Streamliner Junior Train Controller

Location: NSW South Coast
Lots of interesting and valid points of view! I was curious to see if it was just me that would prefer to have more input into the model they are buying, or if everyone was just as satisfied with out of the box. There is no doubting the quality of RTR these days, and I'll buy as much SAR and AN as I can, I even bought an Austrains C36 because it was a great looking loco, It's just I would have preferred to put it together myself Laughing

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  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Regarding the "cash rich/time poor" argument - I think it comes down to a matter of priorities. I think the use of "excuse" is a little harsh, since one could take that to mean the higher priorities aren't worth it (no offence intended, Blacksmith, just pointing out how it could be taken). That said, the Blacksmith is right in that if the hobby is important enough, people will make time for it. For those of us who have other things that take precedence, RTR provides a way in which we can still enjoy the hobby when other things prevent the more time-intensive tasks (such as kit or scratchbuilding).
TheMeddlingMonk

Working 14 hour days, a family and other commitments but still working on a layout and to have some time left operating it, personally I have no problem having only RTR - may even weather them one day Wink

Obviously RTR fills a pretty big niche given how the variety and quantity has boomed this past decade.
For those bemoaning that is there some snob factor here Surprised
  Albert Chief Commissioner

In my case the nearest hobby shop is 400Km away. I do enjoy building models and for a couple of years really got into it. However it was costing me far more to make than buy RTR from postage and fuel costs. It is frustrating to be building a model only to find out you need a particular piece of styrene, decal or paint colour. I just want to play now.
  a6et Minister for Railways

For me its a matter of availability, & time.   I admit to mostly RTR loco's even the DJH kits are built for me, although many are modified by me as well as weathered, with some being modified for me by the builder with my input of what I would like in order to enhance the model.  Older RTR R/S are modified or in the process of modifying.

I also have a lot of kits, which are in both the to do box or partially built, same with some kits of infrastructure that have been modified.  Although most of my buildings are scratch built with some almost complete with only lighting & decaling to finish them off.  I have thoroughly enjoyed building them as against some kits & even modifying some of them as well.

The aspect of the hobby for me is to enjoy it, & that includes each of the types, RTR, Kits & scratch building.  The one advantage in having RTR locos & R/S is that when one gets tired of building, its nice to be able to sit back with my radio cab & run the RTR trains that primarily give no problems, except on some areas of track which likes to have loco's momentarily stall at, generally though few stall at the same spot but at different areas which having DCC with Stay alive decoders has resolved.

So, there really is a place for all types in the hobby, I just hope I live long enough to get close to finishing it all.
  VRfan Moderator

Location: In front of my computer :-p
The one advantage in having RTR locos & R/S is that when one gets tired of building, its nice to be able to sit back with my radio cab & run the RTR trains that primarily give no problems, except on some areas of track which likes to have loco's momentarily stall at, generally though few stall at the same spot but at different areas which having DCC with Stay alive decoders has resolved.
a6et

If a kit built loco or rolling stock is a) good quality to begin with and b) assembled correctly then it should be as relliable as any of the good RTR stuff.
  LaidlayM Chief Commissioner

Location: Research
Why RTR?

If the aim is to display a few models in a cabinet the RTR seems pointless to me.

If the aim is to build a model of a railway then the RTR components add to the greater model thus are 100% valid.

Mark
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
There's also the talent factor. I've got a photo of a scratch built 82 class which I admired at the time.

Fast forward... compared to my RTR 82 it's a shocker.
  a6et Minister for Railways

If a kit built loco or rolling stock is a) good quality to begin with and b) assembled correctly then it should be as relliable as any of the good RTR stuff.
VRfan
Point taken.

However, with some of the locomotive kits that are out there when I compare them to RTR I really think the kits are a bit dated compared to much of the RTR items these days. Its no longer just the factor of them looking ok built according to the instructions & generally run ok, but the reality is there is much more needed to finish them off for reliable running & correcting those items that can be, although the later applies just as much to some RTR models also.
  Picton Locomotive Driver

One thing that has to be considered also is prototype / era. If you chose something a little different from post 1950's then I think you really are in the realms of kit building and or scratchbuilding. Personally, I model the 1930's NSWGR with a splash of turn of the century thrown in for fun so for me it's kits, scratchbuild or kitbash. There is nothing available RTR that suits except for the recently released Austrains 1915 CW which I purchased. I like the era and I strive for accuracy and detail (whether I get there is another question) so I have no choice but to scratch and kit build. BUT, if some RTR manufacturer was to release an ACX, EAM / LAM / VAM or BC / FX, I'd be up for a few that's for sure. But this is never going to happen so no RTR for me. But to be honest, there is sense of satisfaction building the kits and getting them to the standard that you desire. The problem this brings though is it takes time to build and if you're building a layout, you're torn between building the layout and building the trains themselves and I know which I 'd prefer to be doing. Problem is, I want to see them run too and not sit in a glass case.
But as Blacksmith said, you'll make the time for your hobby if you want to. I find nothing more relaxing than after a stressful 12 hr day of work, coming home and spending a couple of hours in the train cave. Beats sitting in front of the TV with a glass of wine.....well most nights it does.

Cheers,
Rob
  gw0071 Deputy Commissioner

Doing the odd 'extended' shift myself, I personally find it impossible to fit in 12hrs of working for the man, tending to the commitments of my current phase of life, spending a couple of hours in miniature land and finding enough sleep to allow recovery for repeat

In the meantime I'm 'plonking' RTR items in my dowry box (along with the odd kit) for when the balance corrects itself. That way I've got all outcomes covered just in case this takes longer than I expect resulting in diminished capabilities bought about by ageing (dis)gracefully!

My RTR stockpiles will come in quite handy should this be the case*

* combined with the fact that RTR tends to be buy now or forever miss out
  Laser Rail Bits Locomotive Driver

Location: Goulburn NSW
Bit of an update re the "Cash Rich / Time Poor" argument...

My wife's main hobby is quilting and she has many cupboards full of material awaiting use...So I decided to survey outside of the Model Railway hobby to ask if she considers herself "Cash Rich and Time Poor"....Her response...
"No I am Just Lazy"... hmmm not quite the response I was expecting...but I have to give her 10/10 for honesty.

Regards,
Rod
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
To gw0071, be careful about socking away the RTR stuff lest you find many years later it won't run. This has happened many times to people in the past, you buy it, put it away, get it out in 10 years time and find it does not run. Too late then to call on the warranty, even if you could find the company any longer that produced them. Also, some lubricants which are not truly plastic compatible destroy the plastic gear cases, or the grease goes solid.

Lots of traps there for the unwary.
  a6et Minister for Railways

To gw0071, be careful about socking away the RTR stuff lest you find many years later it won't run. This has happened many times to people in the past, you buy it, put it away, get it out in 10 years time and find it does not run. Too late then to call on the warranty, even if you could find the company any longer that produced them. Also, some lubricants which are not truly plastic compatible destroy the plastic gear cases, or the grease goes solid.

Lots of traps there for the unwary.
TheBlacksmith
I love the aspect of the grease going solid. Someone started another thread that recommends a navy silicone gel lubricant, do a google search of the product, & its very much promoted for other specialised use, which helps in other areas.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
To gw0071, be careful about socking away the RTR stuff lest you find many years later it won't run. This has happened many times to people in the past, you buy it, put it away, get it out in 10 years time and find it does not run. Too late then to call on the warranty, even if you could find the company any longer that produced them. Also, some lubricants which are not truly plastic compatible destroy the plastic gear cases, or the grease goes solid.

Lots of traps there for the unwary.
TheBlacksmith

That applies not only to RTR. Every 6 months take them out of the box and run them for 10 minutes - even on a circle of track will do.  If you have a lot create a spread sheet to keep track and rotate through your collection. You can attend to any maintenance needs at the time. Also if you store them on their sides you may find the grease stains on the underside of your loco - mine are all stored upright wrapped in greaseproof paper (not the plastic freezer stuff).

Mind you if you haven't built your layout and running your RTR stuff after 10 years you're probably just lazy Wink
  gw0071 Deputy Commissioner

Thanks for the advice regarding storage gents - much appreciated. My good friends at Vic Barnes warned me of this many years ago, way back when the Oz RTR market only extended to Lima/Powerline. The availability and quality may have improved but the concept of ageing, motionless synthetics still applies. Have I acted upon this advice - well not totally. I suppose that despite focusing on career and family that makes me lazy*

* just pulling your leg cootanee

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