The development of physically-based models of microstructural evolution during thermomechanical processing of metallic materials requires knowledge of the internal state variable data, such as microstructure, texture and dislocation substructure characteristics, over a range of processing conditions. This is a particular problem for steels, where transformation of the austenite to a variety of transformation products eradicates the hot deformed microstructure. This paper reports on a model Fe-30wt%Ni based alloy, which retains a stable austenitic structure at room temperature, and has therefore been used to model the development of austenite microstructure during hot deformation of conventional low carbon-manganese steels. It also provides an excellent model alloy system for microalloy additions. Evolution of the microstructure and crystallographic texture was characterised in detail using optical microscopy, XRD, SEM, EBSD, and TEM. The dislocation substructure has been quantified as a function of crystallographic texture component for a variety of deformation conditions for the Fe-30%Ni base alloy. An extension to this study, as the use of a microalloyed Fe-30% Ni-Nb alloy in which the strain-induced precipitation mechanism was studied directly. The work has shown that precipitation can occur at a much finer scale and higher number density than hitherto considered, but that pipe diffusion leads to rapid coarsening. The implications of this for model development are discussed.