So back to my question.
Why has it taken so long to do a better C Class?
Because very few locomotives have varied in appearance in detail as much as the C class has through its service life to date.
Austrains made a very accurate model of the C class as first built (I can't remember now whether they incuded the versions with and without the front platform) This was some time ago and the detail isn't up to current standards.
But The prototype locomotive were modified with handrails alongside the long hood and later the hood itself was extended to allow for a toilet at the rear of the locomotive. Also, the prototype cab side windows were modified.
I myself bought an Austrains C in Silverton colours because I liked the scheme, but the cab side windows were wrong and it lacked the long hood handrails. But the model was made before these changes occurred. The long hood toilets postdated the Silverton scheme.
So you have a group of ten locomotives that have mainly worked between Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, and more recently in NSW, except fror C501 which has the long hood handrails but is painted in the original colours and doesn't do much at all.
It would probably be impossible to retool the Austrains dies for all the modifications, so we are stuck with someone starting from scratch. Auscision are the most likely candidate, because there was one C painted in SSR colours (It is stored under a tarpaulin in Goulburn - SSR don't actually own it.)
If it was my money, I wouldn't pay for the complex new dies for a C class, but as I said, I already have an incorrect Silverton model (and two accurate original VR models).
ok a few corrections if I may. Based on my time working these things up to 2000. They never added to the front creating a walkway, however at least one loco had a wrap around railing, but from memory you could not walk inside it and the nose.
The handrail mod could easily be sold as a cottage industry add on or just scratched by someone with a work desk, I guess.
The V/line mods were reshaping the front windscreen,replacing a C design with the New X design widcreen inserts to simplify spare parts inventory.
Later on an air conditioner and drainage pipes were added.
I cannot remember any other V/Line changes, except perhaps the aerial base reflector for through running?
Later on I noticed small boxes were placed to hold the marker lights, and ditch lights
I really dont think any of these changes would require drastic re-engineering of the Austrains model.
My point was that Austrains made a very basic model. They used a good drive train, with 2D crap bogie side frames, and untidy internal design creating problems for those who wished sound, or even silent DCC. As well, only head lights.
They are a dated model, and if I were SDS I would have done an upgrade and released silent and sound versions really quickly. With 20 ?? different colour schemes they would have to sell, I would have thought
edit is the Austrains model an original winscreen? or an X?
edit 2 The toilets appear to be added to the same floor plate without extension, which to my mind would be the biggest alteration to the die?