I wonder how much of a big layout I could fit in 10x4ft in Z?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Cummins, May 4, 2005.

  1. Cummins

    Cummins New Member

    I was wondering (oh dear, not again... :rolleyes:), I could fit a fairly huge layout in Z. I have a 10x4' space and I might make something of it... I have been considering N but have now started thinking about Z after seeing pics of these tiny things. Look kinda fun. If I do use Z, is there compatability issues? Can I use bog standard controllers/electronics? I probably won't use all the space for a Z layout. Please Comment/insult/suggest etc.

  2. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Chris, Z?, your eyes are better than mine by far! If you have 10' X 4', you could even build a reasonable HO layout! N scale will give you the best of all, balancing price, and availability, against sheer amount. Z can get very pricey,and is not as universal in rolling stock and accessories.
  3. Cummins

    Cummins New Member

    Ya, it was just a crazy idea...
  4. Zman

    Zman Member

    OK, your mother wears army boots.

    Now for the comment: Z is roughly a quarter the size of N, so theoretically you could fit four times as much track into that space in Z than in N. That's A LOT of track. I looked into Z a few months ago when I first started the hobby, and decided it wasn't for beginners like me. I'm starting with a very small and modest N layout. Building some models and laying some track in N was tedious enough, and it's been really good practice for when I build a Z layout - which I still intend to do eventually.

    I always thought that if one had enough space, it would be more interesting to better capture the long prototypical distances between stations and industry stops in Z, rather than laying track on every square inch. If I had an entire room to devote to the project, I would build two industries, a small town, and a whole lot of rural scenery. Then I would hitch up fifty cars to the engines, and it would come much closer to the real thing than N or HO scalers could ever hope to get.
  5. Cummins

    Cummins New Member

    WOW, a 1/4 of the scale of N!!!! thats 0.5mm for every foot! I knew it was small but I didn't know it was THAT small!
  6. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Each Z Starter set is sold with a pair of "coke bottle bottom" glasses, just so you can see it. :D

    If you like scratch building it is easy in Z, all you need is white glue and sawdust. :thumb:
  7. pray59

    pray59 Member

    Haha! I model in Z because it brings back fond memories of modeling in N when there was nothing available, and everyone in N was a true craftsman, just because they had to be to get enough stuff together to build a layout.

    I have been in Z for 2 years now, but still dabble with my N Scale stuff. I'm building modules to the Z-Bend Track standard, and have done a lot of scratchbuilding in Z.

    Here is the Mogul I just painted up for NP, and I scratchbuilt the tender to look like the more modern tenders:


    I also scratchbuilt the rest of this train, a couple covered hoppers and the caboose:


    I have not learned to scratchbuild a locomotive yet, and probably won't, but I do modify them to look like what I need for my NP collection. This is my latest project, an NP W-3 Class Mikado in Z, with scratchbuilt tender:


    Z Scale is really fun, and a real challenge, just like the good old days of N were.

  8. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    1/4 the size of N? No, sorry, it isn't. 1:220 is only 27% smaller than 1:160, i.e. about 3/4 the size (in each direction). A foot is 1.39mm (instead of 1.91mm in N). On the other hand, because of the limited track availability, and similar logic that explains why you can't get N in 87/160th of the space of HO, it doesn't take up 27% less room. For example, it's difficult to get a timesaver any smaller in Z than it is in N -- there are smaller turnouts available and so on.

    Z is fabulously cute, but be very aware of the limited availability and high price of Z products -- it's annoying enough in N not to have all the range the HO guys get, and must be ten times worse in Z...

    Only my humble opinion of course, nothing against Z-scalers at all -- but make sure you know what you're getting into..

  9. Cummins

    Cummins New Member

    Thanks, I thought 0.5mm to a ft was a bit small! Zman vbmenu_register("postmenu_147316", true); must have meant 1/4 smaller than N (25% smaller not 25% of size).

    pray59 vbmenu_register("postmenu_147342", true); that is FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love that sought of stuff. American an German trains are my favourite types.

  10. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Oh-oh, there's that "c" word again!! :D :D

    pray59, that's most excellent work; I admire your
    creativity and wish I had your patience!!

    We would be glad to see any more photos you have!! :thumb: :thumb:
  11. Cummins

    Cummins New Member

    Hi again!
    Luckily I am one of those people blessed with a local train station. I was thinking that it would be really cool to build a Z scale version of it! I think it is private owned now. One thing is for certain, it is now used for little trips between two small towns about 4 miles apart. I could pretty much create a properly scaled version! The line consists of a small station and a fiddle yard. The station used to be a double lane but it is now a single lane and the indusrtial yard is now an area for reparing trains. It used to be an industrial line and I am wondering what everyone thinks to my idea. Please comment/critisise/insult etc at free will. I will make a track plan and load it here as soon as possible.
  12. Cummins

    Cummins New Member

    Hi, layout plan:

    NOTE: This is no-where near to scale. On the real thing, the distances between the station, fiddle yard and both end points are miles away and totally different proportions. And the white thing is a crossing point for the road. The light green stuff are trees/shrubs etc.

    Attached Files:

  13. Cummins

    Cummins New Member

  14. Zman

    Zman Member

    Oops. Sorry about the bad math guys. Cummins is right - I meant a quarter per cent smaller. Well, like I always say, there's three kinds of people: those that can count, and those that can't. :rolleyes:
  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I work Z out to be about 2.5 times smaller than HO and 2.9 times amaller than OO.
    In 10x4 you could build the equivalent of a 25x10 foot HO layout or a 29 by 11.5 foot OO layout. Then again, it's still less than a half mile long.
    Which station are you looking at?
    Is the plan a dead end or does the track continue? It looks like a reasonable plan, but you'll need reliable couplings and uncouplings.
    You can probably model the station at the front and swing around to the fiddle yard at the back.
  16. Cummins

    Cummins New Member

    Sorry about the low quality plan. It was merely to give you an idea. It would be a branch line, I decided that N would be a better scale for me as it is cheaper and it has the right locomotives for me.


    Thats a link to a thread I have started about this project. Thanks alot!
  17. Dominique

    Dominique New Member

    Hi guys, myself I've been involved in Z for 8 years now, as I definitively like the possibilities of this scale. I'm currently working on a 21' x 15' walkaround layout, and my tightest curves are 50 cm / 20". When I have enough track layed I will start to run 80-car trains. For this purpose I've bought over the years 30 locos and 400 cars or so.

    What I realized, is that there have been more new items for the last 5 years than in the preceding 28 years (as Marklin launched Z scale in 1972...). Yet 2nd and 3rd generation diesels are still expensive (brass) - as before 1998 the only commercially available US diesels were F7s - but soon we'll have plastic injected modern diesels, SD70s (AZL) and GP35s (Micro-Trains) at a reasonable price range ($200 to 250).

    Same statement for rolling stock, structures and track system (MTL will shortly release sectional track system and turnouts).

    So, even if the model railroading industry (magazines, manufacturers) mostly ignores Z scale, the future looks bright as there is more and more availability, and as Z scale has from far the best growth relative to other scales.

    Here are some interresting links:

    www dot ztrack dot com

    www. dot zscale dot org


  18. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Z scale,hmmmmmmmmmmmm gluttons for punishment of the eyes,the wallet and your modeling time.Other than that,its pretty cool ;)

    I saw a Z scale briefcase layout at a show.That was fun.
    With age my eyes are having difficulty in N scale and I am thinking about 5 years from now which has me wondering wether i should return to HO.The last 2 years my eyes have really gotten bad and i now need reading glasses.
    Z scale is for a much younger breed than me.
    I wonder what my n scale collection is worth ;)
  19. Dav

    Dav New Member

    Just an observation about the size of Z as opposed to N...

    Remember for instance that N is roughly 1/2 the size of HO, right? This means that the total cubic volume of the equipment is roughly 1/8 the size of the same piece of equipment in HO.

    The same carries over to Z with respect to N scale. The overall cubic volume of Z equipment makes it just over half the size of N. Yes, it's just 1/4 less the size of N if you look at it on 2 dimensional grounds, but in actuality it's pretty darn tiny. My layout (in progress) is in N, I have one Z hopper which is just way too small for my eyes AND fingers.
  20. Dominique

    Dominique New Member

    Hi guys, in Yahoo Groups Z scale (1500 or so members around the world) the oldest guy is about 85...So as I'm only 41 it leaves me some god years with Z scale!

    And as Z scale is about 3/4 of N scale, when considering covered surface, it drives to a ratio of one to two, or so. Interresting, no?


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