I recently picked up the 1983 Wester River Railroad model kit on ePay. I debated whether or not I should assemble it: the box was trashed, but the kit itself is in pristine condition.
I decided to go ahead and build the thing; it's consistent with my philosophy of "burn the fancy candles, use the guest towels and drink the good wine". That is, I don't believe in turning functional items into art, or saving things for a "special day". If something was meant to be used, it should be used unless there's some overriding reason, such as it being a historic artifact.
While rare, I don't think this model elevates to quite the level of "arc of the covenant", so I'm going to construct it. I'll post photos of the construction here as the project progresses.
First up: I needed to decide if I am going to build it as originally intended or "plus it" a bit. The main components are molded in color and it is billed as "ready to assemble", so (in theory) one could just start cutting and gluing. But the colors aren't quite right and some pieces are just plain wrong. For example, the boiler and smokebox/smokestack are all one piece, molded in red. That would look terrible if assembled as is, so I have to paint at least that section. So, if I'm painting some of it, I might as well paint all of it and try to make it as accurate as possible... or at least as accurate as my humble modeling skills allow.
I also considered making it an Ernest S. Marsh rather than a Rio Grande. However, even though both engines are based on the D&RG Montezuma, there are some very significant differences between the Marsh and the Rio Grande. For example, all of the Tokyo locomotives have forward steam domes. I didn't want to have to take the scalpel to too much of the model, so the Rio Grande it will be.
I'll post photos of the kit as it came out-of-the-box later today.
did you build the model yet? What scale is it?