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Offline robfl  
#1 Posted : 11 October 2020 21:19:02(UTC)
robfl

United Kingdom   
Joined: 11/10/2020(UTC)
Posts: 13
Location: England, Warwickshire
Hi everyone,
I'm new to the forum (first post) and it has been very helpful for info, with my Z gauge loco, which had the hard oil problem, now solved.

I have been trying my hand at card buildings, mainly from Wordsworth. The buildings are OO gauge, but I resized them to 35% as per several conversion suggestions on the internet. The problem is that the buildings seem to come out rather small, particularly noticeable when I tried the engine shed, it was only just big enough for the train to enter.
I have calculated the percentage reduction myself and get 35%.

So what am I doing wrong Confused and what conversion percentage other users use?

Thanks for looking, Rob Smile
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Offline Poor Skeleton  
#2 Posted : 11 October 2020 21:55:25(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 375
Location: England, Cambridge
Originally Posted by: robfl Go to Quoted Post
Hi everyone,
I'm new to the forum (first post) and it has been very helpful for info, with my Z gauge loco, which had the hard oil problem, now solved.

I have been trying my hand at card buildings, mainly from Wordsworth. The buildings are OO gauge, but I resized them to 35% as per several conversion suggestions on the internet. The problem is that the buildings seem to come out rather small, particularly noticeable when I tried the engine shed, it was only just big enough for the train to enter.
I have calculated the percentage reduction myself and get 35%.

So what am I doing wrong Confused and what conversion percentage other users use?

Thanks for looking, Rob Smile


Hi Rob,

Welcome to the forum and the wonderful, frustrating and joyous world of Z scale!

I suspect the problem is one of differing loading gauge between UK and European trains. I believe OO (1:76) was chosen so that British models had the same loading gauge as the HO (1:87) European models. If that's the case, scaling the card buildings to 40% should bring them out about right.

It's also true that OO/HO model buildings tend to be "compressed" (i.e. smaller than an exact scale model would be) so you can fit more into a layout, but this wouldn't explain why there's so little headroom in your engine shed!

Hope that's of help, all the best


Chris
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Offline robfl  
#3 Posted : 11 October 2020 23:56:48(UTC)
robfl

United Kingdom   
Joined: 11/10/2020(UTC)
Posts: 13
Location: England, Warwickshire
Hi Chris,

That's very interesting, the scale sizes aren't hard and fast rules then. I will try remaking the engine shed to 40% tomorrow and post the results. Thanks for your help.

Rob. Smile
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Offline Big AL  
#4 Posted : 25 October 2020 11:41:29(UTC)
Big AL

United Kingdom   
Joined: 25/10/2020(UTC)
Posts: 55
Location: Scotland, Glasgow
Hi Rob, I find this scale conversion chart very handy.

http://www.urbaneagle.com/data/RRconvcharts.html

Looks like 34% would be bang on for 1:76 to 1:220



I am currently modelling a lot of buildings in Autodesk Fusion 360 for my first Z Scale layout, and have this chart printed beside my modelling PC. It is invaluable.


Offline Big AL  
#5 Posted : 25 October 2020 14:56:06(UTC)
Big AL

United Kingdom   
Joined: 25/10/2020(UTC)
Posts: 55
Location: Scotland, Glasgow
I actually printed one of these at 34% and built it on top of a plasticard form. I think it looks pretty scale?

https://imgur.com/a/vBsaCn3
Offline Poor Skeleton  
#6 Posted : 25 October 2020 20:16:35(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 375
Location: England, Cambridge
Originally Posted by: Big AL Go to Quoted Post
Hi Rob, I find this scale conversion chart very handy.

http://www.urbaneagle.com/data/RRconvcharts.html

Looks like 34% would be bang on for 1:76 to 1:220


I don't think Rob mentioned whether he was modelling British or European outline. If it's the former I'm not certain that the scale would be 1:220 but I suspect not as I doubt you'd get the body shells onto the Marklin chassis at that scale.

Whilst 34% is definitely the right scaling factor for OO to Z scale, railway related features such as loco sheds and bridges might come up a bit small for European locomotives as the European loading gauge is larger than the UK one, so locomotives are taller and wider.

Does that make any sense?

Cheers


Chris

Offline robfl  
#7 Posted : 25 October 2020 20:33:19(UTC)
robfl

United Kingdom   
Joined: 11/10/2020(UTC)
Posts: 13
Location: England, Warwickshire
Hi Al,
That conversion chart looks good. But I initially tried 35%, which turned out to a bit small, the train only just fitted in the engine shed (Wordsworth kits).

Chris suggested trying 40%, which fitted better, while 45% was a bit too big. I am currently playing with 42%, but haven't decided which I prefer yet. Some buildings look better slightly bigger at 42%. I think I may end up with a mixture, as I can never make my mind up, lol.

Rob BigGrin
Offline robfl  
#8 Posted : 25 October 2020 20:52:53(UTC)
robfl

United Kingdom   
Joined: 11/10/2020(UTC)
Posts: 13
Location: England, Warwickshire
Hi Chris
I have no idea whether I am modelling the British or European outline?? Did a bit of Googling, but I have no idea what my loco is, presumably European as it is made by Marklin.
I'm not that worried, 40% to 42% seems to work well and the little 1:220 people I bought match the door height at that size, whereas they are taller than the door at 35%.

On a slightly different subject, I have started to lay my track and only had a few track pins. Looking on ebay a packet of 100 is over £9!!! So I have been snipping dress making pins down to 7mm and using them and they work fine, worth trying if you are on a tight budget.

Rob BigGrin
Offline Poor Skeleton  
#9 Posted : 25 October 2020 21:56:02(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 375
Location: England, Cambridge
Originally Posted by: robfl Go to Quoted Post
Hi Chris
I have no idea whether I am modelling the British or European outline?? Did a bit of Googling, but I have no idea what my loco is, presumably European as it is made by Marklin.
I'm not that worried, 40% to 42% seems to work well and the little 1:220 people I bought match the door height at that size, whereas they are taller than the door at 35%.

On a slightly different subject, I have started to lay my track and only had a few track pins. Looking on ebay a packet of 100 is over £9!!! So I have been snipping dress making pins down to 7mm and using them and they work fine, worth trying if you are on a tight budget.

Rob BigGrin


There's not much available in British outline - a class 47 from Ellmar from decades ago and some obscure 3D printed stuff. I did a quick search and couldn't find what scale British outline Z is modelled at so I think it's fair to say it's not a firmly established standard.

If your trains are unmodified Marklin then they will be of predominantly German prototypes and to European loading gauge and, hence, correspondingly larger than a British train at the same scale would be.

I usually work on a 9mm door height - equivalent to 2m or 6'6" (the standard UK door height) so to scale things to achieve that would be a reasonable starting point. Unfortunately, OO model buildings are rarely strictly to scale, so scaling down by 34% isn't always going to result in a building that is good for Z scale. Scaling to maintain a 9mm door height is probably not a bad practise and if the buildings themselves turn out "oversized" that's probably not a bad thing as the OO models will almost certainly have been undersized scale-wise.

I know of one Z scale modeller who often uses N gauge buildings and they don't look oversize or out of scale, so there is a good deal of flexibility. If I'm scratchbuilding a structure I usually make a card mock-up to judge how it will look on the layout. More often than not, I end up making it smaller than strictly to scale so that it looks "right".

All the best


Chris
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Offline husafreak  
#10 Posted : 26 October 2020 16:10:05(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 342
Location: California, Bay Area
When I first started in Z (almost two years ago) I went to a couple of shows looking for stuff to buy. Advice given was "check the door heights to make sure it is Z". N scale buildings and scenery are often used in Z. But if the buildings get close you can see they are different door heights and something is wrong.
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