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New Member
I am building a 12' x 6' N Scale layout and I was wondering can I use Z Scale Structures along with the layout? Also, I'm considering using DDC with CTI Electronics "Train-Brain and Signalman" are they good programs to use?
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Active Member
You can use any structures you like , N scale of course is 1:160 vs Z 1:220 ? Usually higher ratio scale structures are used in the background to to "force" or reinforce a sense of distance or perspective.


Well-Known Member
What's your reason for wanting Z stuff on an N layout ? Do you mean right there alongside N tracks and N structures ? Or do you mean to do what GeeTee says, technically: forced perspective (Z structures in the rear areas to give an illusion of more depth than really is) ? What ?


My track layout is going to be tight in some areas to I was wondering can you use z scale houses with n scale
That is illegal in 38 states at present. Where do you live?
No, I'm kidding. You can use whatever you like, after all it's your railroad. The question is, will you be content with the realism and how it looks?

If my math memory serves me, Z-scale is roughly 73% the size of N-scale. So any structures you use in your example would be about 25% smaller than what they would be in scale. For example, let's say you had a two story building, roughly 28' tall in real life. In N-scale, that would be approximately 2" high. In Z-scale, that would be about 1.5" high, i.e. half an inch shorter. That's not a huge difference to the eye, but it is a moderate difference in scale. To some, that's no big deal; to nit-pickers, that's enough to cause a stroke. Do what makes you happy.

My suggestion would be to try and find a couple pre-built Z-scale buildings and compare them to your trains, to see whether you're satisfied. I suspect if you have buildings away from the tracks or in the distance, it might work. But a Z-scale station right next to your train? Might look funny.


Well-Known Member
Why must you have structures at the tight areas at all ? Why must there even be tight areas ? And if you can fit 2-3 Z structures there, seems to me you could fit 1- 2 N structures there.
What about foliage, rock, trestle instead ? Do what you want. You don't need anyone's permission...If it looks good/not good it's your call.....
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