Z scale Caboose and Tank Cars

Calzephyr Jun 26, 2016

  1. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am primerily an N scaler... but have a good amount of Z scale rolling stock and some Micro-trains F7 A & B units. I actually like Z scale better in some ways... but am very disappointed with caboose and tank cars in this scale. The Micro-trains cabooses don't look right and are not prototypical for Western US railroads. The Micro-trains tank cars are just awful looking in general. Perhaps there are other options I haven't seen yet???

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  2. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    Have you checked out the AZL cabooses? They have 5 different models in plastic and brass.
     
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  3. n&wsteamfan

    n&wsteamfan TrainBoard Member

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    AZL also has a nice selection of highly detailed tank cars
     
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  4. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Marklin also has a typical western style caboose, but it really needs the Zealatory caboose kit to look good.
     
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  5. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    It had been a long time since I had gone onto the AZL/Z-monster website.
    I recall seeing some modern tank cars which are too late for the era I prefer to model (1940-1965).
    I believe the cabooses I had seen were also later renditions with COTS or the rainbow barcode.
    I noticed new motive power... F3 sets... which are nice. Still need cabooses to fit the era and roads I like.
    I'm not a 'tinkerer'... and in Z scale... even less so.
    Things have to run well out of the box... so I fret when I read that many items require 'fiddling' to get them running well.
    Thanks for the input.
     
  6. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

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    True, AZL mostly releases modern era stuff. I'm affraid someone who wants prototype all tank cars from the 40's has no choice but scratchbuilding.

    Dom
     
  7. strummer

    strummer TrainBoard Member

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    I'm sorry; what's wrong with MTL tank cars? Am I missing something?

    Mark in Oregon
     
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  8. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    The Micro-trains car is a rivited version which looks out of proportion in tank diameter, dome size and ride height. Its just my humble opinion...it could be all prototypically correct... but just looks all wrong to me.

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  9. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Have you seen the Marklin tank car.
     
  10. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Looks great with the Zealatory kit on it, fairly easy. That way the truck spacing is correct, and you have M-T couplers as well.
     
  11. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    I took this Marklin SP caboose, the Zealatory kit, and some Barber Style trucks and M-T couplers, and did this in 15 minutes!! It's easy!! caboose2.jpg caboose1.jpg
     
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  12. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Speaking of Micro-Trains caboose's, the July new releases were just posted and naturally they have 4 more repaints of the "Eastern Style" caboose!! So, unless you model the east coast railroads, these are just more of the same of the past models issued. It would be nice if they could spend the time and effort, and the cost of producing these repaints, towards an all new body style of rolling stock. Like alot of people are asking, how about a standard "Western Style" of cupola caboose that so many RR's owned from the 1900's to dang near the new millenium.
    I have the AZL Bay Window and the Wide Vision style, but it'd be nice to have an older style as well.o_O
    Guess I'll make a few more Marklin cabooses with the Zealatory kit for now.

    Just a gripe, sorry......
     
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  13. z.scale.hobo

    z.scale.hobo TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Kurt: The cost of a plastic injection mold is on the order of US$50,000. I understand the frustration but it takes YEARS to recoup the money for a new mold. At $30 per caboose (a high estimate), you are talking about a lot of cabooses (1700 or so) to sell before you make up the costs of the mold and you haven't even added up all the additional labor and overhead on top of that (advertising, inventory burden, sales orders costs, shipping, etc, etc).

    If we assume MTL sells 50 cabooses per month (a very generous estimate, I think) it takes nearly 3 years to finally break even! Of course, once the mold is paid off, you are printing money every time you shoot new shells, but the initial outlay is not easy especially given the rate of return and risk in z scale. I think we are fortunate to have AZL introducing so many new designs and as such we are then quick to compare to MTL and that comparison is like comparing an apple and an orange. Hopefully the interest continues to grow enough to finally get MTL to justify the new mold outlays not just for cabooses, but for many other cars/locomotives, etc.
     
  14. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Dang, didn't realize the initial cost involved, holy cash cow!! The Marklin and AZL American cabooses will have to work for now.(y)
     
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  15. RobertAllbritton

    RobertAllbritton TrainBoard Member

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    This is one of the better summaries of the business that I have seen in a long time. It is accurate.

    That being said, Hans and I are exceptionally grateful for the support that the Z scale community has bestowed upon AZL and us personally. While AZL is a serious business, we are also modelers at heart, and I know that we are just as excited about new products as you are. While AZL is not a co-op, we act as though it is: virtually all of the income of the company goes back into producing new products. So as you keep buying AZL, know that your money is not only going towards a model that you receive today, but it is also going to future models in development.

    Enjoy!
    -Rob(A)
    AZL
     
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  16. emaley

    emaley TrainBoard Supporter

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    Our support for AZL was not lightly placed. You have raised the bar ten fold and MTL is gonna need to play some bigtime catch-up to stay in contention. I for one have been very pleased with all my AZL purchases. One or two minor issues here or there, but you have been quick to offer advice and support, so no issue really, consider the tiny close tolerance nature of AZL. Fine work guys.

    Trey
     
  17. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    Märklin trucks replaced by MTL on a Märklin tank car:
    Super glue the styrene bolster adapters (3mm wide, 2mm heigh, hole 1.5mm) to the chassis. This is fairly easy to do.... and looks much better.
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    That looks great... that tank car looks 'correct '... unlike MTL version.

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