Georg’s wonderful Z layout

We’ve recently had layouts from Poland – now Sweden joins the club:

“Hi Al!

These are my pics from my Z- Layout. I hope some builders may be inspired…

Started with an approximate layout made with a program (Scarm) in the computer. I printed it out in scale 1:220 (Z). The plate is made of two layers of styrofoam, one 50 mm and one 25 mm glued together. The whole plate is 1250 x 590 mm The hills are of same material. I use an electric cutter and a scalpel to form the landscape.

There are 9 separated blocks and 11 switches. The “underground” is filled with wires.

The hills are painted with acrylic, first a base color, black/white/red mix. Then several layers of black washes and then washes in different colors until it looks right! Go out and take photos of the real landscape – you learn how it really looks and you will get lots of fresh air to!

After painting I use Woodland Scenics stuff for grass and bushes.

The trees are made of copper wire of different dimensions, the leafs are again Woodland Scenics. You may spend lots of hours making the scenery, adding lots of small details will always improve. My choice is almost no time in front of the TV!

All running vehicles will be weathered.

In the future this layout will be extended with a harbour. (I hope!)
















A superb layout from Georg – his wiring pic made me go dizzy!

That’s your lot today.

But please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get stop day dreaming and start doing, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

52 Responses to Georg’s wonderful Z layout

  1. Mike Street says:

    Good layout Georg, your wiring looks like mine! Although the control panel looks very tidy. Trees very good as well, especially when you realise how small they must be. Mike Street

  2. Simon says:

    Great work,details are fantastic.can tell that you are enjoying yourself.

  3. david howarth says:

    Fantastic work with all the detail on this very small scale layout …Dave

  4. Rob.Billing says:

    LOL you are right about his wiring diagram feels like i been drinking. Nice layout though

  5. Glenn says:

    Very nice layout.

  6. Richard Wilson says:

    Very nice layout, great detail. The wiring must of been a nightmare though.

  7. Steve Roberts says:

    Great work Georg, in such a demanding scale
    Steve R UK

  8. Ben Taul says:

    love it just simply love

  9. Pete Evangel says:

    for those of us who are metric challenged (like me in the USA), this layout is approx 4ft X 2ft. Shows you how much detail fits into a small space. And yes, the wiring made me dizzy! I dont understand how Georg kept all the wires and connectors in order and put them into the right spots. I wouldnt have the patience for it. Very well done Georg. Wish I could see it running.

  10. Dr. Bob says:

    Phenomenal wiring, how did you ever keep track! Sorry for the pun but seriously, wonderful layout, great scenery, and a nice functional layout. The Woodland Scenic people always seem to be my first choice in scenery as well. Job well done!

  11. Joe says:

    Exceptionally nice work Georg!

  12. wowo wotta terrific layout….in Z !!
    working the detail that small must take a lot of patience
    and it all looks soooo great
    keep it runnin guys…!!!

  13. Andrew says:

    Wonderful work in such fine detail.

  14. Dennis Peterson says:

    Lots of wires yes, but notice that they all seem to be color coded. Did you ever see the inside of a telephone switchboard ?

  15. Georg Fleetwood says:

    Yes, the wires are color coded and also marked with letters and figures. All trains and switches works too!!


  16. Doug Young says:

    Georg- HO scale is hard for me. N scale would be a serious challenge. Z scale would be totally impossible. Congratulations on an amazing layout. Your wiring reminds me of my TV and stereo hookup. Probably violates every electric code in the world. Why not make a video and post it here. I’d love to see it also.

  17. paul Otway says:

    lovely work

  18. Daniel says:

    Beautiful! Keep up the great work!!

  19. Thx for sharing Georg:

    Your illustrations of your genius shows. When you finish your movies please share that with us too. I like all that you have shown us. “The detailed HOW TO” will be in your book. Keep up your good works!!

    Harold Jr. Grand Prairie, TX US of A

  20. Chris says:

    I admire people who deal in Z scale. For me with my patience its way too fiddly & with my eyesight I would really struggle. But you certainly can put a lot of train set in a small place.

  21. Ian Campbell says:

    would love to work in Z, if I could get the stock & lineside stuff easily. And if time & money were no object. 🙂

    Brilliant detail, considering how tiny it is.

  22. Tad heath says:

    NOW THAT IS AWESOME! !!!!!!!!!! GREAT JOB!!!!!!!!

  23. ramon borg says:

    Great work and GREAT JOB

    keep it up

  24. Ian Mc Donald says:

    what a great layout it has everything.hope to see more.

  25. Great work, Georg, but I’d go blind with Z at my age! Bad enough with N at 70! LOL! Keep up the good work!! Looks really good!

  26. Georg Fleetwood says:

    Actually, I am only 69…


  27. Terry Plunkett says:

    Well crafted Georg!
    Very difficult to do gentle curves and keep layouts real in small spaces. The results look very real and in scale. If you have plans for buildings, I have a feeling you will keep them well-spaced and authentic. Too many of us try to fit too much into a small space – which makes it less real and representative of the full scale.
    Yours is shaping up as a very nice model layout, rather than just a train set full of overcrowded detail. Well done!
    Plunko from Australia

  28. Jim says:

    Your modeling talent is truly exceptional. Really appreciate those rock cuts in your scenery. Nice. Thanks for sharing.

    Jim AZ

  29. Gerry says:

    Very nice, all be it tiny. My only exception would be the wiring ‘mess’. It’s too hard to track and I really don’t understand the coils on wire laying there…

  30. Jack Bury says:

    Nice layout, Georg. Great job on the trees.
    Jack in Pa.

  31. Cary Buter says:

    Beautifully done layout

    Cary B

  32. Bob Rolfe says:

    Nice work and the wiring looks like mine. No one sees it anyway and it works for both of us. I left coils of wire for lights and things as I was not sure where things would end up.
    NV Bob

  33. John K. says:

    Awesome wiring job. Color coding is the best way to keep it all organized. My layout is similar to yours.

  34. Allen Wortman says:

    Wow, so much in such a small space. Go Z-scale!!!

    Beautiful layout.

  35. Robert Brady says:

    Y to Z I ask you? I would have stopped at N,lol.
    The Critic

  36. Bill in Virginia says:

    Great looking layout. Everything is well done and captures the eye.

  37. Mike in South Carolina says:

    Your work is truly inspiring! The detail is outstanding.

  38. alan spence says:

    lovly layout i like the toggle switches

  39. Ian impett says:


  40. John Floyd says:

    I love your layout, it looks awesome, especially the bridge, my wife got me the hawthorne timber bridge for Xmas , it is 30 in long and 9 in high, any ideas how to make it work on a 4ft by 8foot layout ?I have been thinking about cutting it down to 3 and 1/8 in high?

  41. Regular under the table wiring can be reduced by running common ‘bus’ lines for 12v and lower ones for lighting etc. All those separate power supplies can use one bus wire as a common line for lights, com. line for the points, com. line for the signals etc.. I ran bare copper wires for the com. the street lights at 2.5v, other street lights at 6v., and 16v for the points.. I tap them where I want, and run only one for lights, two for the points, (two for the signals} if they are remote from the points. the two point switch wires, also trigger latching relays for the signals, which are close to the points. the signals and points thus need only two wires, the other being tapped from the com. bus. Just a suggestion to reduce the rats nest underneath.

  42. Georg, you layout shows us all what is possible in a space 4 ft by 2 ft. Great work!!

  43. Jim Robinson says:

    And I thought N Scale was small! I’m very impressed.

  44. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Nice layout , very well done!! Good Luck!!

  45. Will in NM says:

    Georg, What a truly amazing layout! Your trees and rock outcroppings are very well done in such a small scale. I have trouble working in HO scale. I can’t imagine how difficult building a layout in Z scale must be, On the other hand, you don’t have to crawl under the table to do the wiring … you can just flip it over and work on the bottom of the table. I think your wiring looks great. Everything is color-coded and labeled and your control panel is so well organized. Please send us a video if you can. I’d love to see all those little Z scale trains running.

  46. Erick says:

    Pretty Kool.!!!!!

  47. Gotta love it!

  48. Looks great.
    I am working on a 44″ x 21″ T Gauge (1/450 scale) layout, built in a closet cupboard with more than 65 printed and assembled cardstock buildings reduced from the Wordsworth Village website. Hard on the eyes. Big fingers get in the way all the time. knock over buildings, trains, trees and everything else.
    On a previous N Scale plan that was shown on this website, people were asking about mounting the tiny figures.
    Well I am having a very hard time with figures, horses & cows that are about 1/8″ tall. The cars are about 1/4″ long, delivery trucks about 1/2″ long.
    British Rail commuter engines about 1 3/8″ long and passenger cars about 2″ long. Metal rails are about 1/8″ apart.
    A fun scale to see running, lots of track in a very small space. Can run two trains in opposite direction with an automatic by-passing partial two rail system that stops one train and starts the 2nd one going the opposite direction. Have to have two way wiring on all tracks.
    Have to get the scenery installed and those figures mounted, but when these are near the tracks my cleaning track finger creates a tornado. Buildings and et all flying.

  49. Sorry, need to add.
    I run three N scale urban street plans. One with the Kato UniTram trams and street system in a L shaped layout 48″ x 85″ at 47″ high in a former powder room.
    A second L shaped layout of 14″ deep by 85″ at 58″ high runs the N scale moving Bus System from Tomytec in a loop with a Bachmann auto reversing trolley at the front edge.
    These are both topped with a 12″ deep round the room with a second N scale Kato Unitram layout at 69″ high that requires a short ladder to work on.
    I find designing the urban layouts and building them much more fun than operating them.

  50. John says:

    Always love these stories, especially when a layout schematic is provided. Great job!

  51. Mr. Ron from So Mississippi says:

    One of the nicest layouts I’ve seen in any scale. The nice part is he can turn the layout bottom side up to work on the wiring, much easier that way. Z-scale is much too small for my 87 YO eyes.

  52. GHenry says:

    Exemplary conception, planning and execution. First endeavor?

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