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.
Hi everybody. I thought it was about time I wrote another blog post, so here we go.
Work on the ‘H’ class continues apace. January has been a busy month with a lot accomplished. Unfortunately though, I don’t have any in game screenshots to show in this blog post.
One reason I’m so excited to be bringing you the ‘H’ class is because of the little gems of new information that I’ve been able to uncover. There is precious little published, detailed, information on the history of the class besides D. L. Bradley’s The Locomotive History of the South Eastern & Chatham Railway from 1980. However, looking at photographs of the class during their working life has revealed several variations which have, as far as I have been able to ascertain, have never before been revealed in books or magazine articles.
It’s much the same story with the ‘Lord Nelson’. Research, which has included visiting the National Railway Museum to view original works drawings, has turned up a number of new variations/changes which haven’t been mentioned before.
Hopefully I’ll have some screenshots to show in the next blog post so keep checking the website.
The V1.3 update of the T9 has unfortunately had to be put on hold, as I need to gather more research on the Drummond 3,500 gallon tenders, among other things.
In the last blog post I mentioned one of the reasons why I’ve restarted the modelling on the Lord Nelson add-on. An additional factor is that I was hoping to release the add-on around the same time that 850 returned to steam after overhaul. As the overhaul hasn’t started yet, I’ve been working on a number of intermediate projects, including the ‘T9’. Another of these intermediate projects is nearing completion and I’m pleased to announce in this blog post that the next SLC add-on will be…
The Wainwright SE&CR ‘H’ class 0-4-4T
This beautifully proportioned 0-4-4T has been a class that I’ve been wanting to do for some time, so I’m thrilled to be building it for Train Simulator.
In a first for an SLC add-on there will be rolling stock included, I’m not going to reveal what just yet, but I’m confident you’ll all enjoy it!
Make sure you keep checking the blog, as my posts are irregular at best!
It’s been a while since the last blog post, so I though it was about time I gave an update of what’s been going on in the SLC workshop.
It’s now been 2 months since the release of the ‘T9’ and a big thank you must go to everyone who’s purchased the add-on, and also to those who have offered feedback.
As a result of said feedback I’m currently working on what will become V1.3 of the ‘T9’ add-on. While there will be a number of minor niggles fixed, the vast majority of the update will be adding new sounds and scripts. If you’ve purchased the ‘T9’ and have any feedback, then NOW is the time to send it in.
As well as the new sounds and scripts already mentioned the update will also add the 2 variants of the Drummond 3,500 gallon six-wheeled tender. Work on the 14 ft. wheelbase version is progressing well and a couple of renders are shown below.
I don’t know how long it will be before the update is released, so keep checking the blog for further updates.
Maunsell Lord Nelson
It might seem odd that in 2016 I was showing renders of a nearly complete Lord Nelson model and now seem to have reverted to the early stages of construction. The fact is that I’ve completely restarted the locomotive and tender models due to new research and new 3D modelling techniques that I’ve learnt while building the ‘T9’.
Work on researching the locomotive modifications is nearly complete, and work is well underway on the 4 different tenders.
Previously I’ve shown the progress on the flat-sided 5,000 gallon tender, which was the the usual style of tender coupled to a Lord Nelson. However, two Nelson’s, Nos. 852 and 853 were coupled to six-wheeled 4,000 gallon tenders from new until 1930. The 4,000 gallon tender was based on the flat-sided 5,000 gallon tender. This type of tender could be seen in various incarnations coupled to the Maunsell Moguls & Schools classes throughout Southern Railway and into BR days.
Hopefully it won’t be too long before I can show the first renders of the locomotive model.
That just about wraps up this post, thank you for reading.
Many thanks to everyone who has purchased the ‘T9’, it seems to have been received quite well and I’m always grateful for any feedback that you send me. Don’t forget you can get in touch via the contact us page on the website or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As the result of said feedback, I’m pleased today to release V1.1 of the ‘T9’ add-on.
The following changes/additions have been made:
Incorrect Facing BR First Emblem fixed
Sincere apologies for this blunder.
Added Incorrect BR Second Emblem tender
Photographs that I’ve not come across before have shown that most the of the ‘T9s’ to receive the second emblem, received the incorrect emblem with the lion facing forward on both sides.
Added section in manual regarding adding T9 to a scenario
Apologies for not adding this to the manual in the first place. There are also instructions on how to get the crew to appear in the cab.
Added see-through coal rails for LSWR, Early SR and Maunsell E liveries
The No. 120 preserved liveries are unaffected.
Modified Tender water bounding box
Hopefully any issues with filling the tenders should be gone.
F4 hud water level indicator fixed.
This turned out to be a conflict in the control part of the locomotive blueprint, all sorted now though.
I’m also pleased in this blog post to show of the first renders of the Maunsell 5,000 gallon flat-sided tender which will be included in the upcoming Lord Nelson add-on. These tenders were also coupled to the ‘S15s’ and a number of ‘N15s’ during the years. Work has also started on the smaller 4,000 gallon tender and I hope to show some renders of that in the near future.
Apologies for the lack of updates recently. I’m pleased to say that the ‘T9’ is ready for release and is available NOW! I’m extremely proud of the add-on and I hope you enjoy the ‘T9’ as well.
There are around 50 individual locomotive models, over 20 individual tenders and around 25 different liveries.
One of the challenges that I’ve not faced before while building an add-on is the differences in the cab size and splasher arrangement. 51 ‘T9s’ had narrow cabs and initially, the sandboxes were combined with the front splasher. 15 had wide cabs with the sandboxes located in between the frames. The 51 narrow cab locomotives were later modified with the sandboxes relocated in between the frames.
Royal engine No. 119 was given a number of special repaints and these are included in the add-on. Additionally, in 1935 No. 119 was fitted with an organ pipe whistle and, in May 1948 a deep toned hooter was fitted. While no recordings exist for these whistles, I’ve tried to recreate what they would have sounded like.
The LSWR Green, Maunsell Green and BR Black liveries carried by No. 120 in preservation are also included. In fact, there are two versions of the BR Black livery, as during its 2009 overhaul, the top lamp iron on No. 30120 was modified.
I’ve decided to make the 56 page manual available on the website, so you can have a read before you purchase. LINK
If you have any queries or questions please feel free to get in touch.
Work has already re-started on the Lord Nelson and I hope to show you the progress on the tenders very soon.