Tuesday, 29 November 2011

North Staffs Elevation

Fastline Simulation - North Staffs Minerals: A Class 86 leans into the curve with a northbound express.
Sorry it's been a little quiet on the blog front just lately, lots of file editing doesn't really make for a blog post with eye candy!

However, I do have a WIP screenshot for North Staffs Minerals showing the newly re-laid mainline complete with a class 86 leaning into the super elevated curves, sorry that there's not much else going on in the picture.

In quite a bold move our route builder took a look at the new features in RailWorks 3 and decided he wanted to restart the track laying to ensure the route was to Train Simulator 2012 standards.

What has been created so far is definitely impressive and I'm confident that we made the correct choice on this one.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Brakes and Lights GUV?

Fastline Simulation: Generic GUV shape with underframe the majority of equipment added.
It's been a surprisingly hard slog today to get the under frame and equipment underneath the generic GUV shape.

Sometimes you can have too much information and there even came a point where Pythagoras had to be used.

The under frame itself is complete now and all the equipment bits are there with the exception of the air tank, distributor and actuators to add.

Just bogies and the buffer beam detailing to add after that.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Mystery Parts of a New Model

Fastline Simulation: Mystery part. What is it that's going to be included in our 'Night Capitals' stock pack for Railworks Train Simulator 2012?
Here's a bit of a guessing game.

We've always hinted that there would be more to the 'Night Capitals' stock pack than the Newton Chambers Car Carrier and the GUV but we've never said what.

I started work on one of the other items today, can you guess what it is yet ...?

Friday, 4 November 2011

Painted Urchin

Fastline Simulation: ZCA Sea Urchin with correct period BR flashing battery tail lamp for Railworks Train Simulator 2012.
The majority of time since the release of the VDA vans has been spent (other than taking a bit of a break) getting the ZCA Sea Urchin completed and ready for master shapes to be given the once over by the testers.

The model shown is just about ready for a final check before the different versions are created, all that's needed is the magic to make that tail lamp flash!

Speaking of tail lamps, this is now the fourth different model we've created and all by chance for this one. An offhand comment from one of the team following the preview of the original lamp modelled set in motion a fortunate series of events. 

The original comment was along the lines of "I hope we're going to include the BR flashing tail lamp" and received a reply of "That's what I've done". "Oh no", comes the reply, "They were bigger". Not a popular comment to make after the difficulty of finding enough references for (what's turned out to be) a mark 3 lamp!

By total chance in less than 24 hours an email arrived from the same team member that he'd got pictures and measurements of a BR lamp and everything that was needed to create the lamp in the screenshot. Now all that's needed is simulate the weight of the thing as he remarked "It was just as heavy as I remember them!"

Now, should we track down a mark 2 lamp just to complete the set ...?

Thursday, 22 September 2011

It's good to talk

We've been having a look at the kinds of people who make contact with us and that we 'talk' to on a regular basis and it's thrown up a few gaps. As a result of this we've started to trial a couple of extra features to see if people want to take advantage of them to generally interact a bit more with us and each other.

We now have a (trial) forum which can be found at www.fastline-simulation.co.uk/forum it's all very quiet and empty at the moment as we'd really like you to be the people that form what you see there and how you use it - within all the usual boundaries!

The tone of the forum should really be about our products, RailWorks or Train Simulator 2012 (anyone get the feeling a subtle change of name is taking place?) and railways in general. Please do come along, sign up, make comment on what we've done so far, throw in your own suggestions and start a thread or two about something you want to get off your chest or fancy a discussion about.

As a companion or perhaps alternative to Facebook we're also having a look at Google+. If you've signed up you can track us down with a search or this link might even work: https://plus.google.com/117573473996055619592

Good luck with the big update that comes screaming through the ether tonight and don't forget to backup! We'll be checking out the bogie tanks in the morning and subjecting the VDAs to a final to test to make sure they're ok in the new version before building the installer.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Nice Body GUV

Fastline Simulation: Body of a General Utility Van (GUV) for RailWorks
The last couple of days have seen some time put in on the generic GUV shape.

The body is just about complete now, some solebar area detail to add then it's under-frame and bogies time.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

NVX Car Carrier - The Final Bits

Fastline Simulation: Complete NVX (Newton Chambers Car Carrier) shape, part of our Night Capitals addon for Railworks

With the VDA vans out of bounds while the testers put the scenarios through their paces and the Sea Urchin shapes out for test too there's been time to put some finishing touches to the Newton Chambers Car Carrier that will feature in our Night Capitals addon for Railworks.

The master shape has now gained all the final fitments to allow the creation of the NVV version (Vacuum braked with through steam pipe) and the NVX version (as the NVV, plus air brakes and through ETH).

Next up is the NXV to keep these company ...

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Temporary Slow Down

Fastline Simulation: Temporary speed restriction warning sign and speed board
Just a quick glimpse of a little something I've been playing with on and off this week. It's all flat textures at the moment so not looking too good but you get the idea

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Brake Van Variety

Fastline Simulation: Dia. 1/507 brake van lettered CAR for Railworks in clean bauxite and yellow livery with 3 tail lamps.
Fastline Simulation: Dia. 1/507 brake van lettered CAR for Railworks in weathered and worn bauxite and yellow livery.
Fastline Simulation: Dia. 1/507 brake van lettered CAR for Railworks in clean Railfreight red and grey livery with one tail lamp.
Fastline Simulation: Dia. 1/507 brake van lettered CAR for Railworks in weathered and worn Railfreight red and grey livery.
The dia. 1/507 brake vans included in the VDA vans stock pack for Railworks were completed today and sent off to the testers.

This monster post shows all four variations to be included: bauxite and yellow clean; bauxite and yellow weathered; Railfreight red and grey clean and Railfreight red and grey weathered.

Each of these variants comes with 3 tail lamps (unfitted trains), 1 tail lamp (fully fitted trains) and without any lamps plus smoking and non smoking versions of the above.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Cool Van

Fastline Simulation: Unique white painted lot 3890 VDA van no. 200987 for RailWorks.
The last of the lot 3890 VDA vans for RailWorks have been completed.

In this case it's the unique white painted van 200987 so painted for Rowntrees' chocolate traffic instead of just having a white roof like other vans in this traffic.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Slightly Worn

Fastline Simulation: Well worn VDA van for RailWorks in flame red and grey Railfreight livery.
To finish off this little series of screen shots and almost complete the feel of what our VDA pack for RailWorks will contain, here's a flame red and grey van after it's seen a little bit of use.

There's still one more livery to show once we get the lot 3890 vans sorted and each of the variants of the other two lots to complete. The heavy work is done now though so they shouldn't be too much trouble ...

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Red, Grey and a bit of Grime

Fastline Simulation: VDA van to lot 3855 for RailWorks in slightly grimy Flame Red and Grey livery.
Another lot 3855 version of the VDA van - this time a little later in life with some fairly recently applied Flame Red and grey paint.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

You dirty old van!

Fastline Simulation: A work weary maroon liveried VDA van from lot 3855 for RailWorks.
After a slightly used example yesterday lets get downright filthy!

A once maroon VDA to lot 3855 - I might let you see the Flame Red and grey ones later ...

Monday, 1 August 2011

One slightly used van.

Fastline Simulation: lot 3855 VDA van for RailWorks in slightly grubby maroon livery.
A busy day has been spent giving those pristine VDAs we've come to know a bit of a dirt.

This is the 'clean' version - well as clean as you're likely to see in the case of a VDA, unless you're sat by the doors of the paintshop at Ashford in 1976.

Time to get really dirty tomorrow.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Northern Lights?

Fastline Simulation: Dia 1/507 20T brake van in Railfright livery with lit side and tail lamps.

Fastline Simulation: Dia 1/507 20T brake van in Railfright livery with lit side lamp showing the white front aspect.
A quick walk out at dusk last night found this standard dia 1/507 20T brake van with a full set of lamps for an unfittted train on the rear of a local trip working.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Taking a Railfreight Brake

Fastline Simulation: Railfreight liveried dia 1/507 brake van for RailWorks complete with tail lamp and side lamps.
Ok, the plan was to get Railfreight flame red and grey livery on the dia. 1/507 brake van for RailWorks and then get the models out to the testers.

What actually happened was the livery was applied and in the final stages of tweaking when an idea popped into my head - 'It might be a good idea to add side lamps for working trains without continuous brake'. The results can be seen above!

At the present time the side lamps have holding textures in place so the flat appearance and red lens will disappear in future along with the test coupling. The next modelling session should see the lamps baked and given proper textures and the coupling sorted too so these can go off to the testers while final versions of the VDAs are compiled.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Basically Bauxite Brake

Fastline Simulation: Dia 1/507 dual piped Brake van for RailWorks in Bauxite and Yellow livery.
Ok with a bit of yellow too!

The base textured dia 1/507 brake van with through air and vacuum pipes (TOPS code CAR) in bauxite livery with yellow patches is ready for a trip to the testers before a bit of dirtying up.

One thing that has become apparent while applying these textures is that no two examples were quite the same. What we see here is an aggregate version that captures the spirit of the vans.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

First Coats of paint for the Brake Van

Fastline Simulation: Dia. 1/507 Brake Van for RailWorks in bauxite and yellow livery.
After a couple of entertaining sessions tweaking mapping and realising that no two prototypes are painted the same this freshly painted dia. 1/507 brake van was spotted slipping past Darlington.

The texture is still a layout version at the moment with generally flat colours and some needing a bit more tweaking, but it's always nice to see the model coming to life.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Car Carrier in game

Fastline Simulation: Newton Chambers Car Carrier for RailWorks
With both the VDA vans and the CAR brake van off with the testers and out of bounds, the last couple of sessions have been devoted to making some more progress with the Newton Chambers Car Carrier which is now into RailWorks and being taken for a first spin.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Chocolate Box

Fastline Simulation: VDA van for RailWorks with white painted roof for Rowntrees chocolate traffic.
A fairly large number of VDA vans gained white painted roofs when assigned to chocolate traffic for Rowntrees between their factories and depots. It's thought the coat of pain was applied to reflect some of the heat away in a similar way to refrigerated containers and meat vans in the past.

In this shot we can see a maroon liveried van from the lot fitted with experimental suspension. What has become apparent is the wide variations in the way each livery was applied to different vans, the maroon buffers being quite surprising.

This is still a quite flat textured version ready for testing to check everything is where it should be before the grime brushes come out!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Baked Brake

Fastline Simulation: Baked CAR Brake Van in RailWorks
By request here's a screenshot of the baked dia 1/507 Brake Van in game.

There are a few issues in evidence at the moment that need to be sorted along with the high vis coupling!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

We're back ...

Fastline Simulation: VDA van for RailWorks in Railfreight flame red and grey livery.

Sorry about the quiet spell - an ISP issue has meant no internet access for over three weeks and there's only so much you can get away with at work ;-)

Anyway, one of the jobs that's been done while I lurked in the stone age was getting the master textures on to the VDA vans. The maroon versions still need some tweaks but this virtually ex-works version was spotted at Darlington a few moments ago.

It looks like the van has already carried a couple of interesting loads judging by the warning diamond and remains of another that's been removed. Once you have them in your possession you'll be able to choose which warnings are shown along with a Carlisle Currock sticker if the mood takes you.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Out of the oven - VDA version 4

Fastline Simulation: Fourth type of VDA van for RailWorks
And the last one - complete with tail lamp as a check.

The last batch of VDA vans built returned basically to the design of the original batch with notable exceptions of revised hinges for the outward opening pairs of doors at the ends and longer hand brake levers.

Now it's time for the 20T brake van to receive the same treatment.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Out of the oven - VDA version 3

Fastline Simulation: Third VDA van for RailWorks out of the oven.
Third VDA van for RailWorks is now out of the oven.

This version is from the batch fitted with experimental FAT13 suspension, to my eye it looks surprisingly spindly compared to running gear we're used to seeing. FAT13 suspension was successful in improving the ride quality of the wagon and reducing damage to the load but was not widely adopted due to the high manufacturing cost.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Out of the oven - VDA version 2

Fastline Simulation: Second VDA van for RailWorks out of the oven.
Second VDA for RailWorks out of the oven.

This time it's one of the batch of twenty wagons built with experimental clasp brakes.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Out of the oven - VDA version 1

Fastline Simulation: First VDA van baked and into RailWorks.
After what seems like an age of tinkering because I just wasn't happy with the results the first version of the VDA is baked and in RailWorks.

With the bake setup now settled the next three shouldn't take anywhere near as long!

Friday, 13 May 2011

VDA - The Final Version

The last few days have seen the final master versions of the VDA vans for RailWorks created and a start made on unwrapping ready for pre-shading and texturing. The last things have been a few niggles spotted by the beta testers along with adding some missing brake gear to the disc braked versions and creating the experimental clasp braked version.

The two renders (using a different set up than usual) show an original van built as lot 3855 with disc brakes and the lower one shows the experimental lot 3890 clasp braked version. The differences are subtle from this angle but just about discernible.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Easter Brake

Fastline Simulation: dia 1/507 CAR brake van for Railworks.
With the high poly version of the dia 1/507 brake van for RailWorks complete and ready to join the unwrapping and baking line it's time to take a couple of days off for Easter.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Getting Warmer

Fastline Simualtion: CAR Brave Van.
Looks like the guard has got the stove lit to keep the chills at bay.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Breaking the game?

Fastline Simulation: dia 1/507 brake van that will be included in the VDA stock pack for RailWorks under test.
It's always satisfying to see the completed shape in game, even if this one has been in and out a few times with holes that needed plugging. It's strange how a shape that appears simple suddenly throws some deceptive problems.

With the basic shape complete it will be off to the testers for a bit of a critique while the interior is created and hopefully a bit more of the VDA unwrapping can take place.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Getting a hand hold

Fastline Simulation: dia 1/507 20T brake van.
After a week where other matters have had to take priority over the modelling I've found some time to add some more of the detail to the dia 1/507 brake van that will be included in our VDA stock pack for RailWorks.

All that remains now are a few brackets and angle pieces and the myriad of bolt heads and rivets to bake onto the final texture.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Gone a bit Airfix

Fastline Simulation: VDA vans scenario development
This is all a bit reminiscent of making the Airfix wagons for the wagons for the model railway. You get it together and then just can't wait to give it a run before painting it months later, sound familiar?

Seriously though, here's a picture of 7S66 Tees-Stranraer complete with grey plastic VDAs passing through Durham in the third scenario being developed for the RailWorks VDA stock pack.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Can't quite get the brakes off ...

fastline simulation: dia 1/507 20T Brake Van
Just a quick end of the day render of the dia 1/507 brake van for RailWorks. Not quite so much progress tonight as desired, but that's sometimes the way things go.

As usual the render has thrown up a few areas for a bit more attention next time. Most noticeable are the rain-strip and vents which need to be a bit finer and subtle and the coupling and buffers aren't quite right.

The next session should see the items above tweaked along with the hand rails and lamp irons added before embarking on the finer details.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

dia 1/507 Brake Van Progress

Fastline Simulation: dia 1/507 brake van for RailWorks
Have sent some more time on the dia 1/507 brake van that will accompany our VDA vans for RailWorks.

The model starts to resemble a brake van now and the next session should see the majority of the big bits completed.

As is always the case with WIP renders they show the bits that need a little refinement. In those super chunky foot boards need a bit of attention along with a couple of other small things.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Take a Brake?

Fastline Simulation: CAR Brake Van
A little earlier than planned we've started work on a dia 1/507 brake van for RailWorks. So far there's just the basic body but worth a quick render anyway.

Although the original plans had seen a brake van making an appearance in a supporting role with a future stock pack the need has arisen to pop one into the VDA van pack. This has been prompted by the arrival of the initial test version of the first scenario, a service which was diagrammed for a brake van  due to the hazardous nature of some of the commodities carried and it just didn't look right with the default van.

The completed brake van included in the VDA van pack will be a CAR version with both through vacuum and air pipes in brown and yellow livery and the Railfreight grey and red colours.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

And they're off ...

So there we are, our first stock pack for RailWorks is out there.

It's all a bit like being a dad again as it sets off into the world after all the development and challenges. The release itself seems to have been tantalisingly close for nearly a month with little issues that needed to be sorted and illness preventing the final clicks to let everyone play. Just in case you missed it, here's the link.

For good measure the website started throwing some errors over the weekend so the pack was held back while we traced what was going on there. If anyone is looking for a webhost we've used www.servage.net from the start and can't fault them when it comes to support, truely 24/7, always polite and speedy and more than willing to experiment to trace a problem. If you click the link above you'll even get a bit of extra webspace for good measure over the standard package!

What really makes release day great is when something like this appears in the inbox;

"Great product and the Masborough- Grangemouth activity is spot on with plenty of traffic and chasing yellows to keep you awake. Just wanted to add the detail you've incorporated into the Tankers is fantastic and the research to include the correct style tail lamp the icing on the cake. Great work and look forward to your future releases" Simon Barnes, Satisfied Customer.

Right, now where did those VDAs go ...?

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Going on a demo?

Fastline Simulation: 102t tank wagon demo
With the final versions of the tankers and scenarios with the testers we've created a demo version so potential customers can take a look before they buy the full pack.

With any luck the demo should be available by the end of the week.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Period Paperwork?

Stock Pack Manual Cover
Been working on the template for the stock pack manuals this afternoon with the help of a couple of documents that were on the shelf.

Here's a peek at the cover, the inside is a lot less exciting at the moment!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Dirty Talk

102t tank wagon with dirty texturesThe nice clean ex works pictures have all been very good, but lets face it wagons don't stay that way for long.

As a result here's a dirty version to make the clean one feels cleaner.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Safety First

Battery Tail Lamp made by Chloride Bardic
After a bit of a struggle to find any suitable references we finally have a rear lamp that doesn't turn the entire train into a potential time bomb!

70t+ of petrol or diesel in a tank wagon and a lit oil lamp are probably not the best of combinations, especially when there's a large warning sign on the side of the wagon about naked flames.

The first solution to this issue was to use a barrier wagon to carry the tail lamp, therefore keeping the flame away from the volatile load in the wagon but this is neither practical or cost effective. As a result battery lamps were developed and deployed where required. Eventually the flashing versions we know today replaced the oil tail lamp across the network.

To accompany the 102t tankers we've modelled one if the earlier versions of rechargeable battery tail lamp manufactured by Chloride Bardic the well known maker of the hand lamp used by countless railway workers.

Monday, 17 January 2011

No Nakedness!

No Naked Lights sign
One of the beta testers has just emailed and reminded me about something I'd thought about a while ago, and then forgotten!

We have a very nice model of an oil tail lamp on the back of the tank wagons and a very large sign on the side, like the one in the picture. I did have a bit of a worry about how the two went together!

The esteemed beta tester has reminded me about the bardic and electric tail lamps that were developed to go on these wagons rather than using a barrier wagon to carry an oil tail lamp.

However, I can't for the life of me find a picture or drawing of either to sort this little problem. If any of you could help with a picture from your collection or a link to a picture that would be a great help.

Please leave a comment to this post with a link or contact us at http://www.fastline-simulation.co.uk/contact.html and we'll let you know where to send any pictures.

Thanks in anticipation for any help!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Death by Numbers

TEB Numbering
Just three of the eight instances of the number on each wagon!

It's been a few days of tinkering and changing since the start of the New Year. Still lots of little jobs to do, possibly making the Private Owner plate numbers dynamic may be going a bit too far?