To Z or not to Z, that is the question.

scottmitchell74 Feb 4, 2014

  1. scottmitchell74

    scottmitchell74 TrainBoard Member


    I've been kicking things around for a while now. I've been torn in three directions: (But no matter what I want(ed) to do a British scene)

    1) British N-Gauge. I love the look of their rolling stock, buildings, etc...there's an "exotic" look, and I'm intrigued. However, I'm leaning away from this due to discussions on ngaugeuk forum about N-Gauge quality.

    2) I'm very intrigued by T-Gauge. Just what can be done in such a small space, and they have British rolling stock and themes. However, it's just so tiny and I'm worried about dealing with such tininess.

    3) Z Scale. I had a Z Scale set some 13-14 years ago and it was beautiful but I was very intimidated by it and sold it so start my path in N-Scale instead. Now I feel I'm ready for Z Scale (or it's ready for me!). However, there's very little by-way-of British Z Scale. If I want to go German or Japanese, I'd be golden, but I don't. The North American rolling stock does looks amazing, and the options are becoming varied and excellent. So anyhow, I'm really just thinking out loud here, looking for some insight on how others came to Z Scale.

    Also, what's the state of Z Scale Steam? That just seems like a lot of tiny moving parts that scare me to death. How does Z Steam perform? Pulling power, holding up to use, etc...?

  2. BurlingtonRoute

    BurlingtonRoute TrainBoard Member

    You could do the B&O in Z;) There are some Britsh Z scalers in the UK. They have to make a lot of their stuff from scratch, or kitbash. There are guys making British Z sale buildings and a few autos. If you like the European exotic look, you could always do German Z.
  3. scottmitchell74

    scottmitchell74 TrainBoard Member

    Oh, man, if I do Z Scale and it's NA I'm leaning heavily towards B&O. Those new A-B units from MTL look awesome.
  4. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

    Join us on the dark side....
    The Mikado is the first injection plastic steamer in Z. If you have the cash, the is an assortment of Z steam: Big Boy, Challenger, Cab forward.
    On the diesel side GP 7/9/30/35/38-2, with many DCC drop-in ready; SD-70s, F7A/B, with E8/9 and F3A/B coming soon. There's even RDCs.
    AZL is producing a line of heavyweight passenger cars and most classic and modern freight cars.

    As far as operation, in my 25+ years in Z it just keeps getting better. Low speed operation has improved, mechanics have gotten quieter and smoother operating. Hand rails and such are getting more fragile as they're being scaled more accurately. As far as a steam drive train, I've never had any problems with my old 20th century Marklin Mikados and have had no issues with the new AXL models.

    The major warts on Z are coupler and track compatibility between manufacturers, but IMHO no show stoppers.

    Hope this helps,

  5. RobertAllbritton

    RobertAllbritton TrainBoard Member

    Don't know about MTL, but I do like the B&O units we made!

    Come on over to the dark side of the Force.

  6. tjdreams

    tjdreams TrainBoard Member

    The Quality and Varity of Z scale items is increasing almost daily.
    As has bin said AZL Makes some really nice locomotives Steam and Diesel. I have 5 of there Mikado's (2 B&O's) and a couple of there Diesels all of which run Great.
    They also have a nice line of rolling stock as well as Heavy weight passenger cars. again all great runners.
    And their are a lot of other manufactures making just about anything you could want in Z scale now days.

    Like Rob said Come on over to the Z side of the force.

    And Rob
    I Sure hope their will be a B&O and a C&O when the new run of E units come out.
  7. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

    Scott, Sorry there isn't the British variety you want, but if you do NA modeling, the selection is better every day. Z truly is for those who like a lot in a small space and a challenge. It is so much fun, it ought to be illegal. :eek:)
  8. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter


Share This Page