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ZCS Shoutbox

JoomJunk - Mon 16 Jan - 15:00

Welcome to the Shoutbox

rvn2001 - Sun 17 Mar - 15:40

Happy St. Patrick's Day

ZFRANK - Thu 3 Jan - 18:39

Happy New Year!

rvn2001 - Tue 1 Jan - 06:45

Yappy Hew Near ..... er ...... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

soccrdad30 - Thu 27 Dec - 03:13

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone

rvn2001 - Tue 25 Dec - 11:59


stonysmith - Mon 8 Oct - 00:20

@ZOPTIONS - welcome!There's a good number of folks here who can help.One of the best resources it to come to chat at 9:00pm EDT almost any day

ZOPTIONS - Sun 7 Oct - 16:50

Greetings to all! Coming from Lionel O scale - "sizing down" if you will. Have a lot of trouble trying to determine the "best" products for constructing sidewalks AND structure bases? GM

rvn2001 - Thu 27 Sep - 16:16

You just need to sand the bottom of the plow a little.

jdo - Thu 27 Sep - 13:02

Is anyone having problems with the new MTL SD-40S plow hanging up on switches ETC.?

stonysmith - Wed 19 Sep - 14:56

Make sure you click on the image first so that you get the full size image. The image is properly 11105x450 and if printed at 300dpi will be the correct size.

mohican - Mon 17 Sep - 21:45

who creates the container freight pics? It would be nice if they were created using an adobe file instead of a jpg rendering. The details are too far blurred to make a decent model

mohican - Mon 17 Sep - 21:29

I'm thinking it should be more like 330 ohms which would make a direct short pass 2.7 milliamps and draw only 1/4 watt of power

mohican - Mon 17 Sep - 21:26

The Z Maker SW1200 kit says the he used a 33Kohm resistor in series with the motor but that would make the current passed through the resistor at .02 milliamps if the resistor were directly shorted

mohican - Mon 17 Sep - 21:20

does anyone know what value resistor is in the voltage reducer cable for rokuhan mini motors?

clubzscale - Thu 13 Sep - 01:36

Okay I’m back in... thanx Stony everything all better now. Log in reset successful.

rvn2001 - Tue 4 Sep - 02:19

Good to see you back, Bruce.

umchappy08 - Mon 3 Sep - 22:37

Been out of the ZCS for quite a while, but coming back. Been running Z though. Hope to get reconnected with you all. Enjoyed showing in NTS 2018.

DAZed - Mon 20 Aug - 06:33

Here are my NTS photos. NTS Photos

ejshelton - Sun 19 Aug - 18:01

I missed that....

rvn2001 - Sun 19 Aug - 17:59

You can see me walking behind Chad. I must have been working a wreck...

ejshelton - Sun 19 Aug - 17:39

I enjoyed the video......but one mystery. You're seat was empty.....I thought you never left that spot all three days......lol

circusbuilder - Sat 18 Aug - 18:09

Still alive. After nts 17 I was a little in the dumps. Nice to see 18 a better showing.

southernnscale - Sat 18 Aug - 01:38

Thanks for sharing the 2018NTS. I was watching model railroad 2018 video and they didn't show any of the Z scale. They even had Atlas there and not a word was said about the new flex track!

rvn2001 - Sat 18 Aug - 01:08

Here's a link to a video with our modules. Our modules appear at minute 25:12https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRASkyDmO3c

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Latest Member Z Scale Photos

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  1. Welcome
  2. Features
  3. Free Online Magazines
  4. Privacy Policy
  5. This Date in RR History
  6. Wanted


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!

Have an idea, comment, or concern? Z Central Station has a Contact us link under "My ZCS" menu option.

24 x 7 Active Chat for up to 20 members. Regular scheduled times are Sundays 1PM EST and Wednesdays 9:00PM EST. Chat is open to any member. Stop in and say Hi!

10,000+ Z scaled image gallery open for all to enjoy. Home Page Shout Box.

13,000+ Forums Postings. More than 200 free downloads in our Library containing Instructionals, decals, paper/cardstock models, paintchip charts, modeler pad, and more!

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.

It is simple to join Z Central Station with a Free membership!

Free Community Banners

Free Z scale community banners are provided for individuals or groups looking to expand their current Z scale modeling group, starting a Z scale modeling group, or just to create a Z scale awareness in their area. Community banners are displayed on every Z Central Station page. For more information use the 'Contact us' form.

Z Central Station Private Messaging

ZCS always had the ability to allow private messaging between members but now it is functional for you to use. When you log in you will notice a PM Notifier just under the search box on every ZCS web page. When you go to your profile page you will notice several new PM modules. Here is where you can have ZCS email you when you receive a new PM, compose a PM to another ZCS member by using their screen name. You can also review sent, received, and deleted private messages.

Free Online Magazines

Here is a online source for free magazines from various railroad related historical societies!

Keystone Modeler

AC&Y Modeler    Nickel Plate Road Modeler

Privacy Policy

Z Central Station has now adopted a Privacy Policy, effective as of July 30th, 2011.

Z Central Station has now adopted a Forum/Chat Disclaimer, effective as of July 31th, 2011.

Z Central Station Mission Statment

This Day In Railroad History
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Group Date Event
NHRS 1861-05-23 Confederate forces under General Thomas Jackson seize a section of the Baltimore & Ohio between Point of Rocks, Maryland and Martinsburg, Virginia.
NHRS 1870-05-23 Boston's leading citizens depart for a six-day rail journey to San Francisco.
ColinCRP 1887-05-23 The CP main line is extended 12.2 miles along Burrard Inlet to Vancouver. The first train is pulled by Port Moody based locomotive No. 374, now preserved at the Vancouver Drake Street roundhouse.
NHRS 1891-05-23 Dedication of the chapel car Evangel, the first of seven such cars built for the American Baptist Publication Society by Barney & Smith. The cars serve remote communities and are generally granted free passage by the railroads.
NHRS 1892-05-23 Opening of the Inter-Oceanic Railroad between Mexico City and Veracruz.
NHRS 1952-05-23 Army returns railroads to private control.
ColinCRP 1967-05-23 "GO Transit" is inaugurated by the Province of Ontario between Pickering, Toronto, Oakville and Hamilton under an operating agreement with Canadian National.
NHRS 1967-05-23 Government of Ontario begins operation of GO Transit over CN trackage between Toronto and Hamilton. CN commuter trains made their last run on May 20th.


Z Central Station is looking to add more photos, articles, and kit instructions.

Z Central Station has 270+ documents in our library with 45+ kit instruction documents. We want to add more for future references. We would also like to add any articles from a simple kit build, train car repaint, anything to do with Z scale modeling.

For more information or if you need help uploading images and files to ZCS, click on the 'Contact Us' Page.

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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
E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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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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