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As this section of the forum seems a bit dead, thought I'd give it a poke....

October's RM contains an article on Brian Yallup's Z gauge branch terminus, Aldeburgh. Someone may correct me , but I think this is the first "authentic" model of a British prototype ever done in Z.

I haven't seen the magazine yet (tomorrow maybe) but I have seen the layout at a show. It's a total scratchbuild job , I think to dead scale, looks nice, but when I saw it , the scratchbuilt J15 was struggling to pull anything including itself. The B12 was running rather better , but a J15 is a pretty small loco in any scale. In Z , the boiler's about 6mm diameter. It's arguable you just can't get any meaningful weight in it

To build the layout at all is a remarkable achievement , and one way beyond me -no criticism of the modeller is meant , as anyone with a long term commitment to scratchbuilding in this scale demands a lot of respect - but is this scale getting beyond what is practical and workable?

I was at a show recently where there was a US N gauge layout, and it struck me that the autoracks running were longer and higher than my 4mm British wagons , albeit thinner. (in fact you'd be getting close to some pregrouping coaches The locos were longer than my 4mm shunters and about as tall, though of course much thinner

I know there's RTR US outline in Z , but is the problem that British stock is just too small for some of the smallest gauges? US N gauge models can get pretty large compared to ours...
Had this very conversation at Warley Model Railway Club 2 weeks ago with the N gauge modellers.

The conclusion was that Z gauge could be used to make a reasonable Welsh narrow gauge layout in British N scale (Ne or N6.5) or could be used to model the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway or Fairbourne Railway or such like in OO scale. British N scale is bigger than continental N scale.

Checking out the Peco website they do make Z gauge track but you would need Marklin points.

The point about this is that you could use standard off the shelf British N scale or OO scale scenery and buildings and incorporate something into a bigger layout.

Happy modelling

PS in all truth I didn't know we had this section!!! rolleyes.gif

How many times have I visited MRF.....
I think if you are going to model Z gauge in anything other than Maerklin product you will be making it yourself. Maybe there are US manufacturers too but the only mass market widely available European one is Maerklin that I'm aware of.

I have to say that I think N gauge is a bit too small and Z is getting silly unless you have some sort of novelty in mind e.g a coffee table layout.

British outline is smaller than US or German which is why we have OO rather than HO. Whether UK outline is too small is subjective as, I would have thought, Z gauge is too small for most modellers anyway.

One thing is for sure you will be making the locos yourself and you have crossed the border from modelling into jeweller/ watchmaking territory. wink.gif
Brian Considine
I have seen at least 2 Z gauge British outline layouts on the south-east exhibition circuit - both using scratchbuit bodies & Marklin track & mechanisms. Both running well & looking good (defective memory for names). The mainland european kit manufacturs make a variety of buildings in Z that could be "anglisised" so UK outline Z is feasible.

Also seen have been a number of 15" gauge trains running on OO layouts & if you really want a small portable layout Noch do a battery/mains one in a briefcase.

(I've just seen the other thread regarding briefcase layouts so that info is old news.)

"I have seen at least 2 Z gauge British outline layouts on the south-east exhibition circuit - both using scratchbuit bodies & Marklin track & mechanisms. Both running well & looking good (defective memory for names)." "Also seen have been a number of 15" gauge trains running on OO layouts"

I too have seen a couple of British Z layouts on the SE exhibition circuit, most recently in Folkestone, I know one's an LNER prototype with loco bodies made of brass and rolling stock from plasticard, but I can't find the show guide (!!)

Additionally I did think of doing a 5" garden layout as a bit of fun, using Z gauge locos with modified stock, this equates to approximately 1/24 scale so no problems with road vehicles.


I saw a magnificent Z gauge layout at rail Wells this year, and I was impressed. It certainly wasn't British outline, but it ran well, looked good, and kept my intrest alot longer than some of the 0 gauge stuff.
cool.gif cool.gif
I came across this site but know nothing about them. question.gif
quote = ozwarrior "I came across this site but know nothing about them."

I haven't checked it out but Marklin do US outline Z, I guess that's what it's about.

Also I lied...The Z gauge UK outline layout I saw was at Maidstone not Folkestone, the layout is called Aldeburgh and it is quite superb.


I guess the limited interest in British Z gauge since November suggests that it is not a viable commercial option! Z Club GB were in attendance at Warley and there are a number of resin bodies that they do for those who might be interested in running British Z gauge.

Happy modelling
Mark Thornton
QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 5 Oct 2006, 05:48) *
I have seen at least 2 Z gauge British outline layouts on the south-east exhibition circuit

"Loosely Warren" was at the Chelmsford MRC exhibition last October.
Would it be possible to make you own points in Z in a similar way as done in OO instead of using Marklin points I would assume all you would need is a track gauge some rails from a peco flexi track, copper clad sleepers and some good quality files oh and last of all allot of patents.

John Webb
Peco do sell their Code 60 rail (as used in their Z gauge Streamline track) as a separate item - Part No. IL-1 pack of 6off 24inch lengths for 4.45, according to their price list.
John Webb
QUOTE (Peter_Harvey @ 13 Feb 2007, 12:23) *
Would it be possible to make you own points in Z in a similar way as done in OO instead of using Marklin points I would assume all you would need is a track gauge some rails from a peco flexi track, copper clad sleepers and some good quality files oh and last of all allot of patents.


Brian Harrap of "Zob" fame has built a Z layout in P6.5, although not a UK outline layout it does show what can be done. Updates on this are to de found in the GRS journal "Merkur"


QUOTE (Ravenser @ 21 Sep 2006, 14:23) *
As this section of the forum seems a bit dead, thought I'd give it a poke....

I know there's RTR US outline in Z , but is the problem that British stock is just too small for some of the smallest gauges? US N gauge models can get pretty large compared to ours...

I have only yesterday joined this forum. I am in Z scale so I came to this topic.

I wanted to address the specific topic of Z scale British stock.

I only recently learned of this link:

The second item on the left column says:

NS 500/600/700
BR Class08/09

Clicking on this led to The NS 'Hippel' 0-6-0 diesel shunter.

If Larry can build this in Z scale, almost any British outline diesel can be done in Z.

A few of us here in Southern California had dinner with Larry a few days ago and he says that he has no desire to produce any of his models for sale. To produce a few for himself is enjoyable but to produce many copies for sale is work.

Soon, perhaps we will have a "Hippel in T scale.

El Toro, CA
There was a British Z layout "Standen Watchett" at the Loughborough exhibition two or three years back. And didn't Maerklin announce a Class 87 and Mk3 coaches some time in the late 70s?
QUOTE (billhko @ 10 Sep 2008, 18:49) *
Clicking on this led to The NS 'Hippel' 0-6-0 diesel shunter.

Or as we call 'em - gronks, though I have no idea why!

This really is a small part of the forum!

Does it reflect a lack of interest in British outline Z?

But then there was no demend for a round wheel - until someone invented it!

In addition to Germany Z is very popular in America and getting popular in Japan - search "MTL Z" and "Pro Z"

Here are some photos I took of Z Gauge British outline. They include the layouts mentioned above.

Everything is scratch built or heavily modified

I think there would be a big take up for British Z Gauge and an enterprising cottage industry could make a lot of money.

Some put the emphasis on packing something into a briefcase but I think they miss the point. Z's big appeal is no tight curves, close coupling and scale length trains. And scale length trains mean lots of coaches and wagons sold.

Imagine a basic Mk1 coach with plain clear plastic sides. Then add appropriate liveried sides, punched out windows and pad-printed details. A plain wagon and box van could be the basis of a big variety using the stick-on-sides idea.

The market's wide open for someone who can do a deal with Marklin, MTL or AZL for running gear.

Standen Watchett is a beautiful layout, with great piccys.Thanks BritishZ.
Any more information on this layout?

BritishZ I don't suppose you noticed what the DMU were based around or upon. Any information on the basis for these locomtives would be interesting.
I believe a British outline class 47 was once produced ,in the eighties I think .I did see one in shop so it wasn't a daydream.Not that well up on UK locos at the time so not totally sure it was a 47 .
There certainly was a Z kit for a 47, a friend used to have one on a layout back in the 80's. I wonder what happened to it?

I looked at this thread with no real fixed opinions either way. Having read the various comments, however, it seems to me that one basic point is being missed.

Being a N Gauger myself I find that this is just about as small as my eyes and hands can comfortably cope with. It's also worth noting just how many N Gaugers find that even this is too small as the years advance and physical degradation sets in. I just picked up a load of N Gauge stuff on eBay from just such a modeller who is moving up to 00. At the moment my hands are still reasonably steady and the eyes are, with assistance, still good enough to model in this scale. Who knows what the ravages of time will dictate, however.

To my mind Z Gauge is a 'novelty' scale which, without endless hours of dedicated work, - (all of which test the eyes to their limits) - cannot hope to produce any sort of realistic layout. Maerklin have, it seems, cornered the market for the very limited numbers of modellers who do indulge in such masochistic processes and they, quite reasonably, limit themselves to producing European models. The prospect of any other major manufacturer producing British outline Z Gauge locos and rolling stock is, I'm afraid, so unlikely as to be the stuff wet dreams are made of, particularly in the current economic climate.

Sorry if this offends those few Z Gaugers we have but I felt a 'reality check' was necessary.
I'm an N-gauger, but my wife professes to find Z "cute" - and wants em to build her something, provided it's British-outline (yes dear ... rolleyes.gif )

But the 47s DEFINITELY exist ... because I have two of them. Well, the bodies, anyway. All I need now is to find what chassis they're meant to fit ...
I think they were made originally by Maerklin (but as a complete loco?) in response to requyests from a British group (Z Club UK???)- however they never advertised them or officially listed them
Mmmmmm ... not sure about that.

I first encountered them in about 1991 or 1992 - when I was told that they were a private venture by somebody planning the expand into a whole range of other British Z items. But, as with so many such bold ventures, they went no further than this one item ...
Whether a scale is going to be manufactured for any market is going to be dictated by the age group of the buying public, cannot help feeling that a lot of what is made in the larger scales N, 00, 0 is very much aimed at the older buyers returning to their childhoods with some cash and often more space than they could ever get when they were a kid. In the 40+ years since my childhood trains were pushed aside by Scalextric, early home computers, radio controlled models, hand held eletcronic games, Play Stations/X-box and probably i-gadgets now. All those generations have been distracted from trains sad.gif

So that probably leaves mainly us oldies reverting after an interruption to resurrect our meglomanical streak as the controller of a railway biggrin.gif

When I was younger I was almost a rivet counter in 4mm scale rolleyes.gif

Now I am back to railway modelling, no way, I'd love to run full length trains, build them myself but a quick reality check rules out total scratchbuilding in 4mm, and certainly smaller scales like N and Z, and even glorious 7mm where the enormous amount of space and s required rules that out.

You need need good eyesight even to appreciate the wonderful 4mm RTR models these days let alone N or Z, and then there is the clumsy fingers which use to be so nimble sad.gif which can break off the fine detail before your eyes even knew it was there.

So for me the next best option is lovely old veteran 4mm, 2 rail Dublo, Trix with some kit builts thrown in, can't help thinking that most other born again modellers may think the same way (if I can't see the detail it may not as well be there), and while we oldies probably have the s and more say over the space (which depends very much on ones wife, of which I am very lucky biggrin.gif ) than we ever had as a kid, a scale as tiny as Z is not likely to create much of a target for our hard earned cash.

So no demand, no manufacture, and will trains in other scales still be in demand in 30 years time when the deprived (of trains) generation start to retire, and we are passed caring, our ashes in an ashpit somewhere, I doubt it some how sad.gif

Joe D'Amato
I've been moving all my efforts towards doing some Branchline work in Z and it has been quite an adventure. I'm working on my Master Model Railroader certificate with the NMRA buiding only in UK a lot of raised eyebrows!! One note, the 47's operated on a Marklin Chassis, I have the number someplace and will post it. Currently I am modifying an MTL SD40-2 chassis to fit under some castings I made. This involves some serious cutting and pasting and not for the faint of heart, but can be done. The wheel set up is great, but the wheel base is too long. Lucky for me, there's enough meat to trim to make this work. For more modern stuff, this chassis is spot on for a Class 66 and it's cousins, I belive a shell is in development... I'm also working on the art work for brass/resin coaches that will ride on the MTL NN3/Z old style passenger trucks. In this scale they look fine and save the effort of having to scratch build working trucks. For steamers there are a number of cast options and with the release of the Japanese Mike in Z at the amazing price of $90.00 US, the door is open to some interesting UK Steam conversions. I have a Super D I plan on planting on one as soon as it shows.

I agree that this scale is not for rivet counters. I am enjoying being able to show the wonderful countryside with rolling hills and plots and bridges and rivers in an area that larger scales can only go back and forth on. Something very relaxing watching a nice string of cars chug around a miniature landscape. So don't give up hope. Like anything it takes a few folks to kick something in gear...enough examples show up in press, the more legit the scale takes on. Keep the faith.


Rotherwood EM1
I too had some Z gauge plastic class 47 bodies... never had a use for them, i was just facinated by the small size and i got a load of them cheap (just pennies each) i'm sure i still have them tucked away somewhere in the loft! i remember converting one to roughly look like a class 56 even though i had no intention of finding a chassis for them smile.gif
Hello Rotherwood EM1

Thanks for the reply and I'd love to have those '47 bodies if you can find them - you really might help kick start British outline Z.

There will be a few pounds in it too to give you a return on your 'few pennies'.

Please contact me; adrian at britishz dot co dot uk

I would love to see any photos of your z '56!

many thanks

Rotherwood EM1
If i find them i'll let you know smile.gif but i've been going through boxes and still nothing sad.gif
Thanks - fingers crossed!

Adrian (BritishZ/OOLiveSteam)
If you DO find them, I might appreciate one or two more sending my way, too ...
Roy S

I dabbled in Z Gauge for a while.

I can confirm that the 47's were made ready to run by a Company called Ellmar Products Ltd.

I still have mine plus all it's packaging. It is no other than 47712 "Lady Diana Spencer" in BR large logo blue livery. I have a feeling they made another in BR blue too.

As has been said already, they fit directly onto a Marklin Co-Co chassis.

I think they were only made for a short while in the early 90's.


On eBay, user ID ant1969hill is selling British outline diesel locos and railcar sets. As I know nothing about British outline, cannot help beyond that.

Etched Pixels
Ellmar did indeed do the 47 way back when. Yate models still had some of the resin shells recently.

They suffer the same problem all the stuff I've seen using German chassis however - they are oversize. The German locos are a good foot wider than the UK ones, and that plus the thickness of material means that short of thin brass tight to the chassis you are going to be overscale
Hi Etched Pixels.

So I guess we have the same situation as we have with 16.5mm gauge (UK OO 1:76, EU: HO 1:87), 12mm gauge (UK TT 1:102, EU TT 1:120) and 9mm gauge (UK N 1:148, EU N 1:160). So now we have 6.5mm gauge (UK Z 1:???, EU Z 1:220). Are we surprised?

Basically, we have smaller prototypes than most countries, probably because we were the first?

G'day Gary.
Never surprised Chris sad.gif

Current state of play seems to be

Relica resin copies of Elmar class 47 bodies crop up on Ebay along with very nice decals to do
Anglia and other liveries
same guy does intercity decals to repaint swiss bogie coaches to make MkIIIs
Graham Jones does
HST bodyshells in resin.
class 66 and class 24 bodyshells in RPD (done by shapeways) and is working on Mk1 coaches

I do a class 56 bodyshell mainly for my own layout but can supply if anybody wants one.
the marklin 0-6-0 can be easily converted into a very plausible class 07

steam outline
graham does an A3,and A4 in white metal

Newstead models in Scotland used to do
class 90s and EM2s bodyshells in plasticard with printed overlays plus coach overlays.

there is probably a load more that don't come to mind. If anybody is interested I'll start chucking some picture on here so you can see what they look like.

Goods stock is easy if you dont mind doing some repainting of continental stock and want to do 1990s outline


here are some examples
resin 47 with intercity decals on marklin BR103 chassis

resin HST power cabs with modified N scale decals on BR11 chassis

an early example of one of my class 56 shells again on a BR103 chaasis

One of Graham A3s mounted on marklin German 4-6-2 chassis with LMS 57ft stock using my preprinted sides

I'll put some more on tomorrow

As exhibition manager, I would like to have z guage layout(s) at our next show in 1th September, 2020. Any Z gaugers within a 60 mile radius would be welcome. Is there a Z gauge society, I have looked on Google with no success even a register of quality Z gauge layouts would be very much appreciated!
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