Where do you start with rolling stock?

The first ready-to-run, mass produced Australian N Scale model on the market - Aust-N-Rail's GY wagon. An excellent model and a must for any Victorian N Scaler. Aust-N-Rail's G512, the second ready-to-run locomotive, after Powerline's Series 2 X Class. Unlike Powerline's hand made models, these were cast and painted in China.

When I first ventured into Victorian N Scale as a raw beginner only a few years ago, finding kits was quite a challenge and buying something ready-to-run (RTR) just impossible. Things are changing dramatically. Over the last couple of years, Aust-N-Rail has released in ready to run form:

and for something from interstate: Planned for release in the latter half of 2009 is the VHGY grain wagon and an S Class diesel has been announced for later in 2009 or 2010.

Powerline Series 2 X class diesels were released a couple of years ago in Freight Australia (green and yellow) and Victorian Railways (blue and gold) liveries. In mid 2008, they announced plans for Series 3 X class in VR, VLine and FA, re-runs of Series 2 X class in the same three liveries and N class diesels. Of these, a limited number of Series 3 X Class in Freight Australia livery have been released so far. Trainworld is perhaps the best place to try for these.

Put some of these together and you have a few typical Victorian trains. A few samples below.

Aust-N-Rail "flat top" T and GY wagons (all ready-to-run) with a Spirit Design ZL guard van (kit) - 1960s-70s. Looks even better with another dozen or so GYs.
Powerline X with Aust-N-Rail GY (all ready-to-run) with Aust-N-Rail ZF Guard van (kit) - 1970s.
Aust-N-Rail V/Line G class loco with a few VHGY wagons (all ready-to-run) - 1980s.

Frate-N has a variety of RTR locos and wagons that can be mail ordered. Whilst most of these are NSW trains, some have found their way to Victoria at times. My personal preference is for “native” Victorian trains so these are not for me.

From there, you can move into assembling Aust-N-Rail and Spirit Design wagon kits, several of which are illustrated and described further on this web site. These have been the staple for Victorian modellers perhaps for the last decade, with the range slowly growing. For a bigger challenge but still within reach of beginners (which means even I can do it) is to get a loco kit such as the B Class, S Class or EL Class. These require painting and applying the decals supplied with the kit and some minor assembly. The catch is you have to buy an American diesel, pull off the exquisitely detailed replica of an American loco, now destined for the wastebasket and use the motor and chassis to put under the Australian body.

There is a range of brass etch kit locos available from N Scale Australia. While these are excellent models with a higher level of detail, they are more challenging to assemble, requiring soldering equipment and skill. I'll leave these alone for now.