I have always liked to tinker, but my model railway experience during the first five decades of my life was limited to occasionally playing with Lego and Märklin H0 trains on the living room floor during childhood and youth. It wasn’t until a Christmas visit to my parents a few years ago that my enthusiasm in railway modelling was sparked.
Somehow, over Christmas dinner, my brothers and I remembered that our old Märklin collection still had to be up in our parents’ attic. And indeed, everything was still there, neatly packed in two boxes: four locomotives, several cars, two stations, a handful of other buildings, a pile of M-tracks and two blue transformers.
Without further ado, an oval was put together under the Christmas tree and lo and behold, after well over thirty years in hibernation, the models came back to life, at first creaking slightly but then moving more and more smoothly around in circles. One of my brothers and I then divided the collection between us and took their respective parts home with them, where they are still occasionally brought out and played with for memories’ sake.
However, a permanent H0 scale layout of even compact dimensions was unrealistic for space reasons, which explains why I quickly turned my attention to Z gauge. After a first half-hearted and never completed attempt with a small prefabricated layout, I built a few micro layouts over the past five years, whose focus is less on operational use, but on landscape design, which I find particularly enjoyable.
A great motivation and help for my entry into the wide world of the small scale was Trainini, which I almost inevitably came across during my first research into Z gauge modelling.
Through my first project, the "Winzlingen (Tinyville)" micro layout and a report about it in the July 2018 issue of Trainini, the contact with Holger and the work in our translator group came about, which I do enjoy very much.