ZenkeVille II

Z Scale Town SquareAt 220:1, Z scale has traditionally been the “Briefcase Scale”, cute little trains squeezed into ridiculously small spaces, but members of the DDMRC felt that Z had a bigger potential and after discussions with TRAIN THINGS PLUS (a modular bench work manufacturer based in Qld) a deal was struck that would see something different in the way these tiny trains were presented at exhibitions.

Five modules, each 2ft wide by 4ft in length were supplied to form a layout 20ft in length overall (almost a scale mile in Z scale) with potential to expand at a later date. These modules are laser cut and are of an open grid type design, the track bed is also laser cut and was made to our requested specifications.

Partially constructed trackwork.Track is a combination of Peco Flextrack, Micro-Trains and Marklin

There are two continuous loops with substantial passing sidings, the lower level also has an extensive rail served industrial area, the lower loop meanders in and out with very little straight track evident while the upper loop crosses back and forth several times over the lower one as well as dissapearing into mountainous areas where alternate trains wait in hidden staging.

Looking over one of the ends,The scenery to trains ratio is exemplified by the tall mountains, deep gorges, cuts and fills and of course the mandatory timber trestle and other bridges that span mother natures (ours) creations.

Scenery is a mixture of methods, from cardboard webbing overlaid with toilet paper and then coated with coloured plaster, to shaped foam, also covered with coloured plaster (we colour the plaster using cement oxide dyes). Ground cover, foliage etc uses traditional methods of commercial ground foams and materials to ‘real’ (debugged) materials. A lot of trees are scheduled for the layout, a lot of these are simple items made from Bumpy Chenille (go to Hints and Tips).

NYC F7 going over a viaduct.Most bridges are adaptations of N scale models, modified to suit the smaller scale while the buildings have been scratch built using economical materials such as card, balsa, styrene etc.

Now to the real uniqueness of this layout. A special member in the club, Brian Zenke, has a layout named after him; Zenkeville was a junior member project layout in HO scale and now serves as a ‘U’ Drive layout for children attending the clubhouse. In deciding a name for this new project layout, it was unanimously decided to once again honour Brian and the use of the name ZeNkeville paid other dividends.

Emphasis is made to the capital Z and N in the name, (should be obvious to you shortly), and the II represent two things, it is the second layout named after Brian and it represents Two different scales, Z and N, yes, that’s right – two different scales on the one layout.

Removable Town SceneN scale at 160:1 uses Z scale track to represent narrow gauge (Nn3), so we have taken advantage of this, the town scenes are removable, take out the Z scale towns and replace them with N scale ones, change the tunnel mouths from Z scale brick to N scale timber and the layout is transformed from Z scale Standard Gauge to N scale Narrow Gauge.

Some investigation has proven that the Z scale track used for N Narrow Gauge actually comes out closer to 3'6" as opposed to 3ft, therefore, it just so happens that there is a range of QLD Railways Locomotives and Rolling Stock Kits available from Peter Boorman's Workshop.

At present, we are experimenting with various Z scale mechanisms in an effort to power QR locos to run on this layout, you will find various QLD items in amongst the American equipment.