Am I the only Frisco Z scale fan?

Discussion in 'Z Scale' started by fredoniajim, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. fredoniajim

    fredoniajim New Member Supporter

    Several years ago I organized a Zbend module group in the Puget Sound/Northwest area, Northwest Pacific Z Scalers (NWPZS). The club shows modules and layouts at various local shows, G(W)ATS, and NMRA National & Division events. Our resources are ZTrack magazine; our club website,, and the Yahoo list, Our module are built on the Z_Bend_Track specs. My contact info: .

    Jim Glass
    Redmond, WA
  2. pray59

    pray59 Member

    Hi Jim, I just joined here to get info on car numbers and stuff for a 53' flatcar I am doing in Frisco.

    As you know, I am an NP modeler, but I also do a couple Frisco cars, as I like to have some variety.

  3. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    How much Frisco stuff has been made in Z? Are there any locomotives Robert? If there were enough to make a train, I would go for a small layout.

  4. jarnett

    jarnett Member

    I'd go Z too, if there was Frisco equipment

  5. fredoniajim

    fredoniajim New Member Supporter

    I have in Z scale:
    MT 5 13602-2 Frisco 12073 Box Car 50' Std
    Marklin 6 8672 Frisco 15568 Box Car Blue
    Marklin 1 8683 Frisco 15568 Box Car Blue
    MT 2 14206 Frisco 42473 Box Car 50' Ribside, Sgl Door
    MT 12 14206-2 Frisco 42473 Box Car 50' Ribside, Sgl Door
    MT 13 14911-2 Frisco 52065 Box Car 40' Plug door
    MT 1 13602 Frisco Box Car 50' Std
    FR 3 ZF310h Frisco 78903 Hopper 33' Twin Bay
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2008
  6. sd68

    sd68 Member

    I just received my MT GP35 in the black Frisco livery and I can't tell you how impressed I am with the performance and the quality of the finish and printing.
  7. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    I am a newcomer here at One or two guys who are on this site may remember me when I lived in Dallas and was employed as a switchman for the Cotton Belt and later, John Santa Fe. Just before Christmas 1976 I moved to Germany. This was an internal family decision and I most certainly won´t bore anyone with my biography!

    I am surprised to see that there have been no posts to the question asked about being the only modeler of the Frisco in Z scale in some two and a half years. It is also hard to believe that Z scale is approaching 40 years. OK, I just passed #65 this 4th of July myself!

    My train shop here in Germany is owned and operated by Rainer Knoch. He sells trains and vehicles in all scales from Z to G. His store is located just north of downtown Nuremberg. Nuremberg plays host to the International Toy Fair every year, usually during the last week of January or the first week of February. It thus preceeds the fair held in New York a few weeks later. I get to talk shop with guys from Bachmann and Model Power and discuss the state of the hobby.

    Rainer stocks trains and vehicles from the world over including a nice selection of US and Canadian prototypes in all scales. He has one of the best stocked parts departments of any train shop in Germany and also has a lot of vintage trains and vehicles also in all scales and this includes brass and tinplate as well and several very rare LGB models from the LGB factory! A visit at is worth the time to just window shop and get an idea what a train shop in Germany is all about. Rainer speaks English should anyone need a hard to find part for European trains be it Märklin, Fleischmann, Trix, Arnold N, Roco, Rokal TT, etc. He stocks a lot of out of production Proto 2000 diesels at the moment. Sorry, no Frisco. I already looked!

    Several years ago I told him I didn´t see how anything as small as Z scale could stay on the tracks. He told me to take some home and prove to myself. I took home a Märklin Southern Pacific F7 A and five matching Daylight streamlined passenger cars. My eyesight was still pretty good but it was still a bear of a job to lay down the track! I put train on track, applied power and the Daylight started to move. It ran and ran and ran and stayed on the track! No Grimlin showed up nor did Murphy´s Law take effect.

    I went a step further and sent to the US for an issue of Ztrack magazine. It is the only magazine devoted to Z scale. It is a bi-monthly publication with slick paper quality. I was amaized to see that brass (!) locomotives and equipment, even structures, have been produced for the Z scale market. Most are now long gone and demand collectors prices!

    I gave a lot of serious thought about constructing a layout in Z scale along my 18 foot long livingroom wall with a 2 foot width. Man, could I ever run the Texas Special on that kind of layout! Indeed, it is small and not for everyone. Layouts built in suitcases are not uncommon or in coffee tables with glass coverings which are great when combating the dust war! Lance Mindheim ( performed an interview for Ztrack magazine several months ago and can be found on their website. It is discussing the possibility of building a switching pike in Z. Indeed, it is now! Z scale has come full circle at some 40 years of competition on the market with all the other scales.

    As in many cases, there are those who model Z indoors and G outdoors just like the modelers in the other scales. A four unit set of Frisco FA/FBs in G still would make me take a long second look just as a live steamer would. I would love to own a Frisco 2-10-0 in live steam! It would sure be a tight fit inside the doghouse on the tender though...LOL A Z scale Märklin Deutsche Bundesbahn 2-10-0 would be a real challenge to model a Frisco decapod with but not impossible. They produce 4-6-0s, 4-6-2s, 2-8-2s, the F7 A and B units, even a GG1! (Perfect for your own Age of Steam museum perhaps?)

    With Märklin continuing to market Z scale and Micro-Trains continued expansion there is now a wealth of locomotives, equipment and structures to construct a layout in any space given situation including the suitcase and coffee table! There are still some models that need to be improved upon in the detail category. Micro-Trains´ GP35 is not offered without the dynamic brake blister. This ruined the Mopac Jenks Blue Screaming Eagle model for me! Micro-Trains should provide all equipment with METAL wheelsets! Märklin does! Anything this small needs metal wheelsets to track properly and why send the modeler out looking for another manufacturer who offers metal wheels with an additional cost factor? This is poor quality control!

    The Märklin F7 A unit was designed to fit on the frame of a Deutsche Bundesbahn E10 B-B electric locomotive. Thus some liberties were taken. The body is longer than the Mirco-Trains F7 A but this is a blessing in disquise in that it provides a reasonable looking model of an FP7! For operation in passenger service the steam generator vents need to be modeled on the rear of the roof for a more prototypical appearance unless you are content that no one will detect the lack of this feature anyway due to size.

    The other issue with the Märklin F7 A are the Blomberg truck frames. They were manufactured to fit the trucks on the E10 electric. Thus they are a lengthened version although nicely detailed for an overall appearance. Item: American Flyer did the same thing when they introduced the S gauge GP7. The Blombergs were lengthened too, to fit the A-1-A truck under the PA!

    The Santa Fe steel caboose is a classic design in model railroading and Märklin has theirs too! Märklin took another liberty and mounted the body on a frame designed for a 4-wheel German passenger car! It has Bettendorf trucks but the railings on the ends leave a lot to be desired. I am surprised that no manufacturer hasn´t gone and produced a scale underframe to re-mount the body on? The freight cars have an overall pleasing apperance though the 50 foot box car could have been better proportioned. Micro-Trains has much finer detailed freight cars. The lightweight passenger cars are nice looking from the get-go!

    In general, Z scale is still on the market and has a dedicated bunch of modelers and collectors who have kept the scale alive and interesting enough for Märklin, Micro-Trains and a score of other manufacturers to continue production and expansion of locomotives, equipment and structures. The best site I have found is who has a great archives of Z scale products that date back several years. So if you are looking for a Frisco release it is probably listed which will enable you to search for and possibly obtain that Frisco locomotive or car to complete your roster or collection.

    Joe Toth
    The Trinity River Bottoms Boomer

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