Streamliner Junior Train Controller

Location: NSW South Coast
I've been sitting on this for awhile now, so here goes...

Years ago whilst waiting for a decent SAR model to be made, I concentrated on building model planes, ships and cars etc. Cutting them from the sprue, gluing, painting and decalling and weathering. For example choosing which version/mk to build, weapon load to attach, paint colour or level of detail parts to include, and that was half the fun.
Then the Traino 930 came out and I thought 'brilliant'! and regained my interest in model trains once again, I opened the box and placed it on the track and off it went. The problem I found was the lack of satisfaction in making the model myself, nothing to assemble, paint or even the simplest thing like the option of choosing the running number decal. Why do model trains seem to be the exception in the model world? It's quite acceptable to build a spitfire from a box, but a loco or rolling stock is almost unacceptable!
Which brings me to my question, why RTR? To me a model is built, and a toy is bought of the shelf.
It seems to contrast with the effort we go to in building a layout from scratch, DIY wiring, detailed landscapes and buildings etc, but not the main thing- the train!
My other observation is when a model is produced by one of the big players, or the new manufacturers that seem to start up every other week, is the complaints about choice of livery and running numbers (traino GM1 not being made in CR livery comes to mind) or the special livery selling out (like the NRs) and the different versions not being made (like SAR 600 class diesel) surely this situation could be avoided if unpainted kits, with the different options on the sprue, and a decal sheet for each livery to choose from were made?
I know Steam Era and BGB etc are the exception to the rule, and they have seem to be able to have a larger range as a result?

I would be interested to know how many of us would rather build a kit/ unpainted/ undecalled model, and have the model we really want?

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  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
I still like putting a kit together SEM ones are superb, I even use them for kitbashing still, cut here a piece removed there an viola a new wagon is made. I have even converted some VR SEM kits into SAR stock after reading the modelling of SA railways convention notes. BGB were good kits too at times when you can get them though. But today even with a lot of care a BGB kit to me just does not cut the mustard any more, they are past their use by date. The modern manufacturers are rapidly making in roads into BGB's range anyway, so it would be cheaper and quicker to get one of these models if you want a scale model railway up and running quickly.

Some things I would like to see to complement the range of SAR/ANR/AN models of late is some SAR type buildings like stations etc do some Commonwealth Railways as well here. I still scratchbuild a lot as do most SAR modellers these days, some I have built I would never have dreamed of 20 years ago or more. But kits are still the go for those wagons that are different to the rest of them, lot easier to bash a kit in pieces than to attempted it on a RTR wagon. It can be done but a kit makes it a lot easier to do it.
  TheMeddlingMonk Deputy Commissioner

Location: The Time Vortex near Melbourne, Australia
I suspect this topic has come up before, but this is the first time I've commented on it.

There is certainly a place for both RTR and kits. For me, the advantage in the kits is that they are cheaper (money-wise) and I have more flexibility in the livery, running numbers, etc. However, they also usually require a fair amount of time and investment in tools, which is the trade-off. Some things I would happily buy RTR, simply because either (a) I don't have the time to build the kit or (b) the job I could do on a kit or scratchbuild would not be satisfactory in my eyes.

Regarding unpainted or undecalled RTR models - I suspect this is probably very niche and not worth it to the manufacturers in most cases. For certain models, I would definitely like undecalled ones supplied with a sheet of running numbers to choose from and this has been done in the past (i.e. some of the Powerline S carriages). For locomotives that have run in many liveries but aren't being produced in more than a few of them, unpainted would be handy - still, I wonder how many people intent on having loco X in livery Y would be stopped only by the fact that there weren't any unpainted ones produced.
  BladeHunter Station Master

Location: Sydney
25 - 30 years ago people were happy if a local prototype was available as RTR or even a kit...Now they