Z-Scale beginner, HELP!

I live in a small apartment and have very restricted space.
What is the best way to get started? Any advise would be helpful.
Thanks
Jim
Reply to
Jim
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There is a Z scale list on YahooGroups, might be worth a look:
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Good luck!
Bob Boudreau Canada
Reply to
Railfan
The National Model Railroaders Associate website is an excellent place to start
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. There is also a Z scale list and hopefully the guy who moderates it will be in and post the link for you.
Reply to
Dale Kramer
Build yourself a little flat top baseboard with a softwood top surface that can be put away in a wardrobe... Buy (lots of) trains, set track, how-to and prototype books and _play_! The experience of "playing" will give you a better idea of what is practical and possible. The prototype books will allow you to identify what you want to model.
Regards, Greg.P.
Reply to
Gregory Procter
At the risk of sounding arrogant..........consider going into N scale instead of Z. Z scale is EXPENSIVE and hard to keep running and hard to work on. If you are set on Z scale by all means go ahead; there is more available in Z now than ever before. But N scale has so much more and at lower prices.
-John
Reply to
Pacific95
John:
Gee, MTL rolling stock is cheaper in Z than N. And there are locos available cheaper than Kato N scale locos. True, track costs a bit more than N.
But the 1200 members of the Z_Scale list on Yahoo don't seem to have massive "running" problems with Z. Clean track is all it really takes. But that applies to all scales.
True, you will have to scratch build a few things, but as you point out, that's getting a lot better in the last year or two.
Z scale isn't just for coffee tables anymore. Give it a try. Look at this month's MR.
Bill K. Houston
Reply to
ZBendTrack
------------------------------------------------- If you are just starting out, I'd recommend N scale. You'll find a lot more hobby shops with a nice selection, more books related to N scale, and it is a lot less expensive. Take a look at what some others with an apartment layout have done in N scale. N scale Webring has several sites:
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My N scale railroad is along a bedroom wall in our apartment:
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Z-Track Magazine has several Z scale railroads:
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Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad:
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History of N Scale:
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Links to over 700 helpful sites:
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Reply to
Bill
There are? I did not know this. Do tell.
-John
Reply to
Pacific95
Try
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F7s are in the $70 range, depending on the paint job.
Z is an interesting scale. Try it.
Bill K.
Reply to
ZBendTrack
I'd like to hear how this works out: I keep going nowhere fast because I keep feeling that I should plan everything out in advance, but then it starts sounding too deadly serious, so the whole project stalls! The only time I actually got something going was when I just picked up tools and built something which felt sorta right, and I didn't worry too much about the specifics. I'm starting to suspect that this kind of happy chaos is an essential part of the learning process, and that as a beginner, it's not realistic for me to have a razor-sharp focus on what my layout will be; that maybe I ought to just be content to start with an interesting hodgepodge of terrain and eras, and over time, by weeding out stuff that I don't enjoy modeling as much as I thought I would, the layout will hopefully become more focused, without any "work" on my part. I figure a good-sized shoebox will hold a lot of temporarily retired structures ;-)
I currently have hardly-used Swiss-prototype Marklin items, as well as USA-prototype by Micro-Trains, but think maybe I could've made life simpler by buying one of the smaller Marklin starter sets with the tiny German tank engine and a couple of cars: A short engine and 2-axle cars would look okay going around tight turns, and unlike my Swiss electrics, you don't have to give a thought about catenary wires! And though I already own electric switches, I'm thinking that maybe I should just start by building a glorified oval. Have you picked up the latest Model Railroader magazine? There's a Z layout featured therein; no switches, and no buildings either, but the trains look great as displayed in that sparse landscape.
Two things I will probably AVOID for now? Modern USA railroading, for one (well, a branch could have possibilities, given shorter trains and more varied rolling stock). I live outside of Denver, and as pretty as those SF warbonnets and orange BNSF paint jobs are, capturing the feel of a modern coal train, which may involve 5x of the big 6-axle locos, and 100+ identical BN aluminum sided hoppers just ain't going to look good on any layout that I can accomodate right now. The other thing I'll avoid for now are long passenger cars: They just look strange on a smallish layout.
Jeff
Reply to
Jeff S
Hi all
I thank all of you for your comments. I find that they are giving me much to think about. I have been looking into both N & Z. Both are interesting and challenging. I do like the challenge of something small.
By the way, Bill K, (ZBendTrack), I also live in Houston near the Galleria on Chimney Rock. Perhaps we could get together?
Jim
Reply to
Jim
Jeff and Jim:
First, consider the use of view blocks (in any scale) when you turn a train. Not only does it cover up the "Lionel" look of overhang, the philological effect is outstanding -- the train that "emerges" is not the train that "disappeared" even though we know it is. Use mountains, buildings, trees, tunnels or terrane that partially or fully hide the train in the turn. Almost none of us (in any scale) can match the prototype radiuses.
Second, both of you (small and large layout goals) may find value in this Z scale link:
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It discusses a concept that covers modular layouts from 36 inches long to 36 feet long that can "connect together." At the 2002 NMRA National Train Show we cobbled together 30 scale miles of mainline from groups around the country who practice Z-Bend Track.
Where's some photos:
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Hope some of these ideas help. Emails to me at snipped-for-privacy@aol.com are always welcomed.
PS: Jim, we are less than 2 miles apart.
Bill K. Houston
Reply to
ZBendTrack

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