by Meredith Jaffe
Many car enthusiasts acquire models to enhance their hobby. Oftentimes, a favorite car is displayed in a 1:18, 1:24, 1:43, or 1:64 scale. It’s a great way to “acquire” the automobiles we remember fondly or would love to own.
But, there’s more! Popular among a subset of model train enthusiasts, the Z scale is the smallest commercially available railway scale at 1:220 (1,385 mm to 1 ft). Since being introduced in 1972 by the German model train manufacturer Märklin, other companies have discovered this niche. In addition to tracks, rolling stock, and accessories, vehicles have been created to complement the intricate layouts.
During my eBay searches, I learned of the work of László Pánits from Hungary. He casts and hand paints his own metal models. Examples of his work can be found by searching Simon Artz and his posts to Z Scale Model Railroading Enthusiasts on Facebook. One can find his current sales under the name csikape and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Though there are occasional bidding wars, I was lucky to purchase a Tucker for $13 plus $7 shipping.
In the Z scale community, Álvaro Cortes of Portugal is also highly regarded. He meticulously creates Z scale vehicles from 3-D printed resin with movable parts. Some of his work can be viewed at zscalegallery.com and on Facebook at My Z scale models. Painted versions are in the vicinity of 15€ and custom
orders may be requested.
Happy motoring in your new Z scale automobile!