SLC Update – 27 January 2021

Hi everyone, hope you’re staying safe and well during these uncertain times. The end of November last year saw the release of the SE&CR ‘H’ class add-on and I must say thank you to everyone who has purchased the add-on so far, I hope you’re enjoying it.

With the ‘H’ class done it’s straight onto the next project the Lord Nelson class.

Examining drawings held at Search Engine in York has been an immeasurable help in finding some variations and details that would have otherwise been impossible to identify. So having got some new higher resolution drawings into Blender, the first step was to create as many animation rigs that I could without a physical model present. As a result I now have a rig for all four sets of valve gear, the cylinder drain cock linkage, the dampers and sander linkage.

With that accomplished, onto the modelling. Some like to build a complete base model and then in effect graft variations onto that model. Personally I prefer to have all the variations for a particular component modelled, ie all of the cylinder types, as it helps me ensure that everything fits together correctly.

So the current state of progress:

It might seem unbelievable, but in just these pictures I could show over 20 variations. Most are cylinder/blastpipe changes, but a few are frame differences.

You wouldn’t think the locomotive frames would have much in the way of variations, but steam locomotives have a knack for surprising you. As just one example of frame variation compare this photograph of 850 Lord Nelson with 857 Lord Howe.

Rail-Online: Lord Nelson 4-6-0 &emdash; 850 1930s Stewarts lane Rail-Online: Lord Nelson 4-6-0 &emdash; 857 1937-06 Eastleigh Works

Focus on the lightening hole between the middle and rear driving wheels. On No.850 this was a stadium shape (it is a little tricky to see on the photograph, look just above the coupling rod), whereas on every other member of the class a circular hole was made in the frames. You might easily miss that detail, but once you’ve seen it you can’t ignore it. Yet amazingly not one of the books about the class that I’ve read has pointed this detail out.

As I mentioned previously the drawings held at Search Engine have been a real help. If I have a drawing I don’t have to guess the dimensions, though interpreting a 2d drawing with no photographs is a challenge in itself. One of those challenging components was the Kylchap blastpipe.

As can be seen from the finished product, the curves in all three directions made it a difficult object to make, but the results more than justify the effort.

In other SLC news…

I’m pleased to say that the U class add-on is back on the website. The add-on was withdrawn in November 2018 due to a couple of issues being reported by customers. At the time I wasn’t able to fix them, but due to the influx of enquiries about the add-on as it is used in a number of scenarios that are available, I took another look. While I haven’t been able to fix all of the issues, enough has been done that I can justify putting it back on sale. However, the U class add-on is now approaching ten years since it was released and the add-on is not up to the standards of current SLC add-on’s. Therefore the re-release has a caveat. The add-on is ONLY intended for use as AI traffic in scenario’s. If you choose to use the add-on as a player-driven engine you will only be able to drive the engine using the keyboard or the HUD as I was unable to fix the inability to move the cab controls with the mouse. I can still only offer limited technical support.

While I won’t be posting every week, or indeed, every month, as progress on the Lord Nelson continues I plan to post an update whenever I can. Until next time …

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