Z scale scenery

Paul’s been back in touch – he’s started on his Z scale scenery:

“Hi Al

I have attached some more pics of my progress on my Z gauge layout the last picture being where I am now ive been making a few kibri and vollmer z gauge houses which has taken a while.

Also I made a road layout from some stiff grey card for cars etc and drew the road markings on with a 0.8mm tip white gel pen

I think it looks ok but I know a lot of your other members will have criticisms and I know I will deserve them, to be honest i’ve really been struggling.

Z gauge isn’t the easiest scale to work with there is very little in the way of scale stuff you can get like houses cars trees etc

And because it’s so small its really expensive and trying to scratch build stuff isn’t an option as its just too small to work with so its a nightmare, this is where im struggling,

Ive actually been thinking of just scrapping the whole thing and selling all my Z gauge trains & track etc as I feel like I’ve just cocked it all up and made a complete mess anyhoo that’s where I’m at right now sorry for the moaning etc

Hope the pictures don’t get too many negative reviews

Paul (giddykippa)”

z scale

z scale

Z scale scenery

Z scale scenery

Z scale scenery

z scale

z gauge

Z scale scenery

Z scale scenery

Now on to Cassio.

He’s never a man of many words because of the language barrier – but have a look at his layout:

“Hi Alastair,

My name is Fred Anderson and I am from Victoria in Australia.

I Have just started my first model train layout. I am 76 years of age (not old).

I first brought my train in 2014 but never had the chance to construct it until now. I purchased it through Bissett Magazines, once ever fortnight with a magazine and parts including Engine, carriages, track scenery etc for wholee village called “Little Benton”.

We have since relocated from Goldcoast in Queensland to Melbourne Victoria Australia. We have moved into a Unit from a 3 bedroom house to 2bedroom unit.

After many discussions with wife about having a 12inch around the spare bedroom and everything, we settled for an uplifting table into wall cupboard as per attached photos.

The size is 7ft 8” by 8’6” wide. This is as per plan supplied. Will send more photos and videos as I progress. I have learned quite a lot so far.

No 1 photo is cupboard closed

No 2 photo is 2doors removed and placed in front

No3 photo Table or Bench folded in place

No 4 5 6 is layout as stands now

Thank you


A big thanks to Paul for sharing his Z scale scenery, and to Cassio and Fred too.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

If you’d like to share what you’ve been up to, just hit reply to any of my mails.

Please don’t send more than three pics per mail – but send as many mails as you need to get everything across.

Hope that makes sense!

And if today’s the day you start your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

26 Responses to Z scale scenery

  1. Paul – Don’t worry about mistakes. If we never made any, we’d never learn anything. I know, as I tried something similar in T gauge and that’s now back in the boxes just sitting around. I eventually decided that the minimum I could cope with was N gauge and have had many happy hours making an enormous number of mistakes since. The happy side effect is that N is a lot cheaper than T so this time things aren’t nearly as painful financially. Keep going.

  2. Paul in Reading, UK says:

    I am struggling to see in 00 gauge but the plus side is it all looks good. 😁😁😁

  3. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Paul. Just think of all the people who wish they could build a layout. You have chosen a tricky scale and I don’t recall any other layouts in your gauge. We can’t all get it perfect every time. Many of us undertake a major refurbishment as it did not turnout as we hoped. Keep it going.

  4. paul (giddykippa) says:

    thanks for the encouraging words it’s appreciated

  5. Robert Brady says:

    Paul the thought is there but your choice of color is a bit much. Look up landscapes referencing the area you’re trying to model and white this out and repaint. In my opinion your on the right track. Pun intended .
    The Critic

  6. paul (giddykippa) says:

    Robert thanks it’s going to be covered in static grass so the paint is just earth coloured base

  7. Hi – I know I’m not a member yet, but enjoy the commentary – you might suggest that Paul ( giddykippa )(Z gauge) try to see if the Wade Houses structures might fit – they were premiums in boxes of tea…

  8. Dwight in Toronto says:

    From what I can see, I have to say that Paul seems to be his own worst critic.

    Seriously my friend, I don’t see anything substandard for the stage you are at. If your locomotives and rolling stock are negotiating the pike with minimal shortcomings, then you absolutely should be roughing in your scenery at this point. And as Robert mentions above, just spend some time researching techniques (there are endless resources on the internet). Try out a few methods in small sectors, and make tweaks and alterations here & there as needed. The colouring you’ve done thusfar is a suitable base upon which to build up a more subdued rock, earth and foliage-toned palette. Just try, try, and try again – you WILL acquire the skills. And yes, it’s going to take time and patience, but hey, that IS the essence of the hobby, after all.

    I think you are well on your way to constructing a wonderful little wonderland … no need to make apologies nor be so hard on yourself! Keep coming back with photos now and then to let us know how you’re making out.

  9. Rod Mackay says:

    Z is a tricky choice of scale for a beginner, and you seem to have enough room for a tidy N scale layout, although even that is not easy to add really small details in unless you have a delicate touch. Choice of scale depends a lot on what era appeals to you, if your fancy is for, say, modern American trains with long cars and big diesels, you can’t go bigger then N without too-sharp curves and too-short trains. If you are happy with old, short trains such as a tank engine and a couple of coaches, this would allow you to model in a larger scale like OO/HO.

  10. Terry Miller says:

    Paul–Your layout looks fine although I could never do it in that scale. Even N scale is a bit too small for these big fingers. My only concern about the actual layout is there doesn’t seem to be a connecting track between the upper and lower trackwork. I.E. you can get to the upper tracks if you’re going counter-clockwise around the layout, but there’s no way to do that clockwise. In addition you can’t get back down to the lower tracks without backing the train. I would suggest a “down” section of track to solve that problem.
    Good luck
    Terry/Idaho USA

  11. Paul
    There is a company on e-bay called custom z scales in Canada that prints buildings on card stock, you might try that to make your buildings. I use them for n scale.

  12. paul (giddykippa) says:

    unfortunately i had to go with Z scale as i am limited on space and because Marklin (German make) have loads of stuff readily available online ebay etc i wasn’t sure about N scale and i figured with Z i could get more in the 72″ x 30″ space i had… i totally get what Terry says about my track that’s where i cocked up but im intending to run trains clock wise and keep the two outer tracks on a separate power from the inner track however i am constructing another 72″ x 30″ track layout this will slide out from underneath the original track bed and then raise up on a scissor lift to level with the other giving me 72″ x 60″ which can fold away neatly when not in use and i intend to put more thought into the track layout of that one Arnold i will look for the custom z scales… cheers to everyone for the kind words and encouragement and advice it helps a lot

  13. paul (giddykippa) says:

    Thanks to everyone for the kind words of encouragement and advice it really helps a great deal
    To Terry yeah I get what you mean re my track hence my cooking up I hadn’t thought about that till it was too late but I’m building another board 72″ x 30″ which will slide out from under the other and lift up level with a scissor jack im going to put more thought into the track layout on that one as for this one I’m going to run trains clockwise and keep the 2 outer tracks on separate power from the inner track so I can run 3 lots of trains at once Arnold will look into the custom z scale cheers and Linda will look at your suggestion too thanks again everyone your support is appreciated

  14. Erick says:

    Looks great. My wife would shoot me if i used the dining room table.

  15. Roland says:

    I’d suggest you make it a forest wonderland – that way you can use n scale trees and they will simply be big trees in Z scale. The thing to do is to make sure the track is perfect first anyway (one of my own mistakes) by running trains round it backwards fixing it until they never fall off. Then go to town – or forest – on the scenery. Hang in there and don’t give up!

  16. Daveid Karper says:

    Paul, it looks to me that you used foam packing from a large item for your board. If so, great way to recycle. as for colors, good way to hide scenics that don’t stick or get otherwise removed.

  17. Ron Edwards says:


    I have heard of hide-a-beds / murphy beds, but this is the first I have seen of a hide-a-railroad. Keep posting as I would love to see how this turns out. Also I am just 73 years of age and am nearing the point of having my layout running. So I will use you as my antagonist to keep moving on the wiring work and on to setting the scenery.


  18. Don Renner says:

    Do look at the company with z and n scale buildings that are pre pasted on board and you have simple construction. The cost is very low in the $10 – $20 range and good quality.

  19. Don Renner says:

    The company is CustomZscales.com Sorry to leave out that important item.

  20. Bill Roberts says:

    Paul, It’s so tiny I can’t see anything! I guess I will have to get new glasses!

  21. Great job Paul! I built anything from g-scale outdoors now my latest project is going to be z scale. Mine are going to be made a way different setup. Great job and keep it up put some greenery round and enjoy, fantastic. I cannot explain more but what I’m doing because it’s a great idea and I want to go commercial with it 😊. Greetings from California.

  22. When I was on Marriage number three, My dad said “you’d better get another hobby…get back to your railway…it’ll be cheaper…” Thirty years later and third complete rebuild (this one is twenty) and will never be finished they never are. He’s right by the way and they don’t move so fast

  23. Ray, PA. USA says:

    Paul; I too use Z scale Marklin and am 85 years young. I think what you have done so far looks excellent. Keep looking on eBay for Z items. It seems they are becoming more plentiful as time goes on. Look on USA eBay if you haven’t tried it. I have bought a lot of used structures on eBay many times in groups. I think the Z gauge card stock option may suit your needs and would be less expensive than the Volmer, etc. Keep going and enjoy the hobby.

  24. Gary Gissiner says:

    I loved my Z scale. I built mine on a large picture frame and hung it on the wall when not in use. I had to sell mine about 20 years ago. Yours looks great with lots of room, I could only run 2 trains at a time. You have given me some great ideas maybe I’ll do another one now that I’m retired. Good luck, looking foward to you next post.

  25. Terry Miller says:

    FRED–I’ve built a fold-up layout a couple of times in the past. The biggest drawback (for me) is the structure was pretty heavy and you had to take all the rolling stock & movable buildings off before putting it away. I built one where I could run the rolling stock onto a track at the back of the cabinet but had to remember to disconnect the track before I folded it up. (a couple of times I forgot).
    For me it was just too much hassle and I’m the kind of guy who likes to walk by a layout anytime I want and spend a couple of minutes rearranging things. Obviously that’s not something you could do without first unfolding the thing.

    Terry/Idaho USA

  26. Chris Sylvester says:

    Looking at Paul’s Z scale pics I think he’s done a great job on it and see why. You can have a good layout in a small space but the down fall is finding buildings and other things that you can use for the layout. Z scale is not as common as HO or O scale to be able to find buildings and other items but it looks Great!! Thank you for sharing your pictures and ideas. Chris

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