Apologies for the lack of updates over the past few months. April was a hectic month outside of SLC work, and due to various decisions that I have taken it would have been premature to reveal what I’ve been working on. A couple of weeks ago I posted a clue on the ‘In Development’ page, and I am now able to reveal what that secret project is.
It’s easy to think that producing a pack of coaches is a simple matter, but in many respects, building coaches is more complicated and involved than locomotives. As I mentioned in a previous blog post I now have several projects on the go at any one time, including the remaining two Trio ‘B’ packs, allowing me to adapt to circumstances and changing interests. Consequently, I may have projects underway that I have announced. One of which is…
The SR Maunsell ‘Z’ class!
While the ‘Z’ class engines were a small class, only 8 being built, they have a fascinating history and I’m looking forward to revealing some of that history in the add-on and the accompanying manual.
Modelling work is progressing well and scripting, as well as sound setup, has already started. Keep an eye on the blog for more information.
I’m pleased to announce that the second Trio ‘B’ pack is now available. Pack 2 focuses on the SE&CR ‘Wellington’ brown livery used from 1916 until the grouping in 1923.
The same 6 different coach diagrams that were in pack 1 are included, with 2 different versions of the brown livery available:
SECR Clean Brown
SECR/SR Weathered Brown
In 1923 the Southern Railway renumbered the SE&CR sets, with the Trio ‘B’s becoming 515 – 528. It seems likely that the new set numbers were applied to trains even when the coaches remained in SECR brown. Additionally, the roof destination board brackets appear to have been removed around this period and replaced by side destination brackets.
The exact period covered by this pack will vary with each coach. Some like Diagram 2335/2 No. 667 received SR Green very early (October 1923) while others like Diagram 2331/2 No. 813 & Diagram 2332/2 No. 840 were not repainted into SR colours until October 1929.
While compiling a list of the changes required for pack 2, I found a photograph that showed class designations and coach numbers on the inside of the coach door. Once I’d figured out how to achieve this efficiently on one of the coaches in pack 2, this feature was applied to pack 1 and was included in the recent update earlier in the month.
V1.2 of pack 1 is also now available, this fixes a couple of issues with the coaches and some minor alterations to the manual. Customers should receive an email notification within the next 24 hours.
In pack 3 the Trio ‘B’s enter Southern Railway ownership and green becomes the dominant colour for the next 20 years.
A big thank you to everyone who has purchased the first Trio B pack, I hope you’re enjoying the coaches. Work on the remaining packs is well underway. Rather than getting one pack finished and moving on to the next, I’ve decided to get one coach finished in each of the packs. This allows me to check that I’m happy with the overall appearance of each livery before starting on the remaining coaches.
In the meantime, I thought you might be interested in seeing some Work In Progress shots of the upcoming liveries.
But that’s not all I have for this post. It’s always been my intention, whenever possible, to keep my add-ons up to date. However, because I’ve been working in a very linear fashion, scheduling a slot for updating add-ons has been a challenge, with the inevitable results that they haven’t got done.
However, I’ve changed the way I work and as the ‘Schools’ class is the most popular SLC add-on it is the first add-on that will be upgraded.
What will be involved in the update process?
Any parts of the model which are not up to standards or incorrect will be remade/altered.
The texturing will be completely redone, and texturing techniques like those on the Trio ‘B’ coaches will be used.
The soundset will be heavily reworked with a large number of new sounds.
The latest SLC scripting will be applied.
The add-on will be expanded to include all members of the class.
Additional liveries and variations will be added.
As a result of a large number of changes planned, this will not be a free update for existing customers. However, there will be some form of discount for anyone who owns the SLC ‘Schools’ add-on that is currently available.
The update won’t be happening overnight, so keep an eye on the blog for any updates.
Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well. A new year, new goals and a new look. The website needed a refresh as I haven’t changed its appearance much since I started SLC. Hopefully, the new look will make it easier for you to find what you’re after.
Talking of things you might be interested in, having included the Maunsell push-pull coaches with the ‘H’ class add-on, I’ve decided to go a step further. I’m pleased to announce the release of the first SLC rolling stock add-on, the SE&CR Trio ‘B’s.
In the past, when I’ve released locomotive DLC, all of the liveries are included in the one pack. It’s easier to produce updates and reuse textures, making the add-on more efficient. However, with the coaches, there is the opportunity to produce multiple packs, each focusing on a particular era. The first pack focuses on the period 1909 – 1916.
So what’s included in the pack.
Diagram 2303/2 Tri-Composite Brake – 15 coaches (14 used in the type ‘B’ sets)
Diagram 2331/1 Tri-Composite Lavatory – 13 coaches (5 used in the type ‘B’ sets)
Diagram 2331/2 Tri-Composite Lavatory – 15 coaches (5 used in the type ‘B’ sets)
Diagram 2335/1 Tri-Composite Lavatory – 9 coaches (1 used in the type ‘B’ sets)
Diagram 2335/2 Tri-Composite Lavatory – 15 coaches ( 3 used in the type ‘B’ sets)
Diagram 2332/2 Brake Third – 20 coaches (15 used in the type ‘B’ sets)
Two liveries are included, SE&CR ‘purple lake’ which was used until 1910/1912 and the light ‘crimson’ that replaced it.
There are several customisable features that you can select by changing the dynamic number. These include:
Brake end set numbers
Destination boards, with selectable destinations
Compartment window type
Variants with and without window bars are also included, along with ready to place Quick Drive consists and fragments for you to create your own.
The remaining three packs will appear soon. I hope to show some preview pictures before they are released.
Hi Everyone, I hope you’re all well and staying safe.
I know I’ve not posted anything for a while, but hopefully, this blog will make up for the lack of updates during the summer.
H Class V1.3
I’m pleased to announce the release of V1.3 of the ‘H’ class add-on. I’d had the update planned, but when a customer raised an issue recently, it seemed like the ideal opportunity to get the update done.
Let’s say I got a little carried away. What was intended to be updating a few textures turned into something larger, but I’m delighted with the results and I hope you’ll enjoy the update too.
So the list of changes/additions in V1.3 are:
Adjusted collision boxes on all locomotive models.
Altered reflectiveness and shininess of smokebox texture.
Adjusted sander steam particles.
Added sound to the steam sander.
Steam sanders now have a delay between opening the valve and sand being applied.
Altered colour of SE&CR Brunswick Green.
Altered colour of SE&CR Dark Red.
Added early SR Green (LSWR Green) model.
Corrected the shade of Dark Maunsell Green.
Added 1938 style of lining Dark Maunsell Green model.
Altered colour of Bulleid style lettering and numerals.
Altered colour of Bulleid ‘Sunshine’ style lettering and numerals.
Added 4 styles of Gill Sans numbering (8” Yellow, 8” Straw, 10” Yellow, 10” Straw).
BR Clean Transitional (now combined with BR Transitional livery).
Altered shades of Red, Grey, Cream & Yellow BR lining.
Added 2017 No. 263 Livery
Corrected colour of Gill Sans lettering and numerals on PP coaches.
Added lighting to PP coaches (turns on automatically at night time).
Another change I’ve made that might not be obvious is the use of AP files. While these don’t save you any storage space they do allow the add-on to benefit from the fast loading feature which was enabled as standard in Train Simulator 2022.
Lord Nelson Update
Work on the Lord Nelson add-on got put on hold during the summer as another project jumped into first place. As this project nears completion, I should be able to restart work on the Lord Nelson in the new year.
What is this mysterious project? Well, I’ll just leave this little teaser here.
The clocks have changed, the days are getting longer and spring is most definitely here. Work at SLC continues apace and I hope to soon release a scenario pack for the ‘H’ class.
I’m pleased to announce that V1.2 of the ‘H’ class add-on was released today. This update focuses mainly on improvements to the vacuum ejector and braking scripts, but there are a couple of other adjustments/fixes. Driving the ‘H’ is a much more interesting experience and I hope you enjoy it.
It’s been over two months since I last did an update on the ‘Lord Nelson’. While work hasn’t stopped, I like to try and show completely finished components in the blog posts. My focus has been on completing the bogie, bogie wheels, driving wheels, as well as the outside and inside motion. This task is made harder by the fact that across the classes lifetime everything except the bogie wheels received some change or modification. Oh well, they say variety is the spice of life, but right now I feel like I’ve got indigestion! Hopefully I’ll have a more visual update on the Nelson’s in the near future, so keep an eye on the blog.
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.
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 …
Well, I haven’t done one of these in a while, let’s see how rusty I am!
It’s time for a long overdue blog post.
I can only apologize for my year of silence. Rather than creating a complete locomotive and then adding the variations and liveries, the way I tend to work is to create all the variations simultaneously; that way I can check that everything fits together correctly. The downside is that I don’t have any complete in game screenshots to show until shortly before the model is complete.
The ‘H’ class has been a bit of a rollercoaster to create. I’ve mentioned previously that some of the variations and changes which will be included with the add-on have never, as far as my research has been able to ascertain, been identified. The Search Engine archives at the National Railway Museum have been very helpful in ensuring that items like the pipes for the Westinghouse brakes, vacuum brakes and steam heat system, are in the correct places.
However, while examining some original drawings last year for the Lord Nelson add-on, I took the opportunity to look at the drawings of the cab, tank and bunkers for the ‘H’ class. The result of this was that I realised my model did not match the stated dimensions. In some places the difference was less than 1/4 in but in others was close to or over 1 in. At first glance that might not seem a huge amount, but the dimensions of the cab affect the position and dimensions of other components which in turn impact other parts, and soon what started as a 1 in difference has increased to 2 maybe 3 inches. Therefore, I took the decision to rebuild as many components as was necessary to reduce the dimensional differences, which in the end, resulted in around 75% of the model being rebuild or modified. But the results were, I think, worth it.
The SE&CR austerity grey livery, has quickly become one of my favourites, there’s something purposeful and workman like in it’s appearance.
I can’t give an exact date of completion for the add-on as there’s a number of new techniques that I’m testing in addition to the normal development cycle.
However, work has not been solely focused on the ‘H’ class. As I mentioned previously, research on the Lord Nelson class has included viewing original works drawings. Cataloguing the variations for any locomotive add-on is a time consuming task, but with the Lord Nelson’s it’s made even harder because of the more than 200 photographs I have to go through, many of which don’t have the date or year the picture was taken. But in the meantime, I decided to make a start on building what components I could with the aid of the original works drawings I viewed at the NRM. The first major component to be nearing completion is the cab for No. 850 when it was brand new in August 1926.
While this blog post isn’t a “The H class is now available”, I hope it’s given an insight into why things take longer than I want them to. I’m continually learning new things as a developer, where would the fun be if we didn’t keep learning.
One aspect of Train Simulator that I’ve been dabbling with recently is scenario creation. You may have noticed that there is a new section on the SLC website for scenarios. Here I’ll be uploading occasional scenarios that I’ve created and hopefully you’ll enjoy playing.
Hi everyone, another month, time for another blog post.
Work on the ‘H’ class continues and the end is most definitely in sight. It’s amazing how adding the little details to a model takes so much time in comparison to completing the large objects like boiler, smokebox etc. But it’s worth the effort in my opinion as those little details add so much character to a locomotive.
Because things like pipes often pass through the floor or cab sides, these big objects can’t be put into the game until the smaller items are finished and I’m happy with their positions. So while I still don’t have any renders of the locomotive in game to show, I thought you might enjoy a couple of renders of some of the more unusual items I’ve had to build for this add-on.
This might look a lot like a Westinghouse air pump, but is in fact the heart of the Ashford steam reverser. The various rods you can see are all essential in the operation of the steam reverser and as such will all move in the game.
The second item I wanted to show is the Ashford Works builders plate that was attached to the front splashers of the ‘H’ class, though some locomotives had their’s removed in later life. As you can see the lettering is all 3D and this will be the standard for things like the brass cabside numbers and BR numberplates.
I mentioned in the last blog post that some of the variations that will be included with the add-on, are ones that have never been revealed before. While I’m not going to say what those are just yet, I can say that the add-on will feature over 40 detail changes, some big, some small, that will be adjustable either through the dynamic numbering or will have separate locomotive models.
In terms of liveries, I planning on including 10, with some changes like logos being controlled by the dynamic numbering.
The manual will be a bit different from normal, as I’m going to be splitting it into two documents. One will be focused on using the add-on, while the other will focus on the history of the class and the various changes made over the years. This will hopefully make it easier to find information, rather than having to wade through a 40 page manual just to find a particular keyboard shortcut for example.
Another first for this model will be in the included stock, again I’m not going to reveal what it is at the moment, but to say I’m excited is an understatement.
In summary the ‘H’ will be a big leap forward for SLC in so many aspects and hopefully will be worth the wait.