Courtesy of Peter J Vincent, O and ON wagons at Maffra Milk Co-Op (a future project)
I've been modeling (or is that collecting bits and pieces) for about 2 years, I read through Australian Railway Modeler magazine, admiring the layouts, the built up kits and the scratch building efforts of my peers for probably a year prior before buying my first N scale item. The intention at that stage was to go no further than purchasing an Aust-N-Rail flat top T class body that I could stick on top of my PC monitor.
I bought this from Chris of Spirit Design, his enthusiasm for VR N scale is almost contagious, after a brief tour of his mind blowing layout, "Wallan", I was hooked.
I joined the Victorian N Scale Collective not long after that, I've learned so much in the past 2 years, I started with some T-Trak modules and a few RTR locos and rolling stock. I needed some structures, so bought a VR permanent way shed from Spirit Design, it went together pretty easy with only my haste and poor painting skills to detract from it.
I've always liked ELs, and in particular the CFCLA livery, Rob from Aust N Rail kindly taught me the skills of soldering while running his shop at the Sandown exhibition a year or so ago, and I managed to put together a brass etch EL loco body, I notice the flaws in my workmanship, but it put me on a path to kit building.
Everything I've built up to now is looking better than the item I built before it, the quality of the kits and the thought out nature of their construction go a long way to helping me achieve something that looks like the prototype.
I was really nervous when I started on the K class kit by Phil Badger, but I got there in the end, and it has a DCC decoder to boot which makes it in the minority. I did not start my station building kit for almost a year because I was worried it would be too hard to make, Nothing could be further from the truth, and it went together like a dream.
I'm in 2 minds about all the products in both RTR and kit form that are out there waiting for me, The scratch building and detailing skills of some of the collective members just leaves me in awe, and I know that with me being spoiled for choice, it's very unlikely I'll ever NEED to bring myself to their level of expertise, which is a shame.
But I'm also happy that such a small market is supported by dedicated manufacturers who probably don't make as much money as they should from all their efforts. I've had the pleasure of meeting quite a number of these people in the short time I've been involved in the hobby, such is the nature of the close knit community that is Aus N scale, and every one of them has been more than generous in speaking with me and answering any question I ask of them.
Thanks to all of you.