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?