Thanks Frosty - your post has cleared a few things up in my mind.
If your sources are accurate ( I don't doubt that ) , the Bicentennial version inclusion down the track is great news.
Also more possible road numbers is another positive .
Now we can just wait for the pictures.
I have only prepared a data pack on 8120 and 8172, still waiting on quotes etc. Nothing is confirmed!
JE wants this project out as much as the modellers, if not more!
In terms of the very first series as built 8101-8126. This variation existed from September 1982 for about 6 months. In terms of the life of the 81 class, this represents 6 months out of 30 years! The candy version being modelled by Austrains is 8127-8180 as built and 8101-8126 as modified. If enough people want this variation, tell John. The tool could possibly be modified to make this if there is demand. He does record what people request, hence the jumbo re-run having FR blue and not candy. More people wanted this and bothered to tell him, rather than those who wanted candy.
FR blue body has double engine room doors and a small door at one end.
PN body has the FR variants and the body side steps sealed up. (Could be other bits, this was off the top of my head)
In terms of candy sales. None of us know how many candy units Auscision made in their 422 and 73 runs. They may have made very few, I dont know. Unless this is known, the fact these sold out quickly does not indicate they are most popular. Same with the Traino 44. I recall with the 2nd run of 442 class, we were selling the last of the run, mostly candy, at $79. And they still took time. Same with the 80 class.
Candy is what I model. I would prefer much more in candy, but it is not my money and the man whose money it is, has been burnt.