From my last layout in Z-scale. This layout is now demolished, but plans for a new layout is under development..

Here you will find information about different  Z-scale ModelRailroad Projects I have been involved in..
Some of them are more finished than others, and some are under development and others are on hold.
A major part for me in my hobby are to develop new projects and to dream about the ultimate layout, and hopefully build it some day.
And with Z-scale I can have big dreams.

Check out the current project under development, Zity Edge Layout.

Updated JMRI Switchpanel

An updated version of the JMRI Switchpanel for Zity Edge RR is ready:

Buttons to set all turnouts for the different routes are included on the panel. The "reset" button set all the turnouts in correct position. It's also run at startup of JMRI.

Photo from streettrack

A few photos showing the effect of the printed streets and the track in the middle of the road. Engine and car are AZL.

All images are taken with my Nikon D7500, 100ASA, AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 G, using Helicon Remote and Helicon Focus, stacking 8-11 shots for each image, to give a good as possible depth of field. 1-4 sec exposuretime.

The only buildings that are plastic kit are the 2 Kibri factories in the front. All other are printed on paper and glued on a 3 mm foambase.

The train entering the Main Street.
The train entering the Main Street.
The train entering the Main Street.
Overview of the scene.

20 buildings erected

The last few weeks there have been a lot of activity. Now, more than 20 buildings have been created in their inital state, still missing roof details and other detailing, but the skyline and the back of the city now starting to find its final shape.

All buildings are created from images, some of my own, some bought from textures.com, and some grabbed from Google Street View, with buildings from Chicago, Baltimore and Philadelphia. One building is the Metropolitan Tower in Chicago.

All buildings are build using 3 mm papercard with foambase, kapafix is the brand.

The complete skyline with all 20+ buildings. Still a lot of detailing to be done on the buildings.
The East side of the city.

Skyline taking shape

The last days I have build many of the background skyline high-rise buildings using images of the fasades, photoshop to adjust the images, my laser printer, glue and foamboard. Added also some plaster rocks. Starting to looking better. In the back, you can see a model of the Metrolitan Tower in Chicago.

The skyline starting to grow. The high building in the back is the Metropolitan Tower in Chicago.
Overview of the testsetup for the East side of the city.

Streets and tunnelportals

There have been a lot of progress installing the different streetsurfaces and the tunnelportals for the road. I have also started to install the basement foram for the church and the back part of the layout. Still much to do, but I start to see the city.

The church will be on the hill, with the city below.
From the city low level and the track in the middle of the road.

Modules in the dust bin

Kind of sad day today. Because of lack of space, I have thrown many of my modules into the dust bin. Hours, weeks, months and years with happy modelling and a good time  are thrown into the dust containers. The different modules includes the Bjørkli Viaduct build in 1989, and 2 ZMOD modules, like Saguaro River Module. The only module I have saved is the newest, the Silver Creek Module. And of course, the new build, Zity Edge Layout.

Ready to be loaded into the car for the last ride.
Ready to drive for the last ride.
Next stop: The dust container.
The final rest place.
Half of the Saguaro River module on top of my first layout built in 1990, the Bjørkli Viaduct.

LED-strip configuration

For the main lighting of the layout, I have installed a total of 7 LED-strips, 3 with Warm White LED's and 4 with adresseable RGB(W) LED's. The extended number of white strips gives a bright light as possible.

All strips are controlled using an Arduino microcontroller, where the 3 Warm White strips are controlled with pulse width modulation(PWM) and a IRF540 MosFet driver card, and the 2 RGB strips are controlled with the FASTLED library available for the Arduino. 2 more Led strips are installed a RGB-strip on the East Mountain backdrop and a 150 pixel RGBW, 17x9 pixels matrix are installed as a skyboard to simulate different colors and pattern, like sunrise, lightning and Aurora Polaris. On this homemade LED-matrix using a standard 5 meter long RGBW-strip(description will follow soon), I use the Adafruit NeoMatrix library. The initial tests look promising. I will come back with images soon. The programming are not finished and need further development.

The goal is to create animations that can simulate day, sunrise/sunfall and night. And some lights effecs, like ligthing strokes with sound and other visual effects. All controlled by a fastclock and swithes connected to the Arduino. Since I plan to run JMRI on a RaspBerry Pi, I am thinking about to create the userinterface on the RaspBerry Pi, connected to the different Arduinos on the Layout. The Arduino is so cheap to buy, so it will be easier to use several Arduinos for different tasks.

The section drawing shows the different LED-strips for main lighting of the layout.

 

The different LED-stripes:(Table is under construction)

Strip # Type NumOfLeds
1 Warm White, 2 wires: 12 volt, wires: +/-  
2 Warm White, 2 wires: 12 volt, wires: +/-  
3 Warm White, 2 wires: 12 volt, wires: +/-  
4 RGB adresseable WS2812B, 5 volt, 144 Leds/meter, 3 wires: +/-/Data (Main Layout Light) 287
5 RGB adresseable WS2812B, 5 volt, 144 Leds/meter, 3 wires: +/-/Data (Main Mountain Backdrop) 235
6 RGB adresseable WS2812B, 5 volt, 144 Leds/meter, 3 wires: +/-/Data (East Mountain Backdrop) 71
7 RGBW adresseable WS2812B?, 5 volt, 30 Leds/meter, 3 wires: +/-/Data (East Skyboard Matrix, 17x9 pixels)) 150

 

LED-strips for the layout installed

Some more progress on the building of the new layout. Skyboard and mountain backdrop are installed.

The lights for the layout room and backdrop, are done using several LED-strips. For the overall white daylight, I have used 3 Warm-White LED-strips, for the colored lights, I have installed 2 adressable RGB-strips, one for the overall light, and one behind the mountain backdrop.

The skyboard and mountain backdrop are installed.
The mainlights turned off showing the mountain backdrop LED-strip with some test colors.

 

A test with an animation of the LED-strips behind the mountain backdrop. The current colors in the video are just to test to see how it could be. All lights are run by an Arduino microcontroller. I guess I need to use some time to develop the programs for the Arduino. The LED-strip in the video is a 144 RGB leds/meter, adressable WS2812B strip, with a total of 235 LED's.

Naming the High Line Bridge

The High Line Bridge crosses three roads. Above the road, signs with Zity Edge is placed using Woodloand Scenics 5 mm dry transfer letters. After some weathering the white letters will blend better into the bridge beams.

Two of the road overpass labeled with Zity Edge
Woodland Scenics dry transfer letters

Will the city skyline give the feeling?

Will the city skyline give the great feeling of a North-American City? I hope so, finally. Time is come to setup some sketches and mookups of building that could create and be part of the city skyline.

The elevation between the floors are important, and it looks like a standard elevation in commercial building is 10 feet, about 3 meter. In Z-scale, 1:220, I think 15 mm elevation would be fine. Commercial kits looks like they are much bigger.

Some examples of buildingsketches in sligthly different scales.
The tall building at right has 15 mm elevation between floors. The copy at left, is a copy of a sheet from the new freight house from Z-track with about 20 mm elevation between floors. Looks like the building is a little oversized? The Kibri factory in the middle is also a little to big, I guess.

Backdrop installed using flooring

Backdrop behind the layout is installed. I want to have curved corners and I used some flooring and have the backside out and painted it. I think it look fine. First layer of paint is done.

The framework for the left part of the backdrop. Check the curved corners made with plywood.
The backdrop is installed and painted.
The door is open over the circuit breaker box.

Installing the High Line Bridge

Time has come to test the placement of the High Line Bridge. The first layer of paint and a testinstall of some track, to see how it will be when finished.

The front side of the High Line Bridge is Micro Engineering 80-171 N-scale plate girder elements. The base is kapafix 3 mm foam/paper board. The foundation/beams are 3d printed and the columns are Evergreen styren H-beams, 1.5x1.5 mm.

The High Line Bridge
Closeup of the High Line Bridge

All track and wiring installed on Low level

All tracks, turnouts, motors and electric wiring are installed and working on Low level. All decoders and turnout motors are installed on top of the plywood, because all equipment will be covered by the high level. Access to the equipment will be possible via removable panels.

All the tracks are working well, no derailment in the turnouts. Its time to continue with high level and the installment of turnoutmotors and wiring.

An overwiev of Low level, showing all tracks and turnout motors. Also the 4 turnout decoders DS52, and at the left back, the automatic reverseloop unit AR1 is installed.
From the right part of Low level, showing the 2 turnout decoders DS52 and the engine for the Atlas turnout.
From the left part of Low level, with the 2 turnout decoders DS52 and the automatic reverseloop unit AR1.
The Low level track plan with the turnout decoders and reverse loop AR1.