A couple weeks ago we visited a local hobby shop calledÂ Penn Valley Hobby CenterÂ Â in Lansdale, PA. Â Walking around the aisles flooded me with memories of my youth gluing together plastic models and rockets. Â The shop specialized mostly in trains and they carried a size called N-Scale (1:148) which is the smallest I have ever seen. Â Some internet searching revealed another scale called Z-Scale (1:220). Â The table below show how Z-Scale translates to Â some common objects.
- NYC Block : 0.05 miles -> 14.4 inches
- BMW 5 Series: 15.2 ft -> 0.82 inches
Z-Scale is not nearly has popular as the other train scales, buildings and accessories are scarce, and I cannot even imagine putting together and painting models. Â I have been following 3D printing for a while and was wondering whether they could be used to print a fully assemblies Z-Scale city. Â Discussion on the train forums hinted Â print quality was Â not high enough, but some simple math proved otherwise. Â The 3D printing service company, Shapeways, specifies printing detail down to 0.3mm which is Z-Scale is actual 2.6 inches. Â You would need a microscope to see this type of detail.
I placed an order for some Mac trucks and posted some pictures taken under a microscope. Â If I can get these painted Â my dream growing a mini city out of goo might be possible.
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