Monday, 26 March 2018

Poll: Coaching Stock Packs

It's opinion time! Please nobody get upset, there are no right or wrong answers, just individual thoughts.

Somebody asked us today if the GWR County pack would come with GWR Pullman coaches. The fact is that coaches take almost as much work to build as a loco (although variants are quicker once you have a base version) and adding a passenger view increases the job hugely.
Consequently there is no way we could add coaches (of the quality we would want to produce) to an engine pack when we already provide a dozen or more liveries and options, advanced features and custom sound sets.
Please note: There will be some new rolling stock with the Counties, just not coaches.

So, we got to thinking, how would people feel if we produced a coach pack? Good idea, or not a good idea?
The other thought that's quite important is the passenger view - how important is it to people? To my mind they are a pleasant novelty - you load up for the first time, you jump into the passenger view and you think "Hey, that's really cool". And then you never use it ever again!
Because Train Simulator doesn't have a self driving passenger mode isn't it hard to ever sit comfortably for more than 20-30 seconds and enjoy a journey in a passenger view?
A passenger view is a TON of extra time and work (and also loads additional resources into a sim that people often struggle with to get decent performance), and it doesn't feel to me as if it's worth the time.
What would be better.. 1 coach and passenger view, or 5 variations of that coach with no view?

I could be completely wrong on this and I would love other opinions hence why we have the survey below and please feel free to comment as well - here, on forum threads or on Facebook.

Or you might just prefer we stick to locos and you don't want/need any more coaches anyway
Important: We're not suggesting we stop making locos but maybe we throw in a coaching pack or two at some point between locos.

So lets us know your thoughts, and thank you.

Thoughts on coaching stock packs

Yes, build some coaches, no need for a passenger view
Yes, build some coaches but they MUST have a passenger view
No, no, no! Build nothing but locos!
Created with PollMaker

Friday, 23 March 2018

GWR County (1000 Class): More Modelling WIP


Continuing from our last blog post, the County receives a thorough riveting. Seen here with a temporary British Railways lining to help get the correct placement.


And finally the engine is complete - on both sides!



Next task was the tender. These tenders were rather unique, being an 8'6" wide version of the 8' Hawksworth tender and built specifically for the Counties. They held 7 tons of coal and 4000 gallons of water as well as being fitted with a water scoop for additional collection en-route.



The basic outline takes shape and then we add the details.



Due to the location of the tools in a "tunnel" on the left hand side of the tender it's a tricky task to create a coal load that will animate as it's used. Here we have WIP images of a coloured coal load (in about 4 parts) to check that it can seamlessly run down without leaving large gaps or breaking through other parts of the tender.
Also seen are some small piles of coal overspill - a common sight on working engines that were filled via large coaling stations.



So that gives us an engine and a tender...



Next up, the cab!

Friday, 16 March 2018

GWR County (1000 Class): Modelling WIP

Continuing with work on the GWR County from last week...

The cylinders are now formed, the smokebox has a door on it and outside pipes fitted, and the very distinctive straight splashers are in place - with a nameplate and 3D name for testing. There are three sizes of nameplate used on the Counties; 72", 78" and 87" depending on the length of the name.


A view from the other side shows the difference in the splasher due to the reverser rod. This exits the cab, passes behind the nameplate (which sits further out than on the left side to accommodate this) and meets the reverse arm which goes through a cut-out in the splasher. The right hand side also has the typical GWR vacuum pump.


Back to the other side and the double chimney is now in place. As we said last week we will be creating all versions of the County which will include the single, double and test chimney versions in GWR and BR specifications. This side will also have the speedometer equipment on the rear wheel which was fitted to the Counties in the early 1950's under BR.


The safety bonnet and injector feeds are added, along with the cab roof.


Back to the other side again and you can see that the rails and much of the pipework have been added along with the BR fittings for the smokebox door.


The main engine is very nearly complete and ready for a going over with the digital rivet gun!

Friday, 9 March 2018

GWR County (1000 Class): First Look

With the LNER Raven Q6 now released it is time for us to show our next project and as promised it is the last of the GWR two cylinder 4-6-0 engines, the 1000 Class County (not to be confused with the same named 3800 County class, a series of 4-4-0 engines that were designed by Churchward and built four decades earlier).

Credit John Sydney

The "Late" County (as it was also known) was the final development of the two cylinder Saint class (which we also built for Train Simulator) by the Great Western Railway and was designed by Frederick Hawksworth as a test bed for his idea of building a GWR 4-6-2 (Pacific) locomotive, which actually never happened as no more express locomotives were needed at the time. Built at Swindon from 1945 the County had many of the improvements that were taken from the Modified Hall class and with a very high boiler pressure of 280psi as built they had 1000lbs more tractive effort than the Castle class.
No. 1000 "County of Middlesex" was built with a double chimney, whilst the other 29 members of the class were built with single chimneys however under BR No. 1009 "County of Carmarthen" was fitted with an experimental double chimney and 4-row super heater and after successful testing all members of the class received these modifications between 1956-59.

We will be producing all 30 members of the class, in both the late GWR livery and BR livery along with options for double and single chimneys as well as the experimental version. All of our usual standard and advanced features will be included and maybe some extra surprises as well.

Always wanting to improve our products we have already experimented with a new way to create numbering and nameplates for the County and have had some excellent results.
Compare this image of old vs new for the number plates...


Sadly none of the 1000 class Counties were preserved at the end of steam however the Great Western Society at Didcot are currently working on a new build (using many existing, compatible parts) of 1014 "County of Glamorgan" and details can be found at http://www.gwcountyproject.org.uk/index.html

So with the short history lesson aside, how are we getting on? As usual we start with the wheels and a rough boiler shape.


Then the lower frames are added.


Next come the cylinders (just simple shapes at this point), the firebox and a simple cab outline. Add the front buffer beam (and buffers) along with driving and connecting rods and she's starting show those fine lines of a GWR engine.


Lots more WIP images to come next week.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Raven (LNER) Q6: Features and Contents



With the release of the Q6 closing in we thought we would provide our usual features and contents list so you know exactly what to expect from our latest DLC.

Taken from the manual..

  • Simple, standard and advanced driving modes
  • Xbox controller support SIMPLE AND STANDARD MODES ONLY

  • Raven Q6 (NER Class T2) Locomotive
    • NER Early Lined Livery (Small number plate)
    • NER Late Lined Livery (Large number plate)
    • LNER Black livery
    • LNER Wartime Black Livery
    • LNER Post-War Black Livery
    • British Railways 1948-49 Livery
      • Clean and Dirty
    • British Railways 1950-56 Livery
      • Clean and Dirty
    • British Railways 1956-67 Livery
      • Clean and Dirty
    • Preserved NER Lined Livery
    • Preserved British Railways Livery
  • Optional parts and fittings including steam heat dial, external vacuum brake pipe, 5 types of piston cap, overhead warning labels and more
  • Custom sound sets inside and out
  • Realistic cab with multiple views, including dual “head out” and fully modelled firebox and coal
  • Realistic wheel slip physics and effects ADVANCED MODE ONLY
  • Simulated steam chest ADVANCED MODE ONLY
  • Proportional engine brake
  • Realistic train pipe and reservoir vacuum braking (preserved version) ADVANCED MODE ONLY
  • Cylinder cock management  ADVANCED MODE ONLY
  • Boiler management with priming possible ADVANCED MODE ONLY
  • Realistic injector control ADVANCED MODE ONLY
  • Realistic “by the shovel” stoking with synchronised sound ADVANCED MODE ONLY
  • Dynamic steam and smoke colour and quantity
  • Realistic boiler water gauges effected by gradient, acceleration and speed and with blow down test
  • Opening windows (with rain effects) and roof hatch
  • Dynamic lamp setting
  • Cab light effects including flickering firebox glow
  • Atmospheric AI effects

  • Rolling stock
    • BR Conflat S
      • Empty
      • Dry ice containers
        • White
        • White with tarpaulin
        • Wood
        • Wood with tarpaulin
    • NER 20 ton Hopper
      • NER Grey
        • Empty
        • Coal
        • Coal Dust
      • BR Grey
        • Empty
        • Coal
      • BR Unpainted
        • Empty
        • Coal
    • NER 12 ton 6 Plank Wagon
      • NE Grey (Unfitted)
        • Empty
        • Heavy load with tarpaulin
        • Light load with tarpaulin
        • Ceramic pipes
        • Sacks
      • NE Oxide (Fitted)
        • Empty
        • Heavy load with tarpaulin
        • Light load with tarpaulin
        • Ceramic pipes
        • Sacks
        • Carboys
      • BR Grey (Unfitted)
        • Empty
        • Heavy load with tarpaulin
        • Light load with tarpaulin
        • Ceramic pipes
        • Sacks
      • BR Bauxite (Fitted)
        • Empty
        • Heavy load with tarpaulin
        • Light load with tarpaulin
        • Ceramic pipes
        • Sacks
        • Carboys
    • NER 13 ton Steel Wagon
      • NE Grey (Unfitted)
        • Empty
        • Heavy load with tarpaulin
        • Light load with tarpaulin
        • Ceramic pipes
        • Sacks
      • NE Oxide (Fitted)
        • Empty
        • Heavy load with tarpaulin
        • Light load with tarpaulin
        • Ceramic pipes
        • Sacks
      • BR Grey (Unfitted)
        • Empty
        • Heavy load with tarpaulin
        • Light load with tarpaulin
        • Ceramic pipes
        • Sacks
      • BR Bauxite (Fitted)
        • Empty
        • Heavy load with tarpaulin
        • Light load with tarpaulin
        • Ceramic pipes
        • Sacks
    • LNER/BR Brake Van
      • Dynamic lamps


Work continues apace on the GWR Late County and we will start showing pictures of our progress very soon. But it seems fitting to finish with one of our favourite images of the Q6 from one of the included scenarios which reflects the current weather for much of the country.


Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Raven (LNER) Q6: Rolling Stock, Part 2

Today we have the last of the Raven Q6 blog posts before its release showing the rest of the included rolling stock.
Continuing the trend of heavy freight the next item of stock is the NER 20 ton coal hopper wagon. These were being built in huge numbers from 1903 and in total there were over 17,000 of them on the network.


This particular version was to Diagram 12 of which 7,000 were built and they were used on heavy coal trains from the numerous pits in the North East of England.
We have provided these hoppers as empty (seen above), full...


.. and also as a coal dust carrier. Coal dust was surprisingly useful (being effectively a "left over" product from all the coal for fires) and was used extensively by power stations. Carried in these hoppers a tarpaulin would be securely placed over the filled wagon to stop rain turning it into 20 tons of coal paste!


These hoppers became part of BR stock in 1948 and were so useful that there are reports of them still being seen working as late as 1968. We have provided these in a worn BR grey and also as they later appeared, with all of the paint worn off and the metal fittings suitably rusted.



These are both supplied as empty and full versions.
And it would not be a Victory Works product without an option so mixed into the authentic numbering is the choice of the original wooden or later metal end supports seen below on the BR versions (both types are available for all NER and BR liveries).



Interestingly the wooden end supports would have originally extended downwards below the frames by about a foot to form drop buffers for use against chaldron wagons but the LNER decided to saw them off from 1925.

Finally we have everyones favourite container mover, the conflat. We have built conflats before for various products as they are extremely versatile and can be used to depict many loads but we are pretty sure that this type is new to Train Simulator (it certainly is for us) - the BR Conflat S, seen below in it's unloaded state.


We chose to build this one after coming across pictures of Q6's under British Railways being used on long freight trains carrying a specific item we had not seen in Train Simulator before...



Cardice, solid CO2 or as it's also known.. dry ice. Loaded in these large insulated containers (2 to a conflat) it was used heavily in the food industry but also in manufacturing and a large amount of it was produced at a plant in Billingham and as well as being used locally was carried all over the Northern network by the railways.

We have seen these crates uncovered as seen above, covered with a tarpaulin and have also seen some unpainted instances all within a single train. We have provided all of these (along with the empty conflat) so you can create a nice mix of consists.




And that brings us to the end of the Raven (LNER) Q6. We hope you have liked what you have seen and we are expecting that it will available to purchase very soon.

Meanwhile there is no rest for us and we are straight into our next project, the GWR (1000) County class. We had a little play earlier in the week with a new idea and now we need to build an engine to attach them to!

Friday, 16 February 2018

Raven (LNER) Q6: Rolling Stock, Part 1

Today we have Part 1 of the rolling stock that is included with the Raven Q6 DLC. We'll have Part 2 next week as there are a lot of images.

We start with the humble open wagon. This one is wood, built from 1932 with a 10ft wheelbase and able to carry 12 tons. These 6 plank wagons were mass produced and there were 15,000 unfitted examples by the 1940's.


Seen here empty we have added various loads all set with the correct weights, including...


... heavy loads, often minerals that needed to be kept dry (the heavy weight meant that the wagon was not completely full and the tarpaulins would dip down into the wagon...


... light loads (the opposite of above, a light load would stick out of the wagon and be secured with the tarpaulin)...


... ceramic pipes, needing no covering they were packed in with wood and straw...


... sacks, mostly root vegetables or goods that would not become spoiled travelling in damp sacks.

This wagon was also produced in a fitted version, numbering 6,000 units.
Here we see one filled with 5 gallon Carboys, a glass container with a thin neck often used in the brewing process.


The fitted versions also have other appropriate loads available, seen here is the heavy loaded tarpaulin.


Many of these wagons survived into British Railways service and were used all over the northern network. These come with various loads as above, with just a small sample shown below.





All numbering is dynamic covering thousands of each type of wagon and the tarpaulin numbers are unique as well.


Next we have another stalwart of freight movements but this time made from steel. These also had a 10ft wheelbase and could carry 13 tons of goods. The type seen here is unfitted and with wooden side doors.


Again there are plenty of loads to choose from to create unique and varied consists.


500 were also produced as fitted wagons but having metal side doors.


And as with the wooden wagons many of these were taken into British Railways service and used up to and beyond the end of steam.



Again, there are many optional loads for each type of wagon with correct weight values and all numbering is dynamic, as are the tarpaulin numbers.

Next week we'll take a look at the rest of the rolling stock which includes a large mineral wagon and an unusual conflat load.