My first Z scale attempt

MontanaRails Apr 27, 2012

  1. MontanaRails

    MontanaRails TrainBoard Member

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    Hello everyone! Just wanted to post a few pictures of my little layout-in-progress. Before I moved to my apartment, I had a big HO scale endeavor, but I traded all that for something that fits the new location better. This is just a 2'x3' layout, but it provides lots of opportunity to scratchbuild! The vehicles, telephone poles, signals, road, coal mine tipple, guardrail, etc, are all scratch built - some came out better than others, but its a learning experience going to a scale thats so much smaller. Its a lot of fun, thats for sure. Based in western PA, along NS lines. Confusing due to my current geographic location and forum name, but hey, its what I'm most familiar with.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2012
  2. MontanaRails

    MontanaRails TrainBoard Member

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    This is a earlier photo - before a lot of detail was added, but it shows the creek.
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    Still have lots of fine tuning to do, street signs, structures, etc!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2012
  3. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice job. Do you have a birds eye view of the layout. By the way, I love the worn out look of the roads.
     
  4. MontanaRails

    MontanaRails TrainBoard Member

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    Heres a current birds eye shot. I know a lot isnt very prototypical about this layout's track plan...it was more of a testbed and it's since evolved into a Frankenstein's monster kinda thing. The track plan in derived from David Smith's Rockland Branch design.

    I'm currently playing around with trying to make an attached backdrop (it will wrap up and overhang a corner) that has a cloud layer, with cloud to cloud, and cloud to ground lightning (fiber optics and LED's).

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  5. MontanaRails

    MontanaRails TrainBoard Member

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    Here's a quick video. Shot in poor lighting - gonna have to re-do this in direct sunlight.

    [video=youtube;vGKxvSwNAE8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGKxvSwNAE8[/video]
     
  6. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Montana, you have a fan in me. The scenery is wonderful and your macro is nice and sharp. I also like the nice smooth video.
     
  7. minzemaennchen

    minzemaennchen TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, if this is your first attempt I wonder what the next will be!
     
  8. mariuszjj

    mariuszjj TrainBoard Member

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    nice looking layout ( Z scale ) wow
    was tempted to make my coffee table in that scale
    but instead made N scale and it became my kids table LOL
    (at least Z scale has ready to run Surfliner .... )
     
  9. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    That is really awesome. First attempt or not, really awesome. Great work and variety. Bring it to a local show or event to show it off !
    .
     
  10. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not bad........not bad at all.

    Way to start off your Z career.

    Great work!

    Two thumbs up.
     
  11. OntarioTodd

    OntarioTodd TrainBoard Member

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    Very nice! I agree with Jeff. You should take this layout to shows to showcase what can be done in Z.

    Todd
     
  12. Don A

    Don A TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wow !! If this is your first attempt, you are going to move to the "Top & Best Modeler" list almost immediately. This looks REAL.

    ...don
     
  13. MontanaRails

    MontanaRails TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, thanks! I didnt expect such a response. There are definitely areas to improve on my layout and things id do differently if I could start it again.

    The area thats captured my interest recently is vehicle making. I start with a block of poplar wood and crudely carve it to shape using a scale drawing or picture. Then, I sand it to the correct profile and contour. A final sanding, couple of coats of base color, and then painting details with a small brush. I mount them to a toothpick so its easy to rotate and paint.

    Generic pickup prior to final sanding:

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    Final vehicle:

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    USPS LLV:

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    1967 Ford Mustang:

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2012
  14. MontanaRails

    MontanaRails TrainBoard Member

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    Although not focused properly, another view:

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    Ford Taurus:

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  15. MontanaRails

    MontanaRails TrainBoard Member

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    Z scale Guardrail, carved from styrene and thin stainless sheet:

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    Coal tipple drawing and first cut pieces:

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    Base paint:

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  16. MontanaRails

    MontanaRails TrainBoard Member

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    Corrugated aluminum (cooking foil) applied with quick set epoxy:

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  17. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    you are doing very well in z! I liked very much what you have shared with us so far. How do you make the wheels of the cars? Does the foil come corrugated, or did you do it yourself?
     
  18. MontanaRails

    MontanaRails TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks! The wheels are made from rod and tube styrene I found in this Evergreen Plastic assortment:

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    Its fairly close to the right size.

    The corrugated aluminum is made by pressing regular heavy duty cooking foil into the detail on the vertical columns of a plastic shelving unit. Figured this one out just by chance!

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  19. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

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    Congratulations MontanaRails, your layout shows an outstanding craftmanship! So many details... I particularily love the tin shed above the siding! Its rusty appearance exactly matches what I'll have to do on my future mexican empire. Now the next step for you is weathering your rolling stock!

    Dom
     
  20. MontanaRails

    MontanaRails TrainBoard Member

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    Funny you should mention that - I've been putting off weathering the rolling stock simply because of the high cost of Z scale trains. I'm pretty comfortable weathering HO scale rolling stock...but this is another ball game! Still investigating what method I want to use.

    Here's a few pictures of the look and feel I'll be shooting for with weathering my Z scale rolling stock - this is my previous HO scale layout:

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    I want to try airbrushing again, I just have to make sure the paint is thinned perfectly, and I have good pressure.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2012

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