Wednesday, 23 December 2015

USATC S160: First in-game pictures

Well it's been quite some time since the last blog post about the S160 but we have been hard at work on the first livery - which has involved a lot of set up work for the numerous options that will be available but which will make all the other liveries (currently planned at 9!) much quicker to create.
Also each variation where relevant will be available in one or more of 4 combinations of coupling and brakes: Hook/Vacuum, Hook/Air, Buckeye/Air, Wilson(USSR)/Air. All come with country appropriate lighting.
USSR versions will also be available as standard gauge and 1520mm gauge.

We had hoped to bring you these pictures sooner but then the team at Steam Sounds Supreme dropped the first set of sound files on our desk in the middle of last week and we had a great time integrating those, and I have to say they sound fantastic. They include 2 sound sets to differentiate the different set-ups some of the preserved locomotives have from the originals, and SSS have done it again with their dynamic whistle which sounds incredible. We've also brain stormed with them on a way to make the dynamic whistle operable without requiring the whistle cord meaning you can operate it from outside the cab now as well!

So the first version we present today is the livery seen on preserved loco 5820 "Big Jim" which will be available using all 4 coupling/brake options.

We'll be bringing many more blog posts to you in the new year with regular updates as we create each livery and we'll try to show some of the components and set ups that you can select for each loco, but they are literally into the thousands of combinations!

Until then we'd like to thank you all for your amazing support in 2015 and to wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

DLC Christmas Sale

It's Christmas! And that can mean lots of things - one of which is the annual Steam Christmas sale.
Everything from Victory Works is included at a great 55% off so grab yourself some bargains for the festive period.

Click on any picture below to go directly to the Steam page, or click here to see all of Victory Works DLC on Steam.

We are also pleased to announce that tomorrow we will be posting our first images of one of the USATC S160 liveries in the game, so keep an eye out for that.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Thanksgiving Sale!

It's time for that all important US holiday, Thanksgiving. And so everyone can benefit from it all Train Simulator add-ons on Steam are a huge 55% off!
Everything from Victory Works is included so grab yourself a bargain or two.. or three.. or four!

Click on any picture below to go directly to the Steam page, or click here to see all Victory Works DLC on Steam.

Friday, 6 November 2015

USATC S160: Cab, Part 2

Continuing the cab modelling from the last update the next stage was to start adding some of the pipework which makes it easier to map out areas of the backhead to make sure everything is correctly proportioned and fits where it should.

After this we built the regulator which is unusual compared to a standard UK style lever that rotates in a clock fashion. The S160 regulator is fixed at a slightly tilted angle, and is pulled/pushed to open and close the regulator valve. It also has a locking lever as it was not uncommon for the steam pressure to open the regulator by itself.

Next up were the different brake types, and of course some more optional components as well.
Westinghouse brake control.

Squeezing in a UK vacuum brake - much as the original engineers had to!

A Matrosov brake control, as used in Russia and Poland. Also seen here is the screw reverser as opposed to the more common lever reverser.

And finally an alternate firebox door and a conversion of the regulator to place the operating lever above the drivers head - and presumably close enough to use while seated!

So ahead now lies the infamous task of unwrapping everything we've shown so far (and probably some parts we've forgotten) and starting to arrange them into order and apply textures.

We'll end this section with a render of the whole loco in a reasonably original state, set up as it would have been for use in the UK in the early 1940's.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

USATC S160: Cab, Part 1

So after deciding to do the lighting for the S160 next, we then changed our minds and started the cab instead!

Here we see the basic outlining of the cab and backhead.

Next we built the original style firebox door with shroud, fitted all of the control taps to the roof and added the basic window shapes.

After this the original lever reverser was built, along with the water taps (each side next to the seats), an alternate fireman's seat (a tool crate.. which we accidentally rendered with the seat still in place as well!) and the tap on a long rod that sticks out to the right hand of the cab - more on this in a moment.

The next task was to make the various gauge glasses - a vital piece of equipment for making sure the boiler has enough water. The S160 originally came with a single USA style gauge glass although some were later fitted with a second glass in case of failure.

After the war many S160's had generators fitted and this allowed them to have electric cab lights as well as locomotive lights. This is a soviet added lamp for the single gauge glass.

Some S160's were later fitted with UK style glasses, especially in preservation, and again these were fitted as singles or as a pair.

It has been stated that the original gauge glasses fitted to S160's were poorly made and were responsible for causing some boiler explosions, however this is not true.
The problem was actually caused by the odd placement of the top shut off valve for the gauge glass. We'd read about this during our research but it wasn't until we built the components that it made sense.

As you can see, the top shut off for the glass is operated by use of that tap we saw earlier on the right hand side of the cab, via a universal joint and a very long rod.
Looking at it from this angle it's very clear how the tap is connected, however we took the roof off to take this picture! In reality, with the joint being behind the large board holding all of the control taps it's really unclear to the footplate crew as to what this tap sticking out at an angle is for. And this is how the tragic boiler explosions occurred - crews who had little time for training (there being a war on) turned this tap without realising that they had closed off the gauge glasses top exit, thereby creating a vacuum and causing the glass to report incorrectly.

There is still plenty of modelling to do on the cab for all of the basic fittings, and then of course we have lots of options which include regulators, reversers and 3 different types of brake controls.

Friday, 9 October 2015

USATC S160: Tender, part 2

Last time looking at the S160 we saw the start of the tender model and this time we complete it with the cab facing. And like everything on the S160, it's all about the options!

So here we see the original S160 tender design with 5 planks to hold back the almost 8 ton mound of coal. Also seen on the left hand side is the chain operated handbrake - which wasn't originally fitted to the first few members shipped to the UK but was requested to be fitted after a few incidents of locomotives rolling away when on shed!

Later some of the tenders had the top plank removed and a hood fitted to try and stop rain and coal from entering the cab when running the locomotive tender first. Also some were fitted with a bar for the handbrake rather than a wheel.

The tenders that originally came without handbrakes (and some that did!) often had UK style handbrake columns added as can be seen here. There are also 2 other options in this image; the Soviets and Poles decided that the near 8 tons of coal wasn't sufficient and so they often added 2 layers of planking to increase the height that the coal could be loaded to. We've also seen images of Polish tenders where they have added 2 rods either side of the tender allowing them to open the rear water filling hatches without having to leave the cab - very inventive!

Finally a post-war rebuilt tender face where the works crew have really gone to town. A facing has been created with a coal chute and doors, the handbrake wheel has been moved to accommodate this and a storage cupboard has been added for those all important tools... and lunch and tea cans!

The options for the tenders will not be limited to the images shown above but will be a pick-and-mix style where you can choose how you want the tender to be set up, obviously with limits on compatible parts.

The next task on the list is to create all of the different styles of lights and lamps, so that should be illuminating!
*groan* I know, sorry :-)

Friday, 2 October 2015

Future DLC Announcement and a Poll

So the time has come to announce our intentions for next year.
The USATC S160 will be the next release, but after that we will be starting on a new schedule of building, which currently looks like this:

GWR Saint 4-6-0 with working TPO (Travelling Post Office)

If it all goes to plan, you will be able to pick up and drop off mail just like this!

LNER J21 0-6-0

GWR 42xx 2-8-0T

LB&SCR A1 Terrier 0-6-0T

Obviously situations can change but this is the DLC that we hope to produce over the next year.

We would also appreciate your feedback at this time on how we publish DLC in the future.
Lately we have been thinking over the ups and downs of using DTG/Steam and would appreciate feedback from customers on how you would like to buy from us going forwards.

It really boils down to continuing to use Steam or to change to being able to buy directly (either from us or from an established DLC provider).

The advantages of Steam are:
Purchases and re-downloading are integrated with Train Simulator
DLC can be included in Workshop scenarios

The advantages of direct purchase are:
Much shorter QA times (releases could be up to 6 weeks sooner than they are currently)
No restriction on scenario types (Steam DLC is only allowed to come with career scenarios and only for 1 route which must also be on Steam)
Updates and fixes can be made and sent out within days rather than months (or at all!), as can additions and improvements
Joining forces with another DLC provider has the potential to create even better products

So with that in mind, if you would like to fill out this simple poll we would really appreciate it, thank you
[This poll is now closed - thank you for your responses]

Friday, 25 September 2015

USATC S160: Tender

We're a bit short on time this week for long explanations, but the WIP images speak for themselves really as we have started to build the tender base model - as with the loco, there are quite a few variations of tender components and modifications.


Creating the basic shape

Top starts to come together - despite looking quite simple it was surprisingly hard to model correctly

Adding detailing to the water lids and the tool box

Brackets, handles and the ladder. As with the loco there will be 3 coupling types and vacuum or air hoses, shown here are the air hoses with a USSR Wilson coupling

Front view

Work will continue with the tender, detailing the front end and creating the fittings and modifications.

Next week we are expecting the Peppercorn K1 to be released on Steam and on the Friday blog we plan to unveil our intended release line up for 2016!

In the meantime do take advantage of the sale prices on all of our existing DLC

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

DLC on Sale!

It's sale time again for Train Simulator on Steam and all of Victory Works add-ons are included with 40% off until 30th September.
Click on any picture below to go to the Steam page, or click here to see all Victory Works DLC on Steam.