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My Z gauge 42x180cm layout


ianlaw

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Hello everyone,

 

I'm new here and and starting this thread to show the developments of my layout.

 

Why Z-gauge? Well I wanted a layout in our living room so that my wife would not complain about me being out at work all day and in my hobby room all evening. :grin

I also wanted to run trains in a reasonable sized landscape and through a station without being limited to 2 car DMU's without it looking stupid.

Why Japan? I've been to Japan twice and like the railway scene. My wife lived in Japan for 7 years so building a Japanese layout made my return to the hobby more acceptable. :grin

Why 42x180cm? This was the space where the layout could be nicely fitted into the living room above a low side table alongside my desk.

 

At first I thought Z-gauge was so small compared to HOe, but now I think that the HO buildings are really monstrous and wonder how I ever thought I could make a pleasing layout in this scale.

I tried making building using the same techniques as for HO, but soon discovered this didn't work. I soon turned to paper and card instead of plastic and used printed textures and photos instead of using paint. In this smaller scale I feel this works and looks better.

 

Here are a few shots of the 7-11 I showed in the welcome forum (showing all it's secrets) and an older overview of the layout.

 

Ian

 

(edit: updated overview shot of layout)

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Nice start. Can we see more pics of the layout when you them?

 

I'm looking to install some Z gauge on the highest mountain to extend the mine scene. What's on there already is some Z gauge coming out of each mine entrance. Need some coal carts.

 

Can you recommend some sites for American locomotives and rolling stock and scenic stuff?

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The trackplan (more or less), although I have actually added one more point then shown here.

As you can see I'm not one for a spaghetti layout.

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Ian,

 

hey really nice! will love to see more as time goes by.

 

great bins. did you come up with the image yourself? i like your wrapping the edges of the chipboard structure and all the edges. really helps hide the paper edges. with z its nice as you can get a good sized building all the way around like this. is the castle papercraft as well? how much of the layout will be papercraft?

 

curious what paper you used for z scale. folding bits at that size gets tough and paper and ink/toner seem to break down more when folds happen. most n scale paper details are right on the edge when ive used standard paper and laser printer. been meaning to compare ink jet to see if it helps fold better on tiny folds.

 

tiniest detail i got to with paper was an n scale pizza box...

 

http://www.jnsforum.com/index.php/topic,5998.msg70126.html#msg70126

 

that was at the edge of folding causing issues for me, but fun!

 

btw pm me if you are interested, ive collected a ton of free papercraft pdf files from the web.

 

keep us posted on the progress!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Jeff,

 

All the buildings are paper and card structures...

I have a few Sankei lasercut models.

The castle and temple are downloaded from the Japanese Canon site.

I use some of the scratch building textures and the office building from scalescenes.com. And I have copied his techniques for my own scratch building. Wrap around works much better than folding.

I don't believe there are actually any plastic kits for Japanese buildings to be had for Z.

 

I don't really like the traditional "fold boxes" style of papercraft because you cannot hide the folding lines.

 

I use 160gr matt inkjet paper. For the small and fiddly things (like the bins) I peel of the back of the paper after printing (split the paper) so its nearly see-through.

I search the web looking for useful images and then use Lightroom to straighten them up. For Z scale I don't need high resolution images.

For things like fending machines I use glossy photo paper.

 

I don't think I will be trying a pizza box in Z-scale.  :grin. Better stick to the larger scale like N for this type of thing. :grin I think you did great there.

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Ian,

 

thanks, great to hear your tips. ive been fiddling with papercraft for a while now but still on the fence about it for a lot of n scale as n scale is right at the scale where the eye wants to see the relief of some details or catches edges/folds etc and they are just too big to not notice and start degrading the over all effect. i think Z is where it really starts to work swimmingly and T really well! but i do want to use it for more little bits and pieces like vending machines and bins. ive been fiddling with making a lit vending machine.

 

so you split the paper with a razor? ive not heard of that approach, usually folks sanding the paper down. ive been searching for some thinner paper to print on as well. i had some very interesting partially plasticized laserprinter paper that was thin and very tough, but ive run out of it and never found it again.

 

some folks love the label method of printing on label paper and sticking down to a chipboard and/or styrene base.

 

did you cut out all the windows on the building on the right in the last pict? or did you use pin tape on the acetate to get the mullions? also are the hand rails on the building on the right printed on acetate (but they are white!) or actual z scale hand rail.

 

your detailing is superb!

 

sorry for all the questions, but love to hear others' experience and tips on stuff like this!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Jeff,

 

The front and sides of the building are one sheet of transparant plastic. I drew the windowframes (only vertical lines) with a white ink pen. Then I glued on the vertical wall elements, with wrap round corners. 

The hand rails are factory printed on transparant plastic and are actually N-scale CASCO fences cut down. :grin

 

Ian

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Ian,

 

thanks i want to do some experimenting with smaller to large high rise buildings by doing stuff on acetate then adding small walls at each floor.

 

cool, the caseco look great in your photo! i have couple of set of the caseco, but have not yet tried them out. at n scale etched brass handrails work out just about right visually, but i got the case co that have ones with mesh between the rails which you cant really do with etched metal at nscale.

 

do you see any issues with glare on the acetate on the casecos that ruin the illusion once on the building?

 

how did you split your paper as you mentioned, with a razor?

 

jeff

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Jeff,

 

Nothing so sophisticated as a razor... just use my sharp hobby knife... :grin

 

You do get glare depending on the direction of the light. This can be a problem when taking photos from unusual directions. But it looks great when you can control the viewing angle and angle of light. And in Z you don't really have anything better. :sad:

 

Ian

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ian,

 

cool ive split lots of hairs in my days, but never tried paper! ;-P  ill have to give it a whirl.

 

yep i expect at z its really at the edge of resolution for handrail sort of detail. n scale hand rail is bad enough to fiddle with.

 

jeff

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Here are some general views of the layout after planting trees near the castle. Nothing like natural light to make things look good.

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I was busy with real life this week so haven't done much.

I have just finished making some lockers and a small bike shed at the back of the station. (this is the front side on my layout)

 

The lockers are an image from internet, squared up, printed and wrapped around three pieces of card. The drink vending machine was made the same way. The bikes are etched models. The roof is a paper download from Scalescenes.com. The concrete wall is a printed texture I found somewhere. The same for the road and drains.

 

As you can see all buildings and the shed with pavement are not glued down yet to enable easy access until all details are in place.

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Ian - how the heck do you accomplish so much with great detail on such a small scale?! Really nice work....are you a watchmaker by trade?  :grin

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CaptOblivious

What kind of printer are you using to achieve such fine detail? I've got a decent inkjet (Epson Workforce 845), but I would be hard pressed to think it could manage the level of print detail as on your lockers. But perhaps I am simply pessimistic?

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Thanks all,

 

Any photo printer can produce suitable output. The advantage of a small scale is that you don't have to actually provide textures. Simply printing it is enough. :grin

It's the small details that make a layout come to life.

 

Ian

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Ian,

 

love it! you have a great eye at doing just what is needed to get the minds eye to create the rest of the scene! elevators and vending machine, perfect scene! its amazing as just a few of these scenes and your mind starts to make the rest of the layout come alive as well. very powerful and im starting to think that Z scale might be the perfect scale to really do this at its optimum. just big enough to get some detail, but not so big as the if the detail is a bit off you reject it. N scale is sort of on that cusp, but you can just start to see finer detail in N scale (why it got popular, small enough to get enough in but big enough for some of the finer detail to be there), but im now thinking Z is even more optimal for playing with the minds eye.

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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Three bog standard Sankei kits, weathered with pigment powders (Tamiya). The building to the right needs more work, as it still looks too new and should match the restaurant and the bathhouse.

Any ideas what to do with the alleyway between the two buildings? Pavement, fence or no fence..., or maybe just a few flour mounted airco units...?

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Three bog standard Sankei kits, weathered with pigment powders (Tamiya). The building to the right needs more work, as it still looks too new and should match the restaurant and the bathhouse.

Any ideas what to do with the alleyway between the two buildings? Pavement, fence or no fence..., or maybe just a few flour mounted airco units...?

 

never can have enough aircos! all over the place. lots of places you find a little garden of potted plants below them i think because many are at a height that you would hit them with your head so its a way to keep folks from boinking themselves. cleaver thing ive seen many places in japan with this is then folks put string from the condenser drain to the pots and water from the ac drips down to water the plants!

 

if in the north then there is alway snow tire sets sitting in folks yards, alleys etc. many alleys are paths to other places behind buildings.

 

some look like they are a roadway but half the width of cars so would never work, but look like a road none the less. alleys are so wild in japan, always fun to walk down them or peek in to see whats going on. most i remember being not fenced but maybe just that if a fence is there just dont register it as an alleyway as much, more of yard etc.

 

some good ref picts:

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pict_u_re/sets/72157594522665064/

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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