And the current edition of AMRM news section mentions that the M wagons will be closely followed by the P Powder Van, HD and short T van. So there are 3 more SEM kits that were sent to the chinese by the 'research team'.
It was said a while back that most of the RTR producers get together occasionally and tell each other their planned projects to avoid conflicts (at least in theory). Assuming this still happens, are companies like SEM represented at these meetings?
After all, I'm getting worried that the flood of RTR stock duplicating SEM kits will eventually have a serious effect on the viability of companies like Steam Era. And a few years after that, the new generation of model railway enthusiasts won't have any idea how to actually 'model', nor any way of practicing without stuffing up something really expensive.
This is why I would choose to denounce a company if they produced a DERM or J Class steam locomotive; I feel that Steam Era's kits, while brilliant in their own right, also form an important part of the formative experiences of any new member of the hobby.
In fact, with this latest news the total count of 'simple' VR wagon kits only available from SEM is now reduced to just two, the UB and UP varieties. Nearly everything else in the plastic range is, or soon will be, available as RTR - and once taking into account the cost of couplers, paint and tools, the SDS and Austrains releases are only around $10 more expensive than the kits on a per-wagon basis.
That said, I have every intention of maintaining a loyal customer to SEM and their brilliant products. For the reasons above, I feel the company both deserves and needs our support, now more than ever.
Even so, why do the P van? It only ran in Victoria and there were only 50 of them. Even SEM has only managed to sell a small number of them. Dumb choice.
Reason is probably the similar underframe. I wonder if the Austrains release will be a part of the Basix range? Further, they've done the M, T (short), HD (ex U) and P; SDS are doing the M and KQ. At what point is an IA going to be announced, and after that are there any other short-underframe wagons?
Re the P vans specifically, there appears to be some confusion; PJV lists anywhere from 45 (diagram
) through 51 (list
) to 54 (main
page). So which is it?