Monday, 27 April 2015

Bullion Carriers: Bullion Van Completed

Fastline Simulation - Bullion Carriers: NWX Bullion Van with completed textures and shaders from the compartment end.
With the textures and shaders finally completed it's great to see the bullion van in a completed form.

It seems to have been a very long unwrap and bake process with this one but the van and flats are finally with the testers.

If they come back from testing without any issues there will just the the levels of detail to add to complete the models.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Spring Survey Feedback

A big thank you to all the people who took the time to fill in our recent survey. We did promise a little bit of feedback about the results, so here we go.

Expansion quality

On the whole people are happy about the quality of our expansions. There were a few cases where issues were raised but these seem to be more isolated and quite often things beyond our control.

The one area where there was a wide spread of responses was the enclosed scenarios, both in terms of quality and if they were important at all. Please remember that the scenarios have always been included as a way to quickly use the expansion items in a scenario that is suitable for them but without (hopefully) requiring any additional downloads other than the expansion itself. Naturally this does mean that compromises have to be made to fit within that remit.

This said we have some ideas at the moment that should match the spirit of those scenarios while allowing them to be slightly more varied.

Expansion Price

On the whole people thought that the price of our expansions was about right. Naturally there were some who felt them too expensive but those were outweighed by people who thought them to be too cheap!

Don't worry there's no price rise being planned as a result.

Future Expansion Ideas

Thank you for all of the suggestions, some people wrote some very long lists!

Realistically we're never going to get to all of those ideas and some just wouldn't engage us as a team as they're outside our areas of interest and knowledge but thanks for the input nevertheless.

What did stand out was that the general themes and ideas running through matched up with what we already had on the internal ideas list so they should start to appear in the future - some in fact were already taking shape!

Production Speed

We know we're slower than we would like to be. Please rest assured that it frustrates us as much as it does some of you but that is the risk when you have a day job as well as your cottage industry.

What we can say at the moment is that there are changes taking place that should see some of the delayed things you mentioned brought off of the back bench and developed further towards release alongside an increase in production speed.

Unfortunately there is nothing we can actually tell you about this at the moment.

Age Groups

One of the most entertaining things from the survey is that the majority of respondents were older than most of the Fastline team which helps us feel young. It also means there is possibly an age group that we're failing to cater for at the moment. Hopefully some of the future ideas may begin to address this.


A big thank you must be given to all the people who took the time to write some very nice things in the last section of the survey. Getting dialog with our supporters and customers is always a challenge so it's great to get such positive feedback from so many of you!

In general, the survey showed that we're doing the right thing for the majority of the people who responded. There are a few little things we could improve and we'll be taking a look at them.

We really did read every single survey response but would like to reassure one respondent that we have now finished reading surveys and have got back to work ...

Monday, 20 April 2015

VEA Vans: The expected one

Fastline Simulation - VEA Vans: An example of the archetypal VEA that the vast majority of people think of. Wearing Railfreight flame read and grey livery a VEA van sits on the lawn after works attention.
When most people think of the VEA Van conversions they remember the Railfreight flame red and grey livery that the vast majority of the fleet carried from conversion.

Even now the vans look very smart in the livery and hide their more traditional history.

To complete the story there's a screenshot doing the rounds internally of the other livery the vans carried. When complete it's sure to feature in another blog post very soon ...

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Bullion Carriers: Also in white

Bullion Carriers: NLA bullion flat with weathering completed and white container.
With the light application of  grime complete the opportunity has been taken to create alternative versions of the bullion flat with white containers.

The few photographs of the bullion flats in traffic shows them with either blue or white containers in a number of different positions. It's hard to say if this is chance or an era defined choice as there are so few pictures of the flats in service.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Bullion Carriers: Bullion Flat in Need of Grime

Fastline Simulation - Bullion Carriers: The bullion flat has now gained the required lettering along with various loaded versions being created and a start made on the weathering.
The bullion flat is now in the condition where it's really looking the part. The texturing is now complete and all of the lettering has been added.

All that's now left is to add a little bit of grime here and then and get the testers to give the bullion flat and bullion van a once over before the LODs are created.

Once these master shapes are finished there's a little bit of minor tweaking needed to add a little more variation to the pack.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

VEA Vans: Sparkling Maroon

Fastline Simulation - VEA Vans: A recently converted VEA van sits outside the works in maroon livery. Although well known for carrying Railfreight flame red and grey livery the first fifty or so VEA vans were turned out in maroon.
So we might have been hanging on to this for a while, but here's the first official works photo of a VEA coded air braked conversion of a 12T Vanwide.

Converted for use in locations where long wheelbase, modern air braked wagons couldn't be used the VEAs became closely linked with MoD traffic between various depots and bases around the country.

Although usually associated with the Railfreight flame red and grey livery the first fifty conversions were turned out in maroon livery.