Latest News

December 2023

NEWS, Recent and pending arrivals


VR   RY        Open Wagons

The Victorian Railways RY 22’ four-wheel open wagon, with 5 different body detail versions are now available. There is also an earlier IZ coded version available with or without buffers. These are available as a 5 pack and some selected Single packs for internal VR traffic usage.


VR     KQ  and  GY            Container  and  Open Wagons

A re-run of our very first release, the VR KQ container wagon. These are now paired with some GY open wagon to form a mixed 5 pack of models.


SRA  81 Class Locomotive  

The NSWSRA 81 class diesel in Freight Rail, Freight Corp, National Rail and Pacific National are now available in DC control versions. The PN rural and bulk units were very popular on pre-order and some of these numbers are no longer available.

As the interest in the 81 class has been extremely high, we have re-run the original SRA colours and added some new numbers and these models are currently available.

The last ‘current’ production, which includes all the ‘blue and grey’ versions in DCC Sound and additional Bicentennial models in DC and DCC Sound will be available after the Chinese New Year holiday.

As we have had almost 15 months of continuous production with this model, our supplier called time recently, as they needed to complete some other products for their November/December rush.

The upside to the delay has meant that our ESU decoder buy-in, will be the latest specification and likely to be the usual ESU Loksound V5 trouble free standard. 


NSWGR  LHO / LHY / KP  Class Vans 

The NSWR LHO/LHY/KP brake and mail vans are available. These were originally Austrains branded products but have now been considerably upgraded to our standard NEO specifications. A new roof cross section profile for the KP van and smooth sided plywood panels and a retooled 2BM bogie complete this models upgrade.

The LHO series received detailed and period correctly patterned solebars and improved bogie tooling. The standout addition to the range being the rebuilt 4 door LHY versions with the option of the 2BM bogie or the all new YMD coded roller bearing bogie.


QR   1460/1502 Class Locomotive

Close to arriving at our warehouse are the QR 1460/1502 range of models in DC control and in both 16.5mm and 12.0mm gauges.

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to commence dispatching these models until early January. Whilst the vessel has recently unloaded at Port Botany ongoing delays at the port are causing extensive delays in delivery times. Our recent LHO/KP shipment took twice the usual time to get from the port to Seven Hills.

Whilst many of our customers would have seen the completed range at the Brisbane model train show this year. Upon inspection of the centennial model, after the exhibition, we noticed the cab side numerals (on one side only) were not centred vertically but offset to the centerline. With such a visual and prominent offset, we weren’t prepared to accept this and nor would we expect our customers to do so. Consequently, the entire production of these models required the cab section of the body to be remade.

Further inspection of all the other QR liveried blue and grey models highlighted a smaller quantity with the same error on one side of the cab also. 

This entailed disassembling the bodies, re-moulding the cab section, new painting and numbering and then the reassembly of many of the blue and grey models and all of the gold model.


NSWGR    LLW / NWLA    Well Wagon

Shipped from our suppliers about now, are the NSWGR LLW low load wagon, the LLW wagon + X200 load and the static model X200. These are due to arrive at Port Botany sometime around New Years.


NR34 Pacific National RAP Livery

This recently wrapped NR will be shipped in December and should be on sale late Jan ’24.


NEWS, General

Firstly, we like to present a brief overview of our supplier base. People often comment on the arrival times of various models, and some make mention of seemingly newer items arriving before long advertised products. We currently deal with six suppliers; some are historic partners from earlier days with Austrains, one we developed when an existing partnership collapsed and they’d not made a train previously, another is from the recent partnership with CGL Models. Some are specialists in steam engine design and production, several have their own tooling facilities in-house.

Almost all of them, are family-based businesses and relatively small in size. This can be good for flexibility however sometimes scheduling production accurately can be a challenge. Expected delivery dates we quote are based upon projections from our suppliers.

An unfortunate aspect of our hobby is that prices of raw materials and labour are continually increasing, coupled with a low exchange rate, prices must rise.

Commencing 1st January 2024 all DC powered models (except for the NR class, @ $295.00) will be $335.00 incl GST. All DCC Sound powered models (except for the NR class, @ $445.00) will be $485.00 incl GST.

We won’t be offering pre-order pricing on any models in the foreseeable future. We will though, continue to offer highly detailed models that reflect all the nuances of the prototype at competitive pricing. We always use genuine Kadee couplers, our wheels are always metal tyred with semi-finescale width treads, and our locomotive include MTC 21 pin motherboard and speakers.

We recently concluded the Phoenix Reproductions arrangement with the family of the Late John Eassie. These models will now form part of the SDS Models range and all the details will only be found on the SDS Models website. The Phoenix Models website is no longer current, nor is the facebook page.


 NEWS, Project development 

Victorian Railways T Class Diesel

As we’ve mentioned previously these models are being produced with our prime partner and as they have completed all the tooling requests, these models are now ready to commence production. We’ll provide regular updates of their progress and likely to simplify assembly we’ll complete them as classes.

In addition to the all new tooling of the T2 version, a model not previously available in RTR plastic, we’ve changed each and every item of the old Austrains high and low nose model base. To the extent the only carry over parts is roof mounted horn. In fact, even the chassis base has been narrowed to accommodate the new slimline engine hood. The fuel tanks and battery boxes are now T class series specific, the bogie sideframes have corrected narrowed pedestals improving their appearance and the gearing is now a newer lower ratio. The models are plug and play with an MTC 21 pin interface motherboard and a speaker is standard. The headlights, marker lights are split and will feature the same logic as the VR D3 with white/white, red/red and white/red scrolling option. 


Victorian Railways Series 2  Y Class Diesel

The retooling of these models is also completed, the design brief mirrors the T class project in corrected detail. These models will feature all new LED lighting, new logic and control functions making them ideal to operate together with our T class models. The new lower gear ratios are shared with the T class, the bogie sideframes have been brought to life with some visual improvements and we’ve added a spoked wheel set for earlier models.

These will commence assembly sometime in near future and be produced concurrently with the later series T classes.


Victorian Railways K Class Steam Engine

On our recent visit to Dongguan in September 2023, this project consumed most of our time and energy, as it did on our previous visit in September 2019. Many people will recall the display samples we had at Caulfield in August 2022 and the commitment we made to start assembly very soon thereafter. The unfortunate part was, that subsequent testing of the model post Caufield highlighted running issues that required fixing. Whilst 2023 came and went, we now have a commitment to commence assembly in the new year. All the components required to make these models have been onsite for more than 18 months. We should be able to show some factory painted and pre-production samples quite soon, production will occur immediately we have signed off on the samples.

We recently concluded the Phoenix Reproductions arrangement with the family of the Late John Eassie. These models will now form part of the SDS Models range and can be found on the SDS Models website. The Phoenix Models website is no longer current, nor is the facebook page.

Customers with outstanding orders with Eureka Models will be supplied by them directly. Please ensure you have nominated your choice of running number and livery with Eureka Models as once we commence assembly the production quantities cannot be varied.  


The QR 1620 Class, TGR Y Class and WAGR F Class

          

We’ve had running samples of these models for some time. Presently our supplier is trialing colours, painting and lining sampling with us. This is a huge undertaking as each colour is presented to them as a swatch of paint on plastic card. They then match the sample and return their interpretation of colour to us to approve. Once we’ve achieve the desired shade control they can progress onto body painted sampling which includes lining and number colours. To date we’ve being to’ing and fro’ing on colours for about 9 months. We should be able to display fully painted and lined samples shortly. Delivery will be around mid 2024.


NSWGR K Truck

This project is nearing assembly stage, we have past the colour sampling and body printing stages with assembled running models. The Kadee couplers are in transit to mainland China and we have the model box samples here to sign off on. Assembly should be complete around early April ’24 with arrival here about 6 weeks later.


SAR 8300 Brake Van

Painted samples have arrived for final approval. Plastic part production will commence in December with completion due by mid-April ’24. We are aiming for a June delivery, in time for the AMRE.  


SAR 700 Class Carriages

Whilst we haven’t commenced assembly yet of these passenger carriages, the recent arrival of the LHO/LHY/KP models from the same vendor is a great step closer to achieving delivery. These guys suffered immensely during the past 3 years with the principals of the business living in Hong Kong during the pandemic, their factory is in Dongguan. Production stood still for almost 3 years, now we have 3 projects with them, and they are all progressing. 


NSWGR S Truck re-run and Shunters Float

These parts are now being moulded and metal parts are bought in. This will be their fourth production of S trucks under the Austrains NEO branding and the assembly and delivery should occur early 2024.


NSWGR LFX/HCX carriages

These are a relatively straight forward re-run of the Austrains models with the exception of the side window glazing. We’ll improve the appearance of the glazing by having the outside face fit closer to the window frame. When this tooling was relocated by Austrains some years ago the mansard roof tool was lost. Whilst we remake the roof tool, we’ll take the opportunity to make a new mansard roofed LFX body. This new LFX will represent the original style plain sided raised edge panelling carriage that CME Thow introduced. 


 VR ELF ELX ESX Open Wagon

 The tooling process has commenced, engineering samples will be available in Feb ’24. These wagons are based upon the earlier Austrains models however they have been upgraded to contemporary standards with new finer detailed sides and ends, improved chassis, bogie and brake gear. Our future re-release program will also encompass the corrugated sided versions, the SAR plain and corrugated versions and the many variations found on today's railways.


NSWGR   D50 / D53 Class Locomotive

 Progress of this project has been slow of late due to some factors mentioned above, however we have finished the design and are waiting for the tooling to begin. 


NSWR KB Bulk Mail Van

Engineering samples will be available in Feb ‘24


NSWR FG Carriage

Tooling has commenced and we’ll have decorated samples available mid-2024.


In other news,

 We have an all new AN DL class diesel partially retooled. Engineering samples will be available late Jan ’24. The improvements will reflect the nuances we have applied to the VR T class and VR Y class models. The DL model will be available in two versions. The ‘as delivered’ version with original front pilot and lower square edged fuel tank and the later ‘current’ version with revised front pilot and radiused lower edge fuel tank. New tri-mount bogies, improved body appearance, new logic control and lighting are all standard features.
As several road numbers still wear original AN green/yellow paintwork and NRC bluegrey/marigold paintwork we intend to offer some in contemporary ‘faded’ paint finish.  

For 2024 we will re-run some of the following freight wagons; NSW 45’ rail tank cars, NSWR 80’ JCW container wagon, NSWR 63’ OCY/NQOY container wagon, NSWR PRX/NPRY cement wagon and selected MRC variants.