Micro-Town Z Scale Layout For Rokuhan Shorty

This Gets My Z Scale Juices Flowing!

I just thought this layout was so cool! This is a shorty layout built by RG Layouts. It just shows you how cool z scale is. Not sure of the actual dimensions but the soda can gives you an idea. This layout is running the Shorty Series trains from Rokuhan that will negotiate a very small radius. They tend to go in and out of stock as is common with Z Scale. If your favorite dealer doesn’t stock them, check out both Amazon and ebay. You can actually buy this layouts and others prebuilt for RG Layouts. Check out their site and youtube channel. They have some really cool little layouts!

Little layouts like this really get my modeling juices flowing. Building a huge layout can be so intimidating. These little z scale layouts can be done and finished (when have you ever “finished” a layout) in a short period of time and be displayed just about anywhere. This is a great way to try your hand at building and detailing a layout without spending a boat load of time and money. Trying scenery techniques on a small layout will build your confidence. You can always build bigger in the future!

What You Need

If you decide to build your own little layout for the Rokuhan Shorty series, you will need just a few basics. A little bit of track, your choice of the Shorty locomotive and stock, a controller and a a base to build it on. As for the base, get creative! The base itself can be a work of art. As you shop for the Rokuhan Shorty locomotives, you may have to buy a powered chassis. Make sure you read the item description! You can find some Shorty sets with everything you need including the locomotive, track and controllers. Both Amazon and ebay offer a nice selection of Rokuhan Shorty products.

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N Scale Train Starter Sets

If you are looking to get into n scale model railroading, a starter set is a great way to do if for a couple of reasons. First, off, many times a starter set offers a little better price to get you going. While you may be a more limited with road name and car choice, this is your starting point. Secondly, you can get a train running in minutes after opening up the box! That’s a big thing as you want to see your railroad up and running. From there, the sky is the limit.

N Scale Train Starter Set Choices.

At this time, you have a couple of manufactures focusing on n scale sets, Bachmann and Kato. Both are offer a quality product. In my opinion, Kato is a little higher grade but both make some great running and great looking products. Both have there own version of track with built in roadbed that you can snap together. They are not interchangeable but likely as your railroad grows, you may find yourself buying longer pieces of track like flex track. As you are shopping for a starter set, not that some starter sets include track and a controller and some do not.

What Will You Run?

So what kind of service do you want to offer on your railroad? Mainly freight? Just passenger service? Well that’s up to you but you but model railroading is addictive so you will most likely have both on your layout. It may be more important to pick an era that you want to model. You may want to model the steam era, or a current era. Many chose what’s called the era where steam was switching over to diesel. This on of my favorite eras. I love steam and the early diesel locomotives. You can find n scale train starter sets with either steam or diesel. If ;you want to model the modern era but still love steam, here is an idea for you. Model an excursion train on you railroad! It’s a great way to fit in your favorite steamer in a modern era.

View N Scale Steam Starter Sets On Amazon

DCC VS. Standard

One last think you should consider with an n scale set. DCC vs. standard DC. DCC opens a whole new world in model railroading including sound, switch control and more. It can be fairly simple, it can become very complicated. More and more sets are going to DCC. Just keep in mind, if you have any older locomotives, they may be easily converted to DCC, or they may not. If you want to keep it simple stick with DC. If you really want to get advanced, go DCC. As your layout grows, DCC make for easier wiring. NOTE: You will find locomotives that are said to be DCC ready. That doesn’t mean they are DCC. It means they are set up so you can convert them to DCC.

Model Railroading Is A Great Hobby

Model railroading really is a great hobby. Whether you enjoy building, adding scenery or just running your trains, it is so therapeutic! N scale is a great size for model railroading not only for the amount of running you can get in a small area but the scale offers a huge selection of locomotives, cars, building sand accessories. An n scale train starter set is a great way to get started!

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AZL Z Scale Friday Specials 2022

Just a quick reminder that on 11/25/22, AZL will start it’s Z Scale Friday Specials for 2022. Each Friday for the next 6 weeks, AZL will feature some great buys on z scale locomotives, cars and more. Truthfully, nobody really knows what the specials will be except the guys at AZL. If you check some of the past deals, there usually are some great buys including buy one get one deals including locomotives! What a great way to build your collection! The deals go live Friday AM and are available exclusively at AZL Direct. One thing they have done in the past is let the deals run through the 6 weeks until they sell out. I am sure they will do the same thing this year

Archistories Barn Kits Coming Soon

If you haven’t seen the video below, take a look. Coming fall 2022 these little barn kits will be a must have for many of you. If you have never built a Archistories kit, you really need to give them a try. It is so easy to build them and get great results that even I can do it! Here is a link to a build I did on their Turn of The Century House Kits. Enjoy the video!

Ebay Finds

We are still scouring ebay looking for deals, I am sure you are as well. I used to send a list of items that I felt was worth taking a look at when I was a dealer but it’s getting harder to find the time. Check out the Z scale category at our Trainlots Blog. Most of the posts draw live feeds from ebay that may spark you interest. I still toy with the idea of jumping back in as a dealer. Maybe when I retire?

Vintage Atlas N Scale Trains

No doubt about it, when you think about vintage n scale, you think about Atlas. I have so many fond memories of model railroading with my brother and my dad and Atlas was a huge part of it. In the early 70’s, they offered a variety of starter sets with a locomotive, a few cars a transformer and a oval of track. I have the image of the box cover burned into my brain. I actually bought a vintage Atlas power pack to keep in my collection because the cover matched the box of the starter sets.

The more common vintage Atlas starter sets came your basic diesel locomotives, mostly Santa Fe or PRR. I remember we had more than one Santa Fe set but I think we had a Pennsylvania RR set as well. My brother and I always wanted a steam engine like on the cover of the Atlas box. Then one day it happened. My dad pulled an Atlas steamer out of his pocket, I think it was a Pacific 4-6-2 but not sure. I do remember my brother yelling “a steamer!” and my dad trying to quite him down. I guess my mom wasn’t aware of this expenditure.

Some of the classic steam locomotives from Atlas that I remember include the 2-8-2 Mikado and the 4-6-2 Pacific. My dad’s railroad had multiples of both of these. I also remember the Atlas 0-4-0 switchers that still are selling for more than they were new on ebay. If you were into n scale as a kid, spend some time at ebay and check out some of the vintage N Scale Atlas trains. It’s kind of like going back in time! You will find some of the basic sets along with locomotives and some to of those old classic vintage Atlas cars like the Blatz Reefer, Peabody Hopper, Reading Gondolas, Jumbo 4 truck tankers as well as my personal favorite, the Warren Tank Car. That is the first n scale train car my dad bought me. The original one is somewhere in a box under my brothers care. I have another one on display in my office. The cost at the time was $2.50. Today, to me anyway, it is priceless.

The old vintage Atlas N scale trains started many in model railroading. Each week I snoop around ebay just looking but sometimes I grab a piece up and and it to my collection.

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Right Now on eBay Vintage Atlas Starter Sets
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AZL SD70M Locomotives

Just a short 360 view of the AZL SD70M Locomotives. AZL released SD70 series of locomotives in SD70, SD70M, SD75i & SD75M. Nice locomotives with detail correct to the prototype. Still available at many online stores. You may also want to search ebay for some great deals on hard to find AZL locomotives.

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Z Scale Steam Locomotives

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AZL Brass Z Scale Trains

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AZL SD45 Locomotives

360 Degree view of the AZL SD45 Locomotive. Lot’s of road names available. Many are still available but you may need to search ebay if you are looking for a specific sold out road or number. I am always scouring ebay for a deal on z scale. You should too!

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New From AZL For March 1st 2022

New Haven PA-17

For the second PA1 release, AZL brings you New Haven in the striking McGinnis paint scheme! While the PA1 were designed for passenger service, the New Haven used these unit to pull freight as well. AZL Is offering the locomotive in two different road nubmers.   Contact you favorite AZL dealer now.

Another 8,000 Gallon Tanker

I really like the 8,000 Gallon tanker series AZL has produced. This month a single care is availalbe for the Paluxy Asphalt Companty, road number SHPX 4034. Contact you favorite AZL dealer now.

Western Pacific SW1500

Many of you have been waiting for the WP SW1500 and here it is available in 3 different road numbers. As a bonus, AZL’s Innovation Lab is including two adapters that allow the SW1500 to be retrofitted with Micro-TriainsTM 905 couplers. Click for list of authorized AZL dealers if you don’t alread have a favorite or if he is sold out.

Note: We are advising customers not to attempt to remove the shells of the SW1500s. Doing so may result in damage to the locomotive’s shells.