Where to Start
The usual story – read publications, peruse websites and ask questions before jumping in. Although there may not be much currently available at hobby shops, there are a considerable number of models available directly from ‘cottage industry’ producers. Fortunately, there is a reasonable amount of information on the Internet of what is available and where to get it. The following should help you in your decision making.
Particular Prototype to Model
There may be more models available for a particular prototype, eg NSW, than another. If one is just starting out, then choosing a prototype that has more models available gets one started quicker. If one prefers a particular prototype, then there may not be any RTR (ready-to-run) models available and more assembly of kits may be required. In some cases there are no products available at all.
Availability of Models, Structures, etc
The Australian N Scale Products Catalogue lists more than 700 individual items produced for Australian prototype modelling. The producers (many with websites) are listed from the links page. The majority of models are currently produced by ‘cottage industries’ and hence are only kits. A small number of models are currently available as RTR. These are produced either as injection moulded or high quality resin moulded plastic. Some models are available from hobby shops.
Kit or RTR Choices
Assembly of freight wagon, passenger car or structure kits are relatively easy compared to locomotives. However, a few producers do provide some locomotives either complete with running mechanism or painted body shell only which can be fitted to a specified mechanism. A number of RTR freight wagons are available.
Ask questions on the Australian_N_Scale Yahoo Group. Join a local model railway club/group that has some members who model Australian prototype in N scale. Ask operators running models of Australian prototype trains on an N scale layout at an exhibition.