like to have the layout at eye level when I am sitting down. When
                                  > I stand and tower over the layout I enjoy the helicopter
                                  > perspective. At train shows I also enjoy watching my trains from
                                  > 10 to 20 feet away. Perhaps the surprise of seeing the miniature
                                  > landscape from many percieved distances is what appeals to
                                  > viewers. We can all pretend to be Superman zooming in to save
                                  > the day as we approach the Z landscape from afar. Didn't you
                                  > ever have dreams of flying like a bird?
                                  >
                                  > I have heard that Z appeals to many people who seem to sum
                                  > up their feelings with the word "cute". <wink> When the
                                  > cuteness of Z trains is enveloped by a fully scenicked landscape
                                  > the public seems to lose sight of the trains and see an animated
                                  > world. At least that is the impression I get from talking to
                                  > visitors
                                  > to the Val Ease Central.
                                  >
                                  > After almost 10 years on the road with the layout, I still get a
                                  > thrill
                                  > when I step back and enjoy the colours and visual textures of the
                                  > finished diorama (i.e. layout). Our animated dioramas have
                                  > railroads as a central theme but they are really just a series of
                                  > dioramas that may be discreet or continuous.
                                  >
                                  > Diorama building is a very impressionistic art form. I have tried
                                  > to express my modelling philosophy with the phrase "Don't Look
                                  > for Perfection, Perfect the Look". And I'm still working on it!
                                  >
                                  > Jeffrey
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > "Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                  > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >


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                                • ddechamp71
                                  Hi all, very interresting all these topics. In my case, I think that Z is interresting because of the overflying characteristics, but only on the large
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Mar 5, 2002
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Hi all, very interresting all these topics. In my case, I think that
                                    Z is interresting because of the "overflying" characteristics, but
                                    only on the large layouts. The coffee-table or briefcase types should
                                    be according to me only displayed at eyes heigth (it should be easy
                                    to fit some adjustable legs, or removable ones, due truly to their
                                    small size). Maybe like this it would remove the idea from non-Z
                                    scale modelrailroaders that our scale is "the-scale-where-mad-
                                    cockroaches-run-crazily-from-end-of-box-to-the-other". Presently I am
                                    working on a small display (50"long and 10" wide) that will be at
                                    about 60" high, just to have my trains slightly under eyes level (I
                                    have no kids). But when I begin (at last!) my main layout, I will
                                    have mandatorily low level displays and higher ones, as my last
                                    trackplan on which I'm working will be a bi-levelled one. Actually it
                                    completely deals with what I'm looking for: I am not a "rivet
                                    counter", like some wider scales modellers who love having a lot of
                                    details on their rolling stock but who don't care seeing it running
                                    on tramway style tight curves; but instead I love having a panoramic
                                    view of a railroad scenery (like the actual sight of the Tehachapi
                                    Loop where I go railfanning 3 to 4 times a year - thanks to my
                                    airline pilot employment): it permits me to see what I'm loving with
                                    north american railroading: huge 100-car freight trains with 4 or 5
                                    monster diesel locomotives at the point (I'm too young to have known
                                    the same with Cabs-forward or Challengers). Indeed I should
                                    love "flying" some feet just above the tracks just for the sight of
                                    the tremendous length of these trains, what is not easy at ground
                                    level, and according to me Z scale is the best for this purpose.
                                    Cheers
                                    Dominique
                                  • ddechamp71
                                    Hi all, very interresting all these topics. In my case, I think that Z is interresting because of the overflying characteristics, but only on the large
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Mar 5, 2002
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Hi all, very interresting all these topics. In my case, I think that
                                      Z is interresting because of the "overflying" characteristics, but
                                      only on the large layouts. The coffee-table or briefcase types should
                                      be according to me only displayed at eyes heigth (it should be easy
                                      to fit some adjustable legs, or removable ones, due truly to their
                                      small size). Maybe like this it would remove the idea from non-Z
                                      scale modelrailroaders that our scale is "the-scale-where-mad-
                                      cockroaches-run-crazily-from-end-of-box-to-the-other". Presently I am
                                      working on a small display (50"long and 10" wide) that will be at
                                      about 60" high, just to have my trains slightly under eyes level (I
                                      have no kids). But when I begin (at last!) my main layout, I will
                                      have mandatorily low level displays and higher ones, as my last
                                      trackplan on which I'm working will be a bi-levelled one. Actually it
                                      completely deals with what I'm looking for: I am not a "rivet
                                      counter", like some wider scales modellers who love having a lot of
                                      details on their rolling stock but who don't care seeing it running
                                      on tramway style tight curves; but instead I love having a panoramic
                                      view of a railroad scenery (like the actual sight of the Tehachapi
                                      Loop where I go railfanning 3 to 4 times a year - thanks to my
                                      airline pilot employment): it permits me to see what I'm loving with
                                      north american railroading: huge 100-car freight trains with 4 or 5
                                      monster diesel locomotives at the point (I'm too young to have known
                                      the same with Cabs-forward or Challengers). Indeed I should
                                      love "flying" some feet just above the tracks just for the sight of
                                      the tremendous length of these trains, what is not easy at ground
                                      level, and according to me Z scale is the best for this purpose.
                                      Cheers
                                      Dominique
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