Z scale trains – Bret’s

Bret’s been in touch with his Z scale trains – have a look at what he’s done, clever stuff:

“Hi Al

I am a model railroader from Chandler, Arizona, USA.

I make 2’x3’ frames with bottoms and removable hi density foam inserts.

I time everything done during construction. The ranch layout took 15 ½ hrs. to complete. That’s including the frame.

The village took 17 hrs. As you can see they are easy to carry around. I make my own control boxes and everything is glued down.

My next project is to use a ping pong table that folds up to save room.

I’ll use flex track pieces to connect the 2 halves after setting up the table. Should be able to get 2 or 3 cities and a lot of scenery on that setup…

It is wonder full to see all the different stuff people are doing on your web site… keep it coming… hope you enjoy my Z scale trains

THX Bret”

z scale trains

model railroad layout

z scale trains

model railroad layout

z scale trains

model railroad layout

z scale trains

small model railroad

z scale trains

small model railroad

z scale trains

model railroad

z scale trains

z scale

z scale trains

And now Dangerous Dave has been in touch again. And at first, I thought he’d been on the sherry again:

Well, it’s all about having fun isn’t it? Otherwise, what’s the point? If only I’d posted it before the weekend…

A big thanks to Dave and Brett for sharing his Z scale trains.

There are quite a few Z scales on the blog now – here are just some of them:

Z scale

Z scale train layouts

Z scale layout

And don’t forget, if it’s fun you want with your layout – rather than pulling out your hair – this guide will sort you out.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming, because it’s getting a bit thin on the ground this end.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

model train answers

40 Responses to Z scale trains – Bret’s

  1. david howarth says:

    Brett you sure must have great eyesight modelling in Z scale , that is some nice layout you have built with all the detail …very well done …Dave

  2. Frederick says:

    Thought has anybody modelled Spanish or French rail on this site ?

  3. Steve Roberts says:

    Amazing modelling in this scale, mine’s ‘N’ and that is bad enough. Great work Steve R uk

  4. Ian McDonald says:

    they are great layouts I have trouble with my n scale you must have a lot of patience very interested in seeing the table tennis layout when completed. great video Dave. Very good rain effect. nice garden feature.

  5. Tim says:

    Well done Dave your productions get better and better – BBC watch out.

  6. Bill Fitzpatrick says:

    Fine job Bret. My sausage fingers and wonky eyes have a hard enough time with HO let alone Z!
    Dave, those Koi are very realistic are they DCC controlled? I also like the airplane flying through. I couldn’t see the wires at all! A thought, the kids amusement rides are all running in reverse. Then again it is anything goes!
    . Fitz from near Philadelphia

  7. Dave Whatley says:

    Great job Brett, thanks for showing them off, I to will be watching for your next layout. Dave in Savannah, Ga. USA

  8. Peter Boston says:

    Dave, all your vids are brilliant, but this one surpasses all.

  9. Well done, Dave. A treat as always.

  10. Lynn says:

    Brett, well done! I can’t see much with my HO gage layout without good specs. Your Z scale is superb!

  11. Lynn says:

    Dave, your video was great. I noticed the red ballast you used this time. What kind of ballast is it? I still want to know what your favorite brand of sherri is?

  12. Carl Kinzinger says:

    Well done, both Brett and Dave. What an empire could be built in Z scale!
    I think Dave’s vids with special effects is only surpassed by his layout.
    Keep up the good work fellows.
    Carl, Port Hope, Ontario, Canada

  13. Nathan says:

    Awesome job Bret,
    you look like a happy camper finishing your z scale layout. I am also working on a z scale layout it’ll have a European look. Yesterday I just got done finalizing my track plan hopefully in the future once I start building the layout I’ll be able to share some photos with everyone. Nathan on Maui

  14. modular portable train sets…….how groovy it that?
    and I still dont see how you guys work with that small scale stuff
    keep em runnin fellas

  15. Phil says:

    Z scale. Wow.

  16. paul Otway says:

    Nice Z scale layout.

  17. Nathan says:

    If you think this z scale small try checking out TT scale / teeny tiny Scale. Nathan

  18. Dr. Bob says:

    Soo tiny and soo not to scale. Love the idea though, very well put together and modeled.

  19. Tom Oliver says:

    Fantastic modelling Brett. So much in a small area. Well done. And clever Dave has done it again!

  20. Ian Campbell says:

    Great to see so much detail – animals & fences – in Z scale.

    Z is really hard to obtain here, or I’d do it as I am very size-limited. It would be good to have really long lines with extented running, as the rails take up so little space & near-realistic landscaping could be done in not much room.

  21. Lyndon Vickery says:

    Dave’s missed his vocation……….. A1:)

  22. Gary Jurgens says:

    With “Z” scale I would like to have a finger wraped around and engine just so we could see how small “Z scale is.


    Great job BRET…….
    SHELDON. Chandler Arizona

  24. Jim says:

    Great bit of modeling there, Bret. And I too would have a difficult time with this scale. HO is tough enough.

    Well, Dave is just being Dave. Always on the cutting edge.

    Jim AZ

  25. Gerry says:


    Which program are you using to do your video’s and editing??.

  26. Dampflok says:

    Hi, Brett. Great to see your Z scale layout. Such an inspiration. I especially like the scenery. It’s just right. You’re an inspiration to me as I am currently building a 90cm by 50 by 10 high. Thank you. (Maybe it will appear here someday.)

    And Dangerous Dave, what a delight to see real length trains running in a suitable sized layout. Bravo.

  27. Allan Gaetzman says:

    Great Z Scale Layout, I Do N Scale, Milwaukee Railroad Mountain Division Electric Lines.. Awesome Dave at it Again, Always Nice to See Dave’s Handy Work..

  28. Brian Rockey says:

    Blooming ‘eck Dave, are you sure those are Piranhas!!!!!
    Nice work on those portable layouts Brett.
    Best to all.
    Brian, Wokingham, UK

  29. John W. says:

    Looks good Brett! I’m thinking about a Z scale for a future project.
    I’m also in Chandler AZ, but just getting started with building my N layout.
    This is a great site for ideas.

  30. Three classic excuses…
    1. No space for a layout.
    2. No money/Budget — Too expensive.
    3. No time to build a layout.
    Bret has done an amazing job putting two of those excuses away.
    Others have shown repeatedly that careful choices ease the wallet burden.
    I too have “Sausage Fingers”. Z scale is fun but hard on my aging eyes and digits.
    The layout Bret made could easily be done in N Gauge or HOn30/HOe as well.
    HOn30 is HO scale narrow gauge that runs on N scale track. HOe is the same thing just a different name for it.
    I look at Brett’s 2×3 layouts and I see opportunity for an HO standard gauge switching layout — Or even On30 (O scale narrow gauge for HO track).

  31. oldtaz says:

    Bert’s bzzzzzz
    you have it all in a nice space.my n scale test track is 2×4. your workmanship is grate. looking forward is seeing the ping pong table.you are doing great. work long enough on one you will not keep track of the time. stay well and enjoy.

  32. Heather & Jason says:

    Love how you did the small track up & that you can carry it around easy, As for Dave I think that plane was a bit big for that but it looked great mate for it even made my carer jump when it came up & I will not repeat what she said but as always love the trips & Ginger man too, passing it on to Jason to check out too for a laugh, Hope every one is being safe with this darn virus thing going around too.

  33. Will in NM says:

    Bret, Amazing work in Z scale! I love all the details you’ve managed to include in such small scalle. I gave all my N scale equipment to my younger brother because I felt it was too small for me to work with given my failing eyesight. You must have superb vision and some good pairs of tweezers to work on those layouts. 🙂

    Dave, I’m so glad you found something, video editing that is, to keep you off the streets and out of trouble on a Saturday night. 🙂

  34. Erick says:

    Pretty Kool Layout.

  35. Dave Karper says:

    Nathan, TT scale is 1/10″ equals 1′. This is smaller than HO, but larger than N.

  36. Brian Olson says:

    Nice work and an example yet again, it’s not the space you have but the power of imagination. After several years away from the hobby, I got back in with a 2×4 N Scale folded dogbone design.

    Today I have a 6×12 duck under, but certain credit the lessons learned from that “small” re-entry into the hobby.

    Thanks for sharing!

  37. Paul Plovick says:

    Nice job Bret. I also live in Chandler Arizona and model in N scale. My finished layout models our beautiful desert states amazing features including a facsimile of Roosevelt Dam, mountains with wooden tressle bridges. mines, ancient mountain pueblo embedded in the mountainside, cattle, horse and citris combo ranch and sawmills and logging area in beautiful forested mountains climbing 4% grades. Good to see a fellow Arizona railroad lover enjoying our awesome hobby .

  38. Keith Varley says:

    Excellent video Dave, the Bridlington part brought back a lot of memories, l come from west yorkshire but have been in the states 37 years l love all the videos and tips from everyone on this fabulous site. keep em coming.

  39. Al Kondas says:

    Dave, those fish seem to have developed a taste for you. Better hope they don’t get any false teeth, otherwise your fingers will be goners!
    Brett, great job. Don’t see any re-railers on the layout. How do you get those tiny wheels on the tracks. I have begun to deal in N scale and have trouble getting them on the track even with the help of a re-railer.

  40. robert dale tiemann says:

    nice setup. looks good.

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