Friday, 20 May 2016

GWR Saint: Modelling Progress 5

Today we move on to the cab of the Saint.
The first task was to set up the key shape using the outer model and place some parts to establish the basic layout.

We decided early on that the cab would come in 2 styles to match the square and curved framing changes made to the class. The original square frame cab will have spectacle windows above the backhead and the lever style reverser. The curved frame cab will be without the upper windows and will have the screw style reverser.

Once all of the controls and parts are installed it's time for all that lovely piping, so typical of a GWR cab. And here is the completed square frame cab. Also visible is the canvas screen that many tender locomotives were provided with for crew protection when running in reverse, stretched over 2 "masts" attached to the tender - it's quite rare that you see them as they got old and damaged and were very rarely replaced once they'd gone, however we've seen quite a few pictures from the 1930's showing them so we decided to include it as an option for the early liveries.

Also complete is the curved frame cab with screw reverser.

And finally the square frame in situ in the loco model.

That's all for today. The next couple of weeks will be spent unwrapping and texturing and then we'll hopefully be able to have some in-game pictures.

Also thank you for everyone who is continuing to show so much interest in the USATC S160 but we would ask that you please stop messaging us asking when it's coming out - it is out of our hands as we wait on feedback from the publisher. We promise that as soon as we have ANY news we will make it known - and be assured that we are just as frustrated about the time it is taking as you are!
Thank you.

Friday, 13 May 2016

GWR Saint: Modelling Progress 4

A speedy update this week. To take a break from modelling I'm busy making up the nameplates (for 75 locos!) and I don't want to lose momentum as it's a very repetitive and tedious task!

The Saint's 3500 gallon tender is complete and will be provided in riveted and smooth versions with plenty of GWR logo choices and the usual BR ones.

And here it is with the loco model. Looking rather smart isn't she!

Next week, the cab!

Friday, 6 May 2016

GWR Saint: Modelling Progress 3, and a thank you

Following on from last week the modelling of the external parts of the Saint locomotive is now complete, with the square frame version..

.. and the curved frame version.

We also modelled some of the extra parts for BR versions, etc.

We thought it might be good to take the opportunity to explain some of the work that goes on behind the scenes when we create our locomotives.
One of the most talked about differences when comparing steam locomotives to any other kind of locomotive is the "feel" of them and their "moods". The little nuances in their running, the adjustment to learned skills by the footplate crew when operating them, the working differences that separate similar classes by more than just wheel dimensions and tractive effort calculations.
At Victory Works we always try to investigate the feel of a locomotive as we build it, to try and understand how it felt to pilot these fantastic machines that almost had a life of their own. Sometimes this is easier if the locomotives are preserved, although this can also lead to a skewed impression - running an engine 6 times up and down a 5 mile track 3 days a week at 25mph with a handful of half full coaches cannot always be compared to a working locomotive at its prime travelling hundreds of miles a week, fired over all kinds of gradients, keeping to a busy timetable with a crew working 10+ hours non-stop. Now that's not to say that preservation has no place - we love it, and in the past 5 weeks have visited no less than 6 railways just to gape and drool at what they had running and on display - but it is not the whole story when recreating history.
To get the feel of a locomotive you need to speak to ex-footplate crew who ran them in their prime, cleaners who got into every nook and cranny of their workings, or failing that to read the excellent footplate stories where they (the good authors) tell you all about the little oddities, the often humorous events and the actual process of working these incredible engines. At Victory Works we do this for every locomotive we build and these stories and snippets of footplate life are always on our minds as we build these models. They are even more important to us when we come to creating and understanding the cab environments and adding special features through scripting to give as close an experience to driving them as is possible through a PC monitor.

I'd personally like to take this chance to thank everyone who buys our add-ons and allows us to indulge in this creative process. We feel that creating any steam train; those that are iconic and those that are forgotten workhorses; deserve more than just a simple approximation of their shape, but should encompass everything that made them so special to their crews as they almost become a single entity of men and machine, and all the time that we can continue to invest this much effort and passion into each of our locomotives then we promise to do so.