I recently saw a YouTube video featuring an EMD Class 66 locomotive in Z scale (see below) and thought I’d look in to who built this model. For those who have been involved in Z scale for a few years, the name Graham Jones will be familiar as the person who started the Great Britain Z scale club, ZClub(GB).
I contacted Graham and asked a few questions regarding this new model.
The choice of the model itself, the Class 66. I’ve read where it’s popular in Europe but as it’s produced only for European use, we’re not very familiar with it here in the US. Can you tell us why you chose this model?
The choice of loco came about because of my links with the European Z Gauge groups and my want to make a prototype which could be used by both English and European modelers. The class 66 is manufactured in Canada by GM and based on SD40 mechanicals.
You model is a six axle design, which chassis are you using for this?
I have designed the body to fit on Micro Trains SD4-2 chassis almost a perfect fit.
What sort of (if any) modifications were made to the chassis?
Modifications to chassis are the removal of the light board and support posts to allow the body to sit lower down on the chassis. The motor power tags are folded round on to the chassis, and a piece of plasticard is wedged in to ensure good electrical contact.
Your new loco, the Class 66, is this a kit or a ready to run product, and is it available commercially?
It is intended to supply the model as a body kit complete with special couplings to cope with the swing of the body on corners. I may consider offering a ready to run version to order in the future but as it would be a hand painted body not a cheap option.
Previously you produced an A4 Locomotive kit in Z scale. That was a cast model but this time you’ve gone with rapid prototype to produce this shell. How do you feel the different processes compare… pros and cons?
I started ZClub(GB) in the early 90’s and had a website which is www.ford.demon.co.uk this is still accessible but has not been updated for a long time. I am working on a new company web site, which will cover both my ‘O’ gauge and ‘Z’ gauge products. I decided to use rapid prototype as I had seen several models made by this process and had been very impressed with the speed of production from concept to final product, also the detail possible.
Using the cast metal process is great if you get the patterns right but this not always easy and detailing can be in the realms of wonder how some pattern makers can achieve them. There are also the costs, patterns for the 66 were less than $300 whereas the A4 steam loco cost nearer $1500 to produce.
I see you’re going to be giving a clinic at the upcoming National Z Scale Convention in Denver, Co. in just a few months. What’s your clinic topic?
The clinic would be on what we are up to in the UK with photographs of various prototypes which have made by several skilled modelers over here and what I have in the pipeline plus I will have a selection of the models I have made to date to purchase.
You can contact Graham at this email address: Graham Jones