Friday, 22 February 2019

LNER J21 (NER Class C): First Look

Finally, we make good on our promise of 3 years ago and begin work on the LNER J21! Apologies that it took so long but this was by far the hardest locomotive that we have had to get hold of all of the information required and we will not start work until we can be sure of creating a detailed, high quality product.

But before we begin with WIP pictures, a little background information..

By 1885 the North Eastern Railway’s freight locomotives were in a dire state. Many were due for withdrawal and none were powerful enough to manage the increasing requirements. The New Locomotive Superintendent, T.W. Worsdell, set out to fix the NER’s issues by introducing a new locomotive based loosely on his previous GER J15 designs but also incorporating old Fletcher ideas and adding larger fireboxes, cylinders and cabs.

Production of the new NER Class C began in 1886 and carried until 1894. During this time a total of 201 locomotives were constructed for freight use under the NER. They featured 2 main variants; 171 Compounds (Class C) and 30 Simples (Class C1).
The Simple batches of Class C’s were introduced by T.W. Worsdell’s younger brother, W. Worsdell who took over the role of LS after T.W. retired due to poor health. W. did not like compound designs and when reports of coal savings by Compound locomotives fell short deemd that a programme of Compound to Single conversion for all NER locomotives should be considered.

The rebuilding of Class C's into Class C1's began in 1901 and took 12 years to complete at which point the entire class became known by as Class C. Many rebuilds featured Joy Valve Gear but 75 featured Stephenson’s Valve Gear alongside larger cylinders and piston valves. Many also received Superheaters in later years but with repairs and replacements any locomotive could just as easily lose any upgrades throughout its life.

In 1923 the NER was absorbed into the LNER and the Class C was reclassified as the J21. Under the LNER the J21’s would see a change from their mineral/freight intentions and would frequently pull passenger services. During this time they also received even more changes and upgrades.
Withdrawals of the J21 began in 1929 but surprisingly as many as 83 were still running when the railways were Nationalised in 1948, quite an incredible feat on the part of the Worsdell Brothers, and the last was withdrawn in April 1962.

The sole survivor, BR No. 65033, is currently preserved at NRM Shildon in BR Black livery and is awaiting funding for restoration to running status.

The J21 for Train Simulator will be published by our good friends at Steam Sounds Supreme who we are delighted to be working with again and who will be providing a top quality sound set for the locomotives.

There are so many variations of the J21, the most noticeable being the saturated and superheated boilers, but we usually start with a single variant and model that to completion before modifying and duplicating parts to make other versions. In this case we are starting with the non-superheated version with the shorter smokebox.

Note the side injectors which were moved to the cab in later years along with the original style of tall chimney which all-but vanished in later life due to gauging issues on the GER.

This image incorporates some later parts and is a bit of a mash up as it has parts for steam heating, air brakes, vacuum brakes and a mechanical lubricator. Many of these parts will be optional or based on specific times and locations as we attempt to do justice to the huge number of changes these engines went through during their 75 years of service.

More WIP images to come in the following weeks.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Future DLC Announcement

We've just had a look back and it seems that the last time we did a big post with a list of future announcements was Friday 2nd October.. 2015!

Since then we have announced releases one at a time but we thought it would be good to give you another glimpse at our future plans.

So, and importantly in NO particular order, we are hoping to bring you..

WD 2-8-0

WD 2-10-0

A brand new, top quality, GWR Manor

BR Pannier tank (one, two, or maybe all three!)

All of these will be produced to our exacting standards, available to drive in simple, basic and advanced modes, with as many realistic features as we can pack into them and with a nice dollop of rolling stock to accompany them. And of course we are really excited that Steam Sounds Supreme will be producing sounds for all future products.

But before all of those we are delighted to be able to finally bring you the one locomotive from that post back in 2015 that we haven't released, the LNER J21 (NER C class).

And we will have some Work In Progress pictures of this for you next week!

Monday, 4 February 2019

Steam Lunar Sale 2019

It's sale time, because the moon.. or something?!

The GWR County is at it's lowest price to date with 40% off, everything else is half price.
For those who already have everything, thank you very much, and we'll have some exciting news in the next few weeks so stay tuned.

Click this link to see all of our DLC on Steam or click on an image below to view a particular pack.

Note: As usual in the first few hours of any sale Steam will have a complete meltdown as so many people try to access it with some sale prices not showing or the site being completely unavailable - you may need to refresh the page if it doesn't show some of the offers or maybe wait for tomorrow when it's settled down.

GWR 1000 County Class - 40% off
LNER Raven Q6 - 50% off
GWR Large Prairies - 50% off
GWR Large Prairies Lined Liveries (Requires GWR Large Prairies Pack) - 50% off
Stroudley A1/A1X Class 'Terrier' - 50% off

GWR Saint Class & Travelling Post Office - 50% off

BR Saint & Travelling Post Office Livery (Requires GWR Saint Pack) - 50% off

USATC S160 - 50% off

GWR 14xx - 50% off

LNER Peppercorn K1 - 50% off

GWR Small Prairies - 50% off

GWR 56xx - 50% off

GT3 Gas Turbine Prototype - 50% off

GWR Steam Railmotor - 50% off

Southern Bulleid Q1 - 50% off