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ZCS Shoutbox

GNFan - Mon 29 Jan - 22:14

Hi, Johnathan (Catt) - Glad to hear you're still at it. Visit here when you can, keep us posted how you're doing.

Catt - Mon 29 Jan - 17:11

Hi guyZ,thought I would let y'all know that I am still kickin' around just not doing much Z right now.I I can barely hang on to my HO stuff.Hope y'all are doing great' :-)

jim29t - Sun 28 Jan - 13:08

Happy Valentines day

stonysmith - Mon 1 Jan - 16:45

Happy New Year!

rvn2001 - Mon 1 Jan - 00:16

Happy New Year!! Here is a video of my Z scale layout built on a G scale flatcar.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njVNOZOIRVo

soccrdad30 - Sun 24 Dec - 11:14

Merry Christmas to everyone!

soccrdad30 - Sat 9 Dec - 21:09

My ShapeWays order shipped on Friday! woohoo!

GNFan - Fri 8 Dec - 18:01

A favorite Seattle Department of Transportation guy captured 2 Boeing fuselages waiting to be taken to the Everett plant, at the Interbay Yard. https://twitter.com/dongho_chang/status/93926630257261

stonysmith - Mon 27 Nov - 17:59

Shapeways has extended their Cyber Monday sale thru Tuesday .. 10% off and free shipping on orders over $25www.shapeways.com

rvn2001 - Sun 29 Oct - 12:57

I've already got one of each on order.

stonysmith - Sat 28 Oct - 21:42

ZSM is taking preorders for the Rokuhan powered chassis - this could be a game changer! Link

GNFan - Tue 10 Oct - 21:02

Phew! Glad to see ZCS is back in business.

southernnscale - Thu 17 Aug - 23:38

Working is another thing that gets in the way and help support their hobby. I was just wondering what happened to all those who were on here.

southernnscale - Thu 17 Aug - 23:33

I have six acres and a 3/4 pond. have plenty of out side work! But can't spend every min in the sun. I know people have to work and other thing in life that are more important! but I still find time!

tealplanes - Mon 31 Jul - 21:11

Certain projects can only be done in the summer months......like beginning to dig a Koi pond. I've also built garden boxes, a chicken coop, making trees for folks, and on it goes. Someday...........

tealplanes - Mon 31 Jul - 21:09

I suggest that for many, 'life' in general gets in the way all to often. I look at my trains every day, but just can't carve out any time to work on them. Someday, but today I am needed elsewhere.

tealplanes - Mon 31 Jul - 21:07

Walt, I am responding to your July 8 comment about people losing interest in Z. That is certainly true in some ways, but I'd bet my bottom dollar the reason for not being active is totally different

southernnscale - Mon 31 Jul - 00:48

eJshelton where can I get information on these show! Are they local for you!

ejshelton - Sun 16 Jul - 11:49

I haven't done a lot of work on my Z but I took Z to a show yesterday. Have plans to be at a show this coming weekend and also at the NTS. I also have plans for a display in Sept. So I'm busy with Z

ZRailFan - Mon 10 Jul - 21:48

Busy! For sure. But the good part is our hobby will wait patiently. (Thanks, Walt, for the kind comment in my blog...it's OK if nobody comments...I do it for myself...).

fairbanks - Mon 10 Jul - 00:58

I have not done any of the fun things I use to do.. I still love Z Scale and N Scale but now I need a layout to put them on.. It will come with time & I look forward to the time I can have free time.

fairbanks - Mon 10 Jul - 00:57

I think people are busy. I know my world has turned topsy turvy with both of my parents {Father With Severe Alzheimer & my mother broke her hip in March 2017} in a nursing home in Plainview NY.

southernnscale - Sat 8 Jul - 12:38

It seem people loose there interest in Z scale I thought they were all decated to the Z world, so they jumped track and headed for the town of Facebook and now that's doing the same thing. slowly !

circusbuilder - Mon 3 Jul - 12:24

I agree with you Walt.

southernnscale - Sun 2 Jul - 01:28

Happy 4th of July to every one this week end! We need to get back to the Z scale spirit!

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Welcome to the Z Central Station! A model railroad site dedicated to 1:220 scale model trains.

Z Central Station was created to provide Z Scalers a full featured online community. Members can share their Z Scale experiences via our discussion forum, photo gallery, classifieds, videos, chat room and more! Membership to Z Central Station is free!

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Ever wanted to create your own Blog? Here is your chance to create a Blog on your Z scale layout, modeling project, or even contest entry! You can add photos, videos, and links to show in your blog. This is one of the latest modules, I wanted to be sure to re-introduce this powerful tool for our members use.

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Evergreen Scale Models

Scratch building is defined in Wikipedia as “The process of building a scale model "from scratch", ie. from raw materials, rather than building it from a commercial kit, kit bashing or buying it pre-assembled.”

Wikipedia further explains the motives as “The reasons hobbyists scratchbuild may vary. Often a desired model is unavailable in kit form in the desired scale, or entirely non-existent. Sometimes the hobbyist may be dissatisfied with the accuracy or detail of kits that are available. Other times a hobbyist will opt to scratchbuild simply for the challenge. Less frequently a hobbyist will scratchbuild out of economy, as sometimes the raw materials cost less than a packaged commercial kit.”

From here I would like to introduce Evergreen Scale Models. I am sure many Z scale modelers have a small arsenal of their products stashed away for current or future projects.

I emailed Evergreen Scale Models recently with some questions, and I would like to share their response with you.

Hello John, Thanks for your interest, and  for using Evergreen styrene products.   Happy to answer your  questions:

What are your recommendations for proper storage of your products? Store styrene away from heat sources to prevent warping, and keep it out of  sunlight.  UV light slowly breaks down unpainted styrene.   However, paint on the model will provide the necessary protection  to prevent breakdown.  Weak UV from indoor sources are not a significant  problem.

What type of glue(s) or bonding material would  you recommend for your sheet and shape products?  Styrene  is best bonded with a liquid styrene solvent, which chemically welds the  styrene parts.  Common brands are:  Testors Liquid Cement, Tenax 7R,  and Ambroid Pro-Weld.  Methyl-Ethyl-Ketone (MEK), found at most hardware  stores, is also suitable. Whichever solvent you use, the styrene surface  must be unpainted, as solvents won't bond painted styrene.  CA (Superglue)  and epoxy can also be used, but they are not as strong as a solvent  bond.

Of all of the mistakes one can make during  scratch building, what is the most common mistake, and what would you recommend  to correct it or prepare for it?  For this  question, I yield the floor to an experienced scratch builder  and longtime friend to the founder of Evergreen Scale  Models:
        "The most  common mistake I see is a new scratchbuilder taking on too big a project for   his or her first attempt. To avoid this mistake, I'd recommend someone new to   scratchbuilding start with a simple project, like a small yard office. A   new scratchbuilder will make mistakes, but they'll learn by their mistakes.   Once they are pleased with their results, then they can consider moving on to   bigger and/or more complicated scratchbuilding projects. One of the best   things a new person can do is use all resources available to learn about   scratchbuilding. There are many books in the hobby press, including   Evergreen's how-to book, "Styrene Modeling".   Don't limit the search to just model railroad titles, look at what other   hobbyist are doing. The plastic kit modelers have developed innovative   ways to build models with styrene and exciting ways to finish their   models. Bottom line; mistakes will happen. Use them as a learning tool   and keep trying. Eventually the results of learning will be their own   reward!
    A second common mistake   is using the wrong adhesive to bond materials. Some glues will warp   or distort the plastic's surface, particularly if excess glue is applied to   the parts (a common mistake for beginners). Clear styrene is very susceptible   to marring from using too much or the wrong adhesive. Canopy cement or   Future acrylic floor finish works well for affixing clear styrene to   other parts (even a small amount of white glue will work if there is no stress   on the parts being joined). At some point, a new start to the   project may the only cure for too many mistakes. But the new scratchbuilder   will learn and eventually become proficient in their  efforts."
What would you recommend to bond wood pieces to Evergreen  styrene?  Styrene solvents have no effect on wood, metal, ceramics,  painted styrene, or even some other types of plastics (nylon, delrin,  polyurethane, polyethylene, et.al). So use superglue (CA), and where a  strong bond is needed, use a 2-part, 5 minute epoxy.
What method(s) would you recommend to bend shape and sheet  styrene.  In most cases, thin styrene can be formed into slight curves  and bends without heat, and once it is glued in place it will retain its  shape.  But thicker parts may need to be heated up to the softening  point to make them pliable.  Styrene can be thermoformed by  heating it up to about 212 °F, so immersing it in boiling water  is a common method.  A heat gun can be used as well, but you  must be very cautious, as the heat gun can very quickly and efficiently  reduce the styrene to a molten mass.  Once the styrene is heated to  the necessary temperature, it can be formed to the desired shape, and must be  held in place until it cools.  Once cool, it will retain it's new permanent  shape.
Evergreen Scale Models Inc.,
18620-F  141st Ave. NE
Woodinville, WA  98072
Phone (425) 402-4918
Toll-Free (877) 376-9099
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Walthers Magic of Model Railroading Contest 2011

Yes!  You could win $250 for 1st Place,  $100 for 2nd Place, or $75 for 3rd Place in the Walthers Magic of Model Railroading Contest.  Photos chosen as publishable Honorable Mentions will win $25.  Photographers will receive a copy of the reference book in which their photo(s) appears.  Act quickly, May 17th 2011 is the deadline for your entries.


Ok.  Now that I have your attention, please allow me to explain further in detail.


For a Christmas gift, I received my Walthers 2011 N & Z Model Railroad Reference Book.  I love the catalog aspect of the N & Z scale products.  I enjoy looking over the photography of other layouts and scenes.  But, as I was paying more attention to the photography, I noticed a lack of Z!  All of the winning photos are N, and if my counting is correct, I think there was only one Z scale photo in the whole reference book.  That only Z picture is on the opening page for Z scale products.


My initial thought was “What gives? Why the lack of Z?”  So, I went on and sent an email to Walthers to find out more information and to share with you about their “Magic of Model Railroading Contest”.  I wish to thank Lance Burton, Senior Writer of Wm. K. Walthers, Inc. for answering some questions.


Good morning John, and thanks for your note. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding, as I generally check this email about once a week in the “off season.” I was a bit surprised by the lack of Z scale diorama, module, and layout photos in your 2011 reference book.  In fact, even the Z scale no show's in your winning photos.  Please don't get me wrong that it detracts from your reference book.  I am just being a tiny biased in wanting to see more Z. So do we! Despite the increasing simplicity of digital photography, the number of submissions has gone down each year, although I’m not sure why. We’re actually lucky to get one or two Z Scale entries. What I would like to do is to help spur the Z scale community for more submissions to your N&Z Model Railroad Reference Book.  I would also like to create a link from Z Central Station to your Magic of Model Railroading page.That would be great — the more people aware of the information, the better — and thank you for your efforts! We should be updating the Magic portion of our page with entry information and deadlines in the near future, but we accept submissions and inquiries at any time. But, along with the link to the Magic of Model Railroading page, I would like to have an article to help guide the Z scale modelers to better photo submissions.What do you look for in a prize winning photo? The “best” photos are the ones that tell a story with great modeling. There should be some sort of implied action or drama that draws the viewer into the picture, and makes it come to life.  
What are some of the "do's" in model train photography? Lighting, depth of field and focus are the big three. We prefer to see models in finished layout settings, and again, scenes that tell a story are the most fun for our readers, and for us too.
What are some of the "don'ts" in model train photography? Keep in mind that this is a family hobby, and we encourage our readers to share the Book with their kids and grandkids. We'll reject images with adult-themed jokes (such as company names) or scenes. One key point to remember is that camera's never lie. You and I can look at our models day after day and miss things, but the camera will record the smallest problem, say bent or broken details, poor assembly, wheels off the track and so on. Military and figure modelers use small mirrors to view their work from a different perspective and make flaws jump out. Cameras do the same thing. And it isn’t just small details that get overlooked. Check the layout for things that don’t belong there — we've had to reject images because tools, coffee cups and other real-world items were pretty overpowering. And lastly...  Are there any guides, articles, or websites you can recommend for Z scale modelers to take better pictures? I'm not personally aware of anything dealing specifically with model railroad or miniature photography, and I don’t recall any recent magazine articles, but I would think there must be something out there. Thanks again for your interest and support of the Magic contest. If I can be of further assistance, feel free to contact me. Lance Burton Senior Writer, Wm. K. Walthers, Inc.

I would like to sincerely thank Mr. Lance Burton for his time and assistance.  Z scale modelers lets get going on our photos and send them in!  It is time for you to send in some pictures of your diorama, module, or layout.  Here is the link to Walthers Magic of Model Railroading page.  Remember May 17th, 2011 is the deadline for your entries.

And after some research, here are a few links to help you with your model railroad photography.


Bear Creek and South Jackson  Note: Go to the “How To” menu tab.


Basic Model Railroad Photography


Good Luck everyone!


John Kellett

Z Central Station

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