AZL is kicking butt and taking names!

Calzephyr Jun 27, 2021

  1. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    Over the past couple of years AZL has stepped up and created much needed locomotives and rolling stock in Z scale. I am a somewhat passive Z scaler... but I have found myself buying as much Z scale as I do in my primary N scale interest.
    Most recently, the release of E7 units and lightweight passenger cars for the SP/RI Golden State... wow... really nice stuff. The 8000 gallon tank cars are awesome as well. We really need to get are some nice western versions of offset coupola cabooses in wood or steel variations for the end of our freight consists.
    Doug A., ztrack, gmorider and 2 others like this.
  2. Zscaleplanet

    Zscaleplanet TrainBoard Supporter

    Agreed, AZL is a game changer. Although, I’m still partial to MICRO TRAINS, but I did just procurer the AZL A-B-B-A ATSF F7 set. Can’t afford the passenger cars “yet”, so will make due with the MTL ones I already have.

    It’s nice though to see more manufacturers coming to the table when it comes to Z-scale. If they are producing what we the customers want, then by all means we should do our part to support them and keep them focused on Z.
    Kurt Moose, CNE1899 and bostonjim like this.
  3. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

    Amen to that!(y)
  4. sumgai

    sumgai TrainBoard Member

    I am not sure AZL Dealers may share your opinion.

    The only AZL cabeese which have been total sellouts were in Brass

    In 2011, with more added (and one reprint) in 2014, AZL started with the Bay Window cabeese. 14 roadnames. Today 10 roadnames are still available with EVERY road number on Dealer's shelves.

    In 2015 AZL added a run of wide vision Cabeese. 11 Road names, again with multiple road numbers. Today, 9 roadnames with every road number still on Dealer's shelves. (I pull this data off one MONSTER of a Z dealer's website)

    It must be sobering to walk into your virtual "shop" every morning and clean the virtual dust off your inventory. Want another cabeese production run? Relieve the dealers of their existing inventory. Or expect pushback from Z dealers to the mothership if they ever mention pushing cabeese out to the dealers again.

    I'll go out on a limb here and say let's move Z railroading into the late 20th century. Instead of just flattering MTL with rehashed versions of existing boxcars; Why shouldn't AZL develop at least one freight car road number in each series with a working End OF Train Device?

    I'll bet that EOTD is real hard to do...and Expensive!.....yeah.......right

    0.jpg 2.jpg

    Even Marklin's putting track-powered disco balls in their passenger cars today! d9fce0ac964650441e48fcad75fe7d141575529216.jpg
    bostonjim, Kez and gmorider like this.
  5. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    I noticed that there were some roadnames of those more modern cabeese. With all these 1940 to 1950 locomotives the correct western style cabeese would be offset coupola versions. These should sell better than the modern EV cabeese which were late 1950 to 1970. These offset coupola cabeese were originally wood and often later rebuilt to steel.

    BTW... doing a conversion of the Maerklin caboose is very costly... and requires skills many of us do not have. I purchased the 'Zelator' conversions and a bunch of Microtains trucks and couplers. The cost to convert the Maerklin caboose is about $35.00 plus the cost of the caboose... which is usually over $30.00. We should not have to go through this much cost and effort to get the 'right' caboose for our freight consists.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2021
    Zscaleplanet and Kurt Moose like this.
  6. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

    Most of AZL's non-brass caboose's have been less than the converted Marklins, so I agree with you. I've done 5 of these, and is indeed a tough route to get a caboose you need.

    Hopefully we can have a ready made off-set cupola caboose in the near future.(y)
  7. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

    EOT cars is an interesting thought.

    The cost would be significant...look at that Marklin disco car at $120. What would the market be at that price? Dunno.

    I recall buying EOT-equipped N-scale cars from Richmond Controls for about that price, but he had a commercially available N-scale EOT to utilize, and his own circuitry, which is compatible with DCC. AZL would be starting with none of that. (albeit with a larger production volume possibly)

    I would think it would have to be a custom order type of deal, lest you end up with the same problem as your cabooses...a lot of stock with cars that weren't exactly what everyone wanted for the end of their trains. Think about MTL's weathered cars...while most are popular and sell well, early on they would do some combinations that didn't mix....garish graffiti on 50's era cars, etc. Does AZL put an EOT on a GN R-70-20 reefer that had been repainted BN or retired long before EOT's were commonplace? While some wouldn't care, it is at least a consideration.

    I expect the better solution would be something like Richmond's kits if he actually had them available, (buying from him is like buying soup in a Seinfeld episode) and if there was a working Z EOT. I'm not saying I wouldn't be interested in an AZL offering, but I feel like it would be a big headache for them. Still, an interesting topic for discussion, no doubt!

    To the o.p., I agree that AZL has really expanded Z-scale. So much so that I sold off a significant N-scale collection about 5 years ago and went full-bore Z. Still working on getting my first Z layout rolling but it has been fun.
    Kez, Kurt Moose and bostonjim like this.
  8. ztrack

    ztrack TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

    Thanks guys! Here is a cool fact about AZL. We don't mind keeping inventory around. So much so, that as of today, we have over 1,700 different products available! Thinks about that... especially when you consider it is Z scale. Yes, we are selling out quickly of some new releases, but for those coming into Z, there is a good chance we have items for you. Cabooses are a good call out, but not to worry, they are on our radar.

    Years ago, Ztrack offered an upgrade program to add EOTs to AZL Gunderson high-cubes. Wow, they looked nice! Unfortunately, the company we worked with to do this is no longer around.

    If you think AZL is kicking butt now... just wait for what else we have in the pipeline. The next few years are going to be a lot of fun!
  9. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

    Well that is great news for Z scalers. Please keep prices reasonable... some of us are on fixed incomes now. I am almost afraid to see what is one the horizon. How much are blood banks paying per pint of blood?
    CNE1899 and Kurt Moose like this.
  10. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

    About one locomotive per pint!
    Don't ask me how I know this.....
    bostonjim likes this.

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